Godfrey And Heathcote Win At Pembrey To Set Up Championship Decider


Photo Credit: Matt Bristow

Julian Godfrey and Nathan Heathcote took one victory each in the rounds seven and eight double-header of the 2017 Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship at Pembrey last weekend.

The Welsh track hosted the two rounds in opposite directions over the weekend, with round seven being won by championship leader Godfrey ahead of third in the standings Oliver Bennett and Ollie O’Donovan who claimed the final step on the podium.

Round eight which was ran in the more commonly used clockwise direction went the way of Heathcote in the LD Motorsports Citroen DS3 after he dominated throughout earlier throughout the day. Finishing runner up in Sunday’s action was Godfrey with former BTCC driver Warren Scott earning another fine finish in third in his first season of rallycross.

Photo Credit: @Matt Bristow

With the pair wining a round each at Pembrey, the season is set to have an incredibly tight finish at Croft in October. Godfrey leads by 10 points over Heathcote, with Bennett, another driver in his first season of Supercar lying third just a further 4 points adrift.

Godfrey said on his victory in round seven: “Once it dried up in qualifying we had good pace, I didn’t get the best of starts in the final but was ahead by the loose and we led from there. I made a couple of mistakes at the end of the loose, but apart from that it went very well”

While his championship rival Heathcote was pleased with his victory the following day: “It feels awesome to win again after such an up and down season, and yesterday didn’t really go my way. With it being wet the track has suited me well today and I managed to get the win which is great for the team.”

“We were quick at Croft last time, so definitely we’ll try and bring the fight to Julian, hopefully get the win and see how he gets on.”

Kevin Proctor took fifth in round seven despite suffering turbo and air filter issues before the issues returned on Sunday in round eight and forced the man from Northallerton to only manage seventh while Jake Harris was another driver to suffer a mixed weekend with the youngster taking sixth in round seven followed by a retirement the following day after contact with Proctor.

O’Donovan who claimed third on Saturday would not add to his fine result on Sunday as the Euro RX driver crashed during practice and was taken to hospital with a damaged shoulder, ribs and right hand. He did however return to the circuit on Sunday afternoon.

Photo Credit: @Matt Bristow

Tristan Ovenden claimed a double victory in the MSA Supernational Rallycross Championship that helped him to move into the championship lead in his Renault Clio V6 while former championship leader Paige Bellerby had a poor weekend after only managing a fifth and seventh placed finish in each of the two rounds.

As Ovenden dominated, Bellerby first had a broken engine mount on her Lotus Exige followed by the poor weather conditions on Sunday causing her to spin on the final lap of the final forcing her to only manage seventh.

Tony Lynch in his Ford KA took a pair of second placed finishes over the weekend after battling with Allan Tapscott throughout the weekend. Vauxhall Corsa racer Tapscott managed a third in round seven followed by a fourth the following day.

In the Swift Sport Rallycross Championship, Simon Ovenden extended his championship lead by taking a double win ending Rob Shield’s winning streak in the process with Shield finishing runner up in both events at Pembrey.

Ovenden goes into the final round at Croft with an eight-point lead over Shield with Chris Woollett, who took fourth in round seven at Pembrey third in the standings.

Photo Credit: @Matt Bristow

RX150 saw two famous faces competing over the weekend; FIA World Rallycross commentator Andrew Coley finished fourth in round seven while World RX driver Andreas Bakkerud finished a fine second as he made a return to the series in which he made a guest appearance last season.

Chrissy Palmer took the round eight victory and should have made it a pair of wins if not for a puncture in the final on Saturday that allowed John Ward to take the victory while Stephen Jones took a pair of podiums in third.

Darren Scott took the Super 1600 Rallycross Championship round seven win after battling with championship leader Paul Coney throughout the final. Coney would go on to win the following day and claim his sixth win in eight events while Phil Chicken finished runner up in round eight behind Coney after taking a third placed finish in round seven.

The BMW Mini Rallycross Championship saw Martin Hawkes claim a double victory and he took over the championship lead from Drew Bellerby. Second in round seven went to Rob Methold with Bradley Durdin taking third while in round eight, Bellerby claimed the runner up spot on the podium ahead of Andrew Hawkes. Leigh-Anne Sedgwick and Szymon Zatiny took the Hot Hatch Championship victories.

Finally in the Retro Rallycross Championship, Kevin Feeney and David Aiken took the victories with the pair both taking their first wins of the season. Championship leader Lance Foster in his Mini Clubman extended his points lead throughout the weekend while debutant Gary Dixon claimed a second placed finish in round eight on Sunday.

The final round of the 2017 Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship takes place at Croft Circuit on October 21.