Pemberton Tyres-backed racer Tony Lynch enjoyed a strong weekend of racing at Mondello Park as the Quaife MSA British Rallycross Championship made a welcome return to Irish soil for the third round of the season.

The weekend’s action marked the first appearance at Mondello Park for the Suzuki Swift Rallycross Championship, with Tony heading into the event seeking to secure his second victory of the 2011 season.

Tony was one of only two drivers in the Suzuki field with past experience of the Mondello Park circuit and it paid dividends when he won his first qualifying heat of the weekend. A slight coming-together with Jonny Bean in the second heat prevented Tony from taking another win but he responded with a fine run in heat three, where he picked up the bonus point on offer for setting the fastest lap time of the day.

The end result for Tony and his Team Geriatric Suzuki was second on the grid for the final. Having gone three wide with championship rival Dave Bellerby and Adam Clark into the first corner, Tony slotted into second behind Bellerby and then followed the defending champion home to pick up more vital championship points.

Following the weekend, Tony retains second place behind Bellerby in the championship standings and is just three points adrift going into next month’s trip to the Maasmechelen circuit in Belgium for round four.

“I had a good start to the weekend in the opening heat but then in the second, I got a bit sideways and got clipped by Jonny Bean as he tried to come through,” Tony said. “It meant I had to push in the third heat to get fastest time of the day because that bonus point could make all the difference at the end of the year.

“In the final, we were three wide into the first corner but Dave managed to just squeeze up the inside to get ahead. I pushed hard to try and get past and I did have a bit of a lunge at one point, but then he managed to get a bit of a gap and I used my head and settled for second. It would have been stupid to push too hard and throw it off the road – you don’t get any points if you bin it!

“Getting fastest time of the day means Dave has only extended his lead to three points and that means that I’ll take the championship lead back if I can win and get fastest time of the day in Belgium next month, which is the target. Of course it’s a little disappointing that we’ve not come away from Ireland with another win, but we’ve kept the pressure on Dave and have broken away a bit from the chasing pack.”