Monday, 13 May 2013

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Lofthouse races to Radnor success


Dan Lofthouse got his Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship season off to the best possible start with a win at the opening round in Radnor forest. Martin Cox took second place with Toby Jefferson taking third.

Conditions on the opening runs of day one were very testing with rain and mist adding to the challenge of the course. Lofthouse took an early lead in his Lofthouse Freelander ahead of Tim Dilworth with Ryan Cooke, who was giving the Milner LRM-1 its BCCC debut, in third. Crews suffering problems early on included Mike Hannak who sheared the shafts on his ex-Bob Seaman Milner R5 and Steve Smith whose Clio lost drive.

The prospect of a battle between Lofthouse and Dilworth ended on run 5 when engine problems forced Dilworth’s Peugeot out of the event. By the end of the first day Lofthouse had built up a lead of almost two minutes over Cooke with Martin Cox in third.

Cooke’s hopes for a good result ended on the first run of day two when the car’s bonnet flew up and then sheared off as it was powering up one of the narrow offroad sections. With the cooling system reliant on the bonnet being fixed in place Cooke decided to retire.

Lofthouse continued to dominate the event, setting the fastest time on each run to win by over three minutes from Cox.

“We had no problems at all,” said Lofthouse. “It’s been a good weekend and the car has been perfect. I enjoyed the tussle with Tim on the first day but once he had retired we backed off a bit to preserve the car. It’s a great start to the championship for us.”

Cox equalled his best-ever BCCC result in second place.

“I couldn’t keep up with the young guys but the retirements have given us a good result,” commented Cox. “The car was pretty faultless, the power steering had some issues which meant it wasn’t operating as well as it should but other than that we had a troublefree weekend. I enjoyed the course and it’s been a good event.”

Toby Jefferson, who had former BCCC driver Gordon Monaghan in the navigator’s seat of his James Law Chemicals-supported GSR, took his best ever BCCC result in third.

Jefferson said: “Gordon gave me some good advice and it helped me push the car more. I’m pleased with the result, it’s a good start to the season. I was a bit worried on day one as we got two punctures early on and only had four spares for the weekend. Fortunately the rest of the event was puncture-free.”

Karl Gudgeon had a successful return to the BCCC with fourth place in his GSR Evo X with Mike Moran using the power of his new Jaguar engine to take fifth.

In the BCCC Trophy championship debutant Richard Keasey won in his Warrior Indy SSG after an event-long battle with the Bristol Street Motors-backed GSR Maxilight of Paul Harris. Alan Thomas rounded off the top three in the Trophy.

“I am delighted with the result and I loved the event,” said Keasey. “The last two runs were a struggle as we only had two wheel drive which made the uphill offroad sections difficult but we got to the finish. I can’t wait for the next round!”

Chris Ratter won the Freelander Challenge after overnight leader Nick Lines was forced out of the event.

In the Clubmans event 2011 and 2012 BCCC Champion Ian Rochelle, who is not contesting the full championship this year, led early on in his Millington Phoenix but he lost drive which put the Milner R5 of Andrew West into the lead, a lead which he held for the rest of the event.

The championship moves to Scotland for the next round with a challenging course being planned at the Forrest Estate venue near Dalry.

BCCC Results:

1. Dan Lofthouse/Jonny Koonja (Lofthouse Freelander) 1:21:41
2. Martin Cox/Paul Carson (GSR 206) +3m 23s;
3. Toby Jefferson/Gordon Monaghan (GSR 206) +6m 51s;
4. Karl Gudgeon/Richard Canterbury (GSR Evo X)  +10m 57s;
5. Mike Moran/Tony Coid (AT 4x4 Challenger) +11m 25s;
6. Phil Ibbotson/Will Jefferson (Metro 6R4 Evo) +15m 47s;
7. Andy Powell/Richard Heath (Simmbugghini) +16m 41s;
8. Paul Myers/ (Land Rover Special) +21m 14s;
9. Andi Skelley/Laura Shepherd (Land Rover 3M 88) +23m 38s;
10. Ian Bartlett/Aaron Burch (Bartletts 3M 206) +25m 35s.

BCCC Trophy winner: Richard Keasey (Warrior Indy SSG)
Freelander Challenger winner: Chris Ratter (Freelander)

Clubman winner: Andrew West (Milner R5)

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Top quality BCCC entry ready for Radnor opener



The Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship season will commence next weekend in Radnor forest and the series has attracted a high-quality entry list for the first of the five rounds.

Heading the cars away will be Warrington’s Mike Moran in his AT 4x4. Moran finished third in the championship last year and, with his car now powered by a V8 Jaguar engine, he is looking for another good result this season.

Martin Cox is seeded at car 2 in his ex-Richard Kershaw GSR 206 ahead of Richard Wynne-Williams in his AT 4x4 206. Paul Myers from championship sponsors Britpart returns in his Land Rover Special at car 4 with Andy Powell, who enjoyed a good debut BCCC season last year, starting at car 5 in his Simmbugghini.


Further down the entry list Ryan Cooke will give the Milner LRM-1 its BCCC debut at car 7. Cooke tested the car at an event at Manby last weekend and, although there were a few teething problems, the Evoque-shaped car showed impressive pace. Cooke is planning to do further work on the car ahead of Radnor.

