Sunday, 9 September 2012

Title battle down to the wire as Rochelle wins again

Ian Rochelle took his second win of the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship season at round five which, with Richard Kershaw retiring, means the title race will go down to the final round.

Rochelle took an early lead in the Ednol Hill event, leading Kershaw’s Milner R5 by 16 seconds after the opening run. He continued to lead throughout the opening day despite numerous problems with a damaged seal which was causing oil to leak from his Millington Phoenix.

Kershaw’s challenge ended near the end of day one after suffering engine problems leaving Rochelle with a lead of over four minutes from second-placed Martin Cox after 7 runs.

Rochelle obtained parts to enable his car to be properly fixed ready for the start of day two and he maintained his lead over the day’s six runs to claim maximum championship points.

“The problem we had on day one was the same we had at round three but fortunately we were able to get it fixed throughout the day and then do a proper fix once we got new parts,” said Rochelle. “With Richard out of the event and a good lead over Martin day two was a case of driving for the finish and I am very pleased we achieved that, it sets up a great battle for the final round. It was a phenomenal course, it had a bit of everything to test the cars and the crews.”

Cox remained in second despite a last-minute scare when the fuel pressure warning light came on right at the end of his final run.

“I’m very pleased with second, I don’t have the pace of the top guys and I’m still learning the new car but it’s a good result and I enjoyed the weekend” commented Cox.

 In third place, taking his best ever BCCC result, was Richard Wynn-Williams in his AT4x4 206. Paul Myers was fourth in his Land Rover 100 with Mike Moran, who did half of day two in rear wheel drive, rounding off the top five.

“We were like Roger Clark in a Mk2 Escort doing fantastic powerslides for the last three runs as I’d to remove the propshaft after a few problems,” said Moran. “My times weren’t much slower so I wonder why I bother with four wheel drive! The course was excellent and I’m a happy bunny with a smile on my face after the result – it’s not bad for an old bloke in a diesel.”

Paul Harris took his GSR Maxilight to a win in the Trophy class with Chris Ratter the top Freelander Challenge driver. Michael Hannak won the Clubman category in his Milner R5 with a time that would have won the event overall had he been entered in the championship. The 2012 championship will conclude at Walters Arena on 13/14 October.  

BCCC Results
1. Ian Rochelle/Chris Hammond (Millington Phoenix) 1h 46m 55s
2. Martin Cox/Paul Carson (GSR 206) +4m 06s;
3. Richard Wynn-Williams/ Ian Jones (AT 4x4 206) +6m 20s;
4. Paul Myers/Andrew Walker (Land Rover 100) +7m 19s;
5. Mike Moran/Tony Coid (AT 4x4 Challenger) +9m 09s;
6. Phil Ibbotson/Will Jefferson (Metro 6R4 Evo) +12m 50s;
7. Richard Green/Richard Griffiths (Bowler Tomcat) +19m 57s;
8. Greg Morris/Alastair Moore-Myers (Bowler Wildcat) + 34m 47s;
9. Steve Smith/John Griffiths (JRG Clio) +38m 15s;
10. Paul Waldron/Neil Waldron (TMC) +52m 12s

BCCC Trophy winner: Paul Harris/Claire Harris (GSR Maxilight)
Freelander Challenge winner: Chris Ratter/Barney Gillespie (Freelander)
Clubman winner: Michael Hannak/David Hannak (Milner R5 V8)