Sunday, 14 October 2012

Kershaw wins Walters battle as Rochelle takes title

Richard Kershaw took his fourth win of the year at round six of the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship but it was not enough to prevent Ian Rochelle triumphing in the title battle.

The event organisers laid on a very challenging course in the Walters Arena complex largely made up of offroad sections with a few Cat 1 sections and a large watersplash described by one driver as a boating lake! It was Kershaw who was quickest on the opening run in his Milner R5 although Justin Birchall was just two seconds behind with Rochelle in third.

These three dominated the leaderboard throughout the opening day’s seven runs although steering rack problems caused Birchall to drop some time which allowed Rochelle into second. Birchall enlisted a spectating Jonny Koonja to sit in the car and steer using the fiddle brakes as he caught up on his runs at the end of the day.

Although Birchall replaced the steering rack overnight it failed again after the first run of day two’s six runs forcing him out of the event. Kershaw continued to extend his lead over Rochelle who, with a need to finish in the top three to take the championship, was driving cautiously over the tough terrain.

Rochelle’s tactics paid off as he brought his Millington Phoenix home in second to win the BCCC title for the second time.

“It has been a very anxious weekend,” said Rochelle. “We’ve not been racing at all today, we just wanted to get to the finish and take no risks. I am very pleased and relieved to get here and delighted to win the championship again. It has been a great season, it doesn’t get much better than this!”

Although happy with the win Kershaw was disappointed not to have won the championship: “We have won all the events we have finished so it’s a shame a couple of mechanical problems have cost us the title. I’m pleased to have broken my bogey at the venue though, I’ve not had much luck here before. Congratulations to Ian on the title.”

Mike Moran continued his great form in 2012 to round of his championship with third place in his AT 4x4 Challenger.

“It’s been a great event and a fantastic course, full-on offroad action! It was a case of driving to the conditions and I’m very happy with third. The championship has been great this year as has the organisation and marshalling. I shall be back next year!”

In the Trophy championship Alan Thomas was victorious ahead of Paul Harris. Paul Garner won the Clubman event after Mark Hones retired during day two and Nick Lines won the Freelander Challenge.

BCCC Results:

1. Richard Kershaw/Andy Lees (Milner R5) 2:25:54
2. Ian Rochelle/Chris Hammond (Millington Phoenix) +7m 15s;
3. Mike Moran/Tony Coid (AT 4x4 Challenger) +9m 32s;
4. Martin Cox/Paul Carson (GSR 206) +10m 11s;
5. Ryan Cooke/Chris Cooke (Land Rover Defender) +15m 32s
6. Andy Powell/Richard Heath (Simmbugghini) +15m 58s
7. Andi Skelley/Laura Shepherd (3M Land Rover)  +20m 06s;
8. Greg Morris/Bob Moulding (Bowler Wildcat) +23m 17s;
9. Phil Ibbotson/Will Jefferson (Metro 6R4 Evo) +30m 03s;
10. Richard Green/Richard Griffiths (Bowler Tomcat) +40m 45s;

BCCC Trophy winner: Alan Thomas (Warrior Gemini)

Freelander Challenge winner: Nick Lines (Freelander)

Clubman winner: Paul Garner (GSR V10)