Liam Doran won for the second time in 2 days as he fought off teammate Enzo Ide in the final. Ollie O’Donovan clawed back a large number of points to Donnelly after the championship leader retired in the final.
In the final for round 3 of the British Rallycross Championship, Enzo Ide made the best start from pole position. Liam Doran was able to tuck in behind his teammate with Mark Donnelly and Ollie O’Donovan right behind. Oliver Bennett and Hal Ridge dived to the joker lap off the start. Both Julian Godfrey and Tristan Ovenden stalled on the line with Godfrey able to fire the car up again first. A clutch failure caused the stall with the GB1 car restarting in 7th. Ovenden was only able to limp around the track and eventually finished 2 laps down. On the run to the Devil’s Elbow, O’Donovan dived up the inside of Donnelly to take fourth place. On lap 2 Doran was able to make a pass on Ide after the Belgian driver ran wide in Chessons.
Image Credit: Overtake Motorsport
Just behind them, Donnelly looked to pass O’Donovan but the pair made contact on the run out of turn 1. It broke Donnelly’s steering and forced him into a spin and out of the race. From there the positions remained static. Ide jokered on lap 3 in a bid to retake the lead but Doran was able to cover him off and held on to win by less than a second. Oliver Bennett finished third and was classified as the highest placed British Championship driver. O’Donovan ended up nearly 10 seconds back in 4th but gained 4 points on Donnelly in the process. In the fight for 5th Godfrey closed on Ridge in the journalist’s first ever Supercar race. The reigning champion closed in but finished 6 tenths behind at the checkered flag. Thanks to Donnelly’s early retirement Ovenden was classified 7th despite running 30 seconds of the pace.
O’Donovan made it onto the grid just in time for the first semi-final. The London based Irishman had crashed in Q2 and missed Q3. He was expecting to miss the semis but after a delay for the Supercars, he got the car out in time. Doran used pole position to hold off Bennett for the lead into turn 1. The British pair lead the field as O’Donovan was able to make it to third place. Mike Sellar was the last driver to take the standard lap with a fast starting Ovenden diving to the joker lap followed by Flitney. A mistake for Doran on lap 2 gave Bennett back the lead though the positions soon flipped back with another pass for first. Doran then waited until the penultimate lap to joker with Bennett going to the longer route on the final tour. It didn’t make a difference as the British Bomb won ahead of Bennett.
O’Donovan stayed with the leaders and jokered on the final lap. He came out just behind Ovenden and looked to dive up the inside into the tight left hander. O’Donovan thought better of it and backed out, following Ovenden to the line in the last transfer spot. Sellar held 5th throughout the race and suffered a loss of power at the end though it was enough to hold of Flitney. The Subaru driver’s brakes faded through the race which meant he resorted to using the handbrake to slow down. It wasn’t always successful with a trip across the grass at paddock bend to end his race.
Image Credit: Overtake Motorsport
Pole man Enzo Ide, left behind a plume of smoke at the start line and was beaten to turn one by Donnelly. The championship leader held a strong defence through lap 1 but left a car width up the inside into the hairpin. Ide seized the position with some pushing between the drivers. Godfrey made it into third place with a great start with Hill close behind. Ridge led Pat Doran into the joker lap behind and set about chasing fourth place Hill. On lap 2 Hill responded by jokering but came out just behind Ridge. The Mitsubishi driver piled on the pressure and got alongside several times but Ridge was able to hold onto 4th and a spot in the final. Donnelly pulled out a small gap to Godfrey to take second spot with Ide taking the win and pole for the final thanks to a faster semi-final.
Donnelly still leads the points standings but with a reduced gap than yesterday. He currently sits on 36 points which is 2 clear of O’Donovan. Reigning British Rallycross champion, Godfrey has 31 with Ovenden the last championship hopeful on 28 points. 14 points are up for grabs and the championship looks set to go down to the final race of the season. The final round will take place in late January with the date yet to be confirmed. It will run over 2 days but will just be 1 round as was the case in August. Oliver Bennett may return and could cause some championship upsets as he is a classified runner in the British Championship, even if he was unaware of this heading into the weekend. He sits 12 points back but is unlikely that he can beat Donnelly to the title.
The 2021 calendar is almost complete and will be announced in due course. 6 rounds are expected with an additional round for support categories. Knockhill’s round has been provisionally released to take place in late September, the same weekend it was expected this year.
Feature Image Credit: Overtake Motorsport