2010 and 2013 European TouringCar champion Derek Tohill will make his return to the FIA European Rallycross Championship in 2016 following a year of planning and taking part in selected events in Ireland.
Tohill will be entering an OlsbergsMSE built Ford Fiesta Supercar which he will get its debut this weekend in the Irish Rallycross Championship at Mondello Park.
Monday saw Tohill travel to Strangnas in Sweden to test the Fiesta for the first and for the PFCRX team to get to grips with the car which was previously used in the FIA World Rallycross Championship and upgraded to the latest specification for the 2016 season.
The PFCRX team will be made up of Tohill, Chief engineer Graham Ronan, Team coordinator Gordon Lynch and Chief technician Ross Sutov.
“We had a very successful shakedown and test at Strangnas.” revealed Tohill. “We got excellent training and support from Andreas Eriksson and the OMSE team. We know we’ve a lot to learn but I’m really excited to be able to prepare through the winter for the 2016 season. I really believe we can compete for finals in the European Championship.
“The car is currently on its way to Ireland – it’s great to bring it home and to be able to race it for the first time at Mondello Park. I’ve dreamt all my life about racing my own Supercar at Mondello and it’s about to happen. It will be great to support the IRX too. We want to go and have some fun in the remaining two rounds of IRX and recapture some of the Fiesta magic that took us to two European TouringCar Championship titles. We’ve all worked very hard for this and I think the lads are as excited about the future as I am.
“We’ve been through a rebuilding phase this season and now we feel ready to head back into Europe, where we certainly have unfinished business in Supercar. It’s going to be a big challenge but we’re seriously motivated. OMSE has updated the car to the latest specification to be eligible to compete in World Championship events next season and we have great support from our partners. It’s difficult to describe how excited I am.
“I really must say a huge thanks to my finance Treasa, father George and all of my family and supporters. Without them, this kind of programme simply wouldn’t be possible.”
Tohill last competed on the world stage in 2014 for the LD Motorsports World RX team in their Citroen DS3, scoring 35 points over the season with two top-10 finishes.
Chief Engineer Graham Ronan added “We’re very happy with the Fiesta and how the shakedown in Sweden went. It’s great to work with such an experienced and professional team like OMSE, with the support of Mountune.
“Everything at the shakedown ran like clockwork, which was just perfect. We couldn’t have asked for a better first experience with the new car. I’m looking forward to Mondello Park this weekend and competing against the best in Europe next season.”