Sunday, 12 April 2015

Duckworth wins on BCCC debut

Ben Duckworth won the opening round of the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship after a weekend-long battle with Mike Moran to kick off what looks like it will be a close season of competition in the offroad series, which has attracted additional support this year from new technical partner Ravenol. 

Moran set the pace on early on day one, opening up a lead of 21 seconds after three runs in his AT 4x4 Challenger. Duckworth was in second place on both his first BCCC event and his first event in his Milner LRM-1.  The pair were evenly matched over the remainder of day one with Moran leading by 24 seconds going in to day two. 

Third overnight was Ryan Cooke in another Milner LRM-1. Crews suffering problems on day one included Steve Smith who had an engine failure on his Clio and Paul Myers who had propshaft and trackrod end issues as well as an offroad excursion.

The lead was to change after the first run of day two, Duckworth completing the course 30 seconds faster than Moran. The pairing exchanged fastest times over the day and with one run to go Duckworth was 10 seconds up. In a tense finish Moran made up 8 seconds on the final run but victory went to Duckworth.

“I’m really pleased with the result,” said Duckworth. “We had a few teething problems with the car before the event so, although we knew it was quick, we weren’t sure how reliable it would be.”

“It was a brilliant course, we kept it consistent in the quick bits and tried not to lose much time in the offroad sections.”

2014 champion Moran was happy with second place on the first event for his newly lightened car.

“It was a perfect weekend really, we had no problems at all with the car, the course was great and there was tough competition. It’s good to see some new competitors joining the BCCC.”

Neil Davey finished third in his GSR 206 on his first BCCC event for several years with Cooke in fourth. 

“I’m happy to get a good finish,” commented Cooke. “We had a huge accident last time we were here so I was dreading coming back but we enjoyed the weekend. Fair play to the guys at the front, we gave it our all but they were quicker.”

Rounding off the top five was Jason Sharpe in the Isuzu DMax, Sharpe also winning the production class.

Mark Jacques was sixth in his 3M Challenger with Richard Green in seventh. After electrical problems resulted in two maximums on the first two runs Andy Powell battled back to finish eighth in his Simmbugghini. Championship newcomer Dean Gibbs was classified ninth although he had to take maximums for his final runs after his Milner left the road near the start. John Thorne, another championship debutant, completed the top ten in his Arctic Cat Wildcat. 

In the Freelander Challenge Ian Linford continued his 2014 form with another win. He faced tough competition from Andy Price who had been leading until a puncture and broken exhaust brought him to a halt on a steep uphill offroad section. Price was able to continue and finished second ahead of Craig Bounds. All female crew Louisa Felice and Jessica Reynolds finished fourth on their debut.

Gordon Monaghan won the Clubman category in his Monaghan RS.

BCCC Results

1. Ben Duckworth/Matthew Cook (Milner LRM-1)  01:46:54
2. Mike Moran/Tony Coid (AT 4x4 Challenger)  01:46:56
3. Neil Davey/Tony Barley (GSR 206 Evo 8)  01:49:04
4. Ryan Cooke/Lee Channing (Milner LRM-1)  01:50:26
5. Jason Sharpe/Richard Lester (Isuzu DMax)  01:56:32
6. Mark Jacques/Simon Last (3M Challenger)  01:58:18
7. Richard Green/Richard Griffiths (Tomcat 100)   01:59:47
8. Andy Powell/Phil Ibbotson (Simmbugghini)  02:08:57
9. Dean Gibbs/  (Milner R5)  02:11:23
10. John Thorne/  (Arctic Cat Wildcat)  02:12:31