Foreign Challenge Sets Up Croft Rallycross Grand Prix
29.10.2011: The best of British drivers will have to contend with a notable foreign challenge when the MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix takes place at Croft Circuit next weekend as over 70 drivers will converge on the North Yorkshire circuit for the two-day extravag
The best of British drivers will have to contend with a notable foreign challenge when the MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix takes place at Croft Circuit next weekend as over 70 drivers will converge on the North Yorkshire circuit for the two-day extravaganza.
Motorsport legend Per Eklund from Sweden will be behind the wheel of the ex Will Gollop Peugeot 306 and will line up against Finnish driver Silvo Viitanen (ERC Fiesta Mk7 SuperCar). The two Scandinavians will take on the likes of European Championship contender Liam Doran (Citroen C4) and 2011 British Champion Julian Godfrey (Ford Fiesta) as part of a healthy 16-strong SuperCar line up.
Former GP winner Pat Doran will be in action in his Ford Focus, as will Ulsterman Derrick Jobb at the wheel of the Ford Escort in which John Haffey won the 2002 Grand Prix at Croft and with British Championship regulars Steve Hill (Mitsubishi Lancer X), Scotsman Andy Scott (Ford Focus), Steve Mundy (Ford Focus), Colin Anson (Ford Ka) and Simon Horton's Subaru, it's anyone's race.
The local contingent will see any number of potential winners in the shape of Leeming's Kevin Procter (Ford Focus), Scotch Corner ace Tony Bardy (Ford Puma) and Barnard Castle hotelier 'Mad' Mark Watson (Citroen Xsara). Tynesiders David Binks (Ford Fiesta) and Gareth Wood (Mitsubishi Lancer) will pose a threat too as they look for glory in front of an expected bumper crowd.
In the 17-car SuperNational category Belgian Jos Sterkens is one of the favourites for honours in his Volvo C30 ERC Touring Car but he'll face stiff opposition from Jarrow's Michael Boak (Audi TT TDI), Devonian Alan Tapscott (RWD Corsa) and York starlet Ash Simpson (Lotus Exige). Jamie Bird makes the trip up from the south coast in his V6 Renault Clio, as does Stuart Emery in his Peugeot 206 plus don't rule out the different version Honda Civics of Bruce Bamber and Shelley Wakeling.
Teesside drivers Martin Peters and Kevin Liddle will be vying for Hot Hatch honours with amongst others, fellow Citroen drivers from Yorkshire including Brompton's Darren Grimston and York driver Russell Simpson whereas Bedale's Joe Cunningham is the sole Peugeot representative in the class in his 106.
The popular Suzuki Swift Series sees Northallerton stars Dave Bellerby and Jonny Bean take on allcomers including Lancastrian Tony Lynch and Darlington guest driver Paul Swift but the real challenge could come from Scotland in the shape of rally drivers Dave Weston and Roger Donnan who will be hoping to upset the series regulars.
Northallerton schoolgirl Paige Bellerby is favourite in the Suzuki Swift Junior class where she will encounter Hartlepool teenager Dominic Wheatley, whose father Des was a front-runner in recent years. In the BMW Mini category, Harrogate's Kris and Kiefer Hudson will be at the cutting edge whereas the all-action RX150 buggies will see Ollie ODonovan squaring off with Leo Forster and half a dozen other competitors in the class.
In addition to the Grand Prix on Sunday, most drivers will be contesting Saturday's final round of the Quaife MSA British Rallycross Championship to make it an action packed weekend. With sideshows including a funfair, driving displays, trade stands and a live band on Saturday evening, it's shaping up to be a weekend not to be missed.
In addition to sponsorship from SHC Hire Centre in Northallerton, Silks Nightclub in Leeds, Northallerton-based NYG and specialist motorsport travel agents www.just-ferries.com, additional backing has been secured from Kramer, VASStech, JBT Waste Services and Pennine Brewery.
Adult ticket prices are £8 on the Saturday and £15 on the Sunday or £18 for a weekend ticket and more information can be found at www.croftcircuit.co.uk.
Date: Friday 4th November 2011
Time: 10.00 to 14.00hrs
Venue: Croft Circuit, Dalton on Tees, North Yorkshire DL2 2PN (01325 721815)
In attendance will be:
Kevin Procter (Leeming) Ford Focus - former Superprix winner, regular British and European Championship driver, proprietor of Procters Coaches and associated businesses.
Silvo Viitanen (Finland) Ford Fiesta ERC V7 - former Superprix competitor in latest specification four-wheel drive car.
David Binks (Newcastle) Ford Fiesta ERCV7 - currently holds runner-up spot in the British Championship
Jos Sterkens (Belgium) Volvo C30 - regular European Championship driver in latest specification two-wheel drive car.
Jon Bean (Northallerton) Suzuki Swift - former BTRDA Champion and British Championship driver in Suzuki Swift Sport series.
Paige Bellerby (Northallerton) Suzuki Swift - 15-year-old British Championship driver in Suzuki Swift Sport Junior series.
Protective clothing will be supplied accordingly, as indeed will tea, coffee and refreshments plus there are opportunities for interviews indoors in the event of inclement weather. Further information from Larry Carter on 07831 890486.
• This is the first rallycross meeting at Croft since 2009 when after 40 years of hosting the sport, the High Court Injunction served on the circuit restricting its competitive usage to just 40 days meant it didnt feature at all last year.
• Famous names to have raced at Croft in recent years include Formula One World Champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button and in the past, legends such as James Hunt, Stirling Moss, Niki Lauda and Barry Sheene meaning it is an integral facility in British motorsport history.
• Croft fills a huge geographical void in motorsport as the nearest circuits to host regular international or British Championship action are at Knockhill in Fife, Oulton Park in Cheshire and Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire.
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