Top Ten Finish for Tohill on World Rallycross Debut!
May 6, 2014 by Leo Nulty
LD Motorsports World RX Team driver Derek Tohill secured eighth position in the finals of this weekend’s season opening round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, hosted in Portugal.
Swathed in blistering sunshine, and in front of capacity crowds, Tohill joined the pack of 19 rival supercars in the hunt for the first ever rallycross world championship. After the four qualification heats, during which he also secured his first ever heat race victory, Tohill placed 11th overall in the intermediate standings, promoting him to the finals.
Keeping a cool head at the wheel of his LD Motorsports prepared Citroen DS3 Supercar, Tohill pushed eventual podium finishers Bakkerud and Nitiss hard in the opening laps, and drove a calculated race throughout the scrappy six lap semi-final to finish fifth. The result netted the Irishman eight championship points. While the result in the semis was not enough to promote Tohill to the main final, he remains positive about round two and his prospects for the rest of the season.
“For me this was a real test,” said Tohill. “My main target was to make the semi finals, and to be in the mix with pre-season championship favourites such as Bakkerud, Nitiss and Hvaal was fantastic.
“I can really build on this performance, and as a platform for the rest of the season we have plenty of laps, hard racing with top drivers and race data to pull on. Going to Lydden next, which is a circuit I love and have had plenty of success at is a boost. It’s a very long season and it’s all still to play for.”
Following the Portuguese season opening round, the FIA World Rallycross Championship sets its sights on rallycross’ spiritual home of Lydden Hill in Great Britain on the 24/25 May. Subsequent rounds in Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Turkey, also follow, with the championship rostered for the 28/29 November in Argentina.