Lomax heartened by return to consistency

Craig Lomax ahead in the MSA British Rallycross Championship round three. Picture: MATT BRISTOW/ Rubber Duck Does Automotive Photography
Craig Lomax ahead in the MSA British Rallycross Championship round three. Picture: MATT BRISTOW/ Rubber Duck Does Automotive Photography

Pontefract driving champion Craig Lomax and his Xtreme-RX team made the long trip to South Wales looking to vanquish the run of bad luck that had plagued them this season when they took part in rounds three and four of the British Rallycross Championship at the Pembrey circuit.

MillTek Sport backed 2015 Super1600 champion Lomax was competing on the back of a disappointing European opener in Portugal which had seen him complete only the first set of heats.

For round three the Welsh circuit was to be run in reverse for the first time, which promised to make for quick racing. However, in a cruel twist of fate the British weather was to play its part. Torrential rain made the conditions treacherous to say the least.

Lomax was not deterred as he won the first round of heats with a clear two second advantage (4:39.820).

As the weather worsened championship organisers made the decision that the third set of heats would be dropped, which made the second heats all the more important. Again Lomax did not miss a beat and bettered the competition to win the heat comfortably, this time with a near three second gap (4:46.200).

This outstanding performance saw him comfortably gain pole position. After making a strong start the mechanical gremlins would make an unwelcome return, however, this time in the guise of a broken drive shaft.

The team worked hard to get the car ready for round four the following day. Yet again the day started in torrential rain. The class was also amalgamated with the Supernational class for the heats.

Lomax drove to an emphatic overall heat win. In subsequent heats he was stuck in traffic and managed 11th and 7th respectively.

As the day progressed the rain and spray was replaced with blue sky and dusty conditions. For the final Lomax had done enough to secure a front row place on the grid.

He took an early joker lap and then had clear track to make up the gap. After a gutsy overtaking manoeuvre, he was in first place, but confusion on the last lap saw eventual winner Coney take his joker and pass into the lead.

Lomax showed his driving maturity and instead of attempting risky overtaking moves he brought his car home in third place, scoring valuable championship points.

At the season half way point Lomax is now sitting in a comfortable second place in the championship with his sights squarely in the main prize. The championship now makes a short hop over the Channel to Maasmechelen, in Belgium, for round five on July 16-17.

Lomax said: “After the massive disappointment in Portugal we wanted to get back to running consistently. I think we did that despite the very hard weather conditions, we scored good points.

“Thanks to all the team and all my sponsors and to Impulse for the ongoing engine development. The ‘Yorkshire Pudding’ shouldn’t be written off just yet!”