Ireland’s only FIA European Rallycross Champion, Derek Tohill, will continue his first season in the headline Supercar division in the inaugural FIA World Rallycross Championship at the eighth round in Loheac, France next weekend.
Tohill has had a year of mixed emotions so far in 2014, but has proven strong pace at a number of events and is hoping to show good progression at Loheac, an event that favors the local French specialists of which there are 15 in the 37 strong field. In 2013, Tohill cemented his position at the top of the European Rallycross TouringCar Championship on his way to a second title with a dominant to victory in front of almost 80,000 spectators at the famous French venue.
“I’m really looking forward to racing at Loheac again, we did very well there last year and the track is fantastic to drive. It’s a special place” said Tohill, who is supported by Teng Tools. “We very nearly made the semi finals in Canada at the last event we did this season, I think we would have done but for losing some time in heat four. We are under no illusions, making the semi finals in France with all the local guys that have entered will be tough but we hope to be on the pace.”
The PartsforCars driver is confident that issues at previous events with his Citroen DS3 Supercar have been laid to rest. “We’ve had a few technical troubles in the last couple of events, but the guys at LD Motorsports have worked really hard on the car since it returned to Europe from the last round in Canada, I’m sure they’ve done everything they can to ensure we have a good weekend in France, and I’ve been working as hard as ever on my physical and mental fitness to be as ready as possible.
The Loheac event is the start of a busy period of the season for the World Rallycross Championship teams as they venture from France to Germany, Italy to Turkey and finish the year in Argentina in late November. Millers Oils driver Tohill currently lies 15th of the 44 points scorers in the World Championship standings after eight rounds, but knows the teams need to hit the ground running in France. “We need to work hard at getting on top of things early in the weekend, the level is very high in the World Rallycross Championship and there is no room for playing catching up in this game. It’s important to find a set-up that works for me quickly during my first practice runs, that means getting plenty of track time throughout practice and avoiding any early technical issues. I am used to winning and I will not be happy until I return to the winners circle.”