Albatec Racing NCME and Mark Higgins have won round seven of the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill at the weekend. The result elevates Manxman Mark to the top of the British RX points standings with two rounds remaining.
The day started well, a strong pace in morning practice netting the third fastest time. Lining up on the outside of the front row for the day’s opening qualifying race, a great start for the #34 Eddie Stobart NCME-supported Peugeot 208 RX Supercar allowed Mark to get the jump into turn one. He went on to win by over two seconds, and with the fastest overall race time took the overall heat win.
Q2 saw Mark not get the best getaway, losing the lead into turn one to Julian Godfrey, and subsequently trailing the five-time champion to the flag. The final qualifying race played a pivotal role in the outcome of the overall results. A close run race to the flag saw Mark finish second, however Godfrey was subsequently penalised 30 seconds for failing to take his compulsory joker lap. The penalty elevated Mark to the top position and secured a pole start for the Final.
In that, another great start put Mark into the lead into the first corner. Going into the hairpin, Ollie O’Donovan made a lunge up the inside and made contact with the side of the Peugeot. O’Donovan went on to cross the line first, despite a spirited fightback from the triple British Rally Champion. O’Donovan was subsequently penalised for the incident with a two second time penalty, which dropped him to second, handing Mark and the Albatec team the win.
After seven rounds Mark holds a three point lead over O’Donovan, with two rounds remaining and 60 points up for grabs. The championship returns to Pembrey, Wales on Sunday 23 September for the penultimate round.
Mark Higgins, Albatec Racing driver #34:
It was a disappointing way to end the day. I’m pleased to have been given the win, but would much rather it had been a victory achieved on the track. We’d had a good start, with strong pace and excellent reliability, and I was feeling confident we could convert that to victory. It’s a very competitive field and it keeps the championship title wide open.
It’s been a real roller coaster of a day. The car has been incredible, reliable and fast, while Mark has been consistently quick throughout. As a result I’m pleased he came away with the win as he deserved it, however, it’s never nice to win the race after the finish.
Dr. Mark Busfield, Director, National Centre for Motorsport Engineering:
From the University’s perspective we’ve had a trouble-free run with the car and once again Mark has driven exceptionally well all day. Our students have had a relatively quiet day, with no mechanical issues to speak of, but continue to learn alongside the experienced team personnel.
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