Tuesday, 17 October 2017

BCCC title down to the wire at Walters


The 2017 Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship title will be decided next weekend at this season’s final round at Walters Arena and several drivers are still in with a chance of claiming the crown.
With four wins to his name this year 2016 champion Martin Gould is in a good position to retain the title but, with only one dropped score allowed and a retirement at round three, any major problems for Gould could see the title go elsewhere. Gould currently heads the leaderboard on 345 points.
“The last round at Bovington was very tough on our car and we’ve had a lot of repairs and maintenance to do,” said Gould. “We discovered that we had cracked brake discs so we were lucky to win really, one more run and we could’ve been out of the event. We need to finish inside the top nine at Walters to guarantee the title.”
Justin Birchall is in fifth place on the leaderboard with 324 points but, having already had a retirement, he can count all the points he scores at Walters which puts him in the best position to profit should Gould retire. Birchall's car is back to full health after problems at Bovington, with a broken earth wire to the injectors now fixed.
Ryan Cooke is in second place at the moment, just four points behind Gould. Cooke has finished all the events so far so will have to drop his lowest score after Walters. Steve Smith and Richard Coleby, who are in third and fourth place respectively, are in the same position. 
In the BCC Trophy Paul Rowlands leads the way on 333 points ahead of Jon Damrel on 307. Damrel was forced out of the last round after the engine on his Tornado drank some of the course. His Insanity Racing team were flat out fitting a new engine at the time of writing but they are hoping to be at Walters. 
With a win at Bovington Pat Masters took a 66 point lead in the Freelander Challenge which meant that he retained the title he won last year. The battle for second place is close, Ian Morson is currently second with 216 points, just three ahead of Graham White. Mike Smith is fourth with 196 and Michael Wilson is fifth on 195 in his Gibsons of Kendal-supported car. 
In the Clubman class 2016 Trophy champion Phill Bayliss will do his second BCCC event of the season and Paul Harris will return in his GSR Maxilight. Other Clubman entries include Steve Hallett in a 3M Challenger and Roger Thomas in a Peugeot 206.
The event takes place at Walters Arena near Glyn Neath in South Wales. Spectator information is available at www.marches4x4.com/spectator.html. The action starts at 10am on Saturday with racing continuing until around 4pm. Day two starts at 9am. Pictures from the event will be available on www.facebook.com/msabccc on Sunday night.