Swift Rallycross Championships

Swift Rallycross Championships

Double Win For Ovenden at Home Circuit Lydden

Typical Bank Holiday weather greeted the Swift Sport teams for round five of the British Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill on Monday, Kent’s Tristan Ovenden would keep his cool and avoid the on-track drama to negotiate his way to win number two of the season.

Tristan Ovenden taking the win at Lydden Hill

With twelve Swifts packed into the day’s agenda, the crowds would be treated to six heats and two finals from arguably the most entertaining series on the British Rallycross bill.

 

Ovenden took victory at Lydden for the opening round back in March, yet during the heats it nearest title rivals Chris Mullen and Graham Rodemark with the pace. Rodemark won the first of their heats ahead of Ovenden and Darren Scott, while Mullen secured the win in the second.

 

As track conditions gradually worsened, an uncharacteristic mistake by Rodemark in heat two saw him spin at the chicane over the start/finish line. The number one car recovered to take the win, but with the grid for the final determined by each competitor’s times in the heats, it meant Rodemark would line up third alongside Ovenden in second. Mullen would take pole position and the crucial inside line going into the first corner.

 

In the other heats it was Jack Brown who starred. The 30 year old from Barnsley took victory in his first and third heats, his first wins in just his fifth Rallycross event. Unfortunately, a loose flywheel prevented Brown from taking part in his second heat, but the problem was rectified and he would line up fifth on the grid for the final alongside Darren Scott.

 

Dave Ellis, who made his Swift Sport debut at Pembrey last time out, and Martin Hawkes, who comes over from Supermodifieds, ran well in their heats, mixing it with the regular championship drivers. Their efforts were rewarded with a guaranteed place on the grid for the A final, lining up sixth and seventh.

 

The last spot on the grid was up for grabs, and this would be reserved for the winner of the B final. The ever popular Rob Maynard had what he himself described as mediocre heats due to a spin and a shredded alternator belt. But he had still done enough to secure pole position for the B final ahead of newcomers Chris Woolett, Piotr Rudzki and Mitchel Flaherty. Sadly, for fellow newcomer Alex Spencer, a power steering failure with his freshly liveried Swift put an early end to the 20 year old’s maiden Rallycross event.

 

Maynard managed to get the start he needed and led as the chasing pack raced into the first corner. Woolett was best of the rest, fending off a challenging Rudzki and Flaherty as they made a four lap dash for the line. Maynard stayed focused and took the chequered flag to secure his place on the grid for the A final.

 

Off the start line for the final, it was Darren Scott who made the best getaway from the second row. He dived between Mullen and Ovenden, but four into one didn’t go and with the resulting contact, it was Mullen and Rodemark who would come off worst. Mullen spun across the front of the field, catching the unsuspecting Ovenden in the process. As Mullen was spun back the other way, it was Martin Hawkes who then got caught up in the mêlée.

 

All this had allowed Dave Ellis and Rob Maynard to come through and up to second and third behind Ovenden. Rodemark and Jack Brown had lunged for their joker on the opening lap, but contact between the pair resulted in a spin by both dropping them right back.

 

Out front, Ellis was keeping Ovenden in his sights. The Yorkshireman wasn’t putting a foot wrong but further back Scott had caught Maynard and the two local drivers were locked in battle. As the pair went onto their penultimate lap, Maynard went wide on the gravel allowing Scott to squeeze up the inside. Maynard, however, held his nerve and had the inside line for the next corner Devil’s Elbow, a left-hander.

 

As the last lap board was held aloft, there was nothing to choose between them. Maynard again ran wide on the gravel and this time Scott wasn’t going to let him get away with it. Scott was up the inside and away, leaving Maynard to fight back for third.

Ovenden took victory ahead of Ellis, with Scott and Maynard still inseparable in third and fourth. Rodemark did well to come home in fifth place ahead of Hawkes and  Brown, who limped over the line in seventh with a puncture.

 

With officials still investigating the incidents from the first lap, results for the final remain provisional. The outcome should be known by the time the Swift Sport Rallycross Championship returns to action at Croft Circuit, Darlington - 18th October.

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