Weekend in Review: 5 – 6 February 2022
Whether on gravel, snow, ice or the stage at the annual Autosport Awards, the opening weekend of February provided plenty of headlines for the British motorsport community at home and abroad.
Here’s our handy summary to keep you up to speed:
Race of Champions – Pite Havsbad, Sweden
Sebastian Loeb claimed a record-equalling fourth Race of Champions crown after a breath-taking display on the snow and ice at Pite Havsbad, Sweden.
The French rally legend stole an early march over fellow finalist Sebastian Vettel, taking a two-nil lead from the first two heats of the five-contest decider. Vettel struck one back after a rare mistake for Loeb pitched him into a spin in heat three, but it proved to be a temporary reprieve as Loeb sealed the honours with a heat to spare.
Britain’s Jamie Chadwick claimed an impressive early scalp in beating Formula 1 star Mick Schumacher to advance through to the Quarter Final but was bested by IndyCar ace Colton Herta in the next round.
Team UK’s other entry, David Coulthard, entered and exited the competition at the same stage, the Scot losing out to nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen.
The individual contest followed an equally enthralling Nations Cup contest on Saturday, with father-son duo Petter and Oliver Solberg triumphing for Team Norway over Herta and Jimmie Johnson of Team USA.
For more on #RoCSweden, click here: https://www.raceofchampions.com/
Riponian Stages Rally – Yorkshire, UK
Matthew Robinson and Sam Collis turned in a dominant display to win all six stages at the Riponian Stages Rally in a Ford Escort RS, and with it the opening round of the 2022 Motorsport UK British Historic Rally Championship.
A bumper 143-car entry made the trek to Yorkshire for the return of this much-missed event on gravel, but Robinson and Collis quickly asserted themselves as the benchmark, stretching out a 2-second advantage over nearest challengers Nick Elliot and Dave Price (Ford Escort Mk2) after the opening stage.
Whilst the lead gap continued to extend, the battle for the final spot on the podium between reigning champions Ben Friend/Cliffy Simmons (Ford Escort Mk2) and Adrian Hetherington/Ronan O’Neill (Ford Escort RS1800) swung back and forth.
A puncture for the later crew on SS3 looked to have given Friend/Simmons silverware to kick off their title defence, but they similarly dropped out of contention right at the last, leaving Roger Chilman/Gwynfor Jones (Ford Escort MK2) to come through and claim third.
For more on the Riponian Rally, click here: https://www.facebook.com/BritishHistoricRallying
Zak O’Sullivan wins 2022 Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award
Reigning GB3 champion Zak O’Sullivan has capped off a superb week that also included announcing his spot on the FIA Formula 3 grid for 2022 and his membership of the Williams Formula 1 Driver Academy with the prestigious Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award at the annual Autosport Awards in Grosvenor House, London last night [6 Feb].
The 17-year-old impressed a star-studded panel of judges with his prowess on track in a range of machinery, including an MSV Formula 2 car, Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and Ginetta LMP3 challenger around Silverstone’s Grand Prix circuit last autumn.
He wins £200,000, a test in an Aston Martin Formula 1 car, full membership of the BRDC and an Arai crash helmet as his prize.
O’Sullivan joins an illustrious list of previous award winners, including David Coulthard, Dario Franchitti, Jenson Button, Alexander Sims and, more recently, Lando Norris.
For more on Zak’s award, read here: https://www.autosport.com/autosport-awards/news/zak-osullivan-claims-aston-martin-autosport-brdc-young-driver-of-the-year/7937969/