Sunday, 15 September 2013

Lofthouse seals the title with Myherin win

Dan Lofthouse won his fourth Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship  of the year and in doing so claimed his first BCCC title.

Lofthouse was quickest on the first run of the weekend ahead of Tom Hipkiss with Ryan Cooke in third. The opening run caused problems for some crews with Andi Skelley retiring his new Milner R4 with clutch problems and Tim Dilworth suffering a broken propshaft on his Peugeot.

The drama continued on run two with Cooke rolling his Milner LRM-1 out of the event at high speed. At the top of the leaderboard Lofthouse extended his lead throughout day one and with Hipkiss retiring on the fifth run it was Mike Moran who was in second place overnight with Paul Garner in his GSR V10 in third.

After a sunny day one conditions changed for the worse for day two with torrential rain making the course treacherous. A few crews fell foul of the conditions including Martin Cox who put his GSR Evo 9 well off the road. After help from the event recovery crews Cox was able to continue to finish 10th.

Despite a vibration from the car Lofthouse had a troublefree run through day two’s four runs to take a clear victory. Moran retired with clutch problems which moved Garner up to second on the final leaderboard. Karl Gudgeon took his GSR Evo X to third.

Lofthouse commented: “It’s been a great event and a phenomenal course. We backed off on day two as there was a vibration which we think was coming from the propshaft. With the championship at stake and a good overnight lead there was no point in taking a risk and going flat out.
"I’m over the moon to win the championship, it’s been a long time coming with three runners up spots and a third in recent year. Thanks to Roland at ACR for the engine, Lofthouse Motor Services, Jonny and everyone else who has helped and supported us.”

Paul Myers finished fourth in the Britpart Land Rover Tornado and Steve Smith completed the top five in his Clio.

Alan Thomas won the Trophy class in his Warrior ahead of Mark Jacques. Championship leader Paul Harris had an event to forget with gearbox problems on the recce lap and then electrical problems on the event itself. Harris eventually retired on day two. Richard Keasey also retired after the rear of his car caught fire.

Matt Morgan won the Freelander Challenge from Chris Ratter. The Race2Recovery Freelander made a return to the championship in the hands of Tony Harris who was classified third despite a day two excursion into the trees.

Richard Green won the Clubman event in his new Tomcat with Ben Gott in second.

BCCC results
1. Dan Lofthouse/Jonny Koonja (Lofthouse Freelander) 2h 04m 12s
2Paul Garner/Giles Tinkler (GSR V10) 2h 14m 54s
3. Karl Gudgeon/Richard Canterbury (GSR Evo X) 2h 15m 51s
4. Paul Myers/Alistair Myers (Land Rover Tornado) 2h 18m 42s
5. Steve Smith/John Griffiths (JRG Clio) 2h 19m 11s
6. Ian Bartlett/Aaron Burch (Bartletts 3M 206) 2h 22m 31s
7. Keith Wylde/Mathew Long (Milner R4) 2h 25m 29s
8. Phil Ibbotson/Will Jefferson (MG Metro 6R4 Evo) 2h 26m 04s
9. Toby Jefferson/Peter Widdop (GSR 206) 2h 27m 18s
10. Martin Cox/Paul Carson (GSR 206 Evo 9) 2h 32m 22s