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Lydden Hill race circuit owner and rallycross driver Pat Doran escapes blazing car at track near Barham

By Gerry Warren

Horrified spectators watched as a rallycross car driven by Lydden Hill race circuit owner Pat Doran burst into flames.

The 53-year-old former British Rallycross champion was involved in an invitation race for historic cars in his 800bhp classic Ford RS 200 at the track, near Barham, when the engine caught fire.

Miraculously, he emerged from the car unhurt having been protected from the flames by his racing suit and helmet.

Pat Doran's classic Ford RS200 ablaze at Lydden Hill circuit. Picture: allthekasparas/YouTube

Thousands of spectators, who had flocked to the first ever World Rallycross round at the circuit, watched in horror as the car turned into a fireball.

Marshalls dashed to the vehicle with fire extinguishers and there was an agonising wait to see if Doran had been hurt.

A huge sigh of relief was breathed when he emerged from the car, apparently unscathed.

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The doors of Pat Doran's blazing car fly open. Picture: allthekasparas/YouTube
Smoke billows from the vehicle at Lydden Hill race circuit. Picture: allthekasparas/YouTube
Fire crews arrive to tackle the blaze that engulfed Pat Doran's car. Picture: allthekasparas/YouTube
An ambulance leaves the scene of the blaze. Picture: allthekasparas/YouTube

Afterwards, Doran shrugged of the incident, saying: "The event went really well.

"No dramas, except for me. It was brilliant."

Pat Doran with his prized Ford RS200 in 2002

It was the first time the circuit had hosted a prestigious round of the World Rallycross championships and more than 10,000 spectators attended.

The event was won by Norwegian driver Andreas Bakkerud in a Ford Fiesta ST.

Video: Pat Doran's car bursts into flames at Lydden Hill

For more on the first FIA-World Rallycross Championship, click here.

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