Tony Lynch stars on British Championship return
Westhoughton-based Tony made the trip to the North East for his maiden outing in the Supernational category at the wheel of his Lucas Oil Team Geriatric MINI Cooper S - complete with an off-the-shelf Milltek Sport exhaust system - was keen to play down expectations as he continues to work through an extensive development programme with the car.
With new suspension from AVO being the first upgrade fitted to the car for 2015, Tony went in to the opening heat eager to see what impact it would have on the MINI and the improved handling was immediately clear as he took the flag in second place.
A brace of third place finishes then followed in the remaining heats, although a coming together in heat three when he was collected by an out-of-control rival meant damage to his rear suspension that the team was forced to work hard to repair for the final.
Having targeted a place in the final going into the weekend, Tony was delighted to line up on the front row thanks to his impressive showing in the heats and while a podium position would prove to be illusive, he was able to kick-start his campaign with a fourth place finish.
The result leaves Tony optimistic about the next event on the calendar at Lydden Hill, where further improvements could be made to the car.
“Although personally I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t make it onto the podium having started third, the team is delighted to come away from the opening round with a fourth place finish,” he said. “Going into the weekend, we knew we were down on power to a lot of the other cars and hoped that the new AVO suspension would improve the handling and allow us to make up for the power deficit we have.
“The suspension worked perfectly and the improvement in the car from the final round of last season [in the BTRDA Series at the same circuit] was huge. Even when we picked up damage in the final heat, the car still performed, although I have to give a huge amount of credit to the boys for getting it straightened up a bit for the final.
“The handling wasn’t quite right in the final as the car was crabbing a bit, but despite that, we picked up a good result to start the season. We know that some of the other drivers had a few problems, which helped us, but you have to be in a position to take advantage in that situation, which we were.
“We’ve got some work to do now to get the repairs to the rear end of the car completed which may alter our upgrade plans for Lydden Hill, but even if we have to go there with the car as it was this weekend, we know we’re in a decent position. We’re not going to get carried away after one round, but it was a good start to the year.”
Milltek Sport are also sponsoring and providing technical exhaust support to Craig Lomax in his Citroen C2 in the Super1600 class of the British Rallycross Championship. You can find out how he got on here or view the full 2015 race events calendar.