Julian Godfrey won both rounds four and five of the 2017 Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship at Mondello Park.
The Ford Fiesta driver has now made it three wins in a row after claiming victory at Pembrey last time out and won twice this weekend to claim the championship lead as he aims for title number six.
In round four, the five-time champion took his joker lap in the final on the opening lap to give himself some space on track as his rivals continued to battle ahead and the decision worked out perfectly as he was able to claim the lead once the other drivers took their jokers.
After claiming the win on the Saturday with the Irish track being ran in reverse, day two saw the track being ran in the more commonly used clockwise format and Godfrey continued where he’d left off.
Again using the joker lap to his advantage, this time he left his longer timed lap until the very end of the final after championship challenger Oliver Bennett took his joker earlier in the race.
Godfrey said on his double win: “Three on the trot is very satisfying and it’s put my Championship on the right path. I really like Mondello, I’ve had a lot of experience here and it’s really nice to win both rounds.”
“In the last few rounds of the year I just need to stay consistent and we can fight for the Championship. It’s going to be really close and tough battle right to the end”
Bennett in the ex-Oslbergs MSE Fiesta would take away two podium finishes from Mondello and now trails Godfrey by three points in the championship standings.
In round four he finished behind Godfrey and Ollie O’Donovan to claim third, while round five saw him win the second semi-final heat to put him on pole position for the final, but would finish behind Godfrey after Godfrey’s fine joker tactics.
Bennett, who is still only in his first season of Rallycross, commented on his weekend: “We had a great weekend. I led from the start of the final on Sunday and it was just a case of how quick I could get round. I was a bit sloppy in places.”
“I’m really new to this and it’s really hard to know how hard to push when you’re in front. I was a bit too cautious maybe so could have done better, but I’m really pleased that I can match the other guys pace.”
O’Donovan meanwhile, who was racing his Ford Fiesta that he usually pilots in the European Rallycross Championship, would only finish one round this weekend. After claiming second on Saturday in round four, the Irishman rolled out of round five on Sunday due to broken suspension.
Nathan Heathcote would have a mixed weekend; round four saw him leading the first semi-final, but was forced to retire after an oil leak on the LD Motorsports Citroen C4 meant the car was unrepairable also for the next day’s action.
However, all was not lost for Heathcote as Pat Doran, who was driving the team’s sister Citroen DS3 in place of the injured Warren Scott, gave up his seat on the Sunday so that the championship front runner could still compete in round five. Heathcote would go on to claim a fine third in the BRX runners on Sunday.
Derek Tohill, who was competing in the main Supercar category as part of the combined BRX and Irish champioships took third overall in both rounds, but was not able to score British championship points.
Kevin Proctor finished fifth in both rounds in his Ford Fiesta, while Steve Hill took a pair of sixth’s over the weekend in his Mitsubishi Evo 10.
The MSA Supernational Rallycross championship saw defending champion Tony Lynch claim his first victory of the season in round four while Tristan Ovenden took the win in round five.
2016 champion Lynch finally took his first win of this season after managing to get past Ovenden by taking an earlier joker lap and would go on to win.
Round five saw the top two reversed after Ovenden led from the start of the final in his Renault Clio V6. Championship leader Paige Bellerby took a pair of thirds despite her Lotus Exige suffering from clutch issues.
Ole Henry Steinsholt claimed his first victory in the Junior Rallycross category in round four ahead of Tom Llewellin who was unable to continue his unbeaten run going in the class.
However Llewellin was able to make up for round four and went on to claim victory the following day in round five ahead of Tom Constantine, who finished third the previous day and Morgan Wroot,
Rob Shield took a double win in the Swift Sport Championship as he closed the championship points gap on Simon Ovenden who finished closely behind on both occasions. The pair were joined by Christian Hainsworth in round four and Max Maxted in round five on the podium.
RX150 went the way of Marc Scott in round four as both Chrissy Palmer and John Ward suffered issues on the opening day of the weekend, but Palmer would go on to make a last corner move on Kirk Langley in round five to claim the victory.
Finally, Paul Coney won both rounds of the combined Super1600 / BMW Mini / Hot Hatch category ahead of Michael Boak. Craig Lomax would finish third in round four and Darren Scott would claim the final step on the podium in round five despite an early spin in the final. Drew Bellerby and David Bell meanwhile claimed the BMW Mini Rallycross Championship victories.
Round six of the 2017 Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship takes place at Lydden Hill on August 28.