The Llandysul based Spencer Sport team secured their very first race win in their Mitsubishi Mirage RX on its Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship debut at Pembrey Circuit.
Driven by James Grint the West wales team then went on to finish a strong fourth in the Final to underline the enormous potential of the brand new Supercar.
Having already won a heat, Grint finished second in the following race to qualify for the next stage of competition that, with no Semi-Final, was the Final. In its development year, the team adjusted the set-up in an attempt to fine-tune the car to the west Wales track, which unfortunately resulted in a little too much understeer.
Nevertheless, the talented 26-year old driver made a fantastic start, going from fourth on the grid to exit the first corner in third place. It was a position Grint held until mid-way through the six-lap race, when Nathan Heathcote (Citroën DS3 SC) managed to get past. Grint remained in hot pursuit and through clouds of dust, finished a flying fourth behind winner Julian Godfrey, second-placed Oliver Bennett (both Ford Fiesta SCs) and hot on the coat tails of Heathcote.
“We had a good start off the line in the Final and were up to third by the first corner,” said Grint. “We tried to chase down the cars ahead, but we’d made a couple of set-up changes to stiffen the car up and they didn’t quite work out. It basically made it understeer and, if there had been a Semi-Final, we’d have tuned it differently for the Final, for sure. But for our first run in the car, I never thought we’d be hunting for a podium in the Final!
“I’m really pleased with the package we have. For us, to be straight up there rubbing shoulders with cars that have been doing world championship racing for three or four years now is incredible. We’ve been topping the timesheets, we’ve had a win and a second in the Heats and we’ve been around second fastest overall in each race, so the pace in the car is definitely there. I think there is a bit more learning for me to do with the new car, but together there is potential for us to move forward as a team and make it an unbeatable car. I’m really excited for the future so it’s onwards and upwards from here on!”
“Our British Rallycross Championship debut has been absolutely fantastic,” said Spencer Sport team manager Charlie Jukes. “We had a good pre-event test in France, but of course testing is one thing and you’re never really sure where you’ll be against such competitive opposition on your first race outing. We won and finished second in the Heats, and whilst we made some changes to the car which didn’t really work for the Final, we are still very pleased with both the result and the performance. It’s been a great weekend for the entire Spencer Sport team and it’s shown the huge potential of the Mitsubishi Mirage RX Supercar.”
After its sensational British Rallycross Championship debut, the Mirage RX that has been developed in conjunction with the Swedish Mpart AB team, will next be seen at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, where Grint will power the two-litre 16v turbocharged four-wheel drive Mitsubishi up the famous hillclimb.
The team would to thank its Rallycross partners for their support: Spencer ECA, Slater Gordon Lawyers, Motul, Oil4Wales, Ryley Wealth Management, Alcon brakes and discs, Speedline Corse wheels and Toyo Tires.