O’Donovan wins at Croft British Rallycross Finale

by Phil Kinch

Ollie O’Donovan ended his 2016 Rallycross campaign with a win in the final round of the 2016 MSA British Rallycross Championship held at Croft in Yorkshire and this has helped him to secure second place in the Drivers standings behind this years champion Dan Rooke.

The London based Irishman was joined in the weekends action, which included the 2016 British Rallycross Grand Prix, by preparation expert Tony Bardy who made his driving return in the team’s Ford Focus Supercar whilst O’Donovan drove his FIA European Rallycross Championship spec Ford Fiesta Supercar. With both drivers being fast enough to qualify for the Supercar Final, O’Donovan lead from the start with Bardy taking third spot during the race. However the race was stopped and later re-started with O’Donovan taking the lead at the first turn and staying in front to claim the win whilst Bardy would finish in to sixth place.

O’Donovan explained how hard he had to work to take the win.

“Saturday’s final was very hard work. I pushed as hard as I could at the start of the re-run, around the outside at the first corner was the only move I had because I could hardly steer the car,” said O’Donovan. “I was rotating the car using the handbrake and throttle through the whole race.

“It’s really nice to finish the year with two wins (at Croft and Pembrey), it’s a pity we didn’t have a better time earlier in the season because we could have fought for the championship, but second is much better than I expected a couple of months ago, so I’m happy.”


Ollie O’Donovan and Tony Bardy racing for Team RX Racing in the 2016 MSA British Rallycross Championship Finale at Croft. Credit: Team RX Racing

The two Team RX Racing entries enjoyed some success during the British Rallycross Grand Prix by qualifying for the B Final of the event, however Bardy would go no further whilst O’Donovan would go on to qualify for the A Final in the Fiesta. The former British RX Champion reached as high as third place during the race before a broken windscreen saw him drop down the field to cross the line in seventh place.

O’Donovan reflected on a difficult day’s action.

“I was very happy with my start in the Grand Prix, it felt fabulous going down the back straight on the first lap, and I was starting to have a look at Dan Rooke for second but then the wipers stopped,” he said. “They came back on but then went off again and on lap three they stopped forever – that was it.

“I had pace notes over the radio from Tony Bardy, that was quite interesting! I’m disappointed not to have won the Grand Prix because I would love to do that, but we didn’t have a great second day.”

With O’Donovan having competed in British RX, Euro RX and several rounds of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, 2016 has been a busy year for him and the team and they hope to announce their 2017 plans in due course.

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