Patrick O’Donovan dominates record 5 Nations BRX entry at Lydden Hill
Reigning Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy Champion Patrick O’Donovan dominated the fifth and sixth rounds of the 2023 series at Lydden Hill as part of the FIA World Rallycross Championship weekend.
The Peugeot 208 WRX driver won every session on track in what became a double-header weekend, following the unprecedented situation that resulted in the FIA World Rallycross Championship being unable to run at Lydden Hill.
The record-breaking 5 Nations BRX entry raced through mixed conditions on Saturday, the final classification drawn from the Intermediate Classification after Heat 3. With fastest time in each heat, O’Donovan took the win ahead of fellow Peugeot 208 driver Jack Thorne, who had been second quickest in Heats 1 and 2, and Rene Munnich, the ALL-INKL.COM Munnich Motorsport driver claiming a podium on his 5 Nations BRX debut in his European Championship Seat Ibiza.
Title-contender Julian Godfrey (Citroen DS3) finished fourth and third of the 5 Nations BRX points finishers, but for championship-leader Tristan Ovenden (Citroen DS3) heading into the event, his event ended before it really began with engine failure.
Round six took place in front of a packed Lydden Hill crowd on Sunday, where O’Donovan was again never beaten on track as he stormed to victory, winning the final from pole position by over 10 seconds.
Thorne again shadowed O’Donovan throughout the qualifying stages, second in both sessions, but contact while battling for the lead of the second semi-final put him out of final contention, BMW Mini driver Oliver Bennett taking the victory.
Bennett ran Patrick O’Donovan close at the start of the final but was then passed by 2007 Champion Ollie O’Donovan before the circuit’s jump on lap one. Bennett would later be slowed by a puncture, as Ollie O’Donovan ran second for much of the race, but was overtaken by fellow Irish driver Shane Murphy – the Volkswagen Polo driver making his 5 Nations BRX debut in only his second rallycross start and finishing on the podium in second thanks to a strong joker lap stratergy, with Ollie O’Donovan third.
Steve Hill (Mitsubishi Evo) finished fourth after making it into the final as first reserve, as Roger Thomas (Ford Fiesta) had a strong weekend and was fifth in the round six final. Mike Sellar (Citroen DS3) was sixth.
With the Lydden Hill event having been made into a double-header, a further dropped round has been added to the regulations.
Rounds seven and eight of 5 Nations BRX will take place at Pembrey Circuit next month (August 19-20).