British Rallycross Championship event at the Knockhill Racing Circuit in Scotland dominated by reigning champion Julian Godfrey.
Julian Godfrey, the 2011 British champion, took the points lead in the Monster Energy MSA British Rallycross Championship in association with MaKTraK by winning the third round of the series at Knockhill on Saturday, May 12. The event was run through the afternoon and into the evening at the Scottish racetrack and was dominated by Godfrey who was fastest from the outset.
Having claimed the bonus point for setting the fastest lap in practice, Godfrey was unbeaten in the qualifying heats, winning all three races and setting fastest time of the day to earn a further bonus point. With the final coming to the grid at 8pm, there was a new challenge for drivers, the setting sun creating visibility problems. “The sun was shining straight into the starting lights and I couldn’t see them from pole position,” said Godfrey who quickly worked out an alternative start strategy. “I watched for Steve Hill [starting from second on the grid] to move and then dropped the clutch. I couldn’t quite beat him to the first corner but had second place there and decided that if Steve didn’t take the Joker Lap, I would, and then try to catch him in the race.”
Surviving a brush with the trackside banking in the second lap where dust and the low sun again made visibility difficult, Godfrey ran third after taking the Joker Lap, but passed round one winner Ollie O’Donovan to take second place and start reeling-in Hill.
At long last able to extract the true potential of his Mitsubishi Lancer E10 which remained reliable through the event, Hill led until the last lap when he went into the Joker Lap and the outcome of the race became was distilled into the simple matter of whether Hill’s lead was enough for him to cover the extra distance ahead of Godfrey who had closed relentlessly. As Hill negotiated the hairpin and tight chicane in the Joker section, Godfrey flashed past the chequered flag to take the win and go ahead in relieve O’Donovan of the championship lead.
Hill remained second, his best finish to date with the car and ahead of O’Donovan. Driving his new Citroën DS3 for the first time, and having not tested the car prior to the event, Pat Doran worked hard all day to try and get a reasonable setup in the new machine and progressed from the back of the grid to finish a battling fourth. Doran was worked hard throughout the final, Andy Grant and Simon Horton harrying the multiple champion all the way. Gary Pusey had a frustrating day with gearbox problems hindering the progress of his Subaru Impreza while Steve Harris encountered engine and suspension difficulties with his Citroën C4.