AN OGWELL racing driver has continued his astonishing streak of silverware with victory in two rallycross championships this year.
Max Langmaid added to his back-to-back Motorsport UK Junior Rallycross championships from 2021 and 2022 with BTRDA Clubmans All4 and the Five Nations British All4 championships in 2023, the latter of which was rounded off at Lydden Hill in Kent last week.
This was the first season in which the 18-year-old had raced his Mini All4, a turbo-charged, 1.6-litre machine which boasts double the horsepower of the Suzuki Swift he drove for the past two years.
Team Langmaid were not expecting much of a return in terms of silverware before the season got under way – this was set to be a season in which Max could get to grips with his new car and find his feet in the unfamiliar championship ahead of a full-fledged assault on the title in 2024.
But, after the weekend of rounds three and four at Mondello Park in the Republic of Ireland, there was a sudden realisation that the teenager and his Mini had serious potential.
Max would have some technical gremlins throughout the early stages of the season which were inherited when his team bought the car but, with the help of local garages – Newton Abbot-based AutoDynamix and Paignton-based VMS Torbay – they would be put to rest. The remedies were costly and time-consuming but the team got the car back to its best and a faultless season on the mechanical front would follow.
Langmaid, who began studying for a degree in Motorsport Engineering during the campaign, never had room to breathe as both championships went down to the wire with only a handful of points separating him from his pursuers. The BTRDA title was wrapped up at Knockhill in Scotland with little fuss. Lydden Hill, the venue in which Max would claim the Five Nations title, would see emphatic drama.
After winning all the heats on day one, Max made the call to pull off from the semi-final with clutch issues, giving the team the chance to rectify the issue – which they did with minutes to spare for the final.
Trailing his championship rival on-track in the finale, Max took the joker lap (a variation of the circuit all drivers must complete once in each rallycross race) and began to pull a margin from the second lap. The car began losing power but his advantage was enough that he could defend his lead and complete the silverware double – his fourth championship title in three years.
‘There’s been a huge amount of hard work – this hasn’t fallen in our laps,’ said Chris Langmaid, Max’s father and team principal.
‘So much work has gone on in the background, hundreds of man hours; looking at data coming away from a race weekend, reviewing footage, reviewing the data and issues with the car.
‘We’re looking to come back bigger and better next year. We’re desperately looking for some serious funding; we’d like to step up to the top tier but we cant see a way of making that happen financially.
‘Either way, we will come back for 2024 stronger than we’ve ever been – we’ve got a fantastic team behind us now that come to races with us, they’re hands-on, we’re all friends and we’re all a team.’