British Rallycross Championship round 1 got underway at Lydden Hill. Which saw the annual tie up with the Belgian Championship which boosted the entry list to 123!
Interest was high as the newly announced LD Motorsport were entered to race with Derek Tohill and Krzysztof Skorupski behind the wheels of their Citroen DS3’s. Also back on the grid was Steve Hill in his ever popular Mitsibishi Evo X.
The heats were furious from the outset with current British Champion Julian Godfrey fastest in timed practice with less than a second between the top four cars. Godfrey went on to be quickest in all three heats with Belgian Koen Pauwels getting faster as the event progressed. LD Motorsports Skorupski managed third fastest in his first supercar event.
Unfortunately Steve Hill suffered engine problems on the Saturday which saw him miss the first heat and after what can only be called a gargantuan mechanical effort was back for the remaining heats on Sunday.
The final was action packed from the very first corner Tohill pulled up on the first loose section where he remained only to be hit by Jos Jansen causing extensive damage to both cars.
In other classes the racing was just as close. SuperNational saw Stuart Emery win the B final and start at the back of the grid for the A final and come through to win. Despite having the race restarted after Michael Boak and Mike Howlin tangled at the elbow and slide into the gravel trap on the first lap.
The RX150 Final saw a very close battle between 2013 champion Marc Scott and James Grint which saw Marc come out on top by less than a second.
The ever popular Suzuki Swift classes saw close racing. This year it has had its numbers boosted with a raft of new drivers one of them Richard Dolan missing out on a podium place. American skateboard legend Danny Way won the B final to make it to the A final in his first rallycross event and giving a great account of himself. Tristan Ovenden claimed the top spot with Graham Rodemark second and last years rookie Rob Maynard claiming his first silverware in third place.
In the junior Swifts Charlie Bean made no mistakes and clearly marked out his intentions with an emphatic win. Paige Bellerby in second and new comer Jake Taylor in third.
Sadly the Hot hatch final wasn’t able to be run as time constraints imposed on the circuit by the local council meant that time simply ran out.
With so many new drivers joining the championship this year there seems to be a feeling of optimism in the paddock 2014 could quite possibly be the year of rallycross! The championship now makes the short hop over the channel to The Eurocircuit at Vaulkenswaard in Holland for round 2 on 13th April.