Sunday, 8 June 2014

Every second counts as Moran takes BCCC win in Scotland


After an extremely close weekend of racing Mike Moran won round three of the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship by just one second.

The event was held at Forrest Estate in South West Scotland with the crews facing 14 runs of a testing 8 miles long course.
Round 2 winner Andrew West set the pace early on but he was forced out on run 4 when the ball joint knuckle broke away from the lower arm which pulled the shaft from the diff, smashed the inner cv joint and split the brake pipe. Ryan Cooke took over the lead in his Milner LRM-1, closely pursued by Martin Cox. By the end of the nine runs on a very wet day one Cooke led by 48 seconds. Moran, in his AT 4x4 Indy Challenger, was a further 40 seconds back in third.

Casualties on day one included Paul Garner who had transmission problems in his GSR V10 and Andy Powell who retired to prevent further damage to a slipping gearbox. Powell’s navigator Phil Ibbotson had travelled overnight to get to the venue after his truck broke down on the A75 on Friday afternoon.
By the third run of day two Cox had moved into a two second lead but a puncture on the fourth run handed the lead back to Cooke. However, as well as suffering a puncture himself, Cooke had also damaged his exhaust and he was forced to back off on the final run of the event. This should’ve allowed Cox to take the win but he had a broken throttle cable and was forced to manually operate the accelerator with a cable through the window to get out of the course. Cox’s misfortune meant that it was Moran who came through to win ahead of Cooke with Paul Myers in third.

“I’m lost for words,” said Moran. “I’ve been sat behind Ryan and Martin all weekend, just keeping on going while they battled for the lead. They were both very unfortunate to have problems on the last runs. It’s unbelievable that after around 115 miles of competition the win was by one second.”
“Martin actually lent me a coilover after I broke one on my car, that shows what sportsmanship we have in the BCCC. It’s been a great event, a very good course with some nice fast sections. We’ve had three different winners in three events so it’s looking like it will be a great championship battle this year.”

The throttle cable issue dropped Cox to sixth as he had to take a maximum time on the final run.
“I was having a great battle with Ryan and I’d just managed to get into the lead but we had the puncture and then early on in the final run the throttle cable snapped,” said Cox. “We stopped and managed to thread a cable into the car so we were able to get to the finish but we had lost so much time we had to take a maximum.”

“It’s gutting to lose a potential win like that, we’ll go home now and lick our wounds and get ready for the next round.”
Steve Smith brought his JRG Clio home in fourth ahead of the Isuzu D-Max of Jason Sharpe. Mark Jacques finished behind Cox in 7th with Richard Green in 8th in his Tomcat. The final BCCC finisher was Paul Harris who overcame electrical problems and a broken shaft on his Bristol Street Motors-supported GSR Maxilight on day one.

In the Freelander Challenge Ian Linford was victorious ahead of Ian Letman, who survived losing a wheel on one run. The Race2Recovery team, who won the first two rounds, had engine problems on the recce lap which prevented them completing a full competitive lap.
Jon Damrel won the Clubman category in his Tornado.

BCCC Results
1. Mike Moran/Tony Coid (AT 4x4 Indy Challenger) 02:27 57
2. Ryan Cooke/Lee Channing (Milner LRM-1) 02:27:58
3. Paul Myers/Martin Myers (Land Rover Tornado) 02:31:41
4. Steve Smith/John Griffiths (JRG Indy Clio V8) 02:33:48
5. Jason Sharpe/Russell Sharpe (Isuzu D-Max) 02:35:27
6. Martin Cox/Paul Carson (GSR 206 Evo 9) 02:41:12
7. Mark Jacques/Simon Last (3M Challenger) 02:43:28
8. Richard Green/Richard Griffiths (Tomcat 100) 02:46:37
9. Paul Harris/Mark Phelps (GSR Maxilight) 02:56:38

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Profile - Paul Harris


Paul Harris is running at car 11 in the BCCC this year in a GSR Maxilight.

Paul competed in the Trophy championship in 2012 and 2013, winning the category on both occasions. He previously competed in the Midland Offroad Club championship in a Bowler Tomcat.

The GSR is powered by a 4.0 BMW V8 engine and it is supported by Bristol Street Motors, where Paul works as a car mechanic. Additional support comes from Sponmech and Prolinx.

Both driver and navigator Mark Phelps live in Upton-upon-Severn and they've both been competing for 12 years.

 
The team's website can be found at www.offroad-racing.co.uk.



Tight at the top as BCCC battle moves to Scotland


With the top three crews separated by just 15 points the scene is set for tough battle to see who will head the title race as the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship reaches its halfway point next weekend in Scotland.
A win in round one at Pikes Peak and second at round two in Ebbw Vale means that it is GSR 206 Evo 9 driver Martin Cox who presently heads the leaderboard on 166 points.  Only 5 points behind is Andrew West who is looking to build on the win he took at round two in his Milner R5. In third place is Britpart’s Paul Myers on 151 points.

Hoping for better luck at round three is Warrington’s Mike Moran. After clutch problems at round one Moran suffered a broken gearbox on his AT 4x4 Indy Challenger which put him out of round two.
“The clutch issues at round one caused undetected damage to the gearbox which resulted in it stripping second gear within ten metres of leaving the start line of the first run of round two,” said Moran. “We have a brand new gearbox being shipped across from America which should arrive in time for round three.”

“With a fourth place and a retirement we are in a poor place on the leaderboard compared to previous years, we have nothing to lose so will be on the attack in Scotland as we need gold!”
The Freelander Challenge category is led by Ben Gott who has taken his Race2Recovery car to two wins so far. Ian Linford, who is new to the Freelander Challenge this season, was setting good times in his Team Sheepie car  at round two before exhaust problems forced him out of the event.

“I was pleased with the times we were setting at Ebbw Vale,” said Linford. “Unfortunately the exhaust developed some issues on the later runs of day one and it got steadily worse. With no spare we had to retire. We also damaged the rear bumper. Both the exhaust and bumper have been fixed and Team Sheepie is ready to rock in Scotland!”
After two events in Wales, Forrest Estate in South West Scotland will be the setting for round three. The venue has been a fixture on the BCCC calendar for many years and it has a mix of fast gravel tracks and tough quarry sections which always test car and crew to the maximum. Forrest Estate is located near St John’s Town of Dalry, postcode DG7 3XS.

As usual the event will last two days with the action taking place from 10am to around 5pm on Saturday and 9am to around 2pm on Sunday. Limited spectator car parking is available at the picnic area which is situated at the end of the public road in to the venue. It is quite a walk to the course so be prepared – it is advisable to bring some insect repellent also as the beasties can be a bit vicious! Further spectator information is available on www.marches4x4.com.