Rallycross: Open Championship Croft summary

Derrick gets the Jobb done at Croft Derrick Jobb from Fintona, Northern Ireland stormed to victory, in the opening round of the 2009 Fuchs Lubricants Rallycross Open Championship - the premier Rallycross Championship in Great Britain, which got...

Derrick gets the Jobb done at Croft

Derrick Jobb from Fintona, Northern Ireland stormed to victory, in the opening round of the 2009 Fuchs Lubricants Rallycross Open Championship - the premier Rallycross Championship in Great Britain, which got underway at Croft Circuit (Sunday 22nd March).

Starting from the middle of the front row in the A final, Jobb (Ford Escort RS2000) made the perfect start to take the lead into the first corner ahead of poleman Andy Grant (Ford Escort) and Irishman Tommy Graham (Ford Fiesta). As the cars went through the old chicane, Grant carried a lot more momentum through the corner, drawing up alongside Jobb on the run down into the hairpin. Jobb braked later for the hairpin, managing to hold onto the lead ahead of Grant and Graham. Steve Mundy (Ford Focus) and Brian Jukes (Audi TT) gave chase while 2008 Championship runner-up - Mike Manning (Ford Puma) held on to finish in fourth place after breaking a driveshaft on the startline.

At the front Jobb controlled the pace of the race to perfection, holding off Grant to take the win. Graham completed the podium, followed by Manning, Jukes and Mundy. Back to back Champion - 'Mad Mark' (Citroen Xsara) had his day brought to an end in the second round of heats, after breaking an input shaft in the front differential. Chris Langley (Ford Escort RS2000) suffered gearbox failure in the second round of heats, while a seized engine put David Binks (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) out of the event.

In the Super National category, Mike Turpin (Vauxhall VX220) brought Jamie Lea's (Toyota MR2) winning streak to an end. Turpin had been cruising to an emphatic win, when a mechanical problem struck on the final lap of the race leaving his Vauxhall to crawl around the remainder of the lap, limping over the line, inches ahead of the chasing Lea. Lea had been on pole position, but a bad start, saw him fall behind both Mike Howlin (Ford Fiesta) and Michael Boak (Audi TT). By the time Lea had fought his way into second place, Turpin had established a massive lead, which prevented him from capitalising on Turpins mechanical woes. Howlin finished third, followed by Boak, Allan Tapscott (Vauxhall Corsa), Steve Cozens (Renault Clio V6), Daniel O'Brien (Ford KA), Gary Dixon (Vauxhall Astra) and Phil Chicken.

Slawomir Woloch (Fiat Cinquecento) recorded a debut victory in the Division 1A category, after mechanical problems put both of the pre event favourites - Julian Godfrey (Ford Fiesta) and Joe Cunningham (Peugeot 106 Xsi) out of the event.

The Procar 2000 category once again produced some fantastic racing with Derek Tohill emerging the winner in his Honda Civic Type-R. 2007 Champion, Dave Baines (Vauxhall Astra GSi) held on for a solid second place finish, ahead of 2008 Champion Stuart Emery (Peugeot 306), Tony Lynch (Peugeot 309), Doug Martin (SEAT Ibiza) and Brian Wade (BMW Mini). Irish Rally legend - Eugene Donnelly had his weekend brought to an end in the second round of heats with gearbox problems.

2007 Champion, Steve Heppenstall made a successful full time return to the Procar 1600 category by edging out 2008 Champion Kenny Hall for the win. Martin Peters (Citroen Saxo) tried his best to hang onto the leading pair but had to contend with a battling Craig Brown to settle for third place overall. Stuart Jackson set the fastest time in the first round of heats but problems in the second and third heats left him down in the B final. A great recovery drive in the B final eventually allowed him to finish sixth overall taking home crucial points.

Keifer Hudson enhanced his reputation further by taking wins in the Chris Birkbeck Rallyschool Junior Rallycross Open Championship category and Fuchs Lubricants Junior Challenge. Bradley Bailey finished as the runner-up in both races, with Irishman Simon Quinn completing the podium in the Open Championship and Chris Ingram doing likewise in the Fuchs Lubricants Junior Challenge. Quinn had finished second on the road in the Fuchs Lubricants Junior Challenge, but an incident with Sam Kinirons led to the stewards applying a ten second penalty to his race time, dropping him to the back of the pack.

The MDA Edwardes Bros Minicross Open Championship lived up to its pre-season hype of being one of the most open Championships for years. It was Championship returnee John Thacker who claimed the win ahead of Mark Griffin, Neil Wade, Ben Clark and Kris Hudson. George Edwardes enjoyed a strong first event in the senior class finishing eighth overall, which included setting the fastest time in the third round of heats.

There were wins for Glenn Guthrie (VW Golf), Ashley Davies (Ford Escort), Lance Foster (Mini) and Shane Anderson Black (Mini) in the four Revivals categories, while Dave Craven took the win in the four wheel drive Rally Car category, with Nigel Keen (Ford Escort MK2) doing likewise in the two wheel drive category. Conor Flynn was victorious in the BMW Rear Wheel Drive challenge, followed by Jonathan Bean and John Clayton.

Leo Forster took the opening win of the season in the RX150 category ahead of Andy Scott, Chris Smith, Geoffrey Dolan and Joe Shrimpton. A spin on the first lap put Irish Rally star Eugene Donnelly to the back of the pack, but a fighting drive saw him climb up to finish sixth overall. Ollie O'Donovan retired on the opening lap of the A final with mechanical problems.

The final race of the day was the English Rallycross Masters, which was for the top ten fastest cars from all of the senior Rallycross finals. A reversed grid is used for this one off special race, which placed the five leading Division 1 category contenders at the back of the grid. Mike Manning made the most of a perfect start to romp into the lead and take a commanding win ahead of Andy Grant, Tommy Graham and Derrick Jobb. Allan Tapscott finished as the top two wheel drive competitor in the showdown race.

Richard Barrett, UK marketing manager of Fuchs Lubricants (UK) plc drew out the hat the two prize winning drivers - Mark Griffin (Minicross) and Michael Henderson (Revivals) who both won free ferries to rounds two and three of the 2009 Fuchs Lubricants Rallycross Open Championship which takes place at Nutts Corner (Northern Ireland) on April 25th & 26th.

Next Event Details - 2009 Fuchs Lubricants Rallycross Open Championship - Rounds 2 & 3 of 8

Circuit: Nutts corner (Northern Ireland - near Belfast).
Nutts Corner is located on the B101 near Nutts Corner roundabout
Date: April 25th & 26th 2009
Timetable: On track action starts at 9.30am.

-credit: rallycrossopen.com

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Chris Smith , Andy Scott , David Binks , Derek Tohill , Ollie O'Donovan , Conor Flynn
Teams Citroën World Rally Team