Wednesday, 18 July 2012

BCCC crews rev up for Radnor

After a few weeks break the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship resumes next weekend (28th/29th July) when round four takes place in Radnor forest in Powys, Mid-Wales.

Richard Kershaw presently leads the championship having won all three rounds so far in his Milner R5. Warrington’s Mike Moran is in second place after putting in good performances in all the events. At the last round in Scotland Moran was running a slightly higher and stiffer suspension on his AT 4x4 and he will use the same set-up for Radnor. The car has had a mid-season stripdown by the famous offroad car builder Lofthouse Motor Services with numerous components changed and a complete clean and respray.

Moran said: “We are delighted to be in second spot, especially as the car is a lot heavier than our rivals. We’ve changed a lot of parts and are leaving nothing to chance. We may be slower than other crews but we are gaining on reliability and good looks! It will be maximum attack at Radnor, we know the forest and tracks quite well so we’ll be aiming for another podium finish.”

The Radnor entry will be boosted by three of Moran’s friends from the Tuareg Rally in Morocco who are entering the Clubman category in their QT Wildcats.

2011 champion Ian Rochelle is hoping for better luck at Radnor after a problematic first half of the season. He retired from round three with engine troubles but during the mid-season break the engine has been out of the car and fully repaired. Rochelle will be looking to improve on the 7th place he currently holds in the championship. 

After an incident packed third round which included a first run roll and a broken diff Dean Sutcliffe and his team have been flat out repairing their Bowler and are hoping to be ready for Radnor.

“We’ve fitted two new front wings and a windscreen after the roll, I really don’t want to have to drive around with no windscreen again, it was very wet, very windy and very noisy! Forrest Lodge was a tough event on both car and crew and we’re hoping Radnor will be kinder.”

In the Trophy championship Alan Thomas presently leads the field ahead of Marc Jacques. In fourth place lies Adam Bridgman who missed round three after breaking a propshaft coupling on round two. The damage is now fixed and Bridgman has also had the rear shocks rebuilt and new anti-rollbars fitted in preparation for Radnor where he is hoping for a good finish to move up the leaderboard.

Nick Lines heads the Freelander Challenge after taking a win in Scotland with Selwyn Kendrick in second place. In third spot is Chris Ratter who had a disastrous round three when a smashed piston found its way into the air filter forcing him to retire. A new engine has been fitted and Ratter is aiming to have the rest of the car ready for Radnor.

A course of approximately five miles is planned in the forest which includes a mix of fast Cat 1 gravel tracks and cross-country sections to fully test the crews. The venue will be signposted from the A488 near Monaughty. Spectators are welcome but they must park without blocking the access road and must not drive into the service area. Further information is available on www.marches4x4.com.