Double European Rallycross Touring Car Champion Derek Tohill was enjoying a solid performance at the 2016 Euro RX of Spain until contact ended his hopes of a Semi-Final Place at the penultimate round of the 2016 FIA European Rallycross Championship for Supercars.
Despite setting the 13th fastest time in Q1, the PFCRX Team performed a setup change on the Ford Fiesta Supercar and this led to Tohill going on to set times quick enough to put him ninth fastest overall at the end of Q2 and looking good for place in the top twelve to progress to the Semi’s. However his runs in Q3 and Q4 on Sunday would be fraught contact that left the Fiesta heavily damaged after the contact in Q4 saw Tohill end up in the wall and out of the running.
Tohill explains his progress further, “This was two separate events for us really. Saturday was great progress for the whole team. Things went really well and we found a good setup in time for Q2. We were inside the semi-final positions, so we were looking forward to pushing forward on Sunday.
“It went wrong in Q3. We got squeezed into the first corner. We were the meat in the sandwich and got launched up in the air. It damaged the steering and we just hung on to get to the finish of the race. We ended up 13th and we knew a good clean last run in Q4 would probably get us into the semi-finals.”
However he goes on to elaborate on why his hopes of a place in the Semi-Finals ended in Q4, I got a good start, minding my own business on the outside of the first corner but Michael De Keersmaeker just drove me clean off the road.
“He pushed me off, hard in the drivers’ door for many meters into the tyre wall, and that’s where our event ended. It’s an extremely disappointing to end to what looked like it was going to be a very promising event. The team worked hard all weekend and to have no reward is very, very tough.
The Irish team now turns its attention to the final round of Euro RX at the Bikernieki Circuit on the outskirts of Latvia’s capital city Riga, where Tohill tested earlier this season in preparation for the event on the brand-new circuit, something he is already prepared for:
We’ve done a test in Latvia already so we’ll go there confident once we’ve repaired the Fiesta. The lap times at the test were extremely good. I have lots of faith in the boys. There is a lot of work to do but we will be there and I feel we are well prepared.