Reigning MSA Junior Rallycross champion Tom Llewellin got his very busy 2018 season underway this weekend when he contested the opening round of the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship at Silverstone and despite some early problems, came away with a superb podium finish.
The 16 year old from Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire was contesting the Swift Sport Championship for Peter Gwynne Motorsport (PGM) where he finished in third place in the final, but it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Welshman.
With the brand-new car only being finished off on Friday, Tom and the team were up before dawn on Saturday in order to shake the car down prior to the qualifying heats but during the last-minute test, the Suzuki Swift developed a gearbox problem which necessitated a change meaning Tom only just to say made the first qualifying heat.
Needing to sort out the other minor teething issues as well as getting used to left-hand drive for the first time, Tom made his way through the heats gradually getting faster to qualify for the semi-final, which he sensationally won.
Now confident with the car and the set-up, Llewellin took to the grid for the all-important final and gave a brilliant account of himself, eventually claiming third place at the chequered flag meaning he’s well placed in the series going into the next round at Lydden Hill in Kent over Easter.
Tom Llewellin: “Considering the problems we had on Saturday morning, third place in the final looked a long way off so the result is very good all things considered. The team did a fantastic job in replacing the gearbox and then sorting out the other few issues during the day and the more time I had in the car, the better it became. We even encountered a fallen tree which blocked the road on our way back to Silverstone so that made us even later, but we managed to drag it out of the way! I’ll take this result for starters and hopefully we can challenge for the victory at Lydden over Easter. Thanks to Peter and Sarah at PGM, my dad, the team and all our sponsors.”
Pictures attached courtesy of Kevin Hutchinson (please accredit if used).