Bumper crowd revels in thrilling British Rallycross curtain-raiser

20 Mar 17

The opening round of the Toyo Tires MSA British Touring Car Championship lived up to the hype as Croft Circuit started its 2017 motorsport season off with a bang this past Sunday (19th March).

Despite the windy conditions, the sun shone over the popular Durham-based venue as fans flocked in their thousands to experience the edge-of-the-seat thrills.

With no less than 46 races taking place during the course of the day, it proved to be a non-strop adrenaline rush for those that had lined the spectator bankings.

Nathan Heathcote, making his Supercar debut in the series, romped away with the victory in the final ahead of Kevin Proctor and Ollie O'Donovan. Former BTCC driver Warren Scott also made his Ralycross bow at the wheel of the LD Motorsport Citroen, and made a significant impact as he proved to be the fastest driver during the day. Contact in the final however ruled him out of securing silverware.

The action wasn't just in the Supercar category though as local racer Paige Bellerby triumphed in her battle with Ash Simpson in the MSA Supernational Championship.

Welshman Tom Llewellin picked up where he left off from selected outings in the MSA Junior Rallycross Championship in 2016, with victory, to remain unbeaten in the sport in five appearances.

Meanwhile in the Swift Sport Championship, Chris Woollett fended off the advances of Croft local Rob Shield to take victory. Reigning RX150 champion Chrissy Palmer continued his dominance too as he notched another victory to kickstart his title defence off on the right foot.

Rounding the winners from the day was Paul Coney in his Vauxhall Corsa as he triumphed in a stellar tussle for first in the amalgamated Super1600 / BMW Mini / Hot Hatch category.

The Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship will return to Croft on October 21/22 for the traditional season finale and Grand Prix event.

More information including how to purchase tickets can be found here.