Wigan racer Tony Lynch retained his lead in the Supernational category of the MSA British Rallycross Championship in association with ODYSSEY Battery despite running into trouble in the penultimate meeting of the year at Pembrey.
Westhoughton-based Tony went into the weekend looking to take a step closer to the class title at the wheel of his Lucas Oil Team Geriatric Ford KA, with back-to-back wins in the previous two meetings putting him firmly in the box seat in the race for the championship crown.
Things started well for Tony in South Wales with a dominant victory in the opening heat of the weekend, and he then repeated the feat in heat two to leave himself well placed for pole position going into the final qualifying run.
That was when things went awry however as, having posted the quickest time, Tony then suffered driveshaft failure on the final lap that left him to crawl to the finish in last place.
With only limited time to try and fix the issue before the final, it was all hands to the pump in the team awning but it soon became apparent that it wouldn’t be possible to repair the damaged driveshaft in time.
Instead, Tony was left to take his place on the grid for the final with the stricken KA being powered though just a single wheel and, having taken the start, he was left with no option but to pull off and retire to prevent any further damage to the car.
The fact that Tony was able to make it out onto the track for the final meant he was able to pick up vital points for his championship tally and also minimised his losses to his closest challenger in the title race.
It means that, when dropped scores are taken into account, Tony leads by 13 points going into the season finale at Croft, where a top five finish will be enough to secure the title.
“Going to Pembrey, we knew we were in a great position in the points but also knew that things could change very quickly – and that’s exactly what happened,” Tony said. “The car was fantastic in the first two heats and also in the opening laps of heat three when we posted the fastest lap of qualifying, but then the driveshaft let go.
“Despite our best efforts, there simply wasn’t time to fix the problem for the final and it would have been easy for us to just sit it out as we were never going to be able to finish. However, it was important for us to make it out on track as the points we scored there could prove to be vital when we get to Croft.
“The points we lost were a lot less than they could have been, so despite it turning out to be a weekend of disappointment, we still have a healthy lead in the standings. Pembrey has really shown that we can’t afford to be complacent though, and we’ll be working hard to make sure that when we get to Croft, there is no repeat of the issues we faced this weekend.”