Liam Doran headed in to the 2016 World RX of Belgium looking to continue his run of good pace from Hockenheim, however dramas during the weekend ended that hope.
The British Bomb was looking for another giant killing performance in the JRM World RX BMW Mini with its 1.6 litre turbocharged engine that cannot be underestimated against the competition. He began the weekend well by staying inside the top 12 in Q1, setting the eleventh fastest time however steering issues after contact in his Q2 race left Doran in eighteenth place with work to do on day two.
“Everyone was squeezed as we jostled for position and I clipped the tyres,” Doran explained. “The car landed with some steering lock on and that broke the steering arm on the offside front. All I could do was make sure I made it to the finish.
“It’s a frustrating way to end the first day, particularly as we’ve come to Belgium on the back of a near-perfect weekend at Hockenheim. But we’re only five points off the top 12 and it’s all to play for.”
Doran came out fighting in Q3 by setting the third fastest time in his race, but the good work was undone in his Q4 race as contact left the BMW Mini damaged and unable to continue past turn one, as Doran explains:
“We bent the steering arm and also popped the driveshaft. The front wheels were locked out and there was absolutely nothing I could do to get going and rescue the situation,” Doran explained.
“It’s a mega frustrating end to the weekend because, when we had a clear run at the track, we were less than half a second off the leading pace. The target was definitely to back up our semi final appearances at Portugal and Hockenheim with another one here in Belgium, but we didn’t have much luck on our side this weekend.”
However Doran is now looking forward to a better showing on home turf as the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship moves on to the spiritual home of Rallycross, Lydden Hill in Kent.
“Now our attention turns to my home event at Lydden Hill in a couple of weeks. This disappointment just gives me even more motivation to smash that event and give the British fans a spectacular show.”
Despite the end result at Mettet, Team Principal James Rumsey is looking to fight back at Lydden Hill.
“Sometimes the luck goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t in rallycross. It definitely hasn’t here in Mettet. Suffering steering and driveshaft damage twice during qualifying is pretty extraordinary and is a reminder of how tough World RX is.
“One weekend you’re on a high like we were in Hockenheim and then seven days later you’re facing some tough times. The key for us is to bounce back at Lydden Hill in a couple of weeks. That’s ours and Liam’s home track and we’ll be working flat out to put ourselves in a strong position for that one.”