Stewart claims Retro RX victory in glorious Lydden Hill sunshine

Stewart claims Retro RX victory in glorious Lydden Hill sunshine

Racing the iconic Porsche 911 that won the very first MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix at Brand Hatch, Barry Stewart returned to the Retro Rallycross Championship for the fourth round at Lydden Hill and claimed victory, on a day where Retro RX starred (August 28).

Kent was bathed in Bank Holiday Monday sunshine as the birthplace of the sport hosted 11 competitors in the Retro field, and it was Stewart verses Irishman Kevin Feeney at the front of the order throughout the final, Stewart just holding off Feeney’s Escort to secure victory.

From the third row of the grid, Lance Foster climbed to third on the opening lap, ahead of the first in a quartet of series newcomers, Vincent Sillett in his Ford Escort. Reigning Champion Ray Morgan had an unusually torrid day with his Ford Escort, battling teething problems with a newly fitted engine and only made it into the final on the fifth row of the grid, but climbed to fifth on the opening lap. Behind, Gary Mason, who has qualified on the front row, passed Paul Easterbrook for seventh position down Hairy Hill on lap one, as Sillett applied pressure to Foster for third position.

The top two began to edge away from the rest of the pack by the close of lap two, Feeney trying a number of times to move into the lead, while Morgan passed Sillett for fourth into the Devil’s Elbow on lap three, before mounting his own challenge on Foster, but there was no way through.

Stewart won with Feeney just behind in second and Foster completing the podium. “I’m really, really happy with the result. I was chased very, very hard by Kevin all day. Ray had a bad day unfortunately but it’s been really, really good and the car went well. The circuit is awesome, it’s so fast and really suits my car,” said Stewart. “We damaged the car at Lydden in the World RX demonstration race, but managed to fix it and it’s great to win. That’s dented the budget so we will probably only be out once more this year, but that’s the way racing goes.”

 Morgan finished fourth, with a pair of newcomers completing the top six, Vincent Sillett ahead of Gary Mason. Paul Easterbook was seventh in his Toyota MR2, with Stephen Richards eighth, Paul Smith ninth and Simon Hart tenth. Belgian star Jos Sterkens was unable to take the start of the final due to technical problems in the qualifying stages of the event.

“What an amazing event, the grid this weekend was awesome and the new drivers in Retro all said they had a great time and promised to be back. We hope to see Jos Sterkens again later in the season which is wonderful news, and the guys who have come over from rallying all enjoyed themselves too,” said Retro Rallycross promotor, Shirley Gibson. “Well done to Barry for winning, it was a great battle for the podium between the top three and the final was one of the best races we have enjoyed this season. Now we’re off to France to take part in the Rallycross Legends show as part of the FIA World Rallycross Championship round at Loheac.”

2017 Retro Rallycross Championship: Round Four, Lyddden Hill, Result:

1 Barry Stewart           Porsche 911
2 Kevin Feeney            Ford Escort
3 Lance Foster             Mini Clubman
4 Ray Morgan             Ford Escort
5 Vincent Sillett           Ford Escort
6 Gary Mason              Ford Escort
7 Paul Easterbrook      Toyota MR2
8 Stephen Richards     Ford Escort
9 Paul Smith                Volkswagen Polo
10 Simon Hart             Ford Escort
11 Jos Sterkens            Ford Escort

2017 Super Retro Rallycross Championship Standings: 

1 Ray Morgan 109
2 Paul Easterbrook 96
3 Barry Stewart 60
4 Kevin Feeney 52
5 Roger Thomas 30
6 Mark Flaherty 27
7 Mark Richardson 23
8 Darren Grimston 23
9 Terry Maynard 21
10 Jos Sterkens 21 

2017 Retro Rallycross Championship (under 1600cc) Standings:

1 Lance Foster 115
2 Paul Smith 106
3 Stewart Bowes 57
4 Simon Hart 50