Wigan racer Tony Lynch secured a hard-earned podium finish from a challenging weekend on track as the Autosport International BTRDA Rallycross Championship presented by Cooper Tires season finally got underway at Lydden Hill.
The race weekend marked Tony’s return to BTRDA competition for the first time since the 2018 season finale, with his Ford KA being run by Paul Waldron Motorsport with assistance from members of his own Team Geriatric team.
Tony made the long trip to Kent aiming to challenge for the podium places in a highly competitive field, but he was left with work to do after practice when driveshaft failure limited his time on track.
With the car repaired, Tony headed out on track for the three Supermodified qualifying heats, taking fifth place in heat one before a dramatic second heat, which had to be red-flagged after rival Kenny Hall rolled his Renault Clio.
When the heat restarted, Tony secured sixth place despite the car starting to suffer from a misfire, and he completed heat three in fourth spot to leave him sixth on the grid for the A Final.
The exclusion of Slawomir Woloch from the meeting meant Tony actually lined up in fifth spot for the final and a solid run saw him take the flag in fourth spot overall and third amongst the over 2 litre cars – a result that secured him a place in the Superfinal.
There, Tony once again crossed the line in fourth overall for a solid end to the weekend but there would be a boost for Tony after the event was concluded when it was revealed that Supermodified winner Tristan Ovenden hadn’t registered for the championship.
That meant Tony ends the opening weekend of the season sitting second in the over 2 litre class and third in the overall Supermodified standings.
“It was a really tricky weekend, but one that ended with a huge smile on my face,” Tony admitted. “I’d almost forgotten how good the KA is to drive but I hugely enjoyed myself and to come away from the event with some silverware is great.
“Things didn’t start well with the driveshaft letting go in practice but the team did a great job to fix it for the heats where unfortunately we ran into another issue with a misfire that we think was caused by the engine running a bit hot after we had to stop with the red flag.
“The boys worked to change different things to try and resolve the issue so to come away from the final with fourth place was really good, and I didn’t realise the time that Fred Ling in third was in the 2 litre class so we’d actually got a class podium. With Tristan not registered, that then became second which means a good haul of points and more than I was realistically expecting from my first weekend back in the class.
“Clearly there are some seriously quick cars in the Supermodified class this year but I’m already looking forward to being back out in the car again next time out where hopefully we won’t have a repeat of some of the gremlins we encountered at Lydden and can pick up another solid result.”