Experienced challengers and new faces set for Retro Rallycross Bank Holiday action
A host of experienced stars and new drivers will contest the fourth round of the Retro Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill this weekend, as the series pays its third visit of the season to the birthplace of the sport (August 28).
Leading the Super Retro points heading to his home event is reigning champion Ray Morgan, the Hastings driver proving as ever that consistency is key to mounting a title challenge in Retro RX, having finished on the podium at every event so far and winning round one at Croft Circuit in his venerable Ford Escort.
But, while he leads the points, Morgan will face stiff opposition this weekend from regular racers and new faces. Barry Stewart, who races the Porsche 911 that won the first ever MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix in the 1980s, has repaired his iconic car after an incident in the FIA World Rallycross Championship demonstration races at Lydden Hill in May, and returns to the circuit where he scored victory ahead of Morgan back in April.
Irish driver Kevin Feeney will make another appearance in the Retro RX field, campaigning the Ford Escort that Tony Bardy drove in the 50th anniversary of rallycross celebrations at the Autosport International Show’s Live Action Arena in January, while Paul Easterbrook will drive his former autocross Toyota MR2 this weekend.
In the under 1600cc division, popular giant-killer Lance Foster has scored the most points of anyone, with 85, and leads the overall standings. The North East driver will race his familiar Green and White Mini Spares Mini Clubman at Lydden. Foster is joined on the grid by another long-time Retro Rallycross supporter, Paul Smith in his Volkswagen Polo. Simon Hart made his Retro RX debut in a replica of 1973 European Rallycross Champion John Taylor’s Ford Escort at Pembrey in June and also returns for more this weekend.
Joining the eclectic range of cars on the grid will be a quartet of new drivers, all competition in various interpretations of Ford’s Escort. International rallycross veteran Jos Sterkens will make the trip from Belgium for the event, while Stephen Richards, Gary Mason and Vincent Sillett will also take part.
Richards is an experienced historic rally competitor on gravel, while Sillett and Mason were previously team mates while competing on tarmac rallies. All three watched the World RX and Retro RX action at the British round of the World Championship in May and have been inspired to join the grid for the traditional August Bank Holiday event this weekend, with a view to competing more regularly in the future.
“I’m delighted to have such a mix of cars on the grid for Lydden Hill, which I think will be a wonderful event for our drivers, their teams and the spectators. I really hope the weather is kind so people can enjoy the show,” said Retro Rallycross Promoter, Shirley Gibson. “It’s brilliant that we have some new additions this weekend, and even better that they fit within the historic rally category too. Retro Rallycross is all about celebrating the rich history of our wonderful sport and there is absolutely nothing left to give in the battle at the front of the field, just the same as it always has been. I hope everyone has a brilliant weekend.”
2017 Retro Rallycross Championship: Lydden Hill Entry List (August 28):
Super Retro (over 1600cc):
41 Vincent Sillett – Ford Escort
49 Gary Mason – Ford Escort
54 Jos Sterkens – Ford Escort
56 Stephen Richards – Ford Escort
105 Kevin Feeney – Ford Escort
114 Ray Morgan – Ford Escort
166 Barry Stewart – Porsche 911
360 Paul Easterbrook – Toyota MR2
Retro Rallycross (up to 1600cc):
37 Simon Hart – Ford Escort
45 Lance Foster – Mini
57 Paul Smith – Volkswagen Polo
2017 Super Retro Rallycross Championship Standings:
1 Ray Morgan 84
2 Paul Easterbrook 73
3 Barry Stewart 30
4 Roger Thomas 30
5 Mark Flaherty 27
6 Kevin Feeney 25
7 Mark Richardson 23
8 Darren Grimston 23
9 Terry Maynard 21
2017 Retro Rallycross Championship (under 1600cc) Standings:
1 Lance Foster 85
2 Paul Smith 79
3 Stewart Bowes 57
4 Simon Hart 25