Monday, 29 May 2017

Ten points in it as BCCC title fight heads to Scotland

The Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship season will reach its midpoint next weekend when round three takes place at Forrest Estate in South West Scotland.

After winning the first two rounds Martin Gould leads the title race on 172 points and, having won at Forrest Estate last year, he'll be hoping for another victory as he continues his 2016 championship defence. Justin Birchall is 10 points behind, overcoming problems on both of the first two events to take two second place finishes. In third place is Adrian Marfell in his Fouquet-Nissan who has 144 points, just ahead of Ryan Cooke on 141. 

Behind Cooke there are five crews separated by just two points, with Richard Coleby, Lee Mansfield and Ben Duckworth on 131 and Mike Moran and Steve Smith on 129.

In addition to his Polaris RZR race car Coleby will be bring a Polaris General Deluxe to the event.

"Clerk of the Course Robbo asked if we could supply a vehicle for getting around the site," said Coleby. "We've got him a nice General Deluxe which has the RZR chassis, Fox suspension, 100bhp and a Bluetooth sound bar so it should keep him entertained for the weekend!"

In the BCC Trophy both Paul Rowlands and Joe Quirk have 160 points, Quirk having won the previous round in Radnor forest. Jon Damrel is in third despite rolling his Tornado at round two while round one winner Simon Adams, who missed round two, is in fourth.

Graham White currently leads the Freelander Challenger but he'll be missing Forrest Estate. Instead, his car will be raced by his usual navigator Martin Cooper. Pat Masters is five points behind White and his Freelander has been fully repaired  after clutch problems at Radnor. Michael Wilson will have Ian Letman back in the navigator's seat after he missed the previous round.

At the time of writing there are two Clubman entries, with Steve Carroll bringing the Freelander he also used at Pikes Peak and Jason Rowlands returning in his Yamaha YXZ SS after competing in his first BCCC event at Radnor.

The event will be held at Forrest Estate which is near St. John's Town of Dalry. It will start at 10am Saturday which action until around 4.30pm. Day two will