Ireland’s most decorated rallycross driver ever, Derek Tohill, endured a challenging second round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship at Mettet in Belgium (May 13), but the PFCRX team concluded the weekend with a positive mindset.
Despite just missing out on a place in the semi-finals due to a start-line problem in the opening qualifying race of the weekend, the PFCRX team overcame a number of difficulties faced since the start of the 2018 season, allowing two-time FIA Euro RX Champion Tohill to win both of his races in Q3 and Q4 on track on Sunday morning be 12th and then 8th fastest in the competitive field.
The second day performance in changeable conditions not only elevated Dublin-based Tohill up to a Championship points paying position in the Intermediate Classification, but also gave the team confidence that it has got on top of start procedure and set-up problems that have hampered the 600bhp, four-wheel-drive Ford Fiesta Supercar throughout the opening four events of 2018.
Having won the opening two rounds of the Irish Rallycross Championship at Mondello Park, Tohill and the whole PFCRX squad will push to also challenge for a place in the final at the following Euro RX rounds, at three of the biggest rallycross events in the world; Holjes in Sweden (July 1), Loheac in France (September 2) and Riga in Latvia (September 16).
Derek Tohill | Driver | Ford Fiesta #111
“We’re disappointed to just miss out on the semis in Belgium but being only 23rd in Q1 when we got left on the start line for eight seconds really ruined the weekend for us. If that hadn’t have happened we would easily have been in the semis.
We resolved a lot of issues we’ve been having with the car all year overnight before Sunday, so it’s very good that we are moving forwards. We had two strong races on Sunday, although we were a bit unfortunate in Q3 that the track was drying so much or otherwise we would have been much higher up. We were fastest of all up until the point the track dried more.
The launches have been our achilles heel all year since we had the engine upgrade. We got our heads together and came up with what we think is the answer and we can go to the next events much more positive. It’s a shame the conditions in Belgium were the kind that usually suit us and we could have got into the final, but that’s how it is.
I can’t wait to go to Holjes (in Sweden), we’ve found a suspension set-up that seems to be working really well for a track like Holjes. It’s one of my favourite tracks in the world so I’m really looking forward to it. For the first time in Supercar we go there feeling confident. We’ve wasted two events getting on top of the problems, now it’s game on going to Sweden.
I must say a huge thanks to the guys, they have worked so, so hard to get to the bottom of everything.”
Belgium Final Result:
1 Anton Marklund (SWE)
3 Reinis Nitiss (LVA)
3 Cyril Raymond (FRA)
4 Peter Hedstrom (SWE)
5 Ulrik Linnemann (DK)
6 Anders Braten (NOR)
14 Derek Tohill (IRL)
FIA European Rallycross Championship Points:
1 Reinis Nitiss (LVA) 56
2 Anton Marklund (SWE) 53
3 Ulrik Linnemann (DK) 41
4 Peter Hedstrom (SWE) 30
5 Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (FRA) 26
6 Cyril Raymond (FRA) 26
14 Derek Tohill (IRL) 13