Foster and Morgan set to battle for Retro Rallycross glory at Croft finale
The final round of the 2017 Retro Rallycross Championship will take place this weekend at Croft Circuit (October 21) where reigning champion Ray Morgan and Lance Foster will fight for the title.
Foster leads the under 1600cc Retro Rallycross category and also the overall standings with one round remaining, campaigning his familiar Green & White Mini Spares-backed Mini Clubman. A solid points haul this weekend will secure him the coveted John Button Memorial Trophy title.
“In 25 years of competing in motorsport have I never raced with so many great people who I can genuinely call friends,” said Foster. “The season so far has been a rollercoaster ride with transmission issues at the opening round followed by some great racing with drivers from both Retro classes. The highlight has to be round six at Pembrey, when the weather levelled the field to such a degree that we qualified on pole for the final. I am looking forward to the weekend at Croft with much hope that I can lift the big trophy out of Ray’s hands for the first time since its introduction.”
While Foster leads the under 1600cc category, it’s Morgan who tops the over 1600cc class. The multiple John Button Memorial Trophy winner has faced tough opposition in the increasingly-supported category through 2017, competing against returning drivers and new faces.
Retro Rallycross has enjoyed some compelling on-track battles throughout the year; Barry Stewart (Porsche 911), Roger Thomas (MG Metro 6R4), Kevin Feeney (Ford Escort) and Davey Aiken (Vauxhall Nova) joining Morgan on the list of winners. Having recently fitted a different engine to his Ford Escort, Morgan has also faced technical troubles in recent events, but has welcomed the challenge of stronger opposition.
”It’s been a fantastic year with some ups and downs but for the most part I have very much enjoyed taking on those who are threatening to take my crown,” he said.
Regular competitors Kevin Feeney, Barry Stewart, Gary Dixon (Vauxhall Astra) and Paul Easterbrook (Toyota MR2) will be joined by father and son team Terry and Neil Maynard in a pair of Triumph TR8s in the larger engine capacity class this weekend.
Paul Smith (Volkswagen Polo) is 15-points behind Foster in the under 1600cc category, while Simon Hart has become a Retro Rallycross regular in 2017 racing his replica of John Taylor’s European Championship winning Ford Escort MKI. He will conclude his season at Croft and for 2018 will campaign a different machine. Stewart Bowes (Mini Clubman) will also be back in action at Croft as part of his selected schedule of Retro Rallycross appearances this year.
Following the final round, Retro Rallycross will support the Procters Coaches MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix on Sunday (October 22) for a non-championship event, where the winner will receive the Martin Schanche Trophy. 10 cars will compete in two four-lap qualifying races and a four-lap final to determine the winner. The trophy has been created to honour the exploits of six-time FIA European Rallycross Champion Martin Schanche, nicked-named ‘Mr Rallycross’, who retired from the sport in 2001.
”It’s been a great year, one of celebration as rallycross celebrated 50 years since the first ever event,” said Retro Rallycross promoter, Shirley Gibson. ”It’s too close to call at the top and I’m looking forward to seeing who will become the eventual Retro Rallycross overall winner. Joining the Rallycross Grand Prix for the Martin Schanche Trophy race is just as exciting and we are all looking forward to seeing who will get their name engraved as the first winner on our fabulous new award. Everyone likes Croft so it’s great to round off our season there.”
2017 Super Retro Rallycross Championship Standings:
1 Ray Morgan 159
2 Paul Easterbrook 134
3 Kevin Feeney 103
4 Roger Thomas 80
5 Barry Stewart 60
6 David Aiken 55
7 Mark Flaherty 27
8 Mark Richardson 23
9 Darren Grimston 23
10 Terry Maynard 21
11 Jos Sterkens 21
2017 Retro Rallycross Championship (under 1600cc) Standings:
1 Lance Foster 175
2 Paul Smith 160
3 Simon Hart 75
4 Stewart Bowes 57