Wigan racer Tony Lynch was able to salvage a podium finish from what proved to be a challenging opening meeting of the Retro Rallycross Championship season at Lydden Hill.
The Landsail Team Geriatric driver headed for the Kent circuit hoping to make the most of a raft of upgrades carried out on his Toyota MR2 over the winter, although a lack of pre-season testing meant the first two rounds would be something of a step into the unknown.
The opening two heats for round one saw Tony grab a pair of third place finishes but an issue with the gearbox on the car then forced him to retire from the final qualifying heat.
Despite that, Tony qualified in third spot on the grid but the issues with the gearbox resulted in him being forced to pull off the circuit seconds after the lights went out – leaving him classified back in fifth place.
With round two taking place on Bank Holiday Monday, the team used the day off on Easter Sunday to replace the gearbox in the car – instead fitting a standard spare ‘box to the car to ensure that Tony could do battle on track.
Third in all three qualifying heats, Tony was this time able to contest the points-scoring finale where he brought the Toyota home to the flag in third to grab some hard-earned silverware.
Despite the challenging nature of the action on-track – which leaves Tony second in the early-season standings – there was reason to cheer as Landsail Team Geriatric was awarded the Martin Schanche Trophy for the best presented team in the Retro Rallycross paddock last season.
It marks the third time that Team Geriatric has secured such an award for presentation, reflecting the effort put in to ensure that the sponsors and partners are represented in the most professional manner over the course of a season.
“There are real mixed emotions after Lydden Hill,” Tony reflected. “On track, we were hoping for better results across the two rounds but the issue with the gearbox on Saturday was one of those things that we couldn’t control.
“The team did a great job to replace the ‘box for Monday and we were able to put up a good fight on track but ultimately, there was only so much we could do with the standard unit fitted.
“However, to be given the Martin Schanche Trophy was an unexpected surprise but one we are very proud of as a team. We put a huge amount of time and effort into our presentation because we know how important it is when it comes to representing the various sponsors who allow us to go racing. This award is for them as much as the team.”