Tohill sets BRX alight in opening rounds ahead of Mondello return

By Hayden Moore

DEREK Tohill will be looking to build upon his impressive return to the British Rallycross Championship Five Nations Trophy when the team competes at Mondello Park next month.

The Terenure man and his team PFCRX are no strangers to Mondello, having won the Irish Rallycross Championships out of the venue every year since 2016.

Derek Tohill BRX at Lydden Hill 1

Derek Tohill BRX at Lydden Hill

“I’ll be incredibly disappointed if the championship doesn’t get to Mondello for the next round,” Tohill said.

“Racing is resuming in Ireland now and there’s no reason for rallycross not to go there.

“If there’s a will there’s a way. We’ve proved that the fear factor of the travelling is no big deal, everyone we spoke to about travelling to Lydden was very helpful and we can’t wait to welcome British Rallycross back to Ireland.”

After more than a full year on the sidelines, the 45-year-old made his return to racing at Lydden Hill for the opening two rounds of the championship and did not skip a beat.

In the Olsbergs MSE-built, C-Sport Ford Fiesta Supercar, Tohill brought his fastest-time in practice through to the first round where he ultimately had to settle for fourth.

Having battled stiff competition and overcome a transmission problem, Tohill was eager to set the record straight in Round Two the following day.

Starting third on the gird for the final, he surged to the fore and led the charge around the Lydden circuit.

Barely batting an eyelid throughout, Tohill only came under pressure towards the latter stages of the race after taking the compulsory joker lap.

“We were fastest in practice on Saturday, but we were a bit rusty because we hadn’t competed for so long,” Tohill explained after the first two rounds.

“We just weren’t in the groove with the racing and it didn’t help having a bad back row start in Q1 – had it been front row it might have been different.

“We never got a clear run, and found ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, then on top of that we lost the gearbox, so to get fourth in the final was good damage limitation.

“The day to rebuild the car on Sunday was good, and it also gave us time to think everything though.

“We came out of the blocks fighting on Monday and it was the strategy and setup of the car that made the difference.

“It’s unbelievable how tight the whole grid was on pace. The win could have been anyone’s.

“We had a bad start in the semi-final which put us on the back row for the final, but the fact that we came from sixth to win it just showed how close it was.

“Our pace was really good and the racing was hard, but the really tough ones to win are the ones that feel so great.

“The lads in the team have made a lot of sacrifices to just be here, so to win the final in Round Two was just mega for all of us.”

The win on top of the fourth in round one sees Tohill in sixth place on the tournament leaderboard heading into the next round in Mondello Park on July 10-11.

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