Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Kershaw makes it two in a row at Epynt

Richard Kershaw made it two wins out of two events in the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship when he took victory at the latest round at Halfway forest on Epynt.

The lead changed several times during the opening day’s eight runs with Kershaw, Justin Birchall and Ian Rochelle battling to be at the top of the BCCC leaderboard. Birchall’s challenge for the win ended with a maximum time on run four after damaging the car on a rock while Rochelle’s day ended badly when his Millington Phoenix stalled at a tight hairpin and would not restart for over three minutes. Dan Evans held second place on the overnight leaderboard after a string of quick times in his Milner.

Evans was the pace setter initially on day two, rapidly eating into Kershaw’s lead but a broken fanbelt lost him time to deny him the chance of a win. It was not to be an easy run to victory for Kershaw though, his car being stuck in rear wheel drive for the last two runs, but he got though to win.

“It’s been a tough weekend but a lot of fun,” said Kershaw. “We had a couple of punctures and the problem with the transmission so I’m pleased to have taken the win.”

Rochelle put his day one troubles behind him to set several quickest times on day two, finishing in second place.

“It’s been a great weekend and I’m happy with second place after the time we lost on the first day,” commented Rochelle. “It was a fantastic course with a bit of everything to test the crews.”

Taking third place was Ryan Cooke in his Land Rover Defender.

“We had a few issues with punctures and a broken drive flange but it’s been a good event and the course reminded me of the hill rallies I used to do, great fun to drive.”

Rounding off the top five were Paul Myers in the Britpart Land Rover 100 and Mike Moran in his AT 4x4 Challenger.

Paul Harris won the Trophy class in his GSR Maxilight while Chris Ratter was victorious in the Freelander Challenge.

In the Clubman category two drivers set a scorching pace with Chris Bird eventually winning and Mark Hones in second. Their times would have seen them finish one and two in the overall standings had they been entered in the BCCC.

Top 5 BCCC results:

1 Richard Kershaw/Andy Lees (Milner R5)
2 Ian Rochelle/Chris Hammond (Millington Phoenix)
3 Ryan Cooke/Chris Cooke (Land Rover Defender)
4 Paul Myers/Martin Gould (Land Rover 100)
5 Mike Moran/Nigel Jenkins (AT 4x4 Challenger)

Trophy winner: Paul Harris  (GSR Maxilight)
Clubman winner: Chris Bird (Milner)
Freelander Challenge winner: Chris Ratter (Land Rover Freelander)

Saturday, 5 May 2012

BCCC set for Epynt extravaganza

The Epynt military ranges will be the venue for the next instalment of the battle for the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship crown next weekend. Epynt is a popular venue for motorsport with a network of tarmac roads that are used for several rallies. The land also includes several miles of gravel forest tracks which were most recently used by the world championship crews in Wales Rally GB.

The opening round of the championship took place at Pikes Peak last month and it was Richard Kershaw who took a commanding win in his Milner R5 ahead of Ian Rochelle. Rochelle’s car suffered several problems over both days of the event causing him to be down on his usual pace.

Dean Sutcliffe and his team have been hard at work fixing vehicles since round one. Not only did Sutcliffe’s racer retire from the event with a broken shaft, his service truck broke down two-thirds of the way into the long trek from Norfolk to Myherin which meant he had to be recovered home before starting the journey again, eventually arriving at the venue at around 5am.

“We’d got to within 100 miles of the venue when the truck broke, we had no option but to get recovered all the way home and start the journey again,” said Sutcliffle. “Both the racer and the truck have now been fixed and hopefully we will have less drama at round two.”

Kevin Groos faces a last minute rush to be ready for next weekend’s event. The transfer box on Groos’ car failed and is presently undergoing a full rebuild but he is hopeful of making it to the start line.

“We made a last-minute decision to fit a 5.3V8 engine in the car before round one and I was very pleased with how it performed,” commented Groos. “Sadly the transfer box broke and forced us out early on day two. We’re working flat out to get ready for round two.”

Paul Myers and the Britpart team have been busy making several modifications to their Land Rover ahead of round two including brake bias adjustments and changes to the ECU of the car’s 4.8V8 engine to improve low down pick up.

A broken propshaft caused the retirement of Paul Harris on the round one while he was leading the Trophy category. Harris has made up a new shaft ahead of what he hopes will be a successful round two.

In the Freelander Challenge round two will be the last time Nick Lines has Keith Tween navigating for a while as Tween is off to Afghanistan as part of his Territorial Army duties. Lines hopes to have a new navigator for the rest of the season.

Event HQ for round two will be at Dixies which is accessible from the A40 at Llywel (between Llandovery and Sennybridge). Action will start at 10am on Saturday with a full day of competition, day two will commence at 9am with the event expected to finish mid-afternoon.