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Oct 23, 2012 - 05:39 PM
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Foreign Challenge Sets Up Croft Rallycross Grand Prix
Posted by: newsla on Oct 23, 2012 - 05:35 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
Foreign Challenge Sets Up Croft Rallycross Grand Prix


The very best of British drivers will have to contend with a notable foreign challenge when the Procters Luxury Coaches MSA British Rallycross Grand Prix in association with Star Radio takes place at Croft Circuit this weekend as nearly 90 drivers will converge on the North Yorkshire circuit for the two-day extravaganza.

 

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In the SuperCars class, Belgium's Jos Jansen will be in action in his Ford Focus where he will line up against Finnish driver Silvo Viitanen (ERC Fiesta Mk7) but the pair will have to face a very strong British challenge headed by local ace Kevin Procter in his Ford Focus.

Procter, from nearby Leeming, won the Superprix equivalent back in 2009 at Croft but has never lifted the MSA Grand Prix title so where better than this year when his own transportation company is sponsoring the event. Former GP winner Pat Doran will be a major threat in his Citroen DS3 as will 2011 British Champion Julian Godfrey (Ford Fiesta) and both will be looking to run the GB1 plate on Sunday as the destiny of the 2012 crown will be decided at Croft on Saturday.

Welshman Mike Manning makes a welcome return in his Ford Puma looking for victory but will face stiff opposition from the Ford Focuses of Andy Scott and Andy Grant as well as the Citroen C4 of Steve Harris in a quality SuperCar field that also includes Colin Anson (Ford Ka) and the Subarus of Simon Horton and Gary Pusey.

In the 16-car SuperNational category, Belgian Jos Sterkens is one of the favourites for honours in his Volvo C30 ERC Touring Car where he'll take on Yorkshireman Ash Simpson in the Lotus Exige he has just secured the British Championship in. But it's far from a two horse race as the likes of Devonian Alan Tapscott (RWD Corsa), Belgian visitor Dieter Van Gorp (Opel Astra), the mighty Volvo S40 of Ulsterman Don Shannon and Kent driver Stuart Emery (Peugeot 206 Turbo) will all have a say. Poles Witold Starobrat (BMW) and Robert Czarnecki (Citroen Saxo Kit Car) should prove competitive, as will West Country driver Steve Cozens in his Lotus Exige.

Teesside driver Martin Peters will square off with Irishman Andrew Twomey in the Hot Hatch class with fellow Citroen drivers from Yorkshire including Brompton's Darren Grimston and Bedale's Tim Ramsay also in the mix. Polish drivers Slawamir Woloch and Tomasz Weilgosz should go well but the man they will have to beat will be last year's winner Joe Cunningham which has seen the Bedale driver put in a late entry in his Peugeot 106.

The popular Suzuki Swift Series sees Northallerton ace Johny Bean take on Leeds driver Chris Mullen for the title on Saturday so no doubt battle will be resumed on Sunday as 13 cars fight it out including 16-year-old Paige Bellerby from Northallerton and series front runners Graham Rodemark, Tony Lynch and Belgian Kris Fruru. One name to watch is Robert Shield from nearby Cleasby who makes his Rallycross debut and follows in the footsteps of his father Michael who was a former Croft champion.

14-year-old Charlie Bean is one of the favourites for honours in the Suzuki Swift Junior class and will take on Pickhill's Spencer Scaife and in the BMW Mini category, Harrogate's Kris and Kiefer Hudson will be battling with Ferryhill driver David Bell and Dutchman Fons Picavet amongst others.

Double Suzuki Swift champion, Northallerton's Dave Bellerby is favourite for the Super 1600 class and Mark Scott leads the RX150 buggies in what should be some exciting racing. Also in action will be a dozen cars from yesteryear in the Ripla Retro Rallycross class including legend Rob Gibson (MG Metro 6R4), the Lancia Delta Integrale of Greg Kalinecki.

In addition to the Grand Prix on Sunday, most drivers will be contesting Saturday's final round of the Monster MSA British Rallycross Championship to make it an action packed weekend. With sideshows including trade stands and a live band on Saturday evening, it's shaping up to be a weekend not to be missed.

