Horton’s back in the thick of things

PACE ACE: Simon Horton in action at Knockhill
PACE ACE: Simon Horton in action at Knockhill
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CLITHEROE-based Rallycross driver Simon Horton produced his best performance in the elite Rallycross Supercar class at Knockhill, confirming both driver and car after many months of hard work are now on par with the very best in the UK.

For his 2012 British Rallycross Championship campaign Horton has been proudly promoted to car No.8 from his previous No.22, after his successful 2011 season, meaning he finished in the top-10 drivers in the UK.

Prior to this event, he endured a tough opening round to the season at Lydden Hill in Kent, where lady luck was definitely not on his side, with bad luck, racing incidents and small mechanical failures.

He didn’t want to endure a repeat weekend, or his championship would have effectively been over before it even started.

He was quickly out the blocks for first practice, setting one of the fastest lap times, but before he could improve any further, the session was red-flagged by an accident on track, and there was no more time left to complete any more laps before the qualifying heats.

For the first race of the day, Horton took his Subaru Impreza to second position at the first corner, allowing him to hold off the rest of the pack for the remainder of the race, setting the third fastest lap of the day.

Race two was a more tricky affair for the Lancashire driver, who had to fight tooth and nail to cement his position in the final.

He battled lap after lap with fellow Supercar driver Steve Harris in his x-games winning Citroen C4, and a mixture of different strengths of both cars and drivers, resulted in lots of overtaking between the two, but Horton had the edge at the chequered flag by just 0.7 of a second to secure his position in the finals.

In the final, Horton made a good start and held fifth position going into the first corner, but as he started his second lap, he was caught and passed by Devon driver Andy Grant, as the pair of them hunted down multiple British Championship winner Pat Doran in his new Monster Energy-backed Citroen DS3.

As the three drivers battled lap after lap, it became clear they were fighting between themselves for fourth place, and a possible podium finish.

In an almost repeat of an early heat, only 0.9 of a second covered the three drivers over the line.

This time however, despite his best efforts, Horton was beaten to the chequered flag and was classified as sixth over the line.