Round 10, Czech Republic, Autodrom Česká Lípa, Sosnová, September 30th – October 2nd 2011
Press Release Date: Tuesday 04th October, 2011
The final round of the 2011 European Rallycross Championship (ERC) took place at Ceska Lipa which is about one hour away from Prague in the Czech Republic. Derek Tohill (Dublin, Ireland) had a battle on his hands for the weekend to make sure the Teng Tools backed driver finished in the top 3 of the Championship in the Irishmans second year driving in the TouringCar category of the ERC.
The Rallycross Rebels team knew the job that had to be done; beat Belgian driver Koen Pauwels and a podium position in the Championship was guaranteed. Derek started well with this task as the Irishman posted the second fastest time in qualifying while fellow Fiesta MK.7 driver Pauwels only managed seventh place. But, the day came to a halt at that point as race officials decided it was too dusty to continue racing. This was disapointing for both fans and competitors but safety for all must come first.
The postponed action on Saturday meant that a very full race day was in order for Sunday with a 7.00am. start. The Ralycross Rebels team were well prepared and raring to go, Tohill the Millers Oils driver manged to set fastest time in free practice this was followed by a 2nd place in Heat 2 and a 4th fastest time in a scrappy third heat where Derek had to battle through from the back of the field after a dubious start that looked very much like an obvious jump start by many other competitors.
Derek’s fast and consistent results in the three heats gave the Irishman a front row start for the A Final alongside Champion elect Lars Enerberg (Fiesta ST RWD) from Norway. Tohill’s main championship rival Koen Pauwels from Belgium would start on the second row alongside local favourite Roman Castoral (Astra OPC RWD).
As the lights turned green for the A Final, Tohill got a good start but was attacked from behind by both Pauwels and Castoral but the Irishman was determined not to get involved and he made a break and followed Enerberg. The Irishman held onto second place for the most of the race until he took his joker lap and local man Castoral just managed to pass the Irishman. But third place was more than enough for Tohill to secure his second top 3 in the European Championship in 2 years. This is another record for Irish drivers in the ERC and Tohill managed to help Ireland to 10th place in the Nations Cup ahead of countries such as the USA and Germany who were eleventh and twelfth respectably. Unsurprisingly the Scandinavians in Norway and Sweden finished 1st & 2nd overall.
“This was a really tough year after having won the Championship outright last season. But, myself and the team learnt a lot this season and a Bronze medal finish is probably what we deserved. A 1st and 3rd in two years is something that we should be proud of, we will learn from this year and carry on fighting to reclaim the European title. The Championship now has a new deserving Champion in Lars Enerberg from Norway and I would like to congratulate him and his team. We will take some time now to recharge our batteries and our plans for 2012 will be released in good time. I would like to thank my sponsors, technical partners, team, family and supporters for all their hard work and commitment in both the good and bad times.”
Derek is supported by Tractive Transmissions AB, Millers Oils, Teng Tools, PartsforCars, Rathgar Motor Factors, Southside Motor Factors, Dublin Hampers, Platinum Batteries and Ring Automotive.
|1. Lars Øivind Enerberg (N), Ford Fiesta ST RWD
2. Roman Častoral (CZ), Opel Astra OPC RWD
3. Derek Tohill (IRL), Ford Fiesta Mk7 RWD
4. Anton Marklund (S), Ford Fiesta Mk7 RWD
5. Koen Pauwels (B), Ford Fiesta Mk7 RWD
6. Jakob Teil Hansen (DK), Ford Fiesta Mk7 RWD
1. Lars Øivind Enerberg (N) 149
2. Roman Častoral (CZ) 131
3. Derek Tohill (IRL) 116
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