Leigh racer Tony Lynch achieved his pre-event aims in the latest round of the Monster Energy British Rallycross Championship after storming to his first victory of the 2013 season at Knockhill.
Success at the Scottish circuit allowed Westhoughton-based Tony to move up the championship standings, with the victory being the maiden success for his Lucas Oil Team Geriatric squad since making the switch into the BMW MINI class at the start of the year.
Tony went into the third meeting of the season eager to challenge at the front of the field, with extensive development work having been carried out on his car following the second round of the campaign at Mallory Park.
With improvements to both the engine and suspension, as well as a new exhaust system from new team supplier Milltek Sport, Tony made the trip north in confident mood.
When on-track action got underway with rain falling, the improvements to the MINI were made clear as Tony ran at the front through all three heats – securing victory in heat two alongside a brace of second place finishes.
In challenging conditions, pole position for the final put Tony in the ideal position for the start, and he maintained his place at the head of the pack when the lights went out. Making a push through the opening lap to build an advantage, Tony then elected to take the Joker Lap – an alternative route drivers have to take once each race – at the end of lap two.
Rejoining in the lead, Tony mastered the appalling weather to take the chequered flag first ahead of brothers Kris and Keifer Hudson, bringing him firmly into contention for the championship crown in his first season in the category.
“For the first two rounds of the season, we knew we were in damage limitation mode because of how late things came together to run the MINI,” Tony admitted. “However, with the changes we had made prior to Knockhill, this weekend was the first time we had gone into an event with confidence that we would be able to challenge for victory.
“The boys had worked really hard on the car following Mallory Park to make improvements, but I have to admit I was surprised just how good it was when we got on track for practice. They did a fantastic job and we were quick straight away.
“Even though there were a few tricky moments in the conditions as I’m still learning the limits of the car, we showed our pace to qualify on pole position for the first time this year and then the final went exactly to plan. I got the gap I needed before taking the Joker Lap and when I rejoined out front, I knew that the race was mine to win unless I made a mistake.
“Winning third time out is a fantastic achievement for us and a great reward for the boys for the work they have done, and also for the sponsors who continue to support us as we wouldn’t be there without them. We’ve shown what we are capable of and hopefully the win will be the first of many.”