2017 MSA British Junior Rallycross Champion Tom Llewellin made the step up to the Suzuki Swift Championship at Croft on Saturday and continued on with the seniors where he left off with the juniors by taking a sensational victory in the final round.
Llewellin, son of double British Rally Champion Dai Llewellin, clinched the junior title with seven victories out of the eight rounds contested in his first full season of Rallycross and was offered the chance by Peter Gwynne Motorsport to move up to the senior class for the final round.
Having safely navigated himself through the tricky heats, he finished second in the opening semi-final, from where the teenager living at Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire went through to the final with the established names of the Swift Sport Championship.
Lining up on the front row of the grid alongside championship protagonists Simon Ovenden and Rob Shield, Llewellin was in good company but wasn’t fazed and romped to a sensational victory by six seconds ahead of Morgan Bailey with Ovenden in third.
Tom Llewellin: “I was excited for the new challenge and looking forward to racing with no pressure to win but to take victory is a fantastic result for us. The plan was to just go out there and see how I got on and once I had a feel for the car I felt confident. This has really helped me learn my race craft and trying to work my way up through the field. My goal was to try and make the final and have a good race but to come away with this win is a dream come true. Thanks to Peter and Sarah from PGM for the wonderful opportunity and to my other sponsors, friends and family too.”
Peter Gwynne, Team Manager, Peter Gwynne Motorsport: “Having done enough to win the Junior title at Pembrey at the previous round, to continue competing in the same class at Croft would have been fun for Tom to see the season out, but it would be of no advantage. We had a chat and decided to throw him in with the big boys and see what he can really do where the competition in the seniors is fierce, and as previous juniors have shown, it is not easy to move up and be competitive. To end up winning was beyond our wildest dreams, especially when the regulars were fighting for the title. What a superb talent Tom is and he’s proved that in emphatic fashion today.”
Sadly, Tom couldn’t hang around to celebrate his victory as he had to make the long trip back down to South Wales where on Sunday, he will be in action at Pembrey for the Peter Lloyd Stages Rally as part of the Junior Rally Championship he is also contesting.
Image attached courtesy of Tony Todd.