Belfast Telegraph

Richard Lyons roars to win, but it should have been a double

BY Sammy Hamill

Richard Lyons delivered a two-one finish on his first appearance in this season's GT Asia series in Japan.

Called in by the Craft-Bamboo team to boost their bid for the Asian title, Lyons and his Hong Kong co-driver Frank Yu took second place in the first of the two rounds at Autopolis.

He then followed up by going one better and winning the second race.

It might even have been a double victory for the Hillsborough driver, who qualified the team's Aston Martin on pole position and was challenging for the lead in race one when the car jammed in gear.

Lyons, a former Formula Nippon and Japanese GT champion, switched everything off, re-booted the on-board computer and the Aston restored itself to full working order.

By then he had lost a number of places, but he and Yu fought back to finish second, just five seconds behind the winning Ferrari of Mok Weng Sun and Keita Sawa.

There were no glitches with the Aston in race two and the Lyons/Yu combination finished clear of the McLaren of Rob Bell and Hiroshi Hamaguchi.

There was little joy for the Ulsterman in his third race of the weekend, the Japanese Super GT round in which he and Audi team-mate Tomonobu Fujii came 18th.

Steven Kane was unable to make it back-to-back wins for Bentley at Silverstone yesterday. He and Rembert Berg finished third in the British GT round having won the Blancpain European endurance race at the same circuit last weekend.

Meanwhile, there were no victory celebrations for Daniel McKenna after his first British championship win on the Jim Clark Rally. Instead, he and the whole rally community were left shocked by the deaths of three spectators on the Scottish round of the BRC series.

McKenna, in his Pirelli Star Driver Citroen DS3, had just broken clear of Welshman Osian Pryce, when the Duns-based rally was brought to a halt amid reports that a number of spectators had been injured when a car left the road on the Swinton stage.

Pryce led for most of the two-day event, but was never more than a handful of seconds in front until McKenna edged ahead by eight-10ths of a second on the 14th of the 18 stages.

Under pressure, Pryce spun his Citroen on stage 15, dropping a further six seconds and then lost another 10 on stage 16 which proved to be the last.

Sam Moffett added to his list of successes with victory on the Circuit of Munster. Driving his WRC Ford Fiesta, he won by four seconds from Kevin Kelleher.

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