Champion Ovenden Stars at Silverstone
There was much excitement as the fifteen Swift Sports headed out to the new Silverstone Rallycross Circuit for the opening round of the Swift Sport Rallycross Championship. Making their Swift debuts, former Ginetta driver Ryan Hadfield and WRX commentator Andrew Coley joined the mix along with returning regulars including the leading Swift Stars from 2017, Simon Ovenden, Rob Shield and Morgan Bailey. Everyone was keen to see who’s talents would shine amidst the snow showers on this all-new track!
The slippery conditions were no issue for former Autograsser Morgan Bailey who set the fastest time with a two second lead over 2017 runner up Rob Shield and returning Rob Maynard came in third fastest. Reigning Champion Simon Ovenden was fourth, followed by Dominic Flitney and long time returning Swift racer Chris Scott made the top six, whilst a first corner fracas hampered times for Guernsey driver Christian Hainsworth, Don Macleod, Joe Booth and Coley
Shield found his form in Q2 ahead of Bailey and Ovenden, Flitney too joined the front-runners in fourth. 2017 MSA Junior Rallycross Champion Tom Llewellin pushed up through the field to fifth as he familiarised himself with the new PGM Left Hand Drive Swift followed by Maynard and Max Weatherley. Making his senior Swift debut Tom Middleton did not have the best start to the season when he developed a fault with his differential. Philip Cruickshank also had misfortune when a faulty battery denied a Q2 start.
The top three showed consistency with Shield showing the way, however it was Ovenden then Bailey for Q3 with the young Llewellin now locked in their mirrors in fourth. Flitney dropped to fifth with Maynard in Sixth and Commentator Coley finding pace in his PGM Swift.
Semi Final one was standard procedure to Ovenden and Shield, Maynard crossed the line third followed by Coley who secured a promotion to the Final. Semi two, Llewellin was back to his winning ways with Bailey and Flitney following and it was newcomer Hadfield who secured the final place in the all-important final.
Like lightening the minute the lights came on, Llewellin took the lead into the first corner, the seasoned swift seniors were ready for him this time. Ovenden scuppered his escape having the inside line into turn two to come out in the lead. Shield also kept the sixteen year old in check and only needed that glimpse of a gap before he found his way past. Ovenden went on to win the opening round followed by Shield who crossed the line with flames alight under his car! Llewellin fended off Bailey to complete the podium with Coley coming an impressive fifth followed by Flitney, new swift driver Hadfield and Maynard in eighth.
The championship heads to ‘The Home of Rallycross!’ Lydden Hill for Round two on Bank Holiday Monday (2nd April)