Official news from MINI Motorsport: Liam Doran was the dominant Rallycross driver at the X Games in Munich. The British MINI driver not only won two medals, but also put on a spectacular show for the fans.
The fans in the packed grandstands held their breath as Liam Doran launched another attack from the outside lane on the starting straight. Fearless and utterly committed, the Brit in the black MINI RX found the ideal line to spectacularly take over at the front of a field full of big-name drivers on Sunday afternoon. Two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekstrom, drift freak Ken Block and seven other competitors were left in his wake on the 800-metre Rallycross circuit, which was made up of a mixture of gravel and asphalt.
The lead may only have lasted until the exit from turn two, when Toomas Heikkinen took revenge with an unintentional shove to move into the lead, but Liam took up the challenge and, in front of thousands of cheering fans, hunted Heikkinen down for eight long laps. Incredibly, Liam’s MINI crossed the finish line pretty much on three wheels. The earlier collision, damaged the rear-left wheel of the MINI to such an extent that it was sticking out at quite an angle. Liam’s MINI was also considerably less powerful than its rivals. While the other Rallycross cars could call on well over 550 hp, Liam needed just 450 hp. “We were, however, almost 100 kilograms lighter and the set-up of the MINI was perfect for the circuit,” said Liam. The MINI as a successful underdog – a classic scenario. And so it proved to be this time too. Silver medal for Liam and MINI – and donuts with screaming tyres in front of the stands for the fans, who thanked him for the show with a standing ovation.
Gold in the MINI RX
One day earlier, Liam had once again put his tyres through their paces after the opening X Games race – his debut in the MINI RX. This time, he had even more reason to celebrate. The Brit grabbed the gold medal in a no less spectacular race, which saw Liam negotiate three laps with a flat rear tyre without any major difficulties. Unfortunately, fans were unable to watch his triumph live. The race, which was due to take place at the X Games in Barcelona but was cancelled due to rain, was held behind closed doors. Furthermore, it was once again bucketing down in Munich, driving any remaining team members out of the stands.
All in all Liam Doran and MINI enjoyed two fantastic X Games races. “It was a magnificent weekend and we achieved more than we initially expected with a brand-new car against the best Rallycross drivers in the world,” said Liam. “The MINI was really good and the team worked hard. I can hardly wait for the next outing in the USA.” Liam’s MINI RX will now travel straight to another two rounds of the Global Rallycross Championship in the USA and the finale to the 2013 X Games in Los Angeles from 1st to 4th August, where it will star in the next episode of the success story: “Liam and MINI take on the Rallycross world”.