Tony Lynch secured an early lead in the Retro Rallycross Championship with a brace of podium finishes at Lydden Hill – including a first victory of the campaign.
The Wigan-based racer made the long trip to the spiritual home of rallycross hoping to benefit from a number of improvements made to his Landsail Tyres Team Geriatric Toyota MR2 over the winter.
The weekend started in solid fashion during Round 1 of the campaign on Easter Saturday, with Tony grabbing second in the opening heat of the weekend before edging out rival Terry Moore to win heat two.
Another runner-up finish behind Moore in heat three came despite Tony suffering an issue with the gearbox, meaning he would head into the final without the use of third or fourth gear. Despite that, he would chase Moore throughout before taking the flag as runner-up.
The issues with the gearbox were resolved thanks to the assistance of Paul Waldron Motorsport, who travelled to the circuit on Easter Sunday with a replacement ‘box that would allow Tony to take his place on the grid for Round 2.
With the car now back on-form, Tony kicked things off with a relatively comfortable win in the opening heat despite tricky on-track conditions, with rain and standing water leading to a number of issues for his rivals.
He then doubled up in heat two to strengthen his advantage in the race for pole before the issues elsewhere meant that heat three became a two-way dice with the Ford Escort of Dan Swayland, with the pair running alongside the quicker Super Retro class machines.
Swayland would edge out Tony for the class win but the roles were reversed in the final as Tony produced a storming drive to not only win the class, but also finish third overall – ahead of four Super Retro class cars.
Tony’s next outing in the series will come at Mondello Park in June, but before that, the team will head for France to take part in a special invitational event at Lohéac in late May.
“To come away from the opening weekend with two solid results was the main aim, so I’d say that it’s a case of mission accomplished,” he said. “Although we didn’t manage to get the win in the first round, we had some really good battles on track and I was pleased with how the car performed with the chances we’d made.
“It was unfortunate that others ran into trouble on Monday but as the saying goes, ‘To finish first, first you have to finish’. I really enjoyed mixing it with the Super Retro cars in the final and to get the win means a good haul of points to take away from the weekend.
“That win wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance we got from Paul Waldron Motorsport, who travelled down to the circuit on the Sunday to fit the new gearbox – so that win is very much for them.
“With a gap until we head for Mondello Park for the next round, we can look ahead to the event at Lohéac and hopefully we can put on a good show and challenge for some strong results.”