As the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross championship headed into its season mid-point the championship descended on Pembrey Circuit. The South Wales track had undergone a complete overhaul since the 2017 season resulting in a tight more technical track layout with a WRX style straight in start line. The beauty of the new track design is that it now means that spectators can see the entire race from one position.
The British Supercar Championship is quite possibly the closest season for some years having a different winner for the first three rounds. But it was five-time champion Julian Godfrey who made all the running in qualifying on Saturday, taking three straight wins to top the table at the intermediate classification stage in his freshly rebuilt Spencer Sport Mitsubishi Mirage supercar after his spectacular crash at Croft during the last round. With Albatecs Mark Higgins sitting in second place and Ollie O Donovan in third, who’s new livery on his Ford Fiesta that had throw-backs to his championship winning one from 2007.
As expected the final was a frantic affair right from the first corner as Higgins and Godfrey collided with each other on the first sweeping corner damaging both of their cars in the process and effectively ending both of their podium chances. This allowed O’Donovan to seize the opportunity and ease away from the pack. The race rounded out without further incident finishing with the Irishman taking the flag with a popular second place for Steve Hill and Roger Thomas in third.
In the combined Supernational and Super1600 class it was a closeout for the Super1600 drivers where Jack Thorne made use of the new technical layout of the circuit to claim victory from pole with Darren Scott and Craig Lomax taking the remaining places respectively. There were also wins for Tom Constantine in the Juniors extending his championship lead. In the Swift Sport Championship, it was reigning champion Simon Ovenden that took the honors with current championship leader Morgan Bailey in second and sometime RX150 driver Irishman John Ward in third. The increasingly popular BMW Mini category saw Kris Hudson claim the top prize and is now the fourth driver to win a round during this season. David Bell in second and Drew Bellerby in third.
Sunday saw the Welsh track layout run in the reverse direction and with it the blistering hot weather continued.
It was Albatecs Mark Higgins who had the bit between his teeth for qualifying finishing fastest in all three. However, Ollie O’Donovan was snapping at his heels in all of the qualifying races. Godfrey had a DNF during Q1 after Kevin Procter’s steering failed and he made heavy contact with the Spencer Sport driver. Higgins started from pole but it was Ollie O’Donovan who was first to the loose section at the head of the field. Despite Higgins applying pressure it was the guile and experience of the Irishman that proved it impossible to pass him on the tight and technical track at Pembrey. It was O’Donovan that took the win and with it extended his run of wins to three rounds. Albatec’s Mark Higgins and Spenser Sports Julian Godfrey rounding out the podium places.
O’Donovans clean sweep weekend now sees him leapfrog from third in the championship into the top spot at 134 points, with currently only 10 points between the top three the 2018 race for the title is still wide open at the half way mark. Can Ollie O’Donovan repeat his 2007 title? Can Julian Godfrey make it a record breaking 6th title or will Mark Higgins round out his maiden Rallycross year with the championship?
In Supernational, reigning champion Tristan Ovenden put Saturdays troubles behind him to take a clean sweep and in the process opening a slim championship lead, with Super1600 driver Jake Thorne in second and Paige Bellerby in third. Max Weatherley had the drive of his life to steal the Swift Sport class win ahead of favorites Simon Ovenden and Tom Llewellin. With Luke Constantine taking his first 2018 win. Drive of the day has to go to Drew Bellerby in the BMW Mini class for her emphatic win in the final, adding to her third place the day before, taking the flag a full 5 seconds ahead of Keifer Hudson and David Bell.