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Ryan Lawford memorial rallycross event won by Tristan Ovenden at Lydden Hill

By Dan Wright

Tristan Ovenden emerged as a fitting winner of the Ryan Lawford memorial rallycross event at Lydden Hill on Saturday.

The Canterbury racer dominated the six-lap Super Final in his mid-engined Renault Clio V6 to win a British Rallycross trophy donated by 1992 European champion Will Gollop.

The event marked the first time the BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Championship had visited Lydden since 2012, attracting 87 entries.

Tristan Ovenden chased by Belgian Jos Sterkens at Lydden Hill on Saturday Picture: Matt Bristow
Tristan Ovenden chased by Belgian Jos Sterkens at Lydden Hill on Saturday Picture: Matt Bristow

Ovenden was on course to claim victory in the Super Modified category, but lost the lead to Tony Lynch when he took his joker lap.

"I was a bit complacent in the Super Modified A-Final," Ovenden said.

"I wasn't pushing as much as I should have, but I got another shot at it and made amends in the Super Final.

"It is a lovely trophy to win - I didn't race against Ryan, but I knew him socially and through Will."

Ryan Lawford in 2008
Ryan Lawford in 2008

Lynch (Ford KA) claimed second place in the Super Final ahead of Dartford's Paul Coney (Vauxhall Corsa).

Sittingbourne's Darren Scott - who ran Lawford's 727 number on his Citroen C2 - was forced to retire from the Super Final but did win his class in the Super Modified Super1600 category.

The former oval racer donated the driver of the day trophy, which was won by Production championship star Sue Lane (Honda Civic).

Ryan Lawford stickers appeared on a number of cars
Ryan Lawford stickers appeared on a number of cars

Ashford's Fred Ling (Ford Fiesta ST150) impressed throughout the day in Super Modified, finishing fifth in the Super Final behind Allan Tapscott.

Gollop - who presented the trophies at the end of the meeting - said he was delighted with how the day went.

"We are very happy with how it went," Gollop said.

Darren Scott was in the thick of the action Picture: Matt Bristow
Darren Scott was in the thick of the action Picture: Matt Bristow

"It was nice to see so many people I haven't seen for a long time and it makes you realise how well known Ryan was.

"The meeting took me back a few years."

Gollop took Lawford under his wing, mentoring the popular 26-year-old who was a star of the British Rallycross Championship's Stock Hatch category as well as a talented engineer.

The Blean-based pair worked closely together before Lawford's untimely death in January 2013.

The grid for the Super Final
The grid for the Super Final

Lawford's dad, Martin, said: "It was nice of the Clubmans championship to do it for Ryan and for a local driver to win the Super Final with Tristan.

"It was a great event to remember Ryan at his home track."

The Lawford family has raised £5,300 this year for the Prevention of Young Suicide charity, PAPYRUS.

A charity karting event at Buckmore Park in February raised thousands, before Martin took part in the London to Brighton bike ride in June.

Since Ryan's tragic death in 2013, the family has collected £17,000 for charity.

Tristan Ovenden won
Tristan Ovenden won

In the other races, Canterbury's Darren Clark (Nissan Pulsar GTi-R) grabbed the lead in the A-Final of the Production 4x4 category with an opportunistic move at the North Bend Hairpin.

He saw off the attentions of Subaru drivers Danny Beattie and Paul Davis to claim an unexpected victory.

In the Pre-1995 Classic championship, Hastings racer Ray Morgan dominated in his Ford Escort, beating Richard Todd's BMW in the final.

On his first visit to Lydden, Irishman Ciaran Murphy (Peugeot 106) won the Production category, which produced arguably the meeting's best racing.

Polish drivers Jarek Suchowiecki and Slawomir Woloch - who had progressed from the B-Final - completed the podium.

Ashford's Lee Keeler (Citroen Saxo) finished fourth in the B-Final.

In the BMW MINI category of the Super Modified class, Paddock Wood's Leigh-Anne Sedgwick claimed the 2018 crown.

Meanwhile, Luke Constantine provisionally wrapped up the overall BTRDA title with victory in the Juniors, beating his brother Tom and cousin James.

Latvian Roberts Vitols was a star of the event on his first race in Britain, but was forced to retire from the final.

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