Swift Rallycross Championships

Swift Rallycross Championships

Stormin Norman Conquers the Hill


The Swift Rallycross Championships got off to a flying start at the first ever “Monster Meet” held at Lydden Hill on a Saturday. The warm weather and recent coverage of Rallycross on Top Gear bought an impressive crowd to the ‘Home of Rallycross’. The 15 strong Swift Sport Championship certainly did not disappoint, with their immaculate automobiles and nail-biting close racing they provided entertainment all the way.

Double champion Dave Bellerby hung up his race boots in order to allow 16 year old daughter Paige to step up from the Swift juniors using the Coach2.com charge. The 2010 MSA Junior Champion raised eyebrows with her smooth transition to seniors, defending well to the likes of 2011 Runner up Tony Lynch and Autopoint’s Graham Rodemark.

With the inclusion of the joker lap for 2012 the first heats saw Lucas Oils supported Lynch top the leader board closely followed by Tristan Ovenden who making his debut to rallycross last season soon worked his way up the field and has shown he is going to be one to watch for 2012. Northallerton driver Johny Bean despite the last minute preparations to get son Charlie out in the junior category was on the pace picking up a third.

Canterbury competitor Ovenden again put in a good time for Heat two taking 2nd with Leeds lad Chris Mullen in the Mullen Motorsport prepared black and green Monster Machine flying home first to take fastest time of the day. West Malling’s Richard Norman followed closely behind. Heat 3 saw rally man Ed Muldoon and Belgium interloper Kris Fruru settle into their Peter Gwynne Motorsport hired drives and both moved up the times. Wigan warrior Lynch took the win and secured pole for the A final followed by local boy Darren Scott and the swift of Richard Norman sporting new sponsors decals of TW Pallets Thurrock Ltd.

James Knight-Coney took the clear win in the B final ahead of Dale Cousins and Bellerby to secure his place in the A final. Prize drive winner Damian Thornton, a Software development consultant, who experienced his first ever wheel to wheel racing as well as competing in a left hand drive car managed to take seventh.

Front row in the A final of Lynch(Pole) Ovenden and Norman made the joker lap entry a welcome addition opening up the first corner. With Scott, Bean and Mullen hot on their heels from the second row ‘Stormin’ Norman kept left to take the joker. Ovenden took the lead however it was short lived as an error by Lynch into Devil’s elbow sent him in the gravel. Bean’s quick exit from North bend and full throttle down Hairy Hill saw him take the advantage from Lynch and head straight for the Joker which put Lynch at the front closely followed by Mullen. Opting for the joker on his penultimate lap, Mullen rejoined with Bean and Norman ahead and Lynch still leading. Lynch’s final lap joker lunge saw him return to the circuit between Norman and Bean however clipping the kerb at Hairy Hill sent him out wide and allowed Bean through. Mullen saw his chance and with fully committed charge, taking a wide line on the gravel at paddock bend crossed the line ahead of Lynch in an all action final. 



Sport: 1st Richard Norman, 2nd Jonathan Bean, 3rd Chris Mullen, 4th Tony Lynch, 5th Tristan Ovenden, 6th Graham Rodemark 

  Swift Junior Championship

The opening round saw the return of Junior Champion Aidan Hills who showed straight off the line the winter break from racing had not affected his performance. Prize Drive winner James Ross son of Bob "Ginger" Ross, experienced his first taste of rallycross, winning the drive back in February, due to his mature nature and smooth car control.

Llandudno lad Mathew Thomas did not return to the Swifts alone, he has been joined by his Father Elfyd contesting in the seniors. ‘Team Bean’ also makes up a father and son duo with new boy, 14 year old Charlie. Having attended as a supporter at the Southern Circuit for several years Bean final had his dream come true competing in front of crowds himself at this prestigious venue.

Hills dominated the heats throughout the day whilst the other drivers gained confidence, Ross took the mixed surface circuit well driving consistently and increasing his heat times through the day. The inclusion of the joker caught out Champion Hills and not realising the progress Ross had made emerged from the Joker to find himself behind the new novice. With the chequered flag in site Ross kept the lead to emerge victorious in the all important final on his debut outing which puts him at the top of the table in the points.

The Championships head to Scotland for found two at Knockhill on Saturday 12th May 2012.

Junior:  1st James Ross, 2nd Aidan Hills, 3rd Mathew Thomas, 4th Charlie Bean

Image courtesy of Michael Ward

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