Retro Rallycross title-fight goes down to the wire at Silverstone
The battle to become the 2018 Retro Rallycross Champion will go all the way down to the wire at Silverstone this weekend (November 4), where James Harrold and Ian Biagi are set to battle for the overall crown and the John Button Memorial Trophy.
Driving PPJ Racing’s monstrous rear-wheel drive Volkswagen Beetle, Harrold has claimed top points in the Super Retro class for over 1600cc machines four times in 2018 and leads Biagi, who heads the Retro Rallycross class for under 1600cc vehicles with his Mini Clubman, by five points. The title fight is set to go all the way to the very last race of the season.
While both drivers will be racing for points in their own sub categories to add to their overall tally, they will face stiff competition. Vauxhall Astra driver Gary Dixon won round three at Croft Circuit in wet conditions and will be a contender, while former champion Ray Morgan is hoping to end a difficult season on a high with his Ford Escort.
Gary Simpson has been a regular front-runner in his selected Retro RX appearances with his BMW E30 and Paul Easterbrook has been in the thick of the fight over the course of the year. Former British and European Supercar racer John Cross is also set to debut his freshly-restored Lancia Stratos at Silverstone and could be a fly in the ointment of the regular racers. In the under 1600cc category, Biagi will face opposition from Ford Escort racer Simon Hart.
While Retro Rallycross’ four-wheel drive category finished its points scoring rounds last time out at Pembrey, with the Kenneth Hansen Cup secured by Irishman Derrick Jobb, a pair of glorious Group B machines will battle for the single-event Martin Schanche Trophy this weekend, which was first awarded to the winner of the MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix support race last year, Barry Stewart.
Steve Harris drove his Ford RS200 to victory at Lydden Hill in August on the car’s competitive debut, but he will face competition at Silverstone from former European Rallycross Championship front-runner Rob Gibson, making his return to the sport. Unfortunately Roger Thomas has been forced to withdraw due to technical issues with his MG Metro 6R4.
While the two-wheel drive contenders battle over the Retro Rallycross crown, at the front of the order the four-wheel drive campaigners have their own glory to fight for at the newest circuit in the series.
“It’s been a fabulous year for the Retro Rallycross Championship this season and the battle for the title is going right down to the wire. Hopefully the weather will be better than it was in the first round at Silverstone, for both the spectators and drivers,” said Retro Rallycross Championship Manager Shirley Gibson. “I’m really looking forward to seeing who wins the John Button Memorial Trophy, to see John Cross’ Stratos on track and the wonderful Group B cars in action. It’s going to be a good weekend, good luck to all our drivers.”
ENTRY LIST – Silverstone – Round 7 November 4 2018
Rob Gibson MG Metro 6R4 3500
Steve Harris Ford RS200 2100
Ian Biagi BMC Mini Clubman 1400
Simon Hart Ford Escort 1598
Gary Dixon Vauxhall Astra GTE 2000
Gary Simpson BMW E30 3200
John Cross Lancia Stratos 2400
Ray Morgan Ford Escort BDA 2000
James Harrold Volkswagen Beetle 2100
Paul Easterbrook Toyota MR2 MK1 1998