PR: O’Donovan duo claim victory apiece in enthralling 5 Nations BRX Lydden Hill double-header

Father-son duo Ollie and Patrick O’Donovan claimed a victory apiece in the opening two rounds of the Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy at Lydden Hill (March 30 – April 1) as the season began with an enthralling double-header at the home of rallycross.
2007 title-winner Ollie O’Donovan claimed his first victory in almost six years in round one of the championship on Saturday, passing race leader and son Patrick O’Donovan for the win, the reigning champion slowing in the closing stages of the race.

Murray Motorsport driver Michael Leonard (Ford Fiesta) challenged for the lead of the race in the final stages but lost ground when Patrick O’Donovan slowed, then was overtaken by six-time champion Julian Godfrey (Citroen DS3) in a race for the line and the last step on the podium, Godfrey recovering from having jumped the start from pole position and having to take two joker laps as penalty.

However, Leonard was later excluded for his onboard camera not working, promoting Steve Hill (Mitsubishi Evo) to fourth, Tristan Ovenden (Citroen DS3) to fifth and John McCluskey (Ford Fiesta) to sixth.

On Monday, Top Qualifier Patrick O’Donovan lost the lead of the first semi-final with a puncture, the race won by Leonard to secure pole for the final, while round one winner Ollie O’Donovan was slowed from the lead of his semi-final and didn’t make the final, Leonard’s team mate McCluskey netting the win to lock out the top two positions on the final grid.

In the final, Leonard didn’t get away from the line with a clutch issue, Hill having to take avoiding action, while Patrick O’Donovan stalled his Ford Fiesta. What followed was the comeback performance of a champion, O’Donovan passing multiple cars on the opening laps before hunting down race-leader McCluskey and using an alternative joker lap strategy to move into the lead an take an empathic win. McCluskey finished second while Hill rounded out the podium on his 74th birthday.

Colin Anson finished fourth in his newly-acquired Mitsubishi Mirage while Godfrey, who had broken his Citroen’s rear suspension, was handed a 10-second penalty for hitting the joker lap track makers. He finished fifth, with Steve Harris also surviving a spin to be sixth.

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