Retro Rallycross Championship heads to South Wales for round three
A new Group B competitor will join the Retro Rallycross Championship field this weekend, as the championship heads for its third round at Pembrey Circuit in South Wales (June 25).
Having performed demonstrations for thousands of people at the British round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill last month, it’s back to points-scoring business for the Retro RX competitors this weekend, as Ray Morgan once again leads the chasing pack at the top of the standings.
2016 champion Morgan will start the event as favourite of the regular drivers, but as in round one, where he took on the might of Mark Flaherty’s MG Metro 6R4, this weekend the Ford Escort driver will have another 6R4 to contend with, owned by rallycross newcomer Roger Thomas.
Not only will Thomas have more power and four-wheel drive at his disposal this weekend than Morgan, but he also had track knowledge of the new Pembrey layout, having raced a Supercar in a round of the BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Championship recently.
Second in the points after the opening two rounds is held by returning former rallycross driver Paul Easterbrook in his distinctive Toyota MR2 MKI, but sadly Barry Stewart won’t be in South Wales in the hunt for his second victory of the season, damage sustained in the World RX demonstration recently forcing him out.
A pair of Ford Escorts will join the Retro Rallycross field this weekend.
Irish driver Kevin Feeney will compete in the Ford Escort Mk2, that he used in the World RX demonstrations, and was driven by Tony Bardy in the Live Action Arena at the Autosport International Show in January, while Simon Hart will drive his John Taylor-replica Ford Escort MKI at Pembrey for the first time.
Lance Foster is likely to take the lead of the under 1600cc Retro Rallycross category this weekend with his Mini Clubman, and is equally likely to perform some giant-killing acts on the Welsh circuit that has a revised loose-surface layout for the 2017 season. The under 1600cc points are currently led by the similar car of Stewart Bowes, who will miss the Pembrey outing due to prior commitments. Should Foster fail to take a maximum points haul, Volkswagen Polo driver Paul Smith is well placed to pick up the pieces.
“We always look forward to our annual visits to South Wales and we will be joined at Pembrey by two of the newest members to Retro Rallycross,” said Retro Rallycross Promotor, Shirley Gibson. “Simon Hart will be making his first appearance in the ex-Mark Williams Escort MKI which is very exciting, as will be the sight of Roger Thomas in his MG Metro 6R4. It’s such a shame that Rob Gibson has decided to miss this event, as well as Mark Flaherty who’s 6R4 sustained serious damage at Lydden Hill at the World RX event. Three 6R4s would have been fantastic, but we hope they will all be on the grid together at Lydden Hill in August. A couple of our regulars will be missing for this one, we will defiantly miss them and look forward to welcoming them back to the paddock soon. We have some wonderful cars out this weekend and hopefully the weather will stay fine for the spectators to enjoy them in action.”
Retro Rallycross Championship, Pembrey, Round Three Entries:
45 Lance Foster – Mini Clubman
57 Paul Smith – Volkswagen Polo
105 Kevin Feeney – Ford Escort
114 Ray Morgan – Ford Escort
360 Paul Easterbrook – Toyota MR2
Roger Thomas – MG Metro 6R4
Simon Hart – Ford Escort
Super Retro Rallycross Championship Points:
1 Ray Morgan (Ford Escort) 57
2 Paul Easterbrook (Toyota MR2) 50
3 Barry Stewart (Porsche 911) 30
4 Marc Flaherty (MG Metro 6R4) 27
5 Mark Richardson (Ford Sierra Cosworth) 23
6 Darren Grimston (Vauxhall Nova) 23
7 Terry Maynard (Triumph TR8) 21
Retro Rallycross Championship Points (under 1600cc)
1 Stewart Bowes (Mini Clubman) 57
2 Lance Foster (Mini Clubman) 55
3 Paul Smith (Volkswagen Polo) 52