Retro Rallycross 2017 action set to begin this weekend in Yorkshire
The 2017 Retro Rallycross Championship season will get underway this weekend at Croft Circuit in Yorkshire, supporting the opening round of the MSA British Rallycross Championship (March 19).
Retro Rallycross competitors have already been in action this year, as part of the inaugural celebrations of rallycross’ 50th anniversary at the Autosport International Show in January, at Birmingham’s NEC in the Live Action Arena, but this weekend will be the first time since last October that the Retro racers have competed on track.
Last season was the first time the Retro Rallycross Championship has been an official points-scoring Championship, and it was Retro stalwart, Ford Escort driver Ray Morgan who claimed the title, adding the crown to pair of John Button Memorial Trophy successes in 2014 and 2015. Morgan is set to return to defend his title with a new engine fitted to his Escort.
Spectators at Croft Circuit this weekend will be treated to a range of Retro machinery, lead by Mark Flaherty in his MG Metro 6R4. As the only four-wheel drive car in action, Flaherty will have a penalty applied to his times.
Local driver Terry Maynard will compete in his thundering Triumph TR8, and Darren Grimston will also be in action with his venerable Vauxhall Nova. Toyota MR2 driver Paul Easterbook will begin a full Retro Rallycross campaign this weekend, driving his former autocross MR2, having made his rallycross debut in 1996 but not been seen in action since 1999, until his return last year.
In the up to 1600cc sub-category, Green & White Mini Spares driver Lance Foster will once again set about some giant-killing acts at his home circuit, while Stewart Bowes will make his first of selected 2017 appearances in a sister Mini Clubman to that of Foster. Paul Smith has been working on the development of his Volkswagen Polo over the winter and will also get his campaign underway at Croft.
Of those not on the grid, Barry Stewart will return to the series with his Porsche 911 later in the year and Jordan Bowes hopes to join the Championship from round two at Lydden Hill. Mini Clubman racer Ian Biagi is taking some time-out from the sport through injury but hopes to return and Retro Rallycross looks forward to welcoming Ian to events when he is able to attend.
“I’m really looking forward to the first round of our Championship this weekend at Croft. We have a range of interesting cars joining us, and that number will grow through the year,” said Retro Rallycross founder, Shirley Gibson. “In the year of the 50th anniversary of the sport, the interest in Group B rallycross is rising and our initial objective to see the return of these mighty machines and have them race in Retro Rallycross is becoming a reality. It’s great to have Mark on board, and it’s also exciting that there are some other cars being prepared for use later in the year. I hope all of our drivers have a lot of fun this weekend.”
Croft Entry List:
Super Retro (over 1600cc)::
- 12 Terry Maynard – Triumph TR8
- 77 Mark Flaherty – MG Metro 6R4
- 90 Darren Grimston – Vauxhall Nova
- 114 Ray Morgan – Ford Escort
- 360 Paul Easterbrook – Toyota MR2
Retro Rallycross (up to 1600cc):
- 45 Lance Foster – Mini
- 57 Paul Smith – Volkswagen Polo
- 172 Stuart Bowes – Mini