Heroic effort unrewarded for Landsail Team Geriatric on dramatic Knockhill weekend

Wigan racer Tony Lynch was left singing the praises of his team for going above and beyond the call of duty on a dramatic weekend of racing as the Retro Rallycross Championship headed for Knockhill for the latest two rounds of the season.

Tony headed for Scotland holding top spot in the standings at the wheel of his Landsail Team Geriatric-run Toyota MR2, and with confidence high about a strong weekend at a circuit where he had enjoyed a number of front-running results in the past.

With a smaller field than expected having made the trip, Tony and fellow Retro class runner Simon Hart found themselves running track with the quicker Super Retro cars, with Tony beating his rival with ease in the first heat of round five.

Having held the lead through lap one of the second heat, Tony’s bid for second win would end in dramatic fashion when he was forced to pull off with flames coming from the engine bay.

With no option but to retire from the remainder of the day, the team packed up to make the 240 mile trip back to base in a bid to repair the damage – which was later traced to a small fracture on an oil pipe.

After a long journey and a late night in the workshop, the car was repaired before the team hit the road to return to Scotland in time for Sunday’s action, with the Toyota showing no ill-effects in the opening heat at Tony lapped quicker than he had done prior to Saturday’s dramas.

Victorious again in heat three, Tony went into the final chasing his second win of the season, but there was more drama to come when one of the notorious bumps on the loose surface section of the circuit unsettled the MR2 and resulted in Tony making contact with the tyres.

That tipped the car into a roll that would put Tony out on the spot, with the Toyota suffering extensive damage but Tony himself emerging unscathed.

Tony remains at the sharp end of the standings, and with the next round of the year scheduled to take place in November at Lydden Hill, will now evaluate the options available to conclude the season.

“It’s hard to find the words to express how I feel about the Knockhill weekend – apart from tired!” he said. “We headed for Scotland hoping to benefit from the recent work we had carried out on the car, but certainly didn’t expect things to be quite as dramatic as they were.

“On Saturday, we had a solid run in the first heat but then in the second, I thought we had an issue with the engine and when it stopped on track, I was sure we’d blown the motor as I could see smoke in the mirror. It was only when I got out of the car that I could see the flames but luckily, the same wasn’t so severe that it couldn’t be fixed.

“It did mean we had to head back to base, and I cannot praise the team enough for the effort they put in to travel all that way, get the car fixed, and then head back for Sunday’s action.

“For the final to them end in the way it did was absolutely gutting for us all and I have to hold my hands up as I got caught out by a bump that unsettled the car and that was that. Although we’re lucky that the engine and gearbox are both okay, it’s done a lot of damage to the car so we now need to sit down and make a decision on whether we push hard to repair it in time for Lydden Hill or see if there is the option to try and source a new car that we can prepare in time for the finale.”