Saturday, 5 September 2015

Title up for grabs as BCCC heads to Bovington

After a summer break crews in the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship will head to Bovington in Dorset next weekend for round five of the series, which this year has technical support from Ravenol.

With three wins in four events so far this season Warrington's Mike Moran could complete a successful defence of his BCCC title with another good result in his Lofthouse Motorsport-prepared AT 4x4 Indy Challenger. Moran presently leads the title battle on 338 points with Andy Powell in second on 290 and Mark Jacques in third on 272.

Despite his lead Moran is feeling quite nervous ahead of the event. "We're in a great position with three wins and a second place but Bovington is a very tough course and, as we saw last year with several of the top drivers having major issues with their cars, it's a difficult event to finish."

"The testing course has every surface known to mankind and even though we were trying to look after the car last year we still managed to destroy four wheel bearings, the alternator, starter motor and power steering pump as well as wearing out a set of brake pads and eight tyres."

"Most of the competitors will have their fingers crossed that the ground stays dry. Some of the surfaces could turn into a deep mud pit if it rains heavily which will give an advantage to the lighter cars."

In the BCC Trophy Nick Pritchard heads the field on 246 points and, with second place driver Steve Anning on 167 points, Pritchard is in a strong position to take the Trophy title in his Goka Buggy. In third place is Sian Rogers who is just behind Anning on 162 points in her first season in her Mitsubishi Pajero.

In the Freelander Challenge Ian Linford leads the way after winning three events so far this year. He could wrap up the championship with another strong performance at Bovington. Andy Price is in second place, 44 points behind Linford with Louisa Felice in third place a further ten points back.

Price is hoping for a clear run after issues at the previous two events. He rolled his car at round three and then suffered various dramas at round four in Hafren before ending up in second place.

"After the third run at Hafren we discovered the car had a hole in the gearbox," said Price. "With the help of Ian Linford's team and my own service crew we managed to fill the hole. However, with the dirt that was getting in, the clutch plate got destroyed and I also had an electrical problem which kept killing the power completely."

"I managed to get the car to the finish and got a good result. I've replaced the clutch and the gearbox and the electrical issue has been cured so I'm looking forward to Bovington and having another fun weekend with the rest of the Freelander teams."

Joining the Freelanders for the first time this season will be the Race2Recovery team. The team is now headed up by Grant White, who will be driving at Bovington. White, a former Royal Marine and right leg below knee amputee, will be joined in the car by co-driver Yanto Evans, former Parachute Regt. and also a right leg below knee amputee. They are being sponsored to enter the event by Westover Landrover of Christchurch and BLESMA (British Limbless Ex Service Mens Association).

White commented: "The team is looking forward to re-connecting with the BCCC and Freelander Challenge teams and we're hoping to show everyone how far we've progressed since we last competed alongside the other Freelanders."

The event will take place at the Bovington Camp MoD tank training facility, the same venue as was used for the first time last year. The action will start at 10am on Saturday with a full day of competition. Day two starts at 9am with the event expected to finish early on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, as the event is on MoD land, there will be no spectators allowed inside the venue.