With over two months still to go until the opening round of the 2013 Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship interest in Britain’s premier off-road racing series has been high with several crews planning a championship assault.
After missing the 2012 championship Dan Lofthouse will return this year in his Jaguar-powered Lofthouse Freelander. His car has had a rebuild over the winter and it is expected that he’ll be one of the drivers in with a shout of the championship title.
Ryan Cooke will be competing again but after many years driving a Land Rover Special he will be out in the new CRC Motorsport Milner LRM-1 for 2013. The car, which was unveiled at the Autosport show in January, is powered by a supercharged Jaguar engine which should see Cooke challenging for victory.
Another driver turning to Jaguar power for 2013 is Warrington’s Mike Moran. Moran has used a BMW diesel engine for the last few years in his AT 4x4 Indy Challenger but he has switched to a 4.2 Jaguar V8 petrol unit which should help him continue the good results he obtained in 2012.
Karl Gudgeon is planning to contest the full season in his GSR Evo X while Adrian Eason-Bassett will combine the doing the BCCC in his Range Rover with some events in Iceland. Eason-Bassett has undertaken extensive work on the car since it was last out including fitting a new BMW engine. After finishing 9th in 2012 Richard Green will again be competing in his Bowler Tomcat while Stephen Smith will continue in the Renault Clio that he debuted last year.
Whitworth driver Phil Ibbotson finished 8th last year and he’ll be out again in his popular Metro 6R4 Evo while Martin Cox is aiming to better 2012’s fourth place in his ex-Richard Kershaw GSR 206 Evo 9.
Andy Powell enjoyed a successful first season in his Simmbugghini in 2012 and he will be back for more in 2013 as will Andi Skelley who has fitted new seats in his 3M Land Rover to make landing from his many "big air" moments more comfortable. Ian Bartlett will return to the championship with an extensively modified Bartletts 3M 206, the car having had new suspension and improved cooling as well as a new paint job since it was last out.
In the Trophy championship Paul Harris will be competing again in his GSR Maxilight and he will be looking to defend the title he won in 2012. Adam Bridgman will also be contesting the Trophy in his Dudley Bug which will have diesel power for the new season. The Land Rover Special of Mark Jacques will also be out in the Trophy class again.
New Zealander Nick Lines will be defending the Freelander Challenge title and he will face competition from Chris Ratter who will also be contesting the Challenge after recently driving in the Dakar Rally with the Race2Recovery team.
The championship kicks off on the weekend of 20/21 April at the popular Pikes Peak venue in mid-Wales. For more information please visit www.marches4x4.com.