Double European Rallycross Champion and four-time Irish Rallycross Champion Derek Tohill has been crowned as the 2021 Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy Champion.
Over the seven-round 2021 campaign with events in England, Wales and Scotland [rounds in Belgium and Ireland was forced to be cancelled due to ongoing world events but were replaced by double-headers at Lydden Hill and Knockhill], Tohill and the PFCRX team won three times, despite racing in one of the most competitive seasons of British Rallycross competition for some time.
Having scored top 5 Nations BRX points in round seven at Lydden Hill last month, Tohill left what was planned to be the penultimate round with the standings lead. Now, with the final round, unfortunately, cancelled amid the ongoing issues the world currently faces, it is now confirmed that Dublin-based Tohill has become the 23rd driver to claim the British Rallycross title in its 46-year history.
PFCRX’s OlsbergsMSE-built, C-Sport run 600bhp Ford Fiesta Supercar continued its development throughout 2021 and that effort by everybody in both the immediate and wider team has now been rewarded, with Tohill finishing in front of several former champions and event-winners in the championship.
The season is not over for the Irish team, however, with the final round of the 2021 Irish Rallycross Championship taking place at Mondello Park on December 12, where Tohill remains in contention to win a fifth Irish Rallycross Championship crown. The event will include a Winter Vibes Cars ‘n Coffee meeting, in association with Republic of Motors.
Derek Tohill | Driver | Ford Fiesta #111
“I’m absolutely delighted to be officially confirmed as the 5 Nations British Rallycross Champion. It’s a huge privilege to join the list of previous winners, including multiple champion Dermot Carnegie, Christopher Evans, Helmut Holfeld and Ollie O’Donovan – all Irish competitors who I’m honoured to join as a British Rallycross Champion.
That’s without mentioning all the famous British winners such as Julian Godfrey, Pat Doran, Will Gollop, John Welch, Mark Rennison, Trevor Hopkins and the list goes on, together with some heroes from Northern Ireland who have won it in the past such as Laurence Gibson and Denis Biggerstaff in their iconic Metro 6R4s. These are all heroes of mine, from a championship stacked with history.
We managed to score 89 out of 90 points in the final three rounds, just the right time to realise the pace and potential we knew we had. We lost this championship in 2019 by only 1 point, so to win it in only our second attempt is an incredible effort by the whole team, and it finished on a huge high with the massive crowds, family entertainment and night racing at Lydden Hill a few weeks ago.
We had some huge battles this year with lots of very worthy champions and competitors throughout the field, but in the end, it became a two-horse race between us and Ollie O’Donovan. Ollie has always been a fierce rival for me, we clash more than most but I respect his unquestionable ability as a driver. I look forward to many more battles together with him and his team. And, in part, it’s thanks to our rivals and the immense level of competition in 5 Nations BRX that this victory feels so special. It was certainly hard-fought!
Under the new promotor, the championship is certainly going in the right direction, there is a great team of people who are working very hard to make it one of the best National Championships in Europe, so a big shout out to everyone behind the scenes, and hope that we can have a round at Mondello in the near future once the Covid-19 issues subside.
And, of course, as well as the championship having a great team behind it, we have won this title by also having a team amazing of individuals ourselves. We have a great mix of experience and youth within PFCRX and C-Sport, I’m very lucky to have them behind me. I also have to thank my family for the many sacrifices they have made to allow me to compete in both the British and Irish Championships in 2021. Their support is invaluable.
Finally, we have a lot of fantastic support from our partners and sponsors who never fail to deliver, no matter what time of the day or night it is, including PartsforCars, Mountune and OlsbergsMSE. It’s a big commitment to take on full campaigns in both Britain and Ireland – we have tested and proven our parts and people in the most extreme conditions.”
5 Nations BRX Championship Final Standings:
1 Derek Tohill (Ford Fiesta) 173
2 Ollie O’Donovan (Ford Fiesta) 171
3 Roberts Vitols (Citroen C4) 151
4 Julian Godfrey (Citroen DS3) 151
5 Tristan Ovenden (Citroen DS3) 147
6 Steve Hill (Mitsubishi Evo) 114
7 Mark Donnelly (Citroen DS3) 71
8 Michael Sellar (Citroen DS3) 71