Isachsen Wins European Opener At Lydden Hill

Double champion Sverre Isachsen kicked off the 2011 European Rallycross Championship in style with a convincing win at the season opener at Lydden Hill.

Thousands of fans from Britain and the continent flocked to the Kent circuit to witness the world's finest rallycross drivers battling it out around the challenging one-mile track. However, the weekend belonged to Norwegian and reigning champion Isachsen, as he completed a lights to flag win in the Supercar A Final.

He said: “A perfect race and a perfect victory. I need to thank my team. They did a great job again, and now I'm looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Britain's hopes were held by Liam Doran and the Kent driver seemed to be on course for a famous win on home soil after topping the time sheets following heat two. Doran, who finished third in the championship last year, easily qualified for the A Final, but engine problems left him unable to live with the pace of Isachsen and he took the chequered flag in fourth. French drivers Marc Laboulle and Davy Jeanney secured second and third spot with impressive drives in their Citroens.

Doran said: “It's points. It could have been better but it is points at the end of the day. The only person I see as my rival is Isachsen. It was a major doubt for us to be here after the accident in the British round but we got here.”

American stunt driver Tanner Foust failed to qualify for the A Final in his Ford Fiesta and was forced to settle for eighth place overall.

Norway's Andreas Bakkerud (Renault Clio) claimed victory in the Super 1600 category, finishing ahead of Britain's Julian Godfrey (Ford Fiesta) in second and Zdenek Cermak (Skoda Fabia) in third.

Norway completed a clean sweep of the honours with Lars Oivind Enerberg (Ford Fiesta) winning the Touring Car class. Roman Castoral finished second with Belgian Koen Pauwels in third spot.