Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Walters set for BCCC runner-up battle

The final round of this year’s Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship takes place at Walters Arena in South Wales next weekend with several crews in with a chance of taking the runner’s up position behind title victor Dan Lofthouse.

Lofthouse has won all four rounds so far this year to take an unbeatable lead in the championship. Currently lying in second place is Toby Jefferson on 285 points despite a broken throttle cable on the last round dropping him down the leaderboard.

“The throttle cable problem was unfortunate but we were still able to finish”, said Jefferson. “The car has a little bit of body damage from the last round but it won’t affect the performance at Walters.”

“It’s all to play for going into the last round, we’re aiming to maintain second place but with our consistently good results we’re potentially going to have to drop more points than others when our best four scores are counted so we need to finish as high as we can and hope we’re far enough ahead of the other drivers. It’s going to be a great end to what has been an excellent season, good luck to all the crews and thanks to all the marshals and organisers.”

Just 9 points behind Jefferson is Britpart’s Paul Myers who has had a good season in his Land Rover Tornado. A further 12 points behind lies Mike Moran in his Jaguar-powered AT 4x4 Indy Challenger. Moran has had a consistent season and a repeat of the podium finish he achieved in 2012 is a definite possibility. The current fifth and sixth place drivers Andy Powell and Ian Bartlett are separated by just one point on 252 and 251 respectively.

Martin Cox presently lies in eighth place in his GSR 206 but after not finishing the Forrest Lodge round he can keep all the points he scores at Walters and could pass everyone to finish second.

Hoping for a better event than the last round is Andi Skelley. His newly-purchased Milner suffered problems with the clutch on the first run at Myherin forcing Skelley and navigator Laura Shepherd to retire.

“Myherin was hugely disappointing. After two years of running the old faithful Land Rover we decided to go for an upgrade but it let us down,” said Skelley. “The bellhousing is now being reworked so hopefully we will be on form for Walters. It’s one of my favourite tracks and we’re looking for a good run to prepare for next season. I’d like to say a big thank you to all concerned in running and helping the championship who make it possible for us to have our fun.”

In the Trophy championship Paul Harris leads the field on 322 points in his Bristol Street Motors-supported GSR Maxilight despite transfer problems on the last event. Mark Jacques is second on 295.

“The transfer box has been completely rebuilt since the last round, we’ve still to fit it in the car but it should be ready for Walters,” commented Harris. “Our target for the weekend is to get a good finish which will mean we retain the Trophy championship that we won last year.

“We’re then hoping to move up to the main championship next year if we can secure the funding. Thanks to all involved for the hard work in running the championship.”

The Freelander Challenge has a two-way battle for the title with Matthew Morgan just 12 points ahead of Chris Ratter going into the final round.

The action starts at 10am on Saturday with a full day of competition. Day two will start at 9am with the final run expected early in the afternoon. Spectator parking will be available near the service area and the venue will be arrowed from the A4109. Please visit www.marches4x4.com for more information.