Pemberton Tyres-backed racer Tony Lynch made the perfect start to his assault on the Swift Sport Rallycross campaign with victory in the opening round of the 2011 season at Lydden Hill at the weekend (26/27 March).

Tony made the long trip South to Lydden Hill with a new look Team Geriatric-run Suzuki Swift thanks to a major sponsorship deal with Lucas Oil, with the target for the weekend being to take the fight to defending Suzuki champion Dave Bellerby.

Tony set the pace in his opening qualifying heat before being stuck behind a slower car in heat two, which left him needing a strong result in the third heat to try and secure a place at the head of the field for the final.

Having seen 2010 rival Bellerby delayed in his race, Tony duly dominated his heat and set the fastest time of the day to secure pole position for the final.

From the front of the field for the final, Tony spent much of the opening lap going side-by-side with Bellerby before eventually getting into a lead he would keep to the chequered flag, despite the best efforts of his rival to find a way through.

Tony’s victory means he leads the championship standings after the opening round thanks to his maximum score in the opening race and the bonus awarded for setting the fastest time of the day.

“We wanted to try and start the season with a victory, and it was the perfect way to get our championship challenge underway,” he said. “The fight with Dave in the final was fantastic and it was great to be able to race side-by-side with someone like that without it ending in tears. There was some rubbing along the way like you’d expect but it was a clean fight and the only disappointing thing is that I couldn’t see how good it must have looked for the fans!

“A win and fastest time of the day is a great start to the season for the team and all of our sponsors and we’ve now got to work hard to keep ourselves at the front as Lydden Hill showed it’s not going to be easy in the Swifts this year.”

On the eve of the season opener, Tony was able to confirm a new sponsorship deal with, which will see the company appear on the #2 Suzuki throughout the season.