Category: British RX

Heathcote Crowned 2017 Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Champion

2017 Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Champion Heathcote

Ashford based Heathcote has just gone and became the 2017 Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Champion in his maiden season. The young driver secured the victory in the final round at Croft Circuit last weekend, as his biggest title-rival Julian Godfrey failed to finish.

Heathcote showed some truly superb driving throughout the competition and the Croft victory is his third of the nine-round campaign. Having entered the last event 10-points behind the five time champion Godfrey, he managed to successfully qualify top in the Intermediate Classification, win the the semi-final race and lead the final one from start to finish.

Last event of the season most definitely proved to be an utter misfortune for Godfrey, who initially led Heathcote in the semi-final race until a technical problem and lost him some precious time, resulting in a third-row start in the final. However, not all was lost for the Heathfield based driver yet, final race saw him rapidly climbing the order, promising a possible championship recovery. Sadly his Ford Fiesta suffered sudden right-rear suspension damage after harsh contact with Pat Doran, Dolton, causing him to retire and finish the championship in 8th place.

Even though young, Heathcote’s victory at Corft is not the first on his books, it comes just a year after his 2016 Swift Sport Rallycross Championship title win, proving that older age and more experience can very well be outrun by a natural talent. He was joined on final race podium by home hero Kevin Procter, Northallerton, while another young championship driver Oliver Bennett, Bristol, completed the podium after gaining his seventh podium finish of the season.

Further down the line, Steve Hill, Thame, took fourth place and saw the best finish of the season in his Mitsubishi Evo X. Jake Harris, Canewdon followed in fifth, with Pat Doran, Dolton, in sixth, while former BTCC driver, RCIB Insurance Racing Sponsored, Team BMR Principal, Warren Scott, Buntingford, finished with did not finish due to technical problems, however was seventh overall.

Heathcote followed his Championship success by dominating the Procters Coaches MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix at the same circuit. What a great season for the young driver!

British Rallycross Grand Prix at Croft

British Rallycross Grand Prix

The Procters Coaches MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix is set to feature a revised format for the 2017 edition at Croft. Up to 40 cars will be entering the battle for the chance to become the British RX Grand Prix victor.

The new format will go like this, each driver will take part in two qualifiers, with the top 32 moving into four quarter-finals. The top four drivers in each of the quarter-finals will progress to two semi-finals, where the top four from each will qualify for the Grand Prix. It is said that the format has been created to provide as equal chance for all contenders as possible. The knock-out nature of quarter finals and semi-finals is not difficult to follow and should prove to be a lot more exciting for the spectators to watch. Seeing as the Grand Prix is the most important race of them all, it should be different from other events, although not lose the tradition of mixed-class racing.

The northern circuit will host the ninth and the last event of the season on October 21st. Procters Coaches MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix event will follow and take place on October 22nd. Sunday will also see the finals for the MSA Supercar and MSA Supernational categories.

Julian Godfrey, Heathfield, who is a five-time champion is in with a good chance of securing a sixth British RX title at the North Yorkshire Circuit this Weekend. However, the well known engineer will be entering the season finale with only one hand on his coveted Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship trophy.

It is still too early to speculate who will take home the 2017 British RX crown.The vastly experienced driver and engineer Godfrey will come to a stand-off with two of the youngest and a lot less experienced drivers in the series at Croft, Nathan Heathcote, Ashford and Oliver Bennett, Bristol. Godfrey, having won 4 rounds, currently stands with ten points ahead of the second place holder, Heathcote.

Bennett is really biting at the heels of the top two, with only two missed podiums in his first ever season of rallycross, racing an OlsbergMSE-built Ford Fiesta Supercar. He currently stands four points behind Heathcote and 14 down on Godfrey, however with Kevin Procter, Northallerton and Warren Scott, Buntingford right behind, competition is high.

With so many points still left up for grabs, we can anticipate an intense contest!

Warren Scott Takes British RX Podium at Pembrey

Warren Scott

Those who are familiar with the British Touring Car Championship and the British Rallycross are probably aware of who Warren Scott is. The 45 year old racing driver from Hertfordshire is mostly famous for his successes in the British Superbike Championship and BTCC. As well as that, he is the Team BMR’s boss, which this year has impressed many with its young driver’s Ashley Sutton’s success at the BTCC and has predicted him as the most likely to win the overall championship.

