Irish Rallycross Champion Derek Tohill and the PFCRX team continued its run of strong 2017 performances in the highlight event of the international season at Holjes in Sweden, by setting top-three times and qualifying for the semi-finals (July 2).
Racing the squad’s 600bhp Ford Fiesta Supercar, double FIA European Champion Tohill finished the first day of action at ‘The Magic Weekend’ seventh overall, thanks a pair of consistent times in Q1 and Q2.
Chances of a good result took a hit after contact with fellow Irish driver Ollie O’Donovan in Q3 that resulted in a spin, but the team struck back in Q4 with third fastest time against some of the best drivers and teams in the sport to qualify for the semi-finals.
At the event considered to be the Holy Grail of rallycross, where Tohill has previously claimed victory in the FIA European TouringCar Championship, rain fell on the 41,000 spectators just before the semi-finals. Starting on the third row of the gird, the challenging conditions made it difficult to move up the order and Tohill finished sixth on track and 11th overall in the event, maintaining his run of 2017 top-12 finishes.
With the pace of the Fiesta improving with every event, the PFCRX team leaves Sweden confident of strong pace in its next appearances – the British and Irish joint event later this month (July 22 – 23) at Mondello Park and the next round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship at Loheac in France (September 2 – 3).
Derek Tohill | Driver | Ford Fiesta #111
“Bravery and consistency are really rewarded at Holjes. We were very consistent until Q3, we were on target for a good time and then had coming together with Ollie. We both lost out, we spun and ended up with an awful time.
Pressure was on in the Q4 to get a good time, to get us back into the semis and we went third quickest, only just shy of being fastest by a second or so. It was very close. We made it into the semi-finals but still on the back row, and that’s our problem.
Now we’re in the semi-finals consistently, we need to be starting on the middle row to give ourselves the best chance. Being on the back row leaves you too much to do. The car didn’t seem to work quite as well in the rain; it was really slippery and I was struggling in the slow corners.
The team did an amazing job this weekend and the car didn’t let me down once. We are really moving forward in almost every area and we’ve a couple of things in the pipeline that we’re looking forward to testing at Mondello Park in a few weeks.
A lot of the locals had tested at Holjes, but Mondello is similar to Loheac so we hope to hit the ground running there for the next Euro RX round. I’m really looking forward to the next events.”
Holjes, Sweden, Final Result:
1 Anton Marklund (SWE)
2 Peter Hedstrom (SWE)
3 Rene Munnich (GER)
4 Ola Froshaug (NOR)
5 Alexander Hvaal (NOR)
6 Mats Ohman (SWE)
11 Derek Tohill (IRL)
FIA European Rallycross Championship Points:
1 Anton Marklund (SWE) 81
2 Robin Larsson (SWE) 62
3 Tommy Rustad (NOR) 52
= Thomas Bryntesson (NOR) 52
5 Alexander Hvaal (NOR) 50
6 Peter Hedstrom (SWE) 43
7 Tamas Pal Kiss (HUN) 40
8 Rene Munnich (GER) 34
9 Derek Tohill (IRL) 31
10 Ola Froshaug (NOR) 29