24 SEPTEMBER 2018 19:55
The Spencer Sport team is aiming to bring the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship title back to Wales, after Julian Godfrey scored an emphatic victory at the penultimate round of the series at the Welsh Motorsports Centre, driving the team's Mitsubishi Mirage RX Supercar.
It was Godfrey's third win of the season and puts the Heathfield-based driver in with a chance of taking his sixth British Rallycross title, with only the final race meeting at Silverstone on Sunday 4th November remaining. Godfrey won Round 1 at Silverstone earlier this year and will need to repeat that victory, with championship rival Ollie O'Donovan (Ford Fiesta RX) finishing third or lower, to be assured of the title.
The qualifying heats around the challenging Pembrey track once again proved to be a bruising affair, with a number of incidents taking place at the first corner. Godfrey finished second in all three heats, despite contact Mark Higgins (Peugeot 208 RX) in Heat 2.
The Spencer Sport driver started the final from the middle of the first row, with pole-sitter Higgins to his left and O'Donovan to his right. A strong wind had helped to dry the track and Godfrey made the all-important good start to be clear of all the bumping and barging at turn one. This allowed him to pull ahead and delay taking his Joker lap until lap four, when he knew he was far enough ahead to come back out in the lead of the race.
Consequently, Godfrey took the chequered flag a comfortable 3.3 seconds ahead of second-placed O'Donovan, with Higgins a further 2.8 seconds further back in third.
"It was a great race day at Pembrey and everything went according to plan," said Godfrey. "We finished second in all three qualifying heats, but it's the final that counts and all our focus was making sure that we had a good start, keep out of trouble and have a good run to the chequered flag - and that's exactly what happened. We made a brilliant start, the launch worked perfectly and really hooked up well, so we were ahead of the chasing pack by the first corner.
"The car ran faultlessly and the Mirage RX's handling really is superb, especially with the latest upgrades from the Spencer Sport team. So with no mistakes and after three closely fought heats, we were able to win the final quite comfortably. This has been a tremendous team effort and now puts us in with a chance of winning the title at the final round at Silverstone in November."
"We needed to win at Pembrey to keep our British Rallycross Championship title hopes alive and we did. It's fantastic for the team and everyone is delighted," said Spencer Sport Team Manager Charlie Jukes. "The Mitsubishi Mirage RX ran perfectly again and Julian was able to make the most of the car's superior traction to put it on the front row of the grid for the final. The track had dried a lot during the day and after all the rain it was even a little dusty for the final. We had a clear plan for the start and a strategy for each lap of the race that went like clockwork and allowed us to win the final by over three seconds, which in rallycross terms is a big margin.
"The dropped scores now come into play and we're very much in with a chance of becoming British Rallycross Champions at the final round at Silverstone. It's a track that suits the Mirage RX very well, as we won at there earlier in the year, so we'll go to season finale in November with the aim of bringing the title back to Wales."
Support for Spencer Sport's rallycross campaign comes from Spencer ECA, Oil 4 Wales, Speedline Corse, Hopkins Specialist Race Trailers, Julian Godfrey Engineering, Motul and Sea & Slate Holiday Cottages, Nicky Grist Motorsports, UNIC Transmissions and Rallycover Insurance.