Yorkshire based Rallycross driver Craig Lomax made his inaugural BMW Mini Rallycross debut over the Easter weekend at Lydden Hill Circuit, the spiritual home of rally cross. Before the start of the event, the Mini Cooper S (R53) equipped with a bespoke Cobra Sport performance exhaust, hadn't even moved out of first gear!
Round one was held on Easter Saturday in near perfect conditions and after three qualifying sessions, Lomax was in 7th place in a field of 17 cars, giving him a second-row grid position for the first semi-final.
Lomax crossed the line in second place and was to line up for the final on the second row, once again. The racing being extremely close, and the Cobra Sport backed driver seized his opportunity to take third place on the penultimate lap to clinch the third step of the podium
After a day’s break round two was back on Easter Monday and Lomax started out building on Saturday’s experiences with a fourth and second place in the first two sessions.
Unfortunately, session three resulted in a DNF but despite this, Lomax was still in 5th spot at the intermediate stage.
This time he lined up on the front row of the grid for the semi-final. This meant taking the joker on the first lap and a clear track to reel in the rest of the field.
Lomax was making excellent progress overtaking the field, until at 'Devils Elbow', he clipped the gravel trap whilst attempting to overtake the slower cars in front.
The Mini dug into the gravel and rolled over, revealing the Cobra Sport TIG-welded performance exhaust to the crowd. Unfortunately the accident resulted in a fuel leak, which signalled an early end to the weekend for the Cobra Sport backed driver.
Craig Lomax, #24:
‘Its nice to be back racing again and the BMW Mini class is so competitive, proper door to door racing! Before Saturday the car hadn't left first gear so I wasn’t sure what to expect. There’s a couple of change we need to make, but we know the pace is there as we were right up there with the fastest drivers in the class.’