Former European and Irish rallycross champion Derek Tohill and the PFCRX team travelled to the picturesque Knockhill circuit in Scotland for the very first time and came away with a commanding victory in round five of the British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy to remain in title contention.
As one of only three drivers in the Supercar field never to have raced at Knockhill previously, Tohill had to learn fast on Saturday in qualifying during round four, but secured a front row start for the semi-finals with third overall. He and the OlsbergsMSE-built, C-Sport run Ford Fiesta Supercar then survived a high-speed spin after contact with a tyre wall in the semi-finals, which put the two-time European Rallycross Champion on the back foot heading into the final. But, by delivering fast pace and executing a strong joker lap strategy, the squad and Tohill climbed to fourth by the finish.
It was a different story on Sunday in round five. Fastest in Q1 and Q2, Tohill dominated qualifying to claim pole position for the final, and in the very last race of the weekend, the Dublin driver led from the front, took his compulsory joker lap late in the race and stormed to a second victory of the 5 Nations BRX season.
The result puts the four-time Irish Rallycross Champion 10 points off the lead of the British series lead, with events at Lydden Hill (England) and Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) remaining on the 2021 schedule.
The PFCRX squad’s next event will be back home at Mondello Park (Ireland) on October 30-31.
Derek Tohill | Driver | Ford Fiesta #111
“This win was achieved in the workshop and on the test track, it’s a real team result. We tested twice this week on airfields in England to try and get on top of some small things we’ve had going on so far this season, but I always knew I was going to enjoy racing at Knockhill! It’s an awesome track, it gives you an awesome feeling and it’s brilliant to win at somewhere like this. We had a difficult day on Saturday, we had a lot to learn and to find the limit, but we knew where we were at for Sunday morning and took a lot of points back. Hopefully that will make for an awesome championship battle come the last round of the season at Spa. It’s a really tough, hard championship, the pace at the front is very fast and to win an event never mind the championship is hard fought. We’re still behind in the points, but we’re not out of it. It’s Mondello Park for us next, it will be a quick turnaround with the next British Championship round the following weekend at Lydden but we always try and support the Irish championship, and the competition there is getting stronger so we look forward to some more good battles on track. It’s also good to be in the car to stay sharp, like some of our rivals in the British Championship are doing too.”
Knockhill 5 Nations BRX R4 Final Result:
1 Roberts Vitols (Citroen C4)
2 Ollie O’Donovan (Ford Fiesta)
3 Tristan Ovenden (Citroen DS3)
4 Derek Tohill (Ford Fiesta)
5 Steve Hill (Mitsubishi Evo)
6 Mark Donnelly (Citroen DS3)
Knockhill 5 Nations BRX R5 Final Result:
1 Derek Tohill (Ford Fiesta)
2 Roberts Vitols (Citroen C4)
3 Julian Godfrey (Citroen DS3)
4 Steve Hill (Mitsubishi Evo)
5 Tristan Ovenden (Citroen DS3)
6 Ollie O’Donovan (Ford Fiesta)