MSA British Rallycross driver Steve Hill is embarking on the second round of the 2017 season, on 17 April at Lydden Hill, hoping to get his championship challenge fully underway.
Hill entered the first round, last month at Croft, full of expectations, but any hope of a strong result was shattered when, on the second lap of his practice session, a broken oil pipe caused a fire in the engine bay of his Mitsubishi Evo X. Despite the setback, the team took encouragement from setting the fifth-fastest laptime on Steve’s only run.
The 590bhp, four-wheel drive rallycross Supercar underwent significant work since round one, including pre-event system checks.
“We had quite a fiery start to the year, but not really in the way we intended,” said Hill. “We were very excited before the season, and still are, and we’re very much looking forward to racing this weekend at Lydden. G (Gerald Nicholson, lead engineer) and the guys have worked really hard to get the car ready – the fire caused quite a lot of damage. We had good pace at Croft despite it being our first lap in the car since last October.”
A multiple-time national Rallysprint champion, Steve Hill has raced several Mitsubishi Lancer Evo models for over a decade, this only being part of a 40-plus year long career in both rallying and rallycross, which includes several British Rallycross round wins and a sixth-overall finish in last season’s 18-car field.
With the level rising in the increasingly competitive British championship, the team is aiming to fight for podium finishes this season, with the ultimate goal of challenging for the top Championship positions.
“I have less seat time in the Supercar heading to Lydden compared to our rivals, but I know the circuit pretty well. Hopefully we can get the year off to a solid start this weekend. We have some more developments coming over the next few events, and we’ve got some brilliant returning and new sponsors supporting us – without them we couldn’t compete at this level,” continued Hill. “Every cloud has a silver lining, our social media interaction about the fire has been good, but I am very much looking forward to giving our fans some more positive news sooner rather than later.”
More information on the MSA British Rallycross Championship can be found on the series’ official website.