Scott’s move to the British RX, with the sponsorship from RCIB Insurance Racing, proved to be a great success, and although with some misfortunes, he has managed to win podiums and keep his head held high. His most recent performance at Pembrey has proved that he has some true showmanship. Below Scott discusses the event:  

“I had a brilliant weekend at Pembrey despite the terrible weather. It was the first time I had driven the car in wet conditions so with only three test laps allowed on Saturday I found myself in the deep end going into Q1. I was a bit over ambitious going into the first lap and had both a spin and a detour off track into the tyre wall, once I found where the limit was I really started to enjoy the wet conditions and finished 4th, Q2 I won , Q3 unfortunately I had to retire from the race due to mechanical issues.

Although it was a tough decision I pulled out from the final of Round 7 so that my team mate (Nathan Heathcote) could take my place as he didn’t qualify for the final due to mechanical problems earlier in the day and he has a real chance of winning the championship where as I could only have managed 3rd come the end of the season.

Day 2, we had absolutely torrential rain , I was learning all the time, going through how I could improve with my spotter, Liam Doran and the team, I was feeling more and more confident in the rain, although I still needed to find time in the dirt section, Q1 I was 3rd, Q2 I was 3rd, Q3 I was 2nd and in the final I made a few mistakes in the dirt section but still managed to hold on to 3rd place overall.

I am having a great time in this car, with a great team (LD Motorsport) and team mates, we have one more round to go at Croft  before the winter test programme starts.”

Catch Warren Scott at Croft on the 21st of October for the penultimate Round 9 of the British Rallycross Championship

 

2017 British RX Rounds 4 & 5 at Mondello Park

2017 British RX

Mondello Park, a Northern Irish circuit, was filled with hundreds of British Rallycross fans on the weekend of 22nd to 23rd of July. Independent driver, Julian Godfrey, in Ford Fiesta, won his second 1st place podium of 2017 British RX Championship, after finishing 1st in the final laps of both Round 4 and 5 . He now stands first on the overall drivers standing board with 30 points, Ollie O’Donovan gave a great performance and is standing second with 27 points, Oliver Bennett stands in third with 25 points. Mondello Park marked a halfway point of the championship, with the top five drivers being so close to each other on the standings board, final outcome can not be predicted just yet, the standings are likely to change and culminate at the 2017 British RX Grand Prix, taking place at Croft circuit, on the 22nd of October.

Racing at Mondello Park, non-registered British RX series entrant, Irish champion Derek Tohill proved his talent on his home circuit track, where he finished in third place at the final laps of Rounds 4 and 5. Tohill, a two-time FIA European Rallycross Touring Car Champion and reigning Irish Rallycross Champion is currently racing in the Euro RX Supercar Championship, however, having close connection with the British RX, he couldn’t resist but try his Irish luck at Mondello Park.

While some drivers conquered the Irish circuit, RCIB Insurance Racing sponsored/Team BMR’s Warren Scott unfortunately had to miss this weekend’s rounds, Team BMR had released a statement on Friday, stating: “BMR Racing can confirm that Warren Scott will not be taking part in the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship at Mondello Park this weekend.  Due to the heavy impact crash at Pembrey last time out, Warren aggravated an old injury and has been advised by medics that he should not race pending an operation to secure his pelvis. Unfortunately, Warren will not be competing until further notice and when his medical team are completely happy that he is fit to return.”

Scott not only received damage to his pelvis, but also to his Citroen DS3, which set on fire during Round 3 at Pembrey. Team BMR’s principal, however, remains positive and still feels happy with his decision to move racing divisions this season (BTCC to British RX).

Round 6 of British Rallycross will take place on the 28th of August at Lydden Hill

 

 

 

 

 

Scott Misses Points at Round 3 of 2017 British RX Due to Fire While Godfrey Bags a Podium

Round 3 of 2017 British RX

25th of June saw round 3 of 2017 British RX taking place at the newly improved Pembrey Circuit in South Wales. Julian Godfrey saw a brilliant start and finish to the round and managed to finish in the overall 1st place. He set fastest time in Q2 and Q3 and without too much effort took the lead after the first corner in the final.

However, the race proved unlucky for the RCIB Insurance Racing sponsored, Team BMR Principal Warren Scott, who had a misfire in Q1 and endured a sudden combustion of his Citroen DS3’s engine in Q2. Yet, with great effort from LD Motorsports team, Scott was able to get back in the race for Q3 and finish with impressive time, leaving him 5th in the drivers standing board.

Warren Scott remained unharmed during the fire. Photo by Tom Longley

However, due to technical difficulties Scott decided to use this round as a his drop one. Nevertheless he is looking forward to the next round : “The circuit at Pembrey is a great rallycross track which I enjoyed driving, the speed was there but unfortunately a catalogue of bad luck was endured so unfortunately I will need to use Pembrey as my drop round as no points were scored.  I am looking forward to Mondello Park in a couple of weeks time and we will have the added bonus of testing there on the Friday so we will be very well prepared for the weekend ahead!”

