For the second meeting in a row, reigning MSA Junior Rallycross champion Tom Llewellin claimed runner-up spot to continue his championship challenge at round seven of the MSA British Rallycross Championship held at Lydden Hill in Kent on bank holiday Monday.
As usual, the 17 year old from Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire was again contesting the Swift Sport Championship for Peter Gwynne Motorsport (PGM) in the Suzuki Swift and the day didn’t start too well when a technical problem ruled the Welshman out of the first heat.
Superb work by the PGM team soon had the problem fixed and saw Tom claim a superb second place in heat two before a solid drive to third in the final heat saw him qualify for the semi-finals. Another cracking drive saw Llewellin finish second which meant he lined up for the final on row two.
Taking the joker lap early, Tom was in contention for the victory as he held a strong second place but with two laps to go, he picked up a slow puncture which effectively ended his bid, so he gamely hung on to finish in second place behind series leader Morgan Bailey yet again.
The result maintained Tom’s second place in the championship in his rookie season in the senior Suzuki Swift class but with only two rounds remaining, he knows that he needs to get the better of arch-rival Bailey at both Pembrey next month and Silverstone in November to stand a chance of lifting the crown.
Tom Llewellin: “The day didn’t start too well when we split a gearbox housing in practice which meant we also missed the first heat. The mechanics did a brilliant job to get a new gearbox and clutch in the car and got us out for the second heat which we finished second in. We claimed third in the final heat which put us on the second row for the semi-finals where we went on to finish second. This put us in third spot on the grid for the final which I was really happy with after missing the first heat. I made a good start and did the joker first lap to stay out of trouble, which paid off which put me in a strong second position. But we had a scare with two laps to go having picked up a slow puncture which damaged the tyre which put us under pressure but managed to hold onto second. Thanks to the whole PGM team, my sponsors and family for their support and nothing short of wins will do from now on.”
In the meantime, Tom is contesting this Saturday’s Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages Rally along with co-driver Dale Bowen in a PGM Suzuki Swift as part of the Swift Shining Stars Rally Series. On their debut in July, the pair finished fourth in class on the Nicky Grist Stages which was also a round of the Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series 2018 so will be hoping for another good run in the forests of mid-Wales.