Dan Lofthouse won his fourth Britpart MSA British Cross
Country Championship of the year and in
doing so claimed his first BCCC title.
Lofthouse was quickest on the first run of the weekend ahead
of Tom Hipkiss with Ryan Cooke in third. The opening run caused problems for
some crews with Andi Skelley retiring his new Milner R4 with clutch problems and
Tim Dilworth suffering a broken propshaft on his Peugeot.
The drama continued on run two with Cooke rolling his Milner
LRM-1 out of the event at high speed. At the top of the leaderboard Lofthouse
extended his lead throughout day one and with Hipkiss retiring on the fifth run
it was Mike Moran who was in second place overnight with Paul Garner in his GSR
V10 in third.
After a sunny day one conditions changed for the worse for
day two with torrential rain making the course treacherous. A few crews fell
foul of the conditions including Martin Cox who put his GSR Evo 9 well off the
road. After help from the event recovery crews Cox was able to continue to
Despite a vibration from the car Lofthouse had a troublefree
run through day two’s four runs to take a clear victory. Moran retired with
clutch problems which moved Garner up to second on the final leaderboard. Karl
Gudgeon took his GSR Evo X to third.
Lofthouse commented: “It’s been a great event and a
phenomenal course. We backed off on day two as there was a vibration which we
think was coming from the propshaft. With the championship at stake and a good
overnight lead there was no point in taking a risk and going flat out.
the moon to win the championship, it’s been a long time coming with three
runners up spots and a third in recent year. Thanks to Roland at ACR for the engine, Lofthouse Motor Services, Jonny and everyone else who has helped and supported us.”
Paul Myers finished fourth in the Britpart Land Rover
Tornado and Steve Smith completed the top five in his Clio.
Alan Thomas won the Trophy class in his Warrior ahead of
Mark Jacques. Championship leader Paul Harris had an event to forget with gearbox
problems on the recce lap and then electrical problems on the event itself. Harris
eventually retired on day two. Richard Keasey also retired after the rear of
his car caught fire.
Matt Morgan won the Freelander Challenge from Chris Ratter.
The Race2Recovery Freelander made a return to the championship in the hands of
Tony Harris who was classified third despite a day two excursion into the
Richard Green won the Clubman event in his new Tomcat with
Ben Gott in second.
Bamber Bridge’s Dan Lofthouse will start the Britpart MSA
British Cross Country Championship event at Myherin next weekend knowing that
another win will guarantee him the championship crown.
Lofthouse has won all three events this year and has 258
points, 38 points ahead of Toby Jefferson with Paul Myers in third on 207.
“The car has been serviced but we’ve made no changes to the
spec ahead of Myherin,” said Lofthouse. “We’ve been flat out in the workshop
completing a second Lofthouse Freelander for a customer so there has been no
time to work on our own car. It’d be good to wrap up the title at the weekend
to take the pressure off us for the final round.”
Currently in 7th place is Andi Skelley who has
purchased a Milner R4 since the last round and he will give the car its BCCC
debut at the weekend.
Skelley commented: "It will take some getting used to,
it's totally different from my previous car with a sequential box and
independent suspension, I'm looking forward to trying it out at Myherin."
Ryan Cooke has made modifications to his Milner LRM-1 in a
bid to resolve the problems he experienced at the last round in Radnor.
“We have had a full rethink on the fuel and exhaust system
to try to keep heat temperature down and increase fuel supply to the engine. Hopefully
that will stop the engine cutting out like it was doing at Radnor” said Cooke.
In the Trophy championship Paul Harris is in a good position
to retain his title as he is 38 points in front of second-placed Mark Jacques.
Alan Thomas is in third place.
The Freelander Challenge battle is closer with just 6 points
separating leader Matthew Morgan and Chris Ratter.
The event will start at 10am on Saturday with a full day of
competition. Day two will start at 9am with action until the early afternoon.
Spectator information is available on www.marches4x4.com.