Kumho Tyres MSA British Rallycross Championship
Round 7 - Mondello Park, 12th October 2008
Lawrence Gibson (Banbridge) is the Kumho Tyres MSA British Rallycross Champion for 2008. The Ulsterman won the title, his first British championship, in the final round of the seven-event series at at Mondello Park.
Entering the final round of the championship three drivers remained in the title battle. Defending champion Ollie O'Donovan (London) was put out of the event when his Peugeot suffered engine problems in the practice session, leaving Gibson to duel with Steve Hill (Aylsbury) for the title.
Hill had the better run in the qualifying heats and started the Supercar A final from pole position. Here, however, it was Pat Doran (Winkleigh) starting from the middle of the front row who got the drop on Hill and Gibson and won the race to take pole position for the Superfinal. Hill and Gibson joined Doran on the front row of the grid for the Superfinal.
Doran led the Superfinal from start to finish, this time chased by son Liam who powered through from fourth place on the grid to run second. Gibson and Hill traded places in the first corner, the former grabbing third place and remaining there throughout the race. Hill was fourth for most of the race, but lost the position to Derrick Jobb (Fintona) in the fifth lap.
At the end of the race Gibson was delighted to have claimed the championship and the prestigious 'GB1' racing number for the 2009 season. "Fantastic! I've been trying to win this for a long time, the only problem is that now I'll have to come back next year and defend it! It was good that the title was won on the track; it's just a shame that Ollie wasn't there to race with us," said Gibson.
The Doran one-two was an historic achievement as it was the first time that a father and son have taken the top two places in a Rallycross event. The day had a family theme as sixth and seventh places in the Superfinal were taken by brothers Michael and Willie Coyne from Naas.
Superfinal (5 laps) 1Pat Doran (Ford Fiesta ST) 3m51.556s; 2 Liam Doran (Ford RS200) 3m52.092s; 3 Lawrence Gibson (MG Metro 6R4) 3m55.237s; 4 Derrick Jobb (Ford Escort) 3m55.467s; 5 Steve Hill (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) 3m57.803s; 6 Michael Coyne (Vauxhall Nova) 4m07.683s; 7 Willie Coyne (Vauxhall Corsa) 4m09.393s; 8 James Bird (Renault ClioSport V6) 4m12.589s.