Pat Doran Wins British Rallycross Championship

Filed under: Classic News |
Pat Doran triumphed over adversity in the final round of the British Rallycross Championship at Croft, North Yorkshire on Saturday, when he became champion for the first time. The Sittingbourne driver suffered a torrid time during practice when his Ford RS200 blew a head gasket - desoite tge fact that it was a brand new engine installed after an expensive blow-up at the previous round. "It was a horrific start to the day. The engine over-boosted and popped one of the seals" he explained. "When I got back to the paddock there was a fountain of coolant coming out of the side of the engine so we poured in all kinds of stuff to try and seal it so that I could qualify for the Final." The team also turned down the boost to reduce the power to give Doran more chance of finishing. Yet he still managed to set the fastest time. And next time out, with the boost turned down even more so that he only had 500bhp at his disposal (c. 200 bhp less than usual) he still managed 2nd fastest time and made sure of a front-row slot for the Final. As Dermot Carnegie, his chief rival for the title, race away in his Ford Focus Doran made sure that he stayed in second place, knowing that he only needed to finish in the top four to become champion. "I made sure I kept it smooth and tidy and stayed out of trouble" said an uncharacteristically circumspect Doran. "I just did what I knew I had to do to take the title." John McCluskey (Peugeot 206) finished 3rd. After a complete engine rebuild overnight Doran was ready to take part in the British Grand Prix at Croft. All the effort proved worthwhile when he managed to beat the ten-times European champion, Kenneth Hansen to claim pole position. But in the race, as Ireland's John Haffey snatched a lead he would never lose, Doran and Hansen collided at the third corner and took each other out in what they both agreed was "a racing incident". Per Eklund (Saab) finished second ahead of Michael Jernberg (Ford Focus). "It was a sad way to end it" said Doran. "But at least I proved I can beat the best in the world."Tags:,