Dan Lofthouse stormed to his third win of the year in the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship at Radnor forest last weekend.
Tim Dilworth was quickest on the first run, 22 seconds ahead of Lofthouse who was suffering from brake problems. Lofthouse clawed back 9 seconds over the next two runs but the chance of an event-long battle ended when Dilworth was forced out of the event with engine problems on run 4.
At the overnight halt Lofthouse led by over three minutes from Toby Jefferson with Martin Cox in third.
The dry and dusty day one course became very slippery and wet for day two after heavy overnight rain but Lofthouse continued to extend his lead and by the finish he was 7 minutes up on the second place Cox.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the event,” said Lofthouse. “Other than losing the brakes on the first run we had no problems at all and the course was brilliant. That’s three out of three now, one more good result will give us the championship.”
Cox moved up from his overnight third place to match his best ever BCCC result with second place.
“After the problems we had on the last round I’m very happy to get a good result. The car has had a lot of work done by Guy Smith and it ran like clockwork. I enjoyed the course, it had a bit of everything with fast sections and nice technical sections. Thanks to all the marshals and organisers for an excellent weekend.”
With his James Law Chemicals-supported 206 having mechanical issues on day two Jefferson backed off to nurse it to the finish and he was rewarded with third place.
“It was disappointing to lose second but I didn’t want to push the car and risk getting no points,” said Jefferson. “Thanks to the four navigators I had over the two days and thanks to the event officials , it was a great course.”
Tom Hipkiss took fourth place in his ex-Alan Wilkinson Milner R5 with Paul Myers rounding off the top five in his Land Rover Tornado.
Mike Moran and Tony Coid finished sixth in their AT 4x4 Indy Challenger. In seventh place was birthday boy Andy Powell who was another driver with multiple navigators, Karolina Kunigiskyte and Adrian Griffiths in the passenger seat of the Simmbugghini.
Ian Bartlett was eighth and Phil Ibbotson in ninth. In tenth place was Keith Wylde who was starting his first BCCC event of the year in his MSL-prepared Milner. Wylde had rally co-driver Sally Ceen, who usually sits in a Focus WRC, navigating and she enjoyed her BCCC experience: “It’s been a fun weekend, it’s different to rallying but in a good way! “
In the Trophy event Paul Harris won for the second time this season in his Bristol Street Motors-backed GSR Maxilight ahead of Adam Bridgeman.
Harris commented: “We had cooling issues on day one so we had to take the rear bodywork off the car. Then the starter motor packed up. Fortunately day two was troublefree and we managed to get a valuable win. The course was the best of the season so far.”
Nick Lines won the Freelander Challenge ahead of Matthew Morgan and Chris Ratter.
An eventful Clubman event saw Chris Bird leading on day one with times that would’ve had him in second place in the BCCC but he did not contest day two. Jon Damrel gave his new car it’s BCCC debut but fuel pump problems curtailed his event early on. Radu Ciortan rolled his Pajero on day one while Dave Harlow entered for one day in his ex-Ryan Cooke Land Rover. It was Richard Green who eventually took the win on the first event for his new car, overcoming a bent steering rod and clutch problems on day one.
The next round of the championship will take place on 14/15 September.
1. Dan Lofthouse/Jonny Koonja (Lofthouse Freelander) 1h 24m 09s
2. Martin Cox/Paul Carson (GSR 206 Evo 9) 1h 31m 14s
3. Toby Jefferson/Serena Hollamby (GSR 206) 1h 32m 30s
4. Tom Hipkiss/Rich Hipkiss (Milner R5) 1h 33m 19s
5. Paul Myers/Alistair Myers (Land Rover Tornado) 1h 35m 42s
6. Mike Moran/Tony Coid (AT 4x4 Indy Challenger) 1h 36m 13s
7. Andy Powell/Adrian Griffiths (Simmbugghini) 1h 36m 28s
8. Ian Bartlett/Aaron Burch (Bartletts 3M 206) 1h 37m 39s
9. Phil Ibbotson/Will Jefferson (MG Metro 6R4) 1h 40m 45s
10. Keith Wylde/Sally Ceen (Milner R4) 1h 46m 38s