5 NOVEMBER 2018 18:50
Spencer Sport has secured the runners-up spot at its first attempt at the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship, after a superb debut season with its impressive Mitsubishi Mirage RX Supercar driven by five-time champion Julian Godfrey.
The team finished second in the ninth and final round of the series at Silverstone on Sunday (4 November) to complete a highly successful campaign, which saw them lead the championship after the first two rounds.
However, a huge high-speed accident in round three at Croft meant the Penrhiwllan-based team had to completely rebuild the car in just seven weeks, enabling it to continue its title challenge at its home track Pembrey, without missing a race! From then on Spencer Sport maintained an excellent 100% finishing record, giving Godfrey the chance of winning his sixth British Rallycross title at the weekend’s exciting season finale.
Having finished a strong second in both the opening heats, contact in the third caused the master switch to cut the engine on the final lap. But Godfrey recovered brilliantly to finish second in the semi-final, taking his Joker lap halfway through the six-lap race to finish between title rivals Mark Higgins and Ollie O’Donovan.
What had started as a slippery, damp track was now completely dry for the final, when Godfrey made a great start from the outside of the front row and took his Joker lap early on lap two. He went on to set a series of impressive lap times in his pursuit of leader Higgins.
Even after a truly determined drive, Higgins held on to take race victory and in doing so became 2018 MSA British Rallycross Champion. Godfrey finished a close second to take sliver and O’Donovan - who had led the drivers’ standings coming into the final round - was classified third.
At the finish, Julian Godfrey said: “It’s been a great year, even with the ups and downs that typically go with the British Rallycross Championship. It’s been fantastic to work with such a professional team like Spencer Sport and together we have made a lot of progress in developing the Mitsubishi Mirage RX Supercar.
“What started off as a one-off drive for the opening round turned into a very successful and enjoyable full season together. To arrive at the final round with a chance of the drivers’ title was an incredible team achievement.”
Charlie Jukes, Spencer Sport Team Manager, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the professionalism of the entire Spencer Sport team who arrived on the scene of a major championship for the very first time with a brand new car and, against top quality and established Rallycross teams, we finished second at our first attempt.
“It’s been a rollercoaster of a season, with race wins and podiums and of course, our massive accident at Croft. The way we rebuilt the car in super-quick time and returned to the series without missing a race is testament to the skills and commitment of our team. Julian drove exceptionally well all season and his engineering skills and technical feedback have accelerated the development of the Mitsubishi Mirage RX Supercar to the point where it is now one of the best cars on the grid.
“The disappointment of just missing out on the title is far outweighed by all the great things that we have achieved together as a team. We now can’t wait until next year when we can put all our new-found British Rallycross Championship experience to very good use!”
Support for Spencer Sport's Rallycross campaign comes from Spencer ECA, Oil 4 Wales, Speedline Corse, Hopkins Specialist Race Trailers, Julian Godfrey Engineering, Motul, Sea & Slate Holiday Cottages, Nicky Grist Motorsports, UNIC Transmissions and Rallycover Insurance.