Avon dominates opening European Rallycross round

Avon Tyres, a brand owned and manufactured by Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, dominated the opening round of the 2009 FIA European Rallycross Championship at Lydden circuit, in Kent.


In a championship where tyre choice is completely open and where tyres have to provide traction on both asphalt and gravel on every lap, Avon Tyres’ popularity has increased over recent seasons. An impressive 37 of the 38 drivers who scored at Lydden use Avon Tyres.


Leading the way was 14-time ERC Champion Kenneth Hansen, who raced his Avon-shod Citroën C4 to Division 1 victory in the first ERC round to be held in Britain for 13 years. Norway’s Sverre Isachsen finished close behind Hansen in his Ford Focus ST, and one place ahead of Jean-Luc Pailler’s Peugeot.

Hansen’s team-mate Jussi Pinomaki finished fourth in a second Citroën C4, while Lydden circuit boss Pat Doran was the highest Briton, collecting eighth place overall.


“It has been a tough winter,” said Hansen, who won the race despite racing last year’s car, as opposed to the brand new model he’ll campaign from round two onwards. “But at the moment it is worth everything. We won and Jussi went to the A-finals in his first race, which for us is like two victories.”


In Division 1A, Edward Leganov’s VW Polo was victorious ahead of Mats Lysen and David Johansson.


Like the top class, Division 2 was another Avon whitewash, led by Belgians Jos Stekens and Patrick Mertins, with Czech racer Viktor Muzik third.


The second event of the 10-round championship takes place in Portugal on 1-3 May