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
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
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.
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)
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
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
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
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.
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, PaulHarris, 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