British Rallycross: Ovenden wins first ever Supercar race at Mondello

Feature Image Credit: Overtake Motorsport

Tristan Ovenden showed great pace throughout the race to win his first ever Supercar final. Behind, both O’Donovan’s and Tohill ran into trouble and each other.

The final for the first round in Ireland in 5 years was restarted 4 times. A red flag and a series of jump starts saw Derek Tohill forced out of the race before it got underway.

In the start that counted, Ovenden made the best launch from third place and jumped straight into first. Poleman Patrick O’Donovan struggled to get away with his car’s ALS being burnt up after the numerous restarts. It meant he had no turbo power off the line and struggled for power for the remainder of the race. 

Ollie O’Donovan made a lightning start to go 4th and even tried for third around the outside of Steve Hill. However, that pushed him wide and Christopher Evans on his rallycross return got into fourth place instead. Declan Kelly was next ahead of Mike Sellar and the slowed Patrick O’Donovan. The top 5 avoided the joker lap on the opening tour to create a gap to the back of the pack. 

Next time by O’Donovan Snr jokered closely followed by Kelly going in for his second joker thanks to a jump start. Evans responded to O’Donovan and held onto fourth place. Hill was able to hold onto his podium position once he jokered. However, on the next time by he ran slightly wide at turn 1. Evans was able to dive up the inside into the Hole in the Hedge and without Hill defending took third. 

Image Credit: Overtake Motorsport

On the penultimate lap Ovenden jokered and was followed by Godfrey into the detour. Both came out ahead of Evans and could only go line astern to the finish line. With the checkered flag being flown, it gave 3 time Supernational champion his first Supercar victory. 

Godfrey stayed on Ovenden tail until the end of the race, even trying a move out of turn 1 on the final lap. Evans came home third with Hill behind but third place of British Championship runners. Ollie O’Donovan recovered to fifth ahead of Mike Sellar. The Citroen DS3 driver had to brake to avoid the slow starting Patrick which put him to the back of the pack at turn 1.

Irish competitor Kelly was in 7th after overtaking Patrick O’Donovan on the run to the line. The pair made contact and Patrick forced Kelly onto the grass when he overtook.

Reigning champion, Tohill jumped the start twice after crawling on the grid. The clutch was worn and once in first gear the car rolled forward. This disqualified him from the final on a difficult day for the local driver. The race had also been red flagged when Darragh Morris stalled on the grid. He was dragged back to the pits. 10 cars were due to start, 2 more than usual for both Irish and British championships. This was due to the mix of British and Irish competitors.


In the first semi-final Tohill looked to go second by turn 1 but was forced to back out and dropped to third behind Ovenden and Evans. Tohill was able to quickly close in and overtook Michael Morris down the main straight. He then took the lead when Ovenden jokered with 2 laps to go. Evans was ahead of Hill after a great start and stayed there through to the checkered flag.

Image Credit: Overtake Motorsport

The other semi-final was a battle between Patrick O’Donovan and Godfrey. At the start it was actually Ollie O’Donovan who made the best launch but as he turned into the first corner his left front tyre rolled off the rim, something Ollie could not understand. That left Godfrey to take the lead with Patrick on his tail.

Sellar held third place from the start until the finish with Irish drivers Thomas O’Raferty and Darragh Morris initially running fourth and fifth. O’Raferty’s race ended early though when he suffered drive shaft failure which let O’Donovan get into fifth place and the last transfer spot for the Supercar final.

On lap 4 Patrick dived to the joker lap in a bid to undercut Godfrey, whom he had been on the tail of the entire race. Heading onto the final lap Godfrey caught Patrick’s father, O’Donovan who had been slowed with the puncture breaking the shock absorber. Godfrey was held up through the opening 2 turns and when he came out of the joker lap was behind Patrick. This gifted the 18 year old pole for the final as well as 6 championship points, 1 more than Godfrey received.

Image Credit: Overtake Motorsport


Ovenden reigned supreme in qualifying taking both fastest times of the session. Having never won a qualifying heat outright before today, the Kent based driver stormed to the lead of his Q1 race from pole. He held off pressure from championship runners Tohill and both O’Donovans to lead throughout. In a similar story to Q1 he made the best launch and lead from lights to flag.

Godfrey was best of the rest having finished just 2 tenths behind in Q1 after winning his heat. Hill followed up a return to the podium at the previous round with another top 3 qualifying performance. After a poor Q1 he rebounded with second overall to jump up the leader board. 

The next 3 were Tohill sandwiched by the O’Donovans. Patrick was best of the trio but not without controversy between them. In Q1 Tohill was second tucked up behind Patrick coming into the Hole in the Hedge hairpin on lap 1. Ollie from a long way back made contact into the rear of Tohill’s car spinning him around. As he spun Ollie went to the outside but clipped rear wheels with the spun Ford Fiesta. It tore his suspension off with O’Donovan senior driving round with the side of the wheel flat on the track. He pulled off at the start of lap 2 and into retirement while Tohill recovered to 4th overall. Ollie was given a verbal warning for the incident. 

In Q2 it was Patrick who put Tohill into a spin at the same corner. Patrick was given an 8 second penalty which was overturned as it later transpired that Tohill was already half spun before contact was made. This time Tohill could only manage 9th which left him 4th in qualifying just one point ahead of Ollie O’Donovan. 

Image Credit: Overtake Motorsport

2006 British Rallycross champion Christopher Evans returned to rallycross after 12 years. With only a 2 lap practice he spent Q1 learning the car and track. Come Q2 he was on the pace setting the 4th fastest time. However, he was running as an Irish competitor and didn’t take away points just like 8th and 9th place qualifiers Thomas O’Rafferty and Declan Kelly. 

Sellar was last of the British championship down in 10th on a circuit he has won at in the Supernational class. The 3 Morris’, Michael, Darragh and Andrew made up the back of qualifying but Andrew’s day ended after only a few hundred metres. Fire due to engine failure forced him off the track with the team working to fix the car for tomorrow. Coly Loughlin did not start a single session.

Image Credit: Overtake Motorsport


Godfrey is now the closest challenger to Patrick O’Donovan with the pair on 94 and 95 points respectively. After his maiden win Ovenden slots into third place just 6 back from the lead. Tohill has dropped down 2 places to fourth and will be hoping to have a better day tomorrow. He sits on 83 in part thanks to the 3 warnings he has received this year that gave him a 5 point penalty. Ollie O’Donovan now has 2 warnings and any further transgressions will result in points deductions.

Feature Image Credit: Overtake Motorsport

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