Monday, June 24, 2024

Tohill wins in Ireland as Godfrey best of the British

Derek Tohill took the win in the Supercar final after passing both Tristan Ovenden and John McCluskey on track. Ovenden was spun by Tohill and retired after leading the first half of the restarted final.

The first start saw the field get away cleanly with Ovenden vaulting into the lead from second. After a mistake, he dropped back to fourth giving poleman McCluskey first place. On lap two as Tohill exited the joker lap he made light contact with Jake Harris who spun the Mini. He tried to get going but blocked the track and brought out a red flag. 

At the restart of the shortened four-lap race Ovenden once again went into the lead. McCluskey followed closely while Tohill kept his third-place starting position. Tohill made a pass on McCluskey at the start of the following lap and closed on Ovenden. A few car lengths back across the start line Tohill attempted the same move at turn one, this time for the lead. He locked up and tapped Ovenden into a spin which broke the Citroen’s suspension. Ovenden attempted to get going but almost spun as the car weaved across the track. 

In the mess, Tohill held first and wasn’t challenged for the remainder of the race. McCluskey took second ahead of now first of the British contingent Julian Godfrey. Having stalled on the first start Tommy Graham was running fourth ahead of Harris. The positions stayed as they were even through the joker strategy which meant Derek Tohill crossed the line in first. The stewards stated that no action was required which confirmed a win at home for the reigning Irish Rallycross champion. McCluskey finished second with Godfrey rounding out the podium. Michael Leonard Jnr was the only other retirement after stopping on track for long enough that he was lapped.

Position No. Driver Nat. Time
1 IRL1 Derek Tohill IRL 2:37.409
2 2 John McCluskey IRL + 1.365
3 20 Julian Godfrey GBR + 2.268
4 727 Tommy Graham IRL + 3.398
5 16 Jake Harris GBR + 9.930
6 182 Darragh Morris IRL + 15.992
7 17 Michael Leonard Jnr IRL + 1 lap
8 72 Tristan Ovenden GBR + 2 laps
Credit: Callum House Photography

Godfrey took maximum points in the British championship after a terrible start to the day. Right before Q1 he suffered a fuel pump failure. The team made a workaround and he was able to race. After qualifying fourteenth, he passed two cars on track to take third in his semi-final before finishing third in the final. Godfrey reflected on the day’s racing, “Pleased with that. Had a lot of problems with the car this morning. It got better and better through the day.” Earlier in the day Leonard Jnr and Tohill entered into a one-lap shootout after crossing the line in their semi-final equal on time down to the thousandth of a second. Tohill won the impromptu duel after Leonard Jnr clipped a tyre bundle.

Such was the entry size that almost half the field failed to make the final. Gary Donoghue and Patrick Ryan ran well in qualifying but both finished their semi-final’s a single place away from a transfer spot. Michael Morris and Michael Boak couldn’t match the pace of the European-spec machinery in their semi and dropped out though both will return tomorrow. It looks less likely that Andrew Morris and Shane Murphy will race again this weekend. Both failed to start their semi-final. Murphy making his rallycross debut in an ex-Marklund World Rallycross car showed strong pace before two jump starts in Q3 due to a gearbox issue that ended his day.