Current MSA British Rallycross Championship leader, as well as FIA European Rallycross Championship for Supercars competitor, Ollie O’Donovan, is ready to fight to keep his third-overall place in the European series’ standings at the next meeting in Hell, Norway, this weekend (9-11 June).
The London-based Irishman, British Rallycross Champion in 2007, scored his best-ever ERX result last April, at the opening round of the series in Barcelona, finishing third overall in his Ford Fiesta, run by his own outfit, Team RX Racing.
Rallycross car preparation experts, Tony Bardy Motorsport, put some considerable effort into improving the car’s engine setup, ahead of the World Rallycross round in Lydden Hill a couple of weeks ago, where O’Donovan showed competitive pace, especially in front of fellow ERX competitors.
At the Norwegian venue, O’Donovan scored his previous best result in EuroRX back in 2015, finishing fourth overall: a feat he repeated the same year in Barcelona. Now that the Spanish and Norwegian events have changed their position in the calendar, the Irishman hopes for another good result, but also reckons that the level in ERX is now higher than ever.
“The result in Barcelona was fantastic and it’s great that we’re third in the Championship in what is probably the most competitive season I can remember, says O’Donovan.
[…] we have to stay focused on what we need to do this weekend, there are a lot of semi-professional drivers competing in cars that have been built by manufacturer-backed teams.
We punched above our weight in Spain for sure, and with improvements to the car, and the fact I’ve had a little more seat time than usual recently, that should help us.”
As a former international rally driver, O’Donovan enjoys the undulating nature of the Hell circuit which requires a smooth execution and big commitment through several of the corners:
“I love the track in Norway, I feel like it really suits me, but it’s also really different to places like Barcelona.
This is a proper old school rallycross circuit, which I really enjoy. We’ve always gone well there, and I’ve had some of my favourite experiences in the Fiesta at this track, especially trying to overtake people into the joker lap, which is a real challenge.”
Action in Hell starts tomorrow, Friday 9 June, with the first free practice session in the evening. Q1 and Q2 will take place on Saturday, while the remainder of the qualifying, the semi-finals and the all-important final will be held on Sunday. The final will also be shown on live television, so make sure you check your local TV listings or, if available, the official livestream on YouTube.