Ireland’s John Ward will have to deal with a trio of guest entries who join the regular contingent in the RX150 Rallycross Championship at Croft Circuit on Sunday (May 6), for round three of the MSA British Rallycross Championship support-category series.
Two-time MSA British Rally Champion Jonny Milner will make his return to rallycross at the wheel of a single-make, single-seater RX150 buggy this weekend. The Yorkshireman twice claimed the biggest prize in British rallying following a successful rallycross career and will return to his roots at his home circuit.
Joining Milner on the grid will be a pair of familiar faces to British Rallycross fans, Supercar racers Kevin Procter and Dave Bellerby. Former FIA European Rallycross Championship event-winner Procter raced his Ford Fiesta Supercar in the opening two rounds of British RX this season but twice ran into transmission problems and with the issues unable to be solved for his home event, the multiple MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix winner will make his maiden RX150 appearance.
Procter’s brother-in-law Dave Bellerby, a multiple rallycross champion in a variety of single-make and modified classes, has also campaigned a Supercar in recent seasons, but for 2018 is focusing on the development of daughters Paige and Drew racing in the Supernational and BMW Mini categories in British RX. Dave Bellerby is no stranger to a 1000cc RX150 buggy, having won events in the 430kg machines in the past.
But, while the highly-experienced trio will each be targeting the best possible result at their home circuit, triple champion Chrissy Palmer leads the 2018 standings having won each of the opening two rounds, while Irishman John Ward, who switched to the RX150 division last season and claimed a trio of wins in his first campaign, is also in the title-hunt.
“I would love to make my return to rallycross driving a Supercar, but I can’t wait to get into the RX150 buggy,” said Milner, who made his most recent rallycross appearance in a Suzuki Swift at Blyton Park in 2010. “It’s been 28 years since I won Formula C in my Peugeot 205, and with Croft being my local track it’s great to go there again. For sure I plan to be on it! It’s great to see the British Rallycross Championship so well supported now and it can only get stronger.”
Experienced rallycross contender Bellerby is targeting race victory to knock Palmer off the top step. “I’ve always really enjoyed competing against the RX150 guys, it’s a lot of fun and I think it’s about time someone came in and gave Chrissy a run for his money,” he said. “I can’t wait to get behind the wheel this weekend.”
Meanwhile rally and rallycross driver Procter says he has more modest expectations. “They’re all going to beat me this weekend aren’t they because I’ve not driven a two wheel drive car for a lot of years. I’m just going to go and have some fun, someone’s got to come last so it may as well be me,” he said. “The Fiesta (Supercar) wasn’t finished in time for Croft, but hopefully we can be back out in it later in the year. It should be good fun this weekend and the weather looks like it will be good, so that will make it much better too.”
RX150 Championship Promotor Ollie O’Donovan is excited to see how the experienced protagonists fair against the rising rallycross stars in the category. “I can’t wait to have Jonny, Kevin and Dave in the buggies this weekend,” he said. “Jonny is probably one of the most famous rally drivers in the UK of recent decades, he is a very talented driver, and of course I’m used to racing against Kevin and Dave in Supercar. They both know to race hard, and they are both very quick so I’m sure it will take all three of them no time to get used to racing the buggies. But, the level of Chrissy, and John, shouldn’t be underestimated. It will be fascinating to see how everything works out on track on Sunday, I’m almost disappointed not to be in there with them too.”
Event information can be found on the MSA British Rallycross Championship website.
2018 RX150 Rallycross Championship Standings:
1 Chrissy Palmer 60
2 John Ward 46
3 Leo Forster 45
4 Stephen Jones 40
5 Kevin Eriksson 27
6 Ulrik Linnemann 25
7 Brett Harris 23
8 Nathan Heathcote 23
9 Dan Rooke 19