Oliver Bennett, driving Ford Fiesta and Nathan Heathcote in Renault took second and third places respectively. For Bennett this has been a second podium win in his maiden season, successfully pushing him into championship lead. Nathan on the other hand had a tougher run, he retired in Q1 and did not start Q2. However, he was lucky enough to scrape onto the back of the grid and make his way up the order through a clever and well-timed joker lap strategy.

Next round will be taking place at Mondello Park in Caragh, Ireland, between 22nd and 23rd of July

 

 

 

 

Newly Improved Pembrey Track Promises Thrilling British Rallycross Round 3

Newly Improved Pembrey Track

Enough time has passed since the last round to allow the dust from the mixed surface at Lydden Hill to set. The British RX drivers have been given over two months to mend their cars and prepare for the 3rd round, this time taking place at the South Wales town of Pembrey. The track circuit is known for its open paddock policy, which allows the spectators to get right up close to the action. Drivers will be welcomed by a newly improved Pembrey track, promising to provide them with a more thrilling driving experience and a great new approach to race watching for the spectators.

A substantial track developments took place last winter to revise and mend the track, spicing up the rallycross racing even more.The first alteration that drivers will notice will be the approach to the loose section. Previously drivers would head over the circuit crossing and onto the mixed surface, whereas they will now stay left and continue onto the original circuit before turning tight onto the loose – giving those watching an even greater view point. Pembrey has also seen a newly improved joker section, which should provide an added element to the already frenetic and unpredictable on-track thrills.

A driver who is very happy to have been given such long gap between the two rounds is unsurprisingly the Team BMR’s RCIB Insurance Racing sponsored Warren Scott, who received a hard hit to his Citroen DS3 at Lydden Hill. Plenty of mending and lesson learning has been taking places behind the scenes. However, Scott is excited about the next round and with his 4th place current standing, he’s got a good chance in raising his title and earning himself a podium position:

“I am looking forward to getting back into the Citroen DS3 For the Pembrey round of the Toyo Tyres British Rallycross Championship.  I really enjoy testing the BTCC cars around the tarmac circuit here and although I have never driven the Rallycross track at Pembrey, I am sure it will be fantastic. LD Motorsports have been working flat out to make sure the car is in tip top condition again after the tremendous amount of damage we sustained from the Lydden Hill Final “

Catch Round 3 of British Rallycross at Pembrey on 25th June

 

British RX Promises Thrilling Round 3 at Pembrey

We saw Nathan Heathcote bringing home the first win of the year in first round on the Crofts Circuit track. However, second round, at Lydden Hill proved to be beset with mechanical glitches for the leader, a broken gearbox in practice forced him to miss Q1, while broken power steering in Q2 brought the end of his event. Instead, we saw previous round’s, third place winner, Ollie O’Donovan, take everyone by surprise by coming first after an intense battle on the track. The question on everyone’s mind now is – will we have a new victor in the third round and if so, who can we expect that to be?

 
When looking at results from the last two races, we can be sure that a very exciting third round awaits. A couple of drivers showed impressive performance in the previous round and successfully secured themselves a stand on the podium. At the current leader’s board, we have a new to the British RX, Team BMR Principal, Warren Scott and Quick Motorsport’s Oliver Bennett, who both took second and third places respectively, and stood alongside winner O’Donovan. All three drivers showed great performance and even after a number of collisions, managed to climb to the top. With the third race set to be taking place at the famous Pembrey circuit on the 25th of June, drivers are wasting no time in preparing for what is bound to be an exhilarating race.

 
RCIB’s sponsored, Scott is hoping to come back with a fully mended Citroen DS3, which in the second race, endured quite a beating – receiving damage to the rear quite early on, due to first corner contact. Following that, he also experienced some bodywork rubbing on the right-rear tyre, which eventually caused him a puncture. However, determined Scott led until taking his joker on the final lap, returning to the main circuit and finishing the race spectacularly. What a champ!

 
His success in a completely new racing division, has confirmed him to be an adaptable and excellent driver. The past two rounds have been nothing less than thrilling for him. Yes, his car did experience some damage, but it has definitely proved to be worth it, now that he’s up on the leaders board. Next round is promised to be an intense one, Scott will undoubtedly be fighting to keep his title, or in better case – raise it. At the moment Scott is practising as much as possible and will continue to do so right up until the 25th of June – spectators can expect to see a great race!