As well as Procters Luxury Coaches, additional sponsorship has come form from Solo Thermal Imaging, Maktrak, Allerton Court Hotel, Oak Tree Garage, SHC, BCS Print & Promotion and RGPS. Fox Motorsport Events are bringing a 'Rally Village' with varying stalls and merchandise and in addition, there will be a selection of car clubs on display including Lancia Stratos Owners, GT4 Owners and RS S ST Owners Club North East. Help for Heroes will have a presence alongside a North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Demonstration and a public bar and catering stalls will be available both days.

Adult ticket prices are £8 on the Saturday and £15 on the Sunday or £18 for a weekend ticket with children aged 15 and under admitted FREE and more information can be found at www.croftcircuit.co.uk.

Media and Public Preview Day

Following on from a very successful promotion in Northallerton on Sunday, whereby the High Street was closed to display and demonstrate a number of rallycross cars (see picture), Croft Circuit are also holding a media preview this Wednesday 24th October between 10.30am and 2.30pm to preview both the forthcoming British Rallycross GP and Roger Albert Clark Rally. Intended for bonafide members of the media ONLY and following the successful format which has seen terrestrial television coverage broadcast by both BBC and ITV of events at Croft, there will be filming, photographic and interview opportunities with leading drivers and action footage as well as passenger rides for journalists can be arranged. Media wishing to attend please email croftmediaoffice@mpacreative.com. Between 12.00 noon ans 3pm, the public will be allowed access to get an up close preview of some of the cars and drivers who will be in action.

Date: Wednesday 24th October 2012
Time: 10.30 to 14.30hrs (public admitted from 12.00 to 15.00)
Venue: Croft Circuit, Dalton on Tees, North Yorkshire DL2 2PN (01325 721815)
Contact: Carl McKellar 01372 414123 or 07786 138905

Editors Notes:
. Famous names to have raced at Croft in recent years include Formula One World Champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button and in the past, legends such as James Hunt, Stirling Moss, Niki Lauda and Barry Sheene meaning it is an integral facility in British motorsport history.

. Croft fills a huge geographical void in motorsport as the nearest circuits to host regular international or British Championship action are at Knockhill in Fife, Oulton Park in Cheshire and Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire.

British Rallycross Grand Prix, previous winners

Brands Hatch
. 1982 Rolf Nilsson (S), Porsche 911
. 1983 Olle Arnesson (S), Audi Quattro
. 1984 Martin Schanche (N), Ford Escort III T16 4×4
. 1985 John Welch (GB), Ford Escort III T16 4×4
. 1986 Andy Bentza (A), Audi 80 Quattro
. 1987 Mikael Nordström (S), Ford RS200 E2
. 1988 Will Gollop (GB), MG Metro 6R4
. 1989 Will Gollop (GB), MG Metro 6R4
. 1990 Martin Schanche (N), Ford RS200 E2
. 1991 Pat Doran (GB), Ford RS200 E2
. 1992 Will Gollop (GB), MG Metro 6R4 BiTurbo
. 1993 Martin Schanche (N), Ford Escort RS2000 T16 4×4
. 1994 Kenneth Hansen (S), Citroën ZX T16 4×4
. 1995 Kenneth Hansen (S), Citroën ZX T16 4×4 (ERC)

Lydden
. 1996 Kenneth Hansen (S), Citroën ZX T16 4×4 (ERC)

Croft
. 2002 John Haffey (GB), Ford Escort RS2000 T16 4×4
. 2004 Pat Doran (GB), Ford Escort WRC
. 2011 Liam Doran (GB), Citroen C4

Superprix winners (all at Croft apart from 2010 which was at Knockhill)
. 2005 Christopher Evans (IRE) Opel Astra
. 2006 Kenneth Hansen (S) Citroen Xsara
. 2007 Kenneth Hansen (S) Citroen C4
. 2008 Christopher Evans (IRE) Opel Astra
. 2009 Kevin Procter (GB) Ford Puma
. 2010 Andy Scott (GB) Peugeot 306

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