Sunday, 26 October 2014

Moran takes BCCC title at Walters

Mike Moran won the final round of the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship and in doing so took the championship title.

With dropped scores taken into account Moran and Martin Cox were level on points going into the event so whoever finished ahead at Walters would take the title.

Cox’s challenge got off to a bad start with the power steering hose bursting on the opening run, meaning that he was in fourth place, 34 seconds behind Moran. The drama was to continue for Cox, with a banjo bolt breaking and an excursion into a ditch. He ended day one in second place but 1m 45 off the lead.

Moran meanwhile was having a trouble-free day in his AT 4x4 Indy Challenger, setting the fastest time on seven of the day’s eight runs.  In third place overnight was Paul Myers in his Land Rover Tornado.

Moran continued to set the pace early on two day, extending his lead by a further 15 seconds on the opening two runs. Cox was quickest on the final five runs of the event but, despite Moran losing time with a puncture, he couldn’t make up enough time to take the win.

“I’m gutted,” said Cox. “We’ve been quick all year and it’s very disappointing that mechanical problems here and at the last round have cost us the title. The power steering problem cost around 50 seconds and, without any spares, we had to fabricate a replacement on site. We also lost around 40 seconds stuck in the ditch”

“It’s been a fantastic season though with good comradeship amongst the crews”

The victory was Moran’s third of the season and it gave him his first BCCC title.

“It’s a dream come true and totally unexpected,” commented Moran. “. I feel sorry for Martin, he was within one run of wrapping the title up at the previous round but his engine problems gave us a chance which we’ve taken. We were consistently fast this weekend, the development work we’ve done on the gearbox with Lofthouse Motorsport, ACR and PPG has really paid dividends. After Dan winning last year it’s nice that another Lofthouse-prepared car has won the championship.”

“We’ve had six excellent courses this year and it’s been a great battle. Thank you to all the organisers and marshals for a brilliant championship, the competition has been excellent. ”

With Myers suffering a blown engine Andy Powell rounded off the top three in his Simmbugghini, despite navigator Phil Ibbotson being forced out of the event after sustaining an eye injury on the third run.

“It’s been a good weekend and a blinding one for Phil,” said Andy. “I’m pleased with another podium finish, we’ve ended the year well after a poor start to the championship.”

“It was a tough event and the car is ready for some work over the winter including another gearbox rebuild. We’ll hopefully be back for more next year. Thanks to Paul Harris for stepping into the navigator seat.”

Mark Jacques finished fourth in his 3M Challenger with Richard Green taking his Tomcat to fifth. Steve Smith was sixth in the JRG Clio ahead of Ian Bartlett. Jason Sharpe was the final BCCC finisher, battling to eighth after a testing event in the Jewson Isuzu D-Max Rally Team car.

Alan Thomas won the Trophy category in his Warrior with Paul Cumpstone taking victory in the Freelander Challenge. Ian Linford was second Freelander crew despite a broken alternator, damaged gearbox and broken clutch. The result which made Linford the Freelander Challenge champion.

BCCC results:
1. Mike Moran/Tony Coid (AT 4x4 Indy Challenger) 02:28:06
2. Martin Cox/Paul Carson (GSR 206 Evo 9) 02:29:01
3. Andy Powell/Phil Ibbotson/Paul Harris (Simmbugghini) 02:38:06
4. Mark Jacques/Simon Last (3M Challenger) 02:46:48
5. Richard Green/Richard Griffiths (Tomcat 100) 02:55:02
6. Steve Smith/John Griffiths (JRG Indy Clio V8) 02:58:17
7. Ian Bartlett/Gary Bartlett (Tomcat Tornado) 03:01:40
8. Jason Sharpe/Russell Sharpe (Isuzu D-Max) 03:48:47