Following months of build up and anticipation, Silverstone staged its maiden rallycross event this past weekend (March 17) with the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship putting on a memorable 2018 curtain-raiser, Sebastian Loeb prevailIng as the winner.
Serving as the new home for the British round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, the Northamptonshire-based venue welcomed a bumper crowd in what proved to be arctic conditions as snow continuously fell throughout the day.
Boasting an entry list of some of the biggest names from British shores, the championship also welcomed a host of FIA World RX drivers, all of whom were keen to get an early taste of the new layout.
Team Peugeot-Hansen fielded a pair of machines for Loeb and Timmy Hansen whilst Andreas Bakkerud flew the flag for EKS. It was to be those three drivers that would prove to be the benchmark throughout the day in the Supercar category.
Bakkerud made his through the trio of heats unbeaten as he hustled his Audi S1 to three wins, placing him in a commanding position. Come the semi-finals however it was to be Hansen and Loeb that came to the fore, each winning their respective races to put them in a strong position for the final.
In what proved to be a frenetic encounter in treacherous conditions, nine-time World Rally champion Loeb produced a sensational drive to fend off his team-mate Hansen and Bakkerud, writing his name into the history books as the first outright winner at the venue.
Whilst the globetrotting world stars locked out the podium, the British contingent ensured that they didn’t all have things they’re own way. Five-time British champion Julian Godfrey, driving a Mitsubishi Mirage, made solid progress throughout the day to finish fourth in the final whilst Steve Hill was fifth.
Other notable performances included Roger Thomas in his Ford Focus whilst Ollie O’Donovan, Kevin Proctor and Mark Higgins all were in the mix too.
In the MSA Junior Rallycross Championship, sponsored by 247cerrajero, Marius Solberg-Hansen clinched victory ahead of Luke and James Constantine. Earlier in the day Morgan Wroot became the first official driver to win a race at Silverstone virtue of clinching top spot in his opening heat.
Jack Thorne fended off Paul Coney and Tristan Ovenden in the MSA Supernational and Super 1600 Championship final to top the rostrum whilst Keifer Hudson was the BMW Mini victor.
Simon Ovenden continued his imperious form in the Swift Sport Championship to take the win ahead of Rob Shield and Tom Llewellin. James Harrold and Chrissy Palmer rounded off the list of winners as they picked up trophies in the Retro Rallycross and RX150 respectively.
For the full list of results from all classes, click here.
The next round of the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championships takes place on Monday 2 April at Lydden Hill.