Highs and Lows at Lydden Hill for Ireland’s Derek Tohill at World Rallycross Championship.
May 30, 2014 by Leo Nulty
Derek Tohill entered the second round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill near Dover in England. The Irishman was participating in front of a sell-out crowd in his LD Motorsports 600 BHP powered Citroen DS3 SuperCar. The 2013 European Rallycross Champion was part of the 38 strong SuperCar field. This was undoubtedly one of the largest & strongest Rallycross SuperCar fields for many years.
The Irishman considers the event at Lydden Hill his home away from home and both Derek and the team were hoping for a trouble free weekend. Saturdays opening heat was to start with some wet weather which suited the Irishman just fine. Unfortunately a turbo problem slowed the LD Motorsports Citroen DS3 but Tohill still managed to hold on to a second place finish and also held off PSRX driver Alexander Hvaal (Norway) who had got the better of the Dubliner in Portugal.
The LD motorsports team fixed the turbo problem in time for Heat 2 and this saw the Irishman get a fantastic start and he took his joker lap immediately. Tohill immediately began to hunt down Hvaal & Jos Jansen (Belgium) in the Millers Oils backed SuperCar. Tohill took a convincing win in the end which ensured he posted 12th fastest time overall. This type of result was exactly what the Irishman needed to secure a semi-final place.
The Teng Tools supported World RX driver went into Sunday confident of some further improved results but a puncture in the first corner of the opening heat on Sunday put a thorn in the Irishman’s progress. The following heat the Irishman lined up with an all or nothing approach but unfortunately further turbo problems slowed the Irishman’s progress which meant a semi-final place was not on offer to the Irishman.
Derek commented “with such a massively competitive field we could not afford any problems, we had problems in 3 of our 4 qualifying heats which meant a semi-final position was not possible. My performance improved relative to our opponents in Portugal, we had stronger pace and I ultimately learnt more about the car and how I must adapt my driving style. Myself and the team need to work hard at preventing further problems and improving our pace again. Hell in Norway is where we go next, it’s a tough venue and I have finished 2nd at this venue for 3 years running, I hope myself and the team can fight hard for a semi-final place in Hell.”
Following the UK round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship the next venue in the 12 round calendar is due to take place at Hell in Norway on June 14th & 15th. Derek is currently placed 16th in the World Championship, a position he will hope to improve upon in Hell. Subsequent rounds will be held in Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Turkey, with the championship finale rostered for November 28th & 29th in Argentina.