Monday, 17 July 2017
After a seven week break the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship will resume next weekend when round four takes place in Ceri forest near Newtown in Wales.
Justin Birchall goes into the event leading the title race on 248 points after a win at the previous round in Scotland. Along with several other BCCC drivers, Birchall used the mid-season break to demonstrate his car to the thousands of people who attended the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
In second place, 24 points behind Birchall on 224 points is Adrian Marfell. It is Marfell's first season in the BCCC but he has scored good points on all three rounds so far in his Fouquet-Nissan.
Third place is held by Ryan Cooke who has had a consistent season, taking his Milner LRM-1 to fourth place on each of the three rounds.
Competing in the BCCC for the first time in several years is Lee Mansfield in his Xylo Racing Milner R5 and he lies in fourth place. The last round took its toll on the car though and he faces a race against time to be ready for Ceri.
"We've replaced three suspension arms and the rest have been rebushed," said Mansfield. "One of the dampers was damaged and is being rebuilt and we've also had the gearbox out, rebuilt the steering rack, fitted new steering arms and new front brake discs. After our brush with the scenery we've had to repair the bonnet, door, cab and windscreen too. We still have a lot to sort so there will be a few late nights. We're booked in to Staffordshire Signs for new graphics on Thursday so that's our deadline!"
Another driver who has been busy with his car is Martin Gould. The 2016 champion retired from the last round with engine problems on his Buxton 4x4 Rivet and delays getting parts have meant that it's not certain what car he'll be in at Ceri.
"It's touch and go whether the Rivet will be ready," commented Gould. We had issues getting race engine parts at short notice, the rebuild is on the go but if it's not complete will bring our Mattserati. This won't be ideal as it's not as quick as the Rivet. Hopefully we can join the party again and get back to winning ways."
In the National B BCC Trophy championship Paul Rowlands won at Forrest Estate to make it three different winners in the first three rounds. Rowlands heads the leaderboard on 246 points and, after scoring good points on all three event, Jon Damrel is in second on 225.
Freelander Challenge champion Pat Masters has made a good start this season with two wins in the three events. Masters has 166 points, 33 ahead of second placed Ian Morson. Graham White, who has one victory this season, is in third on 110.
The Clubman category has attracted a strong entry including Rick Mann, Toby Jefferson, Greg Clement, Paul Harris and Phil Ibbotson.
The event starts at 10am on Saturday with action continuing until around 5pm. Sunday’s runs will commence at 9am and the event is expected to finish around 3pm. Spectator information is available on www.marches4x4.com. Pictures from the event will be online at facebook.com/msabccc on Sunday evening.
Sunday, 4 June 2017
Martin Gould, winner of the opening two rounds, led early on but his Buxton 4x4 Rivet succumbed to engine problems on the fourth run which handed the lead to Birchall. Despite a blown diff and some punctures Birchall built a lead of 1m 31s over the eight runs of day one with Adrian Marfell in second in his Fouquet Nissan.
There were a further seven runs on day two and Birchall continued to head the leaderboard, his winning margin ending at 1m 40s. Marfell claimed his best BCCC result to date with second.
“I’m very pleased with the result, it was a really tough weekend which was hard on the cars and crews,” said Birchall. “After the diff blew we tried a new competition version but that was pulling the car to the side so we ended up using a standard one which wasn’t ideal but we did enough to clinch the win.”
Lee Mansfield and Ryan Cooke had an event-long battle in their respective Milners with Mansfield eventually taking third and Cooke fourth. Both crews had their share of issues over the weekend with Mansfield surviving a high-speed brush with the scenery and Cooke suffering major clutch problems.
Another pair of drivers enjoying a close fight were Rob Bool and Mark Jacques, Bool bringing his ex-championship winning car home in fifth ahead of Jacques in sixth. Britpart's Paul Myers was seventh, just 20 seconds ahead of the JRG Clio V8 of Steve Smith.
Mike Moran set some quick times in his Lofthouse Evo but problems with the car on day one resulted a maximum which dropped him down the leaderboard. Richard Coleby completed the top ten in his Polaris.
In the BCC Trophy Paul Rowlands took his Can-Am DS to victory ahead of the Insanity Racing Tornado of Jon Damrel.
Pat Masters repeated his round one win in the Freelander Challenge ahead of Team Sheepie's Ian Linford. Ian Morson was third.
BCCC Top 10
1. Justin Birchall/Jonny Koonja (Lofthouse Freelander) 01:49:45
2. Adrian Marfell/Paul Bartleman (Fouquet Nissan) 01:51:25
3. Lee Mansfield/David Roberts (Milner R5) 01:54:28
4. Ryan Cooke/Darren Cooke (Milner LRM-1) 01:55:10
5. Rob Bool/Aaron Burch (AT Indy Challenger) 01:58:59
6. Mark Jacques/Adam Nicholson (Lofthouse Freelander) 01:59:29
7. Paul Myers/Martin Myers (Land Rover Tornado) 02:00:30
8. Steve Smith/John Griffith (JRG Clio V8) 02:00:50
9. Mike Moran/Tony Coid (Lofthouse Evo) 02:05:54
10. Richard Coleby (Polaris RZR XP Turbo) 02:09:50