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British Rallycross: Liam Doran tops Qualifying ahead of Ide

Feature Image Credit: Overtake Motorsport

Liam Doran topped qualifying for Round 2 of the British Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill. Enzo Ide made it a Team JC 1-2 while McGuinness suffered a roll over in Q1.

With a damp start to the day Doran was immediately flying and won 2 of the 3 qualifying sessions with his teammate Enzo Ide winning the other. After a second and a 9th it gave Enzo Ide on pole for semi-final 2. Julian Godfrey managed to take 3rd after a top 5 finish in each qualifying session. Oliver Bennett finished 4th after a couple of technical issues just ahead of O’Donovan after the Irishman retired in the final session. Tristan Ovenden and Pat Doran both finished each race to take 6th and 7th. After a repeating throttle sensor issue Steve Hill could only manage 8th just ahead of Mike Sellar who retired in Q1. Both Mark Donnelly and John McGuinness failed to start in Q2 and with 0 points dropped to the bottom of the standings. Mike Flaherty wasn’t able to attend the event after his flights back to the UK were cancelled with the next not scheduled till Monday. Jack Thorne was also absent after suffering a clutch failure as he put his car onto his trailor.


The top two on the grid, Liam Doran and Godfrey made poor starts with third place Ide taking the lead. Bennett tried to go up inside of the pole-man but had to back out as the field squeezed into turn 1. Doran ran wide through turn 1 but held 2nd place and held off Bennett. Godfrey was the only driver to joker as Ovenden slotted into 5th place behind Donnelly. Doran immediately piled the pressure on his teammate with the pair making contact into turn 1 on the next lap. Doran held the inside line through Chessons and pulled clear into the Devil’s Elbow. But with the inside line Ide was able to repass. Doran responded by jokering to cover off Bennett from behind and to challenge the leader. Bennett had dropped behind Donnelly and wasn’t able to overtake the British Bomb. On the final lap Donnelly and Ovenden jokered and dropped to the back of the pack. Out front Ide took victory but without jokering. After a 30 second penalty was applied he dropped him to the bottom of the times.

In the first race of Q1 O’Donovan, Hill and McGuinness made equal starts with McGuinness taking to the joker lap. Pat Doran slotted in behind with Sellar left at the line. On the exit of the joker lap McGuinness swung across the track and hit an apex marker. This sent his car into the air before digging into the ground and rolling the car twice. McGuinness quickly jumped out of the car with the car suffering some damage on all sides.

Image Credit: Overtake Motorsport

At the restart O’Donovan led into turn 1 from Hill with Pat Doran taking to the joker lap. Sellar had dropped out of the race after stalling and the starter motor failing. The leading pair extended their advantage and both took to the joker lap on the final tour. O’Donovan extended his advantage over the chasing pair with Doran right on the heels of Hill up to the line.

This time put O’Donovan third just 3 tenths faster than Donnelly. Hill and Doran slotted into 6th and 7th between Godfrey and Ovenden. Doran was the only driver to dip into the sub 45s setting an identical time to his best in practice.

Image Credit: Overtake Motorsport


In the opening race Doran, Bennett, O’Donovan made equal starts with 3rd place O’Donovan diving to the joker lap. Doran held the inside line to take the lead. Bennett dropped back behind Godfrey after bogging down coming out of Chessons. The pair then swapped positions from corner to corner. Bennett was slightly slowed by a technical issue allowing Godfrey past but the 6 time champ kept making mistakes on the slippery track. However on lap 3 Bennett’s car slowed dramatically and meant he was classified as a DNF. Out front Doran extended his lead for the entire race before jokering on the final lap which left him clear of the chasing pack behind. O’Donovan was able to overtake Godfrey when the GB1 car jokered. Championship leader Donnelly failed to start the race after suffering a power steering failure, with the team opting to try and fix the issue for Q3.

It was in the second race that Enzo Ide set the fastest time. Starting from 4th place he shot up between Hill and Ovenden on the front row to take the lead into turn 1. From there he set the fastest lap and fastest joker lap to take the top spot by nearly 2 seconds. Hill slotted into 2nd place at the start ahead of Ovenden and Doran with Sellar making a slow start and jokering straight away. Hill slowed at the end of lap 2 with a throttle sensor issue and pulled to the side of the track. This paved the way for Ovenden to take 2nd and go fourth overall behind Ide, Doran and O’Donovan. Pat Doran was able to keep Sellar behind even with a mistake on the final lap. John McGuinness’ car wasn’t fixed in time for Q2 with the car being fixed throughout the session.

Image Credit: Overtake Motorsport


Doran made the best start on the front row and squeezed past his teammate to take the lead into turn 1. Behind the Audi pair, Ovenden held off Godfrey into turn 1. O’Donovan was the only driver to joker but when he came off the joker lap jump he veered off into the infield. On the slippery grass it took time to recover back on track but his race was over with damaged sustained in the off. The top 2 pulled away and jokered on successive laps to win. The reigning champion was able to overhaul Ovenden to take P3 in the race.

McGuinness’ car had been repaired in less than 3 hours and allowed the multiple Isle of Man TT winner to complete his first rallycross race.

In the final qualifying race Bennett made the best start. He jumped from the second row to lead into turn 1 with Doran and McGuinness just behind. Donnelly led into the joker from Sellar. Hill suffered a technical issue and retired out of turn 1 with a repeating throttle sensor issue. Bennett led throughout and was set to win but lost power on the final lap gifting Donnelly 1st. Donnelly had passed McGuinness on track losing him some time. Pat Doran finished third ahead of Sellar with McGuinness rounding out the field in his first full length rallycross race. 

Feature Image Credit: Overtake Motorsport

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