O’Donovan scores double Lydden Hill victory to secure second 5 Nations BRX crown
Reigning Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy champion Patrick O’Donovan secured double victory in Lydden Hill’s annual fireworks rallycross season-finale to claim a second-straight title.
Competing alongside a host of star-name entries in the last event of the season, O’Donovan took the top qualifier position in round 10 on Saturday, won the first semi-final then led the night-race final from start to finish to claim victory, ahead of Finnish driver Mikko Ikonen (Hyundai i20) and Swede Sebastian Eriksson (Ford Focus). Series regular Ollie O’Donovan (Proton Iriz) finished fourth, with Hungarian Janko Wieszt (Renault Megane) fifth and Steve Hill (Mitsubishi Evo) sixth. The final was concluded by the annual fireworks display, but series leader Jack Thorne (Peugeot 208) didn’t make it into the last race of the day after retiring from the semi-finals, as did returning star Liam Doran (Hyundai i20), with gearbox failure.
Patrick O’Donovan then overcame transmission failure in Q2 in the final round on Sunday to win both his semi-final and the final to secure the championship title, as Ikonen took the top-qualifier position, won semi-final one and finished second in the final. Wieszt finished third, ahead of O’Donovan, six-time champion Julian Godfrey (Citroen DS3) and Tristan Ovenden (Citroen DS3).
Motorsport UK Supernational Rallycross Championship
Former champion Paige Bellerby (Lotus Exige) qualified top on her return to the Motorsport UK Supernational Rallycross Championship to start on pole position for the final, but having been overtaken by a fast-starting Slawomir Woloch (BMW M3), spun in turn two and failed to finish the race. Woloch claimed victory to secure the 2023 title, while Darren Scott (Citroen C2) and Dave Van Beers (Renault Clio) were locked in a race-long battle with Nick Neyens (Ford Escort) for the podium places, Scott and Van Beers finishing second and third.
Motorsport UK Junior Rallycross Championship
Through both wet and dry conditions in the final round of the Motorsport UK Junior Rallycross Championship, 2023 newcomer Tyler Mcalpin held the advantage in the title-decider to secure pole position for the final. And, having held the inside through turn one as pre-event series leader Will Ovenden attempted an outside move that didn’t pay off, Mcalpin led throughout to secure his maiden title on count-back. While Ovenden finished second. Benjamin Bartlett went three-wide on lap one of the race and ultimately finished the last final of the year in third.
Swift Sport Rallycross Championship
Making a return to rallycross, Chris Cake qualified top in the Swift Sport Rallycross Championship, then partook in a thrilling race-long, four-way battle for the win, in which Chris O’Hara ultimately came out on top, ahead of champion Max Weatherley. The two-time title-winner overtook Cake on lap two over the jump, then after the jokers had played out, the pair enjoyed a multi-corner battle for the runner up position on the final lap, Weatherley just passing cake in the run to the line.
Stephen Jones overcame challenging conditions to lead throughout the RX150 Rallycross final, under pressure from start to finish from title-contender Nick Priddy, to secure his second crown. The other title-protagonist entering the weekend, Ben Hardy, made a poor start in the final but battled his way through the pack, had a battle with returnee Duncan Cowper and ultimately finished on the podium.
BMW Mini Rallycross Championship
Pole starter and champion Dave Bellerby led the BMW Mini final throughout to secure another victory, but behind Ben Sayer, who finished second in the final on track, was handed a 10-second penalty for hitting a barrier in the joker lap, which dropped him down the order. Leigh-Anne Sedgwick was classified second, while Wesley Wickens was third, despite the Lydden Hill local losing the left-rear wheel in the final corner. Reigning Junior RX Champion Max Langmaid claimed victory in the ALL4 Mini category, despite being overtaken by reigning ALL4 champion David Bell in the first corner of the race, to secure the title.
Retro Rallycross Championship
Lee Wood (Ford Escort) wrapped up his Super Retro title-winning season in style with victory in the final round of the campaign, as Barry Stewart (Porsche 911) fended off the close attentions of Vincent Bristow (BMW E36), while further down the order Retro newcomer Stuart Emery (Volvo 242) passed Allan Tapscott (Ford Escort) for fifth in the final corner. In the Retro Rallycross sub-division, in the absence of defending champion Tony Lynch (Toyota MR2), it was local driver Dan Swayland (Ford Escort) who claimed victory ahead of Ian Biagi (Mini Clubman) and Rob Buckmaster (Ford Fiesta).