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Global Rallycross Season Review: Liam Doran

December 6, 2013
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Ninth place seems a bit low for a driver of Liam Doran’s caliber to have finished in this year’s Global Rallycross standings. 59 points definitely isn’t the kind of point total that fans would expect from a four-time X Games medalist, especially one who brought the incredibly racy Prodrive MINI Countryman to the sport for the first time.

But those numbers don’t tell the full story by any means: Doran made only five starts in 2013. At that pace, he would have earned 106 points had he run every race—putting him in firm title contention in such a scenario.

The season started off with frustration for Doran, who would race a Citroen DS3 in Brazil before switching to the MINI in Barcelona. While the DS3 earned the top seed in its lone event, contact in his heat race and a stall in the last chance qualifier left Doran a dismal 13th in Brazil; then, undriveable conditions forced the cancellation of the Barcelona round, where the smaller MINI would have been well suited to take the victory.

Then the series headed to Germany, where Doran had ended his 2012 European season with a victory. And he headed there with a vengeance: he earned the top seed in the first leg of the Munich doubleheader and held off a hard-charging Ken Block on three tires to earn the victory. He followed it up with a silver medal the next day.

After skipping New Hampshire, Doran returned to action in Bristol and Los Angeles. He earned the second seed in Bristol, but Patrik Sandell beat him for the bonus point in both heat races and the MINI took on too much damage in the final. In Los Angeles, Doran drove with an injured wrist suffered in Gymkhana Grid competition, where he took his third X Games medal of the year; he beat Sandell for the bonus point in the heat, but contact with Ken Block and Brian Deegan in the final ended that race early for him as well.

That was all. Doran didn’t race in Atlanta, competed in Europe during the Charlotte race weekend, and did not put together a deal to race alongside Dave Mirra in the new Prodrive MINI in Las Vegas.

Three X Games medals and two wins in Europe prove that Doran is one of the most talented rallycross drivers in the world. Whenever he shows up, he’s a threat for a podium finish, or a victory. The question is which races he’ll be seen entering in 2014.

Photo credit: QBA/QNIGAN.com (1, 3); Alison Padron (2)

Categories: Season Reviews