Under sunny blue skies at Silverstone, the Motorsport UK Junior Rallycross Championship opened the proceedings for the 2019 British Rallycross season with action right from the start.
A three-way battle between the front-runners Patrick O’Donovan, Roberts Vitols and Ben Sayer, saw O’Donovan emerge victorious from the first corner. Contact between Sayer and Vitols at turn two enabled O’Donovan to further extend his lead and take the first chequered flag of the BRX season. Luke Constantine benefitted from the tousle, finishing second ahead of Vitols who managed to hold off Sayer for third.
Close racing all day from Roberts Vitols, Luke Constantine and Patrick O'Donovan
Q2 started in the same manner, with a three-way fight for first between Vitols, O’Donovan and Constantine, however, it was Vitols who gained the advantage, ahead of O’Donovan and Constantine. Once all joker laps had been taken, it was Luke Constantine who claimed victory, followed by Vitols and James Constantine completed the top three.
The most exhilarating yet, the juniors had the crowds on the edge of their seats in Q3, when with only a couple of corners to go, either Luke Constantine or Vitols looked possible for the win. A loss in momentum for Vitols, just before needing to take his joker lap was all Constantine needed to close the gap and take the win ahead for the young Latvian. Patrick O’Donovan showed his fifth place in Q2 was merely a one-off, finishing back in the top three.
A commanding drive from Luke Constantine
With everything riding on the all-important final, Vitols once again made good start and led the pack, fending off O’Donovan, whilst Luke Constantine opted to joker early, along with Archie Thomas. Going wide at the hairpin on lap four, Vitols opened the door for O’Donovan and with the sight of a clear track ahead, O’Donovan set about trying to pull a lead to allow for his last lap joker. Vitols headed for the joker to return on track alongside Luke Constantine. With only a lap to go, it seemed as though O’Donovan would take victory, however, as the chequered flag was raised, O’Donovan dived for the Joker and 2018 runner-up Luke Constantine, with a demanding drive, had the momentum to push for the finish line to claim victory by just 0.038s over O’Donovan. Vitols completed the podium in third with James Constantine crossing the line fourth, ahead of Sayer and Thomas.
Making their junior Swift debuts, Tom Ovenden and Alfie Porter rounded off the field, both gaining confidence and increasing lap times throughout the day in their debut outings.
The Championship heads South to Lydden Hill Race Circuit, Kent, on Bank Holiday Easter Monday for round two.