Wigan racer Tony Lynch will embark on a fresh challenge for the 2016 season after confirming a change of car for his assault on the MSA British Rallycross Championship in association with Odyssey Battery.
Westhoughton-based Tony had originally planned to continue with the MINI Cooper he used for his Super National class programme last year before being granted the opportunity to acquire the Ford KA previously raced by Gareth Wood.
Having agreed a deal with Gareth to purchase the car that finished second in the standings last year, Tony and his team have spent recent weeks working around the clock to prepare the KA for the opening event of the new season, which takes place this weekend at Croft.
Buoyed by the step up in performance that comes with the car, which features a Mountune-developed engine producing 300hp and a Hewland sequential gearbox, Tony heads into the new season in optimistic mood and is confident about his chances on track with the new machine.
“Our original plan had been to continue with our MINI this season as we know there was still more to come from the package,” he said. “However, when the opportunity came along to acquire the KA, it was simply too good to turn down and a deal that made perfect sense for us as a team.
“Our Achilles heel last year was that we were down on power compared to our rivals in the Super National Class but the KA has a much better power to weight ratio than the MINI and is already proven at this level.
“It’s the first time we will be competing with a car that isn’t based on a production model, and I truly believe it will provide us with the chance to shine this season.”
Prior this weekend’s season opener, Tony had the opportunity to sample the KA for the first time during a day of testing at Blyton and he admitted that he now couldn’t wait to get his campaign underway in earnest when he heads to the North East this weekend.
“There were a few little niggles with the car that we were able to sort out, and hopefully that means we can then hit the ground running when we get to Croft,” he said. “Whilst it is going to take me a little bit of time to get used to the car and things like having a sequential gearbox for the first time, the early impressions are that it’s a fantastic bit of kit and there is no doubting the fact that it’s quicker than the MINI.
“Whilst we got some good results last year, it tended to be when the conditions weren’t at their best and our power deficit didn’t matter as much. With this car, I feel confident that we will be in a position to challenge for at least the podium whatever the conditions are on track and hopefully that will be the case this weekend and we can start our season with a positive result.”
In an additional boost for 2016, Tony and his team – Team Geriatric – will continue to compete with title sponsorship from Lucas Oil; one of the world’s most famous high performance lubricant companies.
Having come onboard as a minor sponsor back in 2005, Lucas Oil has held the position of title sponsor with the team since 2011 and having already enjoyed multiple championship titles together across the years, hopes are high of further success with the new-look package now in place.
“Over the years, Tony Lynch and Lucas Oil Team Geriatric have been terrific ambassadors for our brand and season after season, their performances have been consistently high,” Les Downey, managing director, Lucas Oil Products (UK) Ltd, said.
“With the new KA and its improved power to weight ratio, the prospects for the 2016 season are looking good, and we look forward to more of the same.”