Retro Rallycross Lydden Hill Race Report

Filed under: Classic News,Racing |
Grzegorz Kalinecki  - Lancia Integrale

Grzegorz Kalinecki - Lancia Integrale

On the second visit to Kent this season the Retro Rallycross Team was hailed as a resounding success as they continued the title chase to find the Retro Rallycross Challenge Driver of the Year. The Lydden Hill circuit never fails to disappoint and combined with perfect weather conditions the Bank Holiday Weekend, which is renowned as the 'show case' of British Rallycross, once more hosted  the Monster Mayhem Event to bring the very best of motorsport action to the delight of the crowd of spectators, who were invited by Retro Rallycross to join them for complimentary Popcorn and Candy Floss at close of play on the Sunday Evening. The Retro area was buzzing with spectators all weekend as they scrambled to take a closer look at the cars and to meet the drivers, who were joined for the first time by popular Irishman Tommy Graham in his fabulously prepared Escort MK2. Rob Gibson was on form right from the off and made it clear that he had come to Lydden in the hope of securing his second victory of the season by scoring the fastest time in the first heats. Giving chase however was his regular Retro opponents who were out to stop the Cheshire driver from having it all his own way.  Grezgorgz Kalinecki came in a close second, with the Porsche of Barry Stewart taking the third slot from  Lance Foster, who was once more throwing the Green and
Rob Gibson at Lydden Hill

Rob Gibson at Lydden Hill

White Mini around in brilliant style. Tommy Graham soon got to grips with his new car to show that he too was hungry for a good result. The VW Beetle of James Harrold, who was once more blighted with overheating problems, was a welcome sight finishing in 6th position in his first and only heat of the day. James is a popular member of the Retro team and the Harrold family have been very much missed by their team mates during 2013. The second heats saw Tommy Graham stamp down his authority winning easily from Gibson who was hounded from behind by Russell Crampton in his beautifully prepared Mini that was also a new contender to the series. Russell had supported the Retro Team since the series was announced at Lydden Hill at the August event in 2011. Ray Morgan's Mk3 BDA Escort, that had failed to complete the first heats, came in a respectable fourth place. The Anglia of Mark Thomas was a delight to watch going round the Lydden circuit, he has really got to grips with this quick car that was consistent in times all weekend. Fellow Scots, Ian Biagi and Jim Black were putting in strong efforts on the track and looked equally impressive, although the Vauxhall Astra of Black was another casualty in the second heats as was Lance Foster and Grezgorgz Kalinecki.
Grzegorz Kalinecki  - Lancia Integrale @ Lydden Hill

Grzegorz Kalinecki - Lancia Integrale @ Lydden Hill

The third heats showed that Foster had not only managed to fix the Mini, but that he was back in business, as he battled to take the fastest time from Russell Crampton, who drove a perfect race to finish a close second. Third slot went to Barry Stewart who announced he was pleased with the Porsche saying ''all the work I have done to the car since my last outing is paying off.'' Marc Griffin in the Ford Fiesta also put in consistent times that would see him take his place in the A final at the end of the day. The third heats had got off to a messy start as the first Retro grids were hounded by three jump starts making the group nervous. Once they were finally underway Tommy Graham, who was storming around the circuit, totally destroyed his car when he rolled some 7 times in dramatic fashion that brought the race to an end. Rob Gibson following close behind, was one of the first on the scene to witness his friend get out of the Escort somewhat shaky, but otherwise not seriously injured, following one of the worst crashes Lydden had seen for a long time. Gibson commented afterwards '' I had just suffered a front tyre puncture, as I eased back and through the dust, saw the red roof of the Escort flying in the air as Tommy  rolled at least 5 times to my left side.
Rob Gibson

Rob Gibson

The Retro Team came together, such is the camaraderie within the membership, to offer their help and support to Graham, who pledged to have the car re-built and ready to compete in the next round of the series. It was Gibson who led the pack in the A final. Having stormed off from Pole position Gibson kept his first place unchallenged to the chequer flag. Behind battle raged  for the remaining positions that saw Grzegorgz Kalinecki take second place as he pipped Ray Morgan to the post ahead of Russell Crampton, Barry Stewart and Marc Griffin.  Contact between the Porsche of Barry Stewart and Mini of Lance Foster demoted Foster to 7th and last place. The Retro Rallycross Challenge will put in their next and final appearance of the season at the British Rallycross Grand Prix at Croft, 19/20 October, where they promise to provide lots more action in the finale to the 2013 season that will once more play host to invited VIP's and celebrities from the world of motorsport.Tags:,