Belfast Telegraph

Boyd shows his fighting spirit to taste title glory

By Sammy Hamill

Wayne Boyd proved yet again he is the best Formula Ford racer in Britain with a stunning victory in the final of the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone.

The former British champion from Templepatrick, who just turned 24, has been away from racing for the past year, only returning for the two big end-of-season meetings at Brands Hatch and Silverstone.

Boyd dominated the early stages of the Brands Hatch Festival in his Medina Motorsport Van Diemen only to be forced to retire with broken suspension and he joined the 100-strong field for the Hayes Trophy at the weekend determined to make up for the disappointment. But he had to do it the hard way.

Having won his heat comfortably on Saturday, he led away in the first of the semi-finals on Sunday only to spin off at Copse corner, dropping to the back of the field. But Boyd battled his way back to seventh to claim a place in the final.

It meant starting from 14th place on the grid but again he scythed his way to the front, grabbing the lead on lap 12 of 15. Rob Hall snatched it back only for Boyd to come again and re-take the lead on the last corner of the final lap to finish three tenths of a second ahead of the Mygale driver.

"I thought I'd blown it when I spun in the semi-final and dropped to dead last," said Boyd. "But I made it into the final and just edged it after a brilliant fight with Rob Hall on the last lap. I'm totally excited to be winning again."

American Michai Stephens was third in his Ray ahead of the Van Diemen of Irish and Northern Ireland champion Niall Murray who had led the early part of the race. Further back, Jake Byrne (Ray) was fifth, Robert Barrable (Van Diemen) eighth and Jonny McMullan 17th.

McMullan, who was second at Brands Hatch, had an even harder path to the final after his Ray suffered clutch failure on the warm-up lap of his heat. But despite starting at the back of the grid in the 'progression' race he stormed through to win and then qualified for the final, albeit on the 15th row, with sixth place in the 'last chance' eliminator.

Meanwhile, Kris Meeke finished second in the Rallye Condroz in Belgium, his Citroen DS3 R5 losing out by half a minute to the powerful WRC Subaru S12B of Kris Princen.

Meeke was making a one-off appearance in the Belgian championship round in the lower specification R5 Citroen but had the gap to Princen down to five seconds at one point before the power of the Subaru told in the end.

"It is a fantastic rally, great stages, great spectators, I really enjoyed it," said the Ulsterman who will be back on board his WRC Citroen for Rally GB in less than two weeks' time.

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