Dan Lofthouse will return to the championship in 2013 in his Lofthouse Freelander which has had a lot of work done over the winter. Lofthouse was another driver who used the Manby event as a shakedown for Radnor and it proved to be a successful weekend as he took a dominant victory.

“The car has been rebuilt and we’ve made quite a few changes,” said Lofthouse. “Most of our efforts were concentrated on the engine and suspension. The Manby event went very well, the car feels really together now so hopefully we can get a good result at Radnor.”

2010 BCCC champion Tim Dilworth will do the full championship this year after contesting selected events as a Clubman entry last year. His Subaru-powered Peugeot 206 is one of the cars expected to be near the top of the leaderboard.

Another driver stepping up to the full championship is Mike Hannak. Hannak won the Clubman event at Radnor last year in a time that would have won him the event overall had he been entered in the championship so he should be one of the crews battling for the title this year in his Milner R5. Paul Bramley, making his debut in the BCCC, will navigate for Hannak.

Toby Jefferson is aiming for a good result in his GSR after a strong 4th place at Manby last weekend while Keith Wylde will use his new Milner in the BCCC for the first time accompanied by stage rally co-driver Sarah Ceen who is more used to competing in a Focus WRC.

2011 and 2012 champion Ian Rochelle has opted not to do the championship this year so there will be a new name on the trophy in 2013 and, with some of the top cross country drivers and cars in the UK on the entry list, the battle for the BCCC crown is shaping up to be very competitive.

In the BCCC Trophy 2012 champion Paul Harris heads the field in his GSR Maxilight.

“I’m looking forward to the championship kicking off at Radnor,” said Harris. “I’m aiming to defend the title so hopefully the car will be as reliable as last season. The engine ECU has been chipped to give some extra performance but other than that the car is the same spec as last year.”

Harris will be followed by Alan Thomas in his Warrior with Mark Jacques in his Land Rover Special rounding off the top three Trophy crews.

At the time of writing entrants for the Freelander Challenge were still to be confirmed although it is expected that Nick Lines will return to defend the title he won last year and the Race2Recovery team were hoping to have their Freelander ready also.

The first car will start at 10am on Saturday with runs taking place until late afternoon. The cars will restart on Sunday at 9am with the event finishing early in the afternoon.

Spectators are welcome, please park at the side of the approach road to the service area but do not block the track as it used as an emergency access route. The venue will be arrowed from the A488 near Monaughty. A map showing the route in is available at
www.marches4x4.com. There is no charge to spectate.

Friday, 3 May 2013

BCCC Trophy championship attracts sponsorship for new season

 
A Bristol Street Motor’s workshop technician has swapped his wrench for a racing helmet as he prepares to defend his Britpart MSA British Cross Country (BCCC) Trophy title.

Bristol Street Motors Ford Worcester is proud to announce that it will be sponsoring the technician and reigning champion, Paul Harris, for the 2013 championship. The dealership has sponsored Paul for the upcoming BCCC season, after he funded last season’s achievement himself.

In only his first competitive season, Paul exceeded expectations by taking the title in October 2012 after finishing the season with a total of 424 points, winning four out of the six rounds.

There will be a total of five race events this season, starting on May 11th at Radnor forest in Wales. The season finishes with the final race meet in October at Walters Arena near Glyn Neath. All rounds will be featured on Motors TV.

Tony Trueman, General Manager of Bristol Street Motors Ford Worcester, said: “All of us at the dealership are excited for Paul in the upcoming season, especially since he exceeded everyone’s expectations by winning the championship last season."

Paul is an exemplary colleague, who always goes the extra mile for our customers, so it is great that we can help him out in this way. Bristol Street Motors is proud to support Paul for the upcoming season and grass root sports in general.”

Paul has had a passion for mechanics ever since he left school and in his spare time he has managed to build two off-road vehicles which are both used for racing, with his first being a Tomcat, which is raced in Holland and the second, a GSR Maxilight which is used for the championships and is featured on Paul’s own website.

Paul said: “I am very grateful to the dealership here at Worcester and Bristol Street Motors in general for supporting me with the kind sponsorship. I’ve always loved cars, ever since I was small, so motor mechanics is a life-long passion which was a fantastic career choice for me."

“As well as the sponsorship, I’ve had a great deal of support from my colleagues at Bristol Street Motors. It’s a great company to work for, and I think this sponsorship just shows how much everyone here values and supports their colleagues. The money will really help my cause and I’m hoping that I can successfully defend my title in what promises to be a very exciting season.”

The GSR Maxilight was bought by Paul as a bare frame two years ago and has been transformed into the championship winning off-road car of 2012.

Paul has his own seven tonne transporter which he uses to transport the car to and from events.

Mr Trueman added: “We are proud to sponsor Paul in something that is a great passion of his and something that he has worked so hard on after building his off-road car from scratch. Hopefully Paul will have another fantastic season and everyone here at the Worcester dealership is supporting him all the way.”

Below is the full racing schedule for the upcoming BCC Trophy season:
May 11/12 .Radnor
June 8/9 Forrest Lodge
July 27/28 Radnor
September 14/15 Ceri
October 19/20 Walters Arena

For more information about Paul you can visit his website by going to
www.offroad-racing.co.uk and to find out more about the BCCC you can visit www.marches4x4.com.