Sunday, 27 July 2014

Cox celebrates victory at tough Radnor event


Martin Cox took his second Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship win of the season at a tough event in Radnor forest.

Cox made a great start, quickest overall by 21 seconds on the opening run in his GSR 206. Paul Garner set the pace on the next three runs but Cox still led by 8 seconds.

With Garner retiring on run 6 it was Mike Moran who was Cox’s nearest challenger with Paul Myers in third. Myers soon joined Garner on the retirements list though, a blown head gasket on his Land Rover Tornado forcing him out.

After day one’s 9 runs Cox held a lead of 1m 40s over Moran with Steve Smith in third in his JRG Clio.

A further 7 runs took place on day two. Cox continued to head the leaderboard and, helped by Moran suffering a puncture, he finished over five minutes ahead of the pack.

“I’m happy with the result, it’s more points in the bag for the championship,” said Cox. “We put in a quick time on the first run and maintained the lead from there. It wasn’t a troublefree event though, we had issues with the power steering fluid leaking and the brake pipes had to be replaced amongst other things. We also found a deer running along the course at one point!”

“ The course was very demanding and challenging, it was a real test of the cars and drivers. Thanks to all the marshals and organisers for a great event.”

Moran was pleased with second place to follow up the win he had at round three.

“It was a tough old course and I was pretty nervous with all the mechanical ailments most cars were suffering from. Other than the puncture on day two we had no issues though. Martin was too quick for me, he deserves the win, I’m pleased with second. “

Smith completed a good event in the V8-powered Clio in third overall ahead of Andy Powell who overcame several car issues to finish fourth.

“We spent a fair proportion of time on Saturday fixing the car,” said Powell. “Issues included a broken steering box, stub shaft and king pins. The intercom was faulty too. To round off a very tough event we did the last two runs with a broken exhaust. I’m pleased to come away with fourth after all that.”

Mark Jacques followed up his sixth place in the Welsh Hill rally with fifth at Radnor. Jason Sharpe was 6th in his Isuzu D-Max.

In 7th was Ryan Cooke who had 2013 BCCC champion Dan Lofthouse in the navigator’s seat. Cooke had a trying weekend with a broken shock absorber on the first run followed by a failed power steering belt on run two. His woes continued on day two with the car having cooling issues but he managed to get to the finish. Richard Green finished in 8th, a higher finish was on the cards before fuel pump problems on day two.

Rounding off the top 10 were Paul Harris and Ian Bartlett. Both drivers suffered from car problems over the weekend including a broken ignition switch for Harris in his Bristol Street Motors-supported GSR Maxilight.

Alan Thomas was the only entry in the Trophy championship and despite some car issues he successfully finished. There were no finishers in the Freelander Challenge either. The Race2Recovery car retired after a roll caused by broken rear suspension. Ian Letman had major clutch problems on day one. He eventually got it fixed and was able to do some runs on day two but he had too many maximums to be classified as a finisher. Ian Linford looked to be heading for a repeat of his round three win but a broken cambelt early on the second day put him out of the event.

In the Clubman category 2013 BCCC drivers Andi Skelley and Tom Hipkiss entered their Milners. Skelley’s car had a head gasket failure early in the event while Hipkiss did not contest day two. Jon Damrel battled various issues on his Tornado to take the category win.

The next championship round will take place at Epynt in Wales on 13-14th September.

1. Martin Cox/Paul Carson (GSR 206 Evo 9) 02:08:30
2. Mike Moran/Tony Coid (AT 4x4 Indy Challenger) 02:13:56
3. Steve Smith/John Griffiths (JRG Indy Clio V8) 02:14:54
4. Andy Powell/Phil Ibbotson (Simmbugghini) 02:19:23
5. Mark Jacques/Simon Last (3M Challenger) 02:23:12
6. Jason Sharpe/Russell Sharpe (Isuzu D-Max) 02:37:09
7. Ryan Cooke/Dan Lofthouse (Milner LRM-1) 02:44:00
8. Richard Green/Richard Griffiths (Tomcat 100) 02:44:32
9. Paul Harris/Mark Phelps (GSR Maxilight) 02:50:54
10. Ian Bartlett/Gary Bartlett (Tomcat Tornado) 03:02:01