Sunday, 14 September 2014

Moran takes last-gasp victory at Bovington

Mike Moran took his second Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship win of the season at round 5 in Bovington after long-time leader Martin Cox suffered engine problems on his final run.

It was Cox who set the pace early on, taking a lead of 17 seconds on run one ahead of Ryan Cooke in his Milner LRM-1. Cox and Cooke exchanged fastest times for the first six runs and the scene was set for a close battle between the pair. Unfortunately for Cooke his car then suffered a burst radiator which forced him out of the event.

This promoted Moran to second in his AT 4x4 Challenger with Andy Powell in third. Despite a puncture late on day one Cox held an overnight lead of over two minutes after ten runs of the course.

A further seven runs took place on day two. Cox’s car had been consuming oil at an ever-increasing rate and at the end of the sixth run he was forced to stop as soon as he crossed the finish line as the engine was totally out of oil. The car was filled up again but the engine let go just after the start line of his final run and Cox had to be towed out of the course. The resultant maximum dropped him down the leaderboard and gave the win to Moran.

“It’s been a great weekend and it is a privilege to race at a venue usually used by our Armed Forces,” said Moran. “I feel sorry for Martin, he drove exceptionally well and deserved to win but it’s all about getting points and the result means I still have a chance of the championship.”

“The course was phenomenal with a good mix of fast, extremely fast and rough sections. The car performed well, our new gearbox was only finished on Thursday night and it has transformed the car. Thanks to Lofthouse Motorsport and Roland at ACR for all their work on it.”

Powell continued setting good times on day two to take second place in his Simmbugghini, his best ever racing result.

“I’m elated with second place, it’s a great result for us especially as we’re in a beam axle car rather than an independent. I enjoyed the course, it was certainly a tough test of man and machine.  We had a lot of work to do on the car after the last round including fitting a new transfer box, it was touch and go whether we’d make it to Bovington but all the work has paid off.”

Mark Jacques was another driver achieving a personal best result, overcoming shaft problems on day one to finish in third. 

Cox’s final run issues saw him drop to fourth ahead of Richard Green’s Tomcat. Paul Myers was 6th and the Isuzu of Jason Sharpe was 7th despite having to do some runs in two wheel drive after a driveshaft issue. 

In 8th was Ian Bartlett who towed Cox for almost a full lap in his Tomcat. Birthday boy Steve Smith finished 9th after stopping twice with problems on day one while Paul Harris rounded off the top ten after a troublesome event in his GSR Maxilight, the car suffering from overheating. 

In the Freelander Challenge Ian Linford took the win. Freelander newcomer Andrew Price was second. In third was the Race2Recovery crew of Grant White and Yanto Evans in their Dynamic Metals-supported car, the crew making history by becoming the first amputee pairing to enter and finish an event. Ian Letman was fourth despite rolling the car on day one.

Jon Damrel was once again victorious in the Clubman class in his Tornado.

BCCC results:
1. Mike Moran/Tony Coid (AT 4x4 Indy Challenger) 02:29:49
2. Andy Powell/Phil Ibbotson (Simmbugghini) 02:32:41
3. Mark Jacques/Simon Last (3M Challenger) 02:37:39
4. Martin Cox/Paul Carson (GSR 206 Evo 9) 02:38:15
5. Richard Green/Richard Griffiths (Tomcat 100) 02:43:22
6. Paul Myers/Martin Myers (Land Rover Tornado) 02:45:38
7. Jason Sharpe/Russell Sharpe (Isuzu D-Max) 02:51:01
8. Ian Bartlett/Gary Bartlett (Tomcat Tornado) 03:03:26
9. Steve Smith/John Griffiths (JRG Indy Clio V8) 03:14:43
10. Paul Harris/Mark Phelps (GSR Maxilight) 03:15:48

Monday, 8 September 2014

BCCC set for Bovington battle

Bovington in Dorset will be the venue for the penultimate round of the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship next weekend and a good result for Martin Cox could see him win the title.

Cox presently heads the championship table on 321 points having taken two victories so far this year. Second to fifth place are separated by just 12 points. Cox’s nearest challenger is Ryan Cooke who has overcome several issues with his car to lie in second place on 273 points. Two points behind is Jason Sharpe who is having a fine BCCC debut year in his Isuzu D-Max.

A consistent season in his Bowler Tomcat sees Richard Green in fourth on 267 while Mark Jacques is  fifth on 261 after stepping up from the Trophy championship last year.

“We’ve had a good season so far,” said Jacques. “We finished fifth at the last BCCC round in Radnor but the weekend before that we used the car on the Welsh Hill Rally where we finished 6th overall so it had quite a battering, including doing the last stage with a collapsed wheel bearing.”

“We’ll have new axles and revised suspension geometry for Bovington. We’re also planning on having a flat-shift fitted which will hopefully be ready in time.”

The race for the Freelander Challenge title is close with the Race2Recovery team leading the championship on 124 points, despite heavily rolling their car at the last round. Ian Linford in the Team Sheepie car is in second place on 118 points. Linford and navigator Demelza Scholes have been busy repairing the car following a broken cambelt in Radnor.

Scholes commented: “The engine has been rebuilt after the cambelt incident, the car has also been fitted with new front springs to try and help with the rougher sections of the courses. We’ve also managed to fit in a magazine photoshoot with the car and crew!”

The Clubman entry list is expected to feature the Insanity Racing Tornado of Jon Damrel and the Milner of Andi Skelley.

The event starts on Saturday at 10am with a full day of competition. Day two starts at 9am with the final run taking place early on Sunday afternoon. As the venue is an MoD site the landowner has specified that no spectators will be permitted, the access gate will be manned to enforce this.