Croft set to host special Retro Rallycross round this weekend
The third round of the 2018 Retro Rallycross Championship takes place this Sunday (May 6) at Croft Circuit, a historic rallycross venue as a former home to the British FIA European Rallycross Championship round and the MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix.
Following substantial redevelopment of his monstrous 600 horsepower Volkswagen Beetle, James Harrold has returned to Retro RX with a bang in 2018 and has taken a pair of maximum points hauls from the opening two rounds in the Super Retro sub-category, at Silverstone and Lydden Hill.
Such is the pace of Harrold’s rear-wheel drive Beetle that he kept the four-wheel drive machinery competing in round two at Lydden Hill in his sights throughout the day. But, there’s no time for complacency for the former Stock Hatch Champion, with former Retro Rallycross title-holder and John Button Memorial Trophy winner Ray Morgan in his Ford Escort and Gary Dixon in a Vauxhall Astra having both claimed a second place apiece in the first two events of the year. Both will be targeting a maiden win of the season this weekend.
Racing the Porsche 911 that won the first ever MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in 1982, Barry Stewart was forced out of round two with technical issues but will be back in action this weekend and like Morgan and Dixon, can be a genuine threat to Harrold.
But, while those in the title-hunt battle it out on track, the Croft weekend is also one for reflection and celebration, as Jason Bowes races the Volkswagen Golf MkI developed and raced by his late brother Jordan, who sadly lost his life in a road accident last October. 19-year-old Bowes was a regular face in the British Rallycross paddocks when racing himself or supporting his father Stewart with his Retro Rallycross Mini Clubman. He is much missed by the entire rallycross community.
Aided by a crowdfunding campaign, Bowes’ Golf, which he built and developed himself, will return to action this weekend with Jason at the wheel, in what the family hopes will be the first of several events for the car this season, ahead of a possible full-time campaign in the future.
Always fast but sometimes troublesome, the car has undergone recent development to make it reliable so it can be enjoyed in Jordan’s memory, and will at the same time be a competitive proposition.
Also racing for Super Retro points in Yorkshire will be Paul Easterbrook with his Toyota MR2, while competitors in the under 1600cc Retro Rallycross sub-category will be targeting more giant killing acts, Mark Finch having finished third on the overall podium at Lydden Hill and scooped British RX’s Driver of the Day award.
Ian Biagi and Terry Moore will both campaign their Minis at Croft, while rallycross convert Steve Bowie will continue in the series following his two maiden appearances at Silverstone and Lydden Hill driving an iconic Vauxhall Chevette.
“I’m looking forward to taking the Championship back to North Yorkshire for the first of our two visits this year. Croft is a favourite with Retro Rallycross drivers. It will of course be a day of reflection for us as we pay tribute and remember Jordan Bowes, but it will also be a celebration of the life of a wonderful, talented, young man who gave so much of himself to Retro Rallycross,” said Retro Rallycross Championship Manager, Shirley Gibson. “We miss him dearly and wish Jason every success competing in Jordan’s beloved Golf. It will be the first time some our new members have competed with us at Croft and it will be interesting to see how they perform. Our exciting mix of cars continues to grow and we hope to be able to share more news soon on what we have to look forward to in the near future. For the moment though our drivers are concentrating on picking up points in their effort to become the next holder of the John Button Memorial Trophy.”
2018 Retro Rallycross Championship: Croft Entry List (May 6):
Super Retro (over 1600cc):
30 Gary Dixon – Vauxhall Astra
79 Jason Bowes – Volkswagen Golf
114 Ray Morgan – Ford Escort
151 James Harrold – Volkswagen Beetle
166 Barry Stewart – Porsche 911
360 Paul Easterbrook – Toyota MR2
Retro Rallycross (up to 1600cc):
56 Ian Biagi – Mini
74 Terry Moore – Mini
179 Mark Finch – Ford Fiesta
235 Steve Bowie – Vauxhall Chevette