Having recently completed in his first full season in the European Rallycross Championship, in which he finished in a solid third place, British rallycross star Liam Doran travelled to the U.S.A to compete in the second round of the U.S. Rallycross Championship.
In this, the first of a two-part interview with Liam, Ian Price asks the questions to find out Liam’s thoughts on the European Rallycross season, his desire to be European Champion, the logistical nightmare of shipping his trusty Citroen C4 ERC to New Jersey, and the weather.
Ian: You’ve just completed your first full season in the European Rallycross Championship, how do you feel the season has gone?
Liam: Very well. There has been a lot of ups and a lot of downs, but overall it has gone well. I could never had hoped for this result at the start of the year. I have already fulfilled my original ambitions, so I am raising them all the time.
Ian: It is known you want to stay with Kenneth Hansen’s Citroen setup for 2011, how is that looking?
Liam: Yes, I would love to stay with KHM for 2011. I want to become the European champion! It is not any closer yet but I would hope to try and secure a deal for support by the end of the year and all potentials sponsors budgets have been allocated.
Ian: What made you make the decision to head to America to compete in the American Rallycross?
Liam: Mainly to help with finding support for 2011. It will further my careers results, and therefore make me more attractive to sponsors. I would also like to compete in America alongside Europe next year so the first step is to have a go. I really need success in Round 3 to prove myself properly so let’s hope for some better luck.
Ian: How much of a job was it to get the car and equipment transported to the USA?
Liam: You would never believe me if I told you how hard it actually was. It is done now so we know for next time. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.
Ian: Stage rallying has gone down well in America, do you think Rallycross will go down well there too?
Liam: I think it will. It should as it fits perfectly with what the American public want to see. I hope it does for all our sakes as it will be great for the sport and its competitors.
Ian: An eventful ‘A Main’ final saw you crash on the first run, then you lined up at the back, and then drove to third place. How did you find the restarted final?
Liam: I was very disappointed with the event. If it wasn’t one problem, it was another. I never had a chance to drive the car really. The team did a great job of keeping me going. Sometimes these events happen, I just hope not again soon. The A Final was just a matter of finishing as I had broken suspension on the front, one slick tyre on the rear in the rain and I couldn’t see as the wipers broke. I know they are not real excuses but hey, I need to make myself feel better somehow.
Ian: Was there any thoughts you wouldn’t make the restart after the puncture?
Liam: Yes, after what happened I thought I was out! The team did a great job in getting me back out so a big thanks to them.
Ian: The weather seemed much like back home, how much did that affect the track?
Liam: Yes. It was a great shame that the weather did that. It made the track more technical and slower which meant the racing was not as fun to watch. I would have like it to stay dry as in the end I travelled 3500 miles to feel like I was at home.
Ian: How was the atmosphere at the New Jersey Motorsports Park?
Liam: It was good. It was good to meet all the drivers as some of them are celebrities to me. I hope there will be more competitors and more spectators for the next one but the weekend was a good base.
The second part of the interview will pose more questions to Liam, after he has once again headed to the New Jersey Motorsports Park, for the the third and final round of the U.S. Rallycross series, over the weekend of the 6th and 7th of November.