Taylor climbs RX150 order with strong Lydden Hill performance
British rallycross racer Jake Taylor impressed with his performance in the second round of the RX150 Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill (April 17) to secure his second fourth place finish of the season and climb to equal third in the championship standings.
Entering only his second ever event in the single-make buggy championship, following a strong debut a Croft a month earlier, Taylor began the Lydden Hill event more confident with the handling of the single-seater machine and found a good rhythm in Free Practice, despite wet and slippery conditions at the Kent circuit.
Fifth fastest in Q1, the Retford-based driver improved his pace to be fourth in Q2, undeterred by a small gear selection problem with his buggy. Further problems would follow, clutch failure in Q3 meant Taylor had to nurse his car to the finish. Despite that, he qualified fourth overall at the Intermediate Classification and left the Team RX Racing mechanics with a race against time to repair the buggy before the semi-final knockout races. “Having bonded well with the RX150 at Croft I couldn’t wait to get back in it again at Lydden. Practice was slightly wet and I knew I had my work cut out, but I felt confident and was immediately back on the pace,” said the MSA Academy member. “I had a good clean race in Q1 and managed my fastest time of the day in Q2 even with the RX150 jumping out of gear. As the guys worked hard to fix the buggy after Q3, I spent time looking over my on-board footage to find more pace and the small gains that make all the difference.”
The team fixed the RX150 with just five minutes spare to get to the grid for the semi-finals, where Taylor made a strong start in semi-final two and pushed throughout the race to finish second and secure a second row starting position for the all-important final.
Despite not making one of his usual strong launches, after another competitor false started and the grid was reformed, Taylor got his head down in the final and having dropped to the back of the pack in the opening stages used his rallycross experience to climb up the order, overtaking three other drivers and avoiding another spinning competitor to be fourth by the finish, just over a second shy of a podium position. “We were back out and fighting in the semi-final it was an incredible feeling; braking late and controlling slides – the RX150 buggies are exhilarating to race,” said Taylor. “Then, the final. WOW, what a race! It was very hectic and all happened so quickly. I didn’t make the best start after a very quick re-grid, but I wasn’t going down without a fight and by pushing really hard I managed to get up to fourth and gained valuable points in the championship. That was one of my best races in rallycross so far!”
The result means that Taylor is now tied for third in the points standings after the opening two rounds, just two points behind reigning champion Chrissy Palmer in second. “Racing in this class is exhilarating and I love it,” concluded Taylor. “In true rallycross style we had a roller coaster of a weekend, but I continue to develop and understand more about my own driving and the RX150. We adapted the setup to suit my driving style and I was really happy with it, I must also say a huge thanks to all who have made this possible, including Team RX Racing who worked incredibly hard to get me back out for each race and replaced a clutch in less than 20 minutes!”
The next round of the RX150 Rallycross Championship takes place at Pembrey in South Wales on June 25. “I’m now searching for local and national partners to help me get back out again for round three,” said Taylor. “Without the amazing support I have received to date, I couldn’t have got this far, and I’m so grateful that I simply don’t want it to end here. Now the hard work continues to land the all important primary sponsor to support my racing, development and future.”
Taylor’s aim is to prove that it’s possible to make it to the top level in motorsport with talent, hard work, a solid plan and determination.
Final results, Round Two, Lydden Hill:
1 John Ward
2 Brett Harris
3 Stephen Jones
4 Jake Taylor
5 Adam Sargent
6 Larry Sargent
7 Chrissy Palmer
8 Richard Moore
RX150 Rallycross Championship:
1 John Ward 57
2 Chrissy Palmer 48
3 Brett Harris 46
= Jake Taylor 46
5 Kirk Langley 40
6 Adam Sargent 39
7 Mitchell Flaherty 35
= Larry Sargent 35
9 Georgia Shiels 33
10 Stephen Jones 25
11 Richard Moore 17