Knockhill Racing Circuit in Fife, Scotland held host to rounds five and six of the Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy presented by Cooper Tires over the weekend of 25/26 September 2021. This was the third nation of the five nations involved in the championship and the first time the BRX had visited since the new promoters took over due to the pandemic postponing a lot of racing events. With changeable weather conditions, competitors from all eight classes enjoyed an action-packed weekend of racing.
In Round Five on Saturday 25th September, the RX150 class Stephen Jones took one qualifying race win with Patrick O’Donovan claiming two. In the final, O’Donovan lost ground at the start, recovered to second in the first lap, but it was Tommi Caldwell who won ahead of Jones after a last-lap joker, clinching victory by 0.26 seconds.
The Retro Rallycross Championship gave us some action with some paint exchanges in the Super Retro class final. Vince Bristow in his BMW E36 claimed pole by winning both qualifying sessions two and three but when he failed to get away from the start line, he dropped right down the order. The Porsche 911 of Barry Stewart took the lead just ahead of John Cross‘ Lancia Stratos when Phil Collard joined the battle in his Renault 5, touching Stewart and sending him into a spin. Bristow pushed his way back to second then overtook Cross for the win. The Retro class consisted of just the Toyota MR2 of Tony Lynch and the Ford Escort Mk1 of Simon Hart. Lynch won the first qualifier but a fire in qualifier two ended his day handing victory to Hart.
The BMW MINI Rallycross Championship was dominated by Dave Bellerby who won every qualifying race, his semi-final and the final. Ben Sayer won the other semi-final but had to settle for third, being denied second place in the final by Tom Constantine who drove a great race to make up lost ground from the start.
In the Swift Sport Rallycross Championship final, Faversham driver Max Weatherley led from lights to flag for five of six laps when a big accident involving David Watt, James Constantine and Luke Constantine led to the race being red-flagged. After the restart, Weatherley repeated his performance taking the checkered flag with Watt in second and Scottish driver Don MacLeod taking third place at his home track.
Darren Scott displayed his prowess by winning all three of the qualifying races in the Super 1600 Championship but an engine problem with his Citreon C2 in the final race ended his day. This left the Citreon C1 of Craig Lomax to take the lead and win the round followed by the C2 of Phil Chicken.
The Motorsport UK Junior Rallycross Championship final was run three times after dramatic rolls by Caitlin May and Corey Padgett led to two red-flagged races. May showed such tenacity that she finally managed to take third in the race with Max Langmaid taking the win ahead of second-placed Will Ovenden.
Jason Bleasdale in his Vauxhall VX220 had a great day in the Motorsport UK Supernational Rallycross Championship, winning the first two qualifying races with Slawomir Woloch‘s BMW M3 taking the third race win. Bleasdale then claimed victory in the Final with reigning champion Paige Bellerby second place in her Lotus Exige ahead of Woloch.
Roberts Vitols in his Citroen DS3 became the first driver to win two rounds in the 2021 season of the Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship. The Latvian won his semi-final but lost out on pole for the final race to the Ford Fiesta of Ollie O’Donovan who won the other semi. On a damp track, Vitols bogged down at the start with O’Donovan losing out to Steve Hill‘s Mitsubishi Evo and then taking a detour through gravel. After taking the joker, Hill was looking good in third place but a spin dropped him down the order. After recovering from the bad start, Vitols faced a clean track and drove his own race, jokered on the last lap and crossed the finish line to take the win almost five seconds ahead of O’Donovan.
The action returned on Sunday 26th September 2021 with more spectacular racing in all classes.
In the RX150 class final, after qualifying wins for each of Tommi Caldwell, Patrick O’Donovan and Stephen Jones, it was Jones who led following a spin by Caldwell who ended up last. Given a second chance after the race was red-flagged, Caldwell took the lead at the restart with O’Donovan and Jones battling behind. O’Donovan then suffered a spin and stall which put him back to third with Caldwell taking the win and Jones claiming second place.
The Retro Rallycross Championship gave us even more interesting action on day two. Barry Stewart returned to his winning ways in the Super Retro class with his Porsche 911 finishing just ahead of John Cross in his normally immaculate Lancia Stratos that was missing much of its front bodywork. Ray Morgan fought well in his Ford Escort to hold off yesterday’s winner Vince Bristow to claim the final podium spot. Over in the Retro class, Pembrey winner Tony Lynch was the man of the weekend after taking an eight hour round trip to repair his Toyota after yesterday’s fire to enable him to challenge yesterday’s Retro Rallycross winner Simon Hart. Sadly, his efforts came to nothing after he rolled out of the final leaving Hart to collect his second win of the weekend.
Tom Constantine finally earned the result that reflected his performance in the BMW MINI Rallycross Championship with victory in the Final. Dave Bellerby who took the early lead from pole, however, he pulled off the track when a relay popped out allowing Constantine through for his first win of the season. Dave Ellis was given a five-second penalty for track limit infringements but still came home second ahead of the Pembrey winner Stephen Brown.
Round six of the Swift Sport Rallycross Championship was again dominated by Max Weatherley as he enjoyed his second win of the weekend. Local hero Don Macleod drove well and claimed second place and yet another podium finish in front of his family and friends. David Watt completed the podium places ahead of series newcomer Ansko Pikanen.
Following yesterday’s retirement in the Super 1600 Championship, Darren Scott was unable to compete and with Phil Chicken also sidelined with a broken crankshaft, it was left to the reigning champion Craig Lomax to uphold the honours for the class, but due to a mechanical issue was left limping and unable to cross the line but still took maximum points.
Max Langmaid claimed his fifth win of the Motorsport UK Junior Rallycross Championship in another flawless race. Will Ovenden managed to claim a well-earned second spot ahead of the fast-improving Finley Scott.
In the Motorsport UK Supernational Rallycross Championship, Jason Bleasdale piloted his Vauxhall VX220 to his second win of the weekend with a well-driven victory to extend his championship lead over Slawomir Woloch. The Lotus Exige of reigning champion, Paige Bellerby suffered a broken driveshaft in a qualifier but still managed to come home third.
Derek Tohill, the multiple Irish champion was in dominant form, taking victory in two of the three qualifying races to take his second win of the Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship and crucially move into third in the overall points table. Yesterday’s winner Roberts Vitols overcame two bad runs in the qualifying races, unable to finish two of them, to claim second place ahead of six-time champion Julian Godfrey who was driving the Citroen DS3 of reigning champion Mark Donnelly due to suffering from mechanical issues to his Ford Fiesta. Steve Hill took fourth, Ollie O’Donovan was docked five seconds for track limit infringements and finished fifth ahead of Tristan Ovenden but holds onto the championship lead which he now shares with Vitols.
The Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy presented by Cooper Tires will return to Lydden Hill Race Circuit in Kent over the weekend of 6th – 7th November 2021