Wigan racer Tony Lynch enjoyed a successful weekend on track as he kicked off his 2018 season with a one-off outing in the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship at Silverstone.
The Westhoughton-based racer made the trip to the Northamptonshire circuit eager to test revisions made to his Lucas Oil Team Geriatric Ford KA over the winter in preparation for his campaign in the BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Championship.
Low temperatures and snow throughout the day would lead to challenging conditions on track, with Tony part of a bumper field made up of Supernational and Super1600 Class cars.
A hat-trick of top three finishes in the three qualifying heats saw Tony qualify for the semi-finals as second best of the Supernational Class drivers, and he successfully made it through to the final in fifth place overall.
Battling hard on track against defending champion Tristan Ovenden, Tony ended the six lap final in fourth place overall and second best of the Supernational drivers – less than two seconds behind his long-time rival.
With the KA performing well with the modifications made during the winter, Tony will now aim to make a strong start to his BTRDA campaign this weekend when the opening round of the season takes place at Blyton.
“I think we’d class the Silverstone weekend as mission accomplished in terms of what we wanted to learn with the car,” he said. “Because we’ve had to put more weight into it because of the change in regulations during the winter, it was important to get some serious running under our belt and everything went pretty much to plan.
“Although the colder conditions meant it took a bit of time to get the car dialed in, we got quicker as the day went on and were competitive throughout the event. To come away from it with second best amongst the Supernational cars is a good result and we’ve been able to learn about the impact that the changes we made during the winter have had on the car.
“Obviously the extra weight has had an impact on the outright speed, but the changes to the suspension mean it still handles brilliantly and I have to give thanks to the team, and also to Paul Waldron for the work he has done on the bodywork, for a job well done over the winter.
“After a solid weekend on track at Silverstone, the focus now turns to Blyton as the real business of our BTRDA campaign gets underway and I think we can go there feeling confident about fighting at the front and making a strong start to our championship challenge.”