Liam Doran saw an epic return to form this weekend as he took the JRM World RX 1.6 litre turbocharged BMW Mini to fifth place in the Final of the 2016 World RX Of Hockenheim.
For the second event in a row on the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship, the British Bomb was competing with the 1.6 litre engine in the iconic BMW Mini against a field of Supercars that use 2.0 litre turbocharged engines and stayed inside the top 12 positions all the way through qualifying on the first two days of action to secure a spot in the semi-finals.
With his young British Rallycross Championship charge Dan Rooke acting as spotter throughout the event in the Daventry based team, Doran was looking for more after securing a spot in the Semi-Final at Portugal.
Doran had a great start and found himself in fourth place before taking his joker lap on lap two. This allowed him to close up with the trio of Petter Solberg, Janis Baumanis and Ken Block. He moved ahead of Solberg finally on lap four and as Volkswagen RX Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson fell back with a puncture, the Doran took the lead on lap six and held on to secure his place on the front row of the Supercar final.
Making another fantastic get away in the final, he held a promising third place on the first lap behind the two EKSRX Audis. However, he was pushed wide heading into the hairpin and then subsequent contact with Solberg saw Doran pushed out wide for a second time and he couldn’t avoid dropping into sixth place. After Robin Larsson rolled his Audi, Doran hauled his Mini up to fifth place at the flag to secure a solid finish to the weekend.
“It’s been an absolutely incredible weekend, the MINI RX worked great and that allowed me to drive as hard as I could across all three days.” said Doran.
“I literally wrung every little bit of performance out of the car and, by keeping my driving nice and clean and staying with the leaders, I was in the right place to pull off some great passes and capitalise on other people’s mistakes when they happened,
“The semi final win was probably one of my best races for a long time. The final was frustrating because the steering damage we picked up meant I couldn’t push and that put the leading pack just out of reach. But P5 is still a mega result at only our second event as a team. I can’t wait to get to Belgium next week and do it all over again.”
Team Principle James Rumsey expressed his happiness at this weekends result, “This is only the seventh World RX event we’ve entered, so to take P5 in the final and win a semi final in a car that’s significantly less powerful than the other 20 on the entry list is magnificent.
“Liam has shown once again this weekend that he’s a top, top driver and if we can continue to give him a car that’s reliable, fast and allows him to push as hard as he wants, we’ll continue to go from strength-to-strength in our first full season of World RX competition.”