Derek Tohill stormed to the summit of the Toyo Tires Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship standings on Easter Monday (April 22) after claiming his first victory in the adrenaline-fuelled series at Lydden Hill.
Descending on the Kent circuit for the traditional bank holiday meeting, the second event of the season threw up yet more entertainment as the Irishman got the better of former champion Ollie O’Donovan in a pulsating final.
O’Donovan had been the man to beat in the first two rounds of heats, setting the fastest time at the wheel of his Ford Fiesta however it would be Tohill that set the pace in the third and final qualifier.
Keen to bounce back from a tough season-opener, O’Donovan began the final on pole position with Tohill second and round one winner Julian Godfrey completing the front row. As the lights went out, Godfrey immediately took his joker lap as the top two scrapped for the lead.
O’Donovan held off Tohill through the first corner, Chesson’s Drift, and powered into a lead he held until the fourth lap when he was passed by Tohill, who had elected to take his joker one lap earlier.
Godfrey threw himself into contention in the closing stages but neither could stop Tohill from taking the chequered flag in his striking Ford Fiesta.
“It’s amazing to win here, it was a great job by everyone in the team all day. We worked hard for this, but it feels like we really earned it,” Tohill said. “It was a hustle out there with Ollie, I got him off the line then he sank himself down the inside into the first corner, which drifted me out wide. Then I had to keep the pressure on and try to pass him, or force him into an early joker. I had one lap to do it after I took the joker and I put in a real good lap so it was just enough. It was a brilliant end to the day to get the win.
Tristen Ovenden extended his lead in the Motorsport UK Supernational Rallycross Championship as he dominated proceedings at his home track. Emerging as the driver to beat throughout qualifying, the Renault Clio V6 race led Paige Bellerby in the final to score an emphatic victory.
The Motorsport UK Junior Rallycross Championship saw heartbreak for Latvian ace Roberts Vitols as he set the pace in the qualifying before then leading a majority of the final. Bad luck was to strike however as Vitols ran into technical trouble on the fourth lap, subsequently handing the lead and victory to points leader Luke Constantine.
Dominic Flitney was the winner in the Swift Sport Rallycross Championship whilst David Bell benefitted from a Drew Bellerby retirement to maintain his strong start in the defence of his BMW Mini Rallycross Championship title.
In the RX150 Championship, Stephen Jones claimed a maiden victory when race leaders Tom Onslow Cole and Jon Armstrong came together on the fifth lap and subsequently retired.
Rounding out the list of winners was FIA World Rallycross Championship star Liam Doran, who led the way in the Retro Rallycross Championship. Driving a Ford RS200, Doran was dominant and claimed victory in Retro RX’s Group B & Four Wheel Drive final from the second row of the grid, ahead of Steve Harris.
For the full classification of results from Lydden Hill, click here.
The Toyo Tires Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship heads to Pembrey next on June 22/23.