Evans ahead at half time
After taking his third consecutive win of the year, Christopher Evans (Wicklow) has extended his lead in the Quaife MSA British Rallycross Championship to 13 points.
The fourth round of the eight-event championship took place at the high speed Blyton track in Lincolnshire on Sunday (July 2) and provided a day full of drama and action.
Defending champion Pat Doran (Milstead) was out of the event and facing a major blow to his title aspirations in the first qualifying heat after his Ford Fiesta ST suffered an engine failure. Seconds later Andrew Jordan (Sutton Coldfield) crashed out of the event after losing control of his Ford Focus which lost two wheels after hit the barriers.
Evans also had a worrying start to the event when a driveshaft broke and forced him to retire from the first heat. The championship leader was then beaten in a close second heat battle where John McCluskey (Dublin) took the lead in the last lap. Already with fastest time from the first heat to his credit, the win allowed McCluskey to put his name on pole position for the Supercar A final. Evans was fastest in the third heat to take second place on the grid but made the better start and led McCluskey in the race. Through four-and-a-half of the five laps there was nothing between the pair, but McCluskey’s luck deserted him with the finish line almost in sight, a broken driveshaft causing his Citroen Xsara to spin. Evans took a clear win with Dermot Carnegie (Dublin) and Steve Hill (Aylesbury) next home while McCluskey finished eighth but lost so much time that he would not make it to the Superfinal.
In the Superfinal and again was SuperModified class winner Dave Bellerby (Northallerton) who lined up between Evans and Carnegie on the front row of the grid. It was Carnegie who made the better start here, Evans dropping into second place with Hill making his way past Bellerby to run third.
Evans and Carnegie quickly moved clear of the rest and halfway through the second lap Evans made the most of a tiny slip from Carnegie and took the lead. The two remained closely matched to the end, but Evans didn’t offer Carnegie a chance to regain the lead.
"I think that was the best win yet. It was close at the start and I could probably have fought harder to get the lead in the first corner but I’m thinking about the championship now," said Evans. "I was comfortable behind Carnegie but when he went wide in the second lap the chance was there and I took it."
Hill had his best finish to date with a good run to third place while Bellerby took fourth ahead of Kevin Procter (Northallerton) whose challenge was blunted as his Ford Puma suffered a lack of boost pressure all day and was also overheating in the Superfinal. Michael Boak (Newcastle upon Tyne) and Mike Sellar (Milstead) were the last finishers after Andy Grant (Barnstaple) – who had worked his way through both the Supercar B and A finals to reach the Superfinal – was forced to retire with a lap to go.
Bellerby continued his domination of the SuperModified category by taking his fourth win in as many events. Also collecting the bonus points for setting fastest time of the day within the class, Bellerby has a maximum score from the first four events and is 32 points ahead of closest rival Mike Turpin (Hereford).
Working hard to overcome engine problems with his lightweight Vauxhall Nova, Turpin qualified sixth for the A final in which he produced another superb drive as he worked his way through the field to take second place. Sellar and team mate Russell Etherington (Dover) both enjoyed a good event with their Renault Cliosport V6s, the pair finishing third and fourth ahead of Boak, Mick Bird (Midhurst) and Jamie Lea (Deeside).
Tony Lynch (Bolton) broke into the exclusive battle being fought between Rodney Green (Bromley) and Julian Godfrey (Heathfield) in the Yokohama Stock Hatch championship. Green took pole position for the A final in which Godfrey started fourth on the grid, but it was Lynch who picked up the five bonus points for setting fastest time in the class. York-based teenager Ash Simpson also featured in the leading battle here, qualifying second for the A final between Green and Lynch.
Green led the field into the A final, Simpson taking second as Lynch fought with Godfrey over the first half of the race before finally getting a firm grip on third place. At the front, Simpson was able to run with Green who held steady under the young driver’s challenge to take his second win of the year.
Behind the top four, Simon Horton (Clitheroe) took a good fifth place with his Metro GTi ahead of Phil Chicken (Barnsley), paul Barnes (Rugeley) and leading lady racer Beccy Holland (Southampton).
Junior Rallycross with Bill Gwynne Rallyschool International
Kyle Orr (Dromore) continues to be the leading driver in the Bill Gwynne Rallyschool International Junior championship and collected his fourth consecutive maximum points score at Blyton.
Orr qualified on pole for the A final with fastest times in the first and third heats and then led the final from start to finish after establishing a lead over Ben Power (Welshpool) and Ben Rennison (Richmond). Russell Simpson (York) had his best finish of the year in fourth place, ahead of Sam Schofield (Danbury), Charlie Budd (Aylesbury) who made a good championship debut with seventh place and Craig Popperwell (Stockton on Tees).
BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Championship
Steve Heppenstall (Settle) maintained his lead in the BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Championship after taking his fourth win of the year in the Stock Hatch category. His closest rival remains Junior racer Ben Rennison (Richmond) who completed a hat trick of Junior A final wins and is just three points behind Heppenstall.
Ryan Lawford (Canterbury) was second until the last lap of the Stock Hatch A final when a troublesome gearbox in his Peugeot 205 GTi caused him to lose time and offered Ash Simpson (York) the chance to take a last gasp second place. Simpson’s younger brother, Russell, finished second to Rennison in the Junior final with Ben Power (Welshpool) third.
Lincoln-based drivers Gary Dixon and Asa Fatchett scored a one-two finish in the SuperModified category.
Quaife MSA British Rallycross Championship, round five, Sunday July 30,
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