Sunday, 20 July 2014

All to play for as BCCC championship race heads to Radnor


With three rounds of the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship complete the title race will move to Radnor forest next weekend for round four.

Martin Cox heads the leaderboard at the halfway point on 235 points, just 10 ahead of Paul Myers. Cox’s lead could’ve been a lot more if a broken throttle cable on the final run had not dropped him down the results at the previous round in South West Scotland. 

Myers finished third in Scotland in his Team Britpart Land Rover Tornado to continue his good run of results in 2014.

“We’ve made no changes to the car after Scotland, we’ve just done the usual checking and swapping of ball joints as well as sorting out a bent steering rod we suffered after hitting a large rock,” said Myers. “We were very pleased with the round three result as we lost a lot of time on one run with two punctures. Other than that we had a great event, with our Cooper ST Maxx tyres performing and wearing well. We’re looking forward to Radnor.”

Ryan Cooke is in third place in the championship after a fine second place last time out in his Milner LRM-1, his best ever result in the car. Cooke commented: “The car has had a full checkover and the transfer box has been stripped and visually checked. We’ve upgraded the chassis ECU for Radnor and we’re hoping for a good reliable run to build on our performance on the last round.”

Milner R5 driver Andrew West is aiming to get his championship challenge back on track at Radnor after lower arm mechanical issues forced him out of round three. Navigator Peter Widdop said: “We’ve repaired all the damage and also changed the lower arm on the other side of the car as a precaution. The exhaust has been modified slightly too, we’re all set for round four.”

Andy Powell and Phil Ibbotson are another crew looking for a better event than they had in Scotland. After his truck broke down near the venue Ibboton was forced to make an overnight journey home and then back to Scotland, arriving just in time for the first run. Sadly the gearbox on their Simmbugghini broke during the first day.

“We’re hoping for better luck at Radnor after not having much at the first three rounds,” said Powell. “I have rebuilt my manual shift autobox, I’ve never taken one apart before so I hope I’ve not missed anything. Thanks must go to Steve Hiatt for his help on parts and information on the rebuild. I’ve had a very busy time in the workshop but we will be there, Phil has fixed his wagon too. I’m really looking forward to the Fishpools course, it was excellent last year.”

Lying in 10th place currently is Paul Harris who has had mixed fortunes so far this season in his Bristol Street Motors-supported GSR Maxilight.

“We’ve had a few car issues so far this season so a good clear run is the aim for Radnor ,” said Harris. “After the very wet conditions of the last two rounds I hope we get a dry event this time. I’ll be pushing hard to try and get up the leaderboard. We had major issues on the first run in Scotland which put is down the field right from the start.”

In the Trophy championship Alan Thomas is well on his way to taking the title in his Warrior Gemini despite retiring at the last event. He’ll be looking to return to winning ways in Wales.

The Race2Recovery team presently lead the Freelander Challenge although, after taking a win on only his third Freelander event, Ian Linford is just 6 points behind. With Ian Letman a further 13 points back in third the Freelander Challenge title race is still wide open.

In the Clubman category Andi Skelley will make his long-awaited BCCC return. Skelley crashed his Milner on the Borders Hill Rally last November and work commitments have meant that the repairs have taken several months to complete.

“I can’t wait to get back competing,” said Skelley. “The car needed repairs to the roll cage and a new cab as well as lots of other work and I’ve been extremely busy with my business so it’s taken a while to get the car back up and running.”

“We’re there now though and we’re all set for Radnor. I expect it’ll take a while to get used to the Milner again as I’ve not done many events in it but hopefully we can get a decent result and have troublefree weekend.”

Skelley will be joined by Jon Damrel who won the Clubman class at round three in his Insanity Racing Tornado.

The event starts at 10am on Saturday with the crews racing until around 5pm. Sunday’s action starts at 9am with the final run taking place early in the afternoon. Spectators can park at rally HQ at the Fishpools entrance to Radnor forest and walk to the course. Spectator information is available on www.marches4x4.com.