MSA British Rallycross SuperNational Championship leader Dan Rooke took his second win of the 2015 season and his career at a very wet August Bank Holiday meeting for the 2015 British Rallycross Championship.
Lydden Hill was the scene of Rooke’s first ever Rallycross win back on Easter Monday as he guided his Citroen AX to victory against a very competitive MSA SuperNational field, but he had to work harder for his second victory.
Rooke managed to survive the heat stages and put his Citroen on the front row for the A Final alongside his championship rival Gareth Wood in his Ford Ka. In very damp and slippery conditions Rooke took his joker lap immediately after the start, a tactic that enabled him to push hard on the following laps putting him in the position to take the lead when Wood took his joker lap on the final lap. Rooke took the victory ahead of Wood with Gary Simpson guiding his BMW to third place.
Championship leader Rooke was happy with his performance and to be able to score his second win at such an iconic venue.
“It means a lot more to win for a second time, that’s for sure,” said Rooke. “I was over the moon with my first victory, but for my second one to come from the same track is really great, especially with Lydden being the home of rallycross!
“The final was a bit nerve-racking. I managed to get the start I was hoping for, to be able to go into the joker lap first. When I emerged back out, I was quite surprised with how close I was to the other half of the pack.
“As the race went on, I got a little bit held up by another car, but I was able slip past and start chasing down the leader. I knew as he went to take his joker it would be close, but he came out just behind me so I just had to bring the car home,” explained Rooke, who prior to the event had never raced on wet tarmac.
“It was a learning curve for the team, we were a bit worried about how the car would handle in the wet, but it handles really well. It was a really good day for us and we cannot wait to be back out at Croft.”
Rooke attributed his better performance to recent updates and progress made with the SuperNational machine.
“The car has performed above what we expected from it to be honest. It handled really well and I could put it where I wanted it. The improvements we have made since the last time we were at Lydden have really paid off, I don’t think we would have had as good a result if they hadn’t been done,” said Rooke.
Although he has a 15 point championship lead, Rooke is well aware of the pressure and the challenge ahead to secure the title at Croft in October.
“It would be fantastic to win the championship in my first season and that is what we are aiming for, but I am not taking anything for granted and I still need to focus – we still need a strong result at Croft.”
The final round of the 2015 British Rallycross Championship takes place at Croft on October 10, followed by the British Rallycross Grand Prix on October 11.