Driver Update: Doran pushes hard to finish at XGAMES 18 Tuesday 03 July, 2012
Liam Doran, the 2011 XGames Rally Gold medalist, had one of his toughest weekends to date at XGames 18 in LA over the weekend. After jump related incidents involving Marcus Gronholm and Toomas Heikkinen; Doran made it clear that he would not complete a practice run at the event until the track was adjusted by organisers.
After missing practice a disadvantaged Doran started from last qualifying position. In heat one the Monster Energy Athlete was located on the outside of the starting grid with Hubinette and Mirra on his inside with fastest qualifier, Ken Block, on pole. In the midday heat of LA Dorans Monster Energy C4 stalled on the line but then made great progress to catch up with the pack. The C4 then suffered a puncture on Lap 2 which meant Doran did not qualify for the Final and was automatically advanced to the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) in a bid for a final place and medal opportunity.
The LCQ posted an opportunity for Doran to land the back row of the Final. Doran made a spectacular start in his C4 and won the drag race down to turn one ahead of Verdier, Lasek and Mirra. From then on in Doran coasted his way to a very clean and precise victory qualifying him for the Final.
The final boasted a grid of 6000bhp within 10 Supercars, One thing was guaranteed…a messy race with all competitors aiming for the XGAMES Gold. A good start from the back row of the grid meant Doran followed through the inside of turn one and moved him from 9th to 6th, but on turn 2 Hubinette spun in front of Doran causing the Monster Energy Athlete to be pushed back to 7th. A hard push in the remaining 4 of the 6 laps resulted in the 25yr old Brit landing a 5th position even after suffering a puncture from lap 2 and limping round on 3 tyres.
“I am pleased with where I finished considering the puncture I had from the early stages of the race,” said Doran “After winning a gold here last year in Rally I wasn’t going to be pleased with anything less than another Gold but there was some tough competition this weekend including 8 times WRC champion Sebastian Loeb. The team did a great job with the car and by the time the final came around I knew it was just a case of staying out of trouble and driving smooth. I have had some great support from media and fans here in LA this weekend and would like to thank my sponsors for their support, Bring on 2013!”
XGames 18 Rallycross Results
Gold Medal Sebastian Loeb
Silver Medal Ken Block
Bronze Medal Brian Deegan
4th Rhys Millen
5th Liam Doran
6th Tanner Foust
7th David Higgins
8th David Binks
9th Samuel Hubinette
10th Sverre Isachsen