Ollie O’Donovan took his strongest finish yet in the 2016 FIA European Rallycross Championship for Supercars as he finished just a second off from qualifying for the Supercar Final at the Euro RX of Latvia.
The 2007 MSA British Rallycross Champion was just off the pace during Q1 and Q2 where he ended the first days running in 13th place overall and just outside the crucial top 12. However a change in conditions during Sunday’s running saw the London-based Irishman improve his performance further by going 10th fastest in Q3 and Q4 to move into the top 12 and confirm a place in the Semi-Finals.
O’Donovan made a strong start in the poor conditions and was up to third by the first corner and looking set for a place in the Supercar Final, however contact at the hairpin saw him pushed wide and fall down the field. O’Donovan fought his way back up to fourth place by the flag, however this signalled his strongest finish to date during the 2016 season in the Tony Bardy Motorsport prepared Ford Fiesta.
The Team RX Racing Team Principle was happy with the result despite losing third place during the race:
“We had a pretty frustrating time on day one to be honest. I got pushed off in Q1, so the time would have been well in the top ten if it hadn’t been for that, then we got stuck behind a slower car in Q2,” said O’Donovan. “I like the wet conditions, and it was really wet on the Sunday. I pushed hard, but was cautious that pushing for an extra second over a race distance could also end in disaster and it was great to get into the semi-finals.
“Going to Latvia, we wanted to try and get into the final, which we nearly managed. I was third on the first lap but made a mistake and lost some time. It’s a shame not to have been in the final, but it was a much better end to the season than how it started, so I’m happy. The event in Latvia was amazing, a huge amount of fans stayed out all day in the rain on Sunday and the loose surface of the track held up to the conditions fantastically.”
Withe the European Championship finished for 2016, O’Donovan’s attention turns to the final round of the 2016 MSA British Rallycross Championship taking place at Croft on 22nd October and then to be followed by the prestigious MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix on 23rd October. With Dan Rooke already crowned as champion for 2016, the former British RX Champion has made his aims clear for the weekend ahead:
“We are well in the fight for second place in the British Championship, and after a difficult year with niggling problems it would be great for me, the boys and our sponsors to finish second in the points, in one of the most competitive seasons for years,” concluded O’Donovan.
“I’m also really looking forward to the Grand Prix too. As I’ve said before, I really want my name on that trophy.”