Rallycross and more recently, World Rallycross have for a long time, been a big part of my life. I started my mechanical career in Rallycross back in 2005, working for the former rally driver and current BRX driver, Steve Hill. It was my first job in motorsport and aged just 19, I was super keen and eager to get out there and experience my dreams in reality.
If you’re not familiar with Rallycross or RX as it’s become known, the formula is pretty simple. The ‘supercars’ are based on a production car chassis but with almost all standard items removed, except maybe the front manufacturers badge and the driver’s side door. Other than that, the car is built from the ground up using specialist rallycross components from a variety of different manufacturers and suppliers.
Using an engine by Julian Godfrey Engineering, a transmission by Sadev, suspension by Reiger, huge brakes from Alcon and electronics from Cosworth or Motec. The cars themselves cost up to half a million euros to build. Seems like a lot of money for a VW Polo, right? It does until you learn that this Polo or 208 will accelerate faster than an F1 car to 60 and can handle just about any terrain you throw at it. Not to mention the 1,000s of man hours which go into the preparation of these cars before the season starts.
In the autumn of 2009 I started work for Pat Doran on his BRX campaign, running the Mk6 Fiesta, using a Julian Godfrey YB cossie engine. This relationship continued thru 2010 and 2011, at which point I went full time with the Doran family which included Pat’s son Liam.
2012 was an outstanding year for me both personally and professionally. Liam campaigned Euro RX, British RX, X-Games in Los Angeles and select rounds of the now defunct GRC in the USA. It was a busy time, I got to travel all over the world, meet a lot of new people and gain some valuable life experience. But this was just the start.
As 2012 drew to a close, the Dorans opened up their own facility at their home in Devon. The natural step was to join them in their new venture to prepare two cars for the 2013 season. These were to be driven by Andreas Bakkarud and Liam, backed by Monster Energy. To start from absolute scratch in an empty workshop was a tall order and we arrived at the first event of 2013 with the car still not finished, following a week with virtually no sleep.
We raced but we didn’t get very far. With 2x DNFs we loaded the cars up and headed home to brush ourselves off and get some rest.