Wednesday, 24 June 2020

New, but familiar assault for Doran in 2020.

PHOTO CREDIT: GC Kompetition.
Liam Doran will this year, take on yet another bid to win the FIA World Rallycross Championship. In the process, Doran will once again join the 2019 title rival to the Hansen's; Andreas Bakkerud. However, rather than racing in their 2019 EKS machinery, the pairing will join GC Kompetition, a team that Brit is all too familiar with. 

Competing in rallycross since 2009, Doran first joined the FIA European Rallycross Championship, finishing third in 2010 with the Kenneth Hansen Racing (Division 1). He then stepped up to compete in the Supercar category, recording second position in 2012 with his own team; just edging Tanner Foust and slotting in behind the champion, Timur Timerzyanov. 

He then joined the Global Rallycross Championship in 2011 and raced on-off for three years. 2014 saw him joining the FIA World Rallycross Championship with the Monster Energy World RX team. Competing again on an on-off rotation, GCK grabbed hold of his expertise in 2018 to compete at Loheac (France), Riga (Latvia), and Estering (Germany). 

While the team joined the grid earlier that year, it needed crucial input from proven drivers. Doran filled the shoes of Jerome Grosset-Janin after an abrupt end to his season. 

Doran adapted well to this challenge, showing tremendous pace in Loheac; recording the teams’ second-best finish of the season. The Brit then sat out for the American and South African rounds as Anton Marklund took his turn. 

Last year saw the 'British Bomb' join his old teammate, Andreas Bakkerud. Racing with EKS prepared Audi S1’s, the team did very well to allow Bakkerud to finish on equal points with the eventual winner, Timmy Hansen. 

Doran was well on for his first-ever win in Norway last year, joining Niclas Grönholm on the front of the grid for a very wet race. With an excellent start, he led the pack into the joker (lap). As Kevin Abbring led the field, Grönholm and Kevin Hansen bumped doors behind him. This allowed for Doran to catch up quickly, with the front three, who were still to joker. 
The 'British Bomb' in the 2018 GCK Renault Megane R.S.RX.
PHOTO CREDIT: GC Kompetition. 

With virtual victory in sight and only two laps to go, a mechanical issue brought him to a halt. While Grönholm eventually won the race, Marklund in GCK machinery crossed the line first. Had it not been for a mechanical infringement, the team could have taken their first win. 

Nonetheless, GCK showed tremendous progress and has been an ever-present entry into the FIA World Rallycross Championship finals. 

With both Bakkerud and Doran joining GCK in 2020 under the banner Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel, both the team and the drivers will benefit. More so, Doran, who is already familiar with the team and machinery, will be able to help Bakkerud adjust with more ease. 

"Teaming up with GCK will be great. I drove the Mégane R.S. RX in 2018 and we really got on, so I’m definitely looking forward to getting back behind the wheel," Doran said. "Last year I struggled to get to grips with the car (the Audi S1), so to get back in something I know will be great – and with all the developments made on the car since I last drove it, I have high expectations."

"We ended last year on what seemed like a bit of a low with Andreas missing out on the title, but all in all 2019 was a massive success for us and I’m sure we can carry that momentum into 2020 with GCK."

Will 2020 see Doran grab his first-ever FIA World Rallycross Championship win? Anything will be possible in an action-packed, condensed 2020 season!

Written By - Franco Theron and Junaid Samodien.

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