O’Donovan Wins Lydden Hill Thriller

RX Racing Ltd driver Ollie O’Donovan took his second British Rallycross Championship win of 2015 in a thrilling Supercar A Final at a soaked Lydden Hill on Bank Holiday Monday.

The London-based Irishman started on row two of the A Final row behind polesitter Kevin Procter in his Ford Fiesta, Pembrey winner Julian Godfrey in his Fiesta and Easter Monday Lydden Hill winner Andy Scott in his Albatec Racing Peugeot 208RX. Alongside O’Donovan on row two was Pat Doran in his Citroen DS3 whilst row three held Andy Grant in his Ford Focus, Steve Hill in his Mitsubishi and ‘B’ final winner Mark Flaherty in his ex -Koen Pauwel Ford Focus.

However O’Donovan made a perfect start and lead off the line and into turn one in the damp conditions ahead of Procter and Doran. Godfrey, Scott and Flaherty elected to take their joker laps straight away whilst on lap two, Doran, Grant and Hill went for their jokers, moving Godfrey into third place ahead of his championship rival Scott. Kevin Procter and O’Donovan were the last men to take their joker laps and O’Donovan managed to take back the lead from the Fiesta pilot. However this didnt deter Procter as he hounded the Mondello Park winner for the lead on the last lap of the Final and O’Donovan did everything he could to defend the lead from him, even with a front puncture.

Andy Scott passed Godfrey for third place at North Bend to secure third place as O’Donovan went on to win from Procter to keep himself in the title chase. Godfrey came home in fourth ahead Doran, Flaherty, Hill and Andy Grant in eighth.

O’Donovan was pleased with the win from what was the most exciting race of the day. “That was a great race to be involved in, no matter who won. Kevin pushed hard and so did Andy, but it is a nice victory to get.”

Dan Rook had a successful day at Lydden Hill by taking his Citroen AX to its second victory of the year in the MSA SuperNational Class. Gareth Wood guided his Ford Ka to second place in the A Final whilst Gary Simpson survived several tricky moments in his rear wheel drive BMW M3 to take third place in the damp conditions. Mike Howlin brought his Ford Fiesta home in fourth place whilst the flame spitting Renault Clio of Steve Cozens completed the top five finishers.

Rook now leads the SuperNational Class by 15 points from Wood but is looking forward to the Finale at Croft on 10 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 RX150 Class witnessed Championship contenders Marc Scott and Chrissy Palmer face stiff competition from WorldRX driver Reinis Nitiss in a guest appearance. Nitiss pushed both Palmer and Scott hard in all three heats and then proceeded to pursue Scott all the home in the Final. Kevin Feeney finished the Final in fourth ahead of WorldRX Commentator Andrew Coley, who after an issue with his starter motor during the heats, aquitted himself well by completing the top five.

Credit: BARC Media

The Suzuki Swift Sport Class saw a bumper entry of over 20 cars for the Bank Holiday meeting with plenty of action and incident through the heat stages, but it was Championship leader Tristan Ovenden who came out on top in the A Final, fending off a late charge from Darren Scott and Aiden Hills to secure victory whilst David Ellis and Nathan Heathcote completed the top five. Jake Taylor suffered a difficult day, enduring several spins in the wet conditions and contact during the heat stages. Despite winning the C Final, he finished in fourth place in the B Final and would go no further.

Drew Bellerby increased her Championship lead in the MSA Juniors Class by taking victory ahead of Bradley Durdin. Tom Constantine kept up his fine form by finishing in third with Jenny Hawked coming home in fourth place.

2015 BritishRX Super1600 Champion Craig Lomax dominted the class and took the victory ahead of Mike Jones in a similar Citroen C2 whilst in the BMW Mini class Keifer Hudson took the victory with brother Kris following him home in second place in the Final. Tomasz Marciniak in his Citroen Saxo won the Hot Hatch A Final, beating home John Lyne and Adam Trzonkowski, completing a Citroen top three on the podium. In The Retro Rallycross Challenge, Rob Gibson replicated his Easter Monday pace to take victory in his MG Metro 6R4 ahead of Barry Stewart in his Porsche 911 and James Harrold in his VW Beetle.

The Final round of the 2015 MSA British Rallycross Championship takes place on October 10 at Croft in North Yorkshire with the 2015 MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix taking place the next day.