Lynch wraps up runner up slot in the Suzuki Swift Sport Championship

Tony Lynch has successfully wrapped up second place in the Suzuki Swift Sport Championship standings following the conclusion of the Quaife MSA British Rallycross Championship season at Croft earlier this month.Tony went into the final weekend looking to secure the runner-up slot behind Dave Bellerby for the second successive season, while the Lucas Oils Team Geriatric driver also elected to enter the non-championship Grand Prix event, which followed the season finale.Challenging conditions in the heats for the championship finale meant Tony failed to qualify for the ‘A’ final outright and instead was forced to contest the ‘B’ final to secure his place in the race. After a strong start when the lights went out, Tony battled throughout the ‘B’ final with Johnny Bean before securing a victory which gave him his place in the ‘A’ final.Taking his place on the grid secure in the knowledge that he was guaranteed at least third in the championship, Tony went into the final race of the season knowing that he would take second in the standings if he could finish ahead of rival Adam Clark on track.Tony’s hopes of achieving that goal from the back of the grid looked remote when contact on the second lap saw him tipped into a spin; where he was then collected by a car behind. With a bent rear beam and a buckled wheel, Tony nursed the car to the finish in fifth place, although that was still enough to take second in the championship standings as he finished ahead of Clark on track.“Fifth wasn’t what I was hoping for from the final race of the season, but the important thing is that we secured second in the championship which was the aim for the weekend,” he said. “For whatever reason, I seemed to struggle in the heats and that meant I had to compete in the ‘B’ final and the pressure was on to make sure I was in the main event to try and secure my second place.“Having won the ‘B’ final, there were a lot of nerves when I got caught up in the incident in the ‘A’ final as my car was all over the place, but I didn’t know Adam has also run into problems and it was only when I got back to the team that I realised we’d secured second.“It’s been a difficult season as we’ve had some really bad luck along the way that cost us the chance to fight for the championship, but my boys have been fantastic all year and I also have to thank the sponsors who have supported me this season as I couldn’t have done it without them.”With his team working hard to repair the damage to his car as much as possible for the Grand Prix event, Tony then lined up on the grid for the non-championship race the following day but contact again on the opening lap caused further damage that resulted in a second fifth place finish of the Croft weekend.“In the Grand Prix, there was nothing to lose and the boys had done a great job to get the car fixed so at least all of the wheels were pointing the same way,” he said. “I could see that going onto the loose part of the circuit, I seemed to be able to carry more speed than the other drivers and on the first lap, I thought I could make my move and jump up the order but unfortunately it didn’t quite come off.“I picked up the same damage as in the ‘A’ final the day before so it was just a case of bringing the car home. Again, it was a shame we didn’t end with a win but it was nice to be able to take part in a race without the pressure of worrying about the championship.”