Sunday, 11 September 2016

Gould win sets up final round title decider

Martin Gould made it four Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship wins in a row with victory in round five at Bovington in Dorset.

The course was made up of the usual mixture of surfaces at the MoD's tank training facility. Several hours of rain before the event made the tracks extremely slippery, with large areas of standing water which caused problems for several crews on the opening runs.

Ryan Cooke had no such issues though as he powered his Milner LRM-1 into the lead on the opening run. Cooke, Gould and championship leader Richard Wynne-Williams fought over the top three positions through most of day one although Wynne-Williams’ hopes of a good result were dashed when he had to take a maximum on his final run due to starter motor problems. It was Gould who led overnight, 40 seconds ahead of Cooke with Mark Jacques in third.

Cooke's chances of taking a win were ended when he broke a shaft on the second run of day two, Gould eventually winning by almost three minutes.

“What an event, it’s been so rough on both the car and crew,” said Gould. “We wanted to get the win and we’ve achieved that – it sets up a great climax for the final round now. We’re in a good position for the title but we’ve got to get a decent finish at Walters. We did Des Cimes last weekend so between that and this weekend the car has taken a pounding - we've got lots of work to do on it before the final round."

Cooke was happy with second, a result which strengthens his chances of a good overall finish in the championship: "I'm pleased with the result although it's disappointing we couldn't challenge for the win on the second day. We were plagued with problems all weekend with a bust caliper, a power steering issue which seemed to cure itself and then blowing the shaft. It's been a brilliant weekend though, I love the venue and the course. Thanks to everyone who helps me get to the races."

Jacques maintained third place in his Lofthouse Evo: "The rain and water yesterday were really bad but we ploughed on, sometimes quite literally! We tried to keep it consistent and the car was 100%, I'm starting to get the feel of it now. We've been nursing the gearbox for the last two events as second gear is chipped but all that will be sorted for Walters - it promises to be a right old bun fight there!"

In the BCC Trophy Nick Pritchard led for most of the event but his car ended up in the trees towards the end which gave the win to Phill Bayliss. Bayliss had already done a full event's mileage just getting to Bovington - his tow car broke down so he had to drive his race car the rest of the way. The Insanity Racing team had a dramatic event, rolling their Tornado in a forest section before eventually retiring with distributor problems. 

Pat Masters took another win in the Freelander Challenge with Alex Howard in second and Michael Wilson third.

Tim Dilworth won the Clubman event in his Peugeot 206 STi. His times were such that he would've been leading the event overall after day one had he been BCCC-registered. A few issues on day two cost him a lot of time but he still took the Clubman win. 

BCCC results:

1. Martin Gould/Simon Kerfoot (Buxton 4x4 Rivet) 02:11:34 

2. Ryan Cooke/Darren Cooke (Milner LRM-1) 02:14:26
3. Mark Jacques/Simon Last (Lofthouse Freelander) 02:18:55
4. Andy Powell/Evalda Kazla (Simmbugghini) 02:24:11
5. Justin Birchall/Louise Birchall (Lofthouse Freelander) 02:29:47
6. Neil Davey/Tony Barley (Yamaha YXZ1000R) 02:32:34
7. Richard Wynne-Williams/Ian Jones (Lofthouse Freelander) 02:35:25
8. Jonny Koonja/Matt Lowe (Simmbugghini) 02:35:38
9. Alan Thomas/Aaron Burch (Warrior Indy) 02:38:48
10. Steve Smith/John Griffiths (JRG Clio V8) 02:42:01