Ollie O’Donovan guided his Tony Bardy Motorsport-prepared Ford Fiesta to its second Final in a row and just missed out on a podium position in the penultimate round of the 2015 FIA European Rallycross Championship, which was held for the first time at the Barcelona Grand Prix circuit.
The Team RX Racing driver was in a confident mood having secured victory previously in the penultimate round of the British Rallycross Championship event held at Lydden Hill and showed that the improving pace of the Fiesta was no fluke as he fought hard throughout the four heat stages held on both days of the event.
In heat four, the Fiesta broke both driveshafts leaving the team with a difficult repair job ahead of them whilst Ollie had qualified for the EuroRX Semi-Finals. During the Semi-Finals, the 2007 British RX Champion luck suffered more as he hit a wall and damaged a wheel which looked set to see him miss the final.
However due to two other drivers being handed penalties, O’Donovan was called up as first reserve for the Final and was glad of this after a difficult time in the heats.
“We were a bit up and down in the heats. On lap two in heat four we broke one driveshaft when we had a very comfortable lead, then the second shaft let go and the car was basically undriveable. We were really lucky to finish and just get into the semis at all. If the shaft hadn’t gone we could have been comfortably in the middle of the grid in the semis, but there you go,” said O’Donovan.
“It was looking good in the semi. I did get pushed out into the gravel trap after the start and then I clipped a wall and broke a rim. We were lucky to finish, happy with that. We went back to the paddock and I was about to watch the finals, but we found out we had qualified just in time.”
After making another trademark excellent start in the Final, the RX Racing driver found himself in third position and staring a podium finish in the face, however he again cracked a wheel and fell to finish in fourth place by the end, going one better than his fifth place finish in Norway: “I couldn’t believe we got up into the final. At the first corner I pushed on around the outside and then dropped into the inside. By the time we got to the gravel I was in third; that was great. I slipped wide lost a bit of time, but I genuinely thought we could get onto the podium.
“Then, on lap four, I went wide and hit the same bloody wall and broke another rim. I lost two or three seconds there, which was enough to miss the podium. But, we’re very, very happy with where we finished, and I must say thanks to the boys and Tony Bardy as always for producing such a good car.”
O’Donovan is now looking to secure a podium position in the final EuroRX event of the year in Italy, but he is also focused on the job ahead at the final round of the British Rallycross Championship held at Croft on October 10 where he has a chance of securing the MSA Supercars title: “We’re going to go all out for a podium in Italy now, that would be a nice way to end the year, but first, we have the final round of the British Championship at Croft and the Grand Prix. I’m really looking forward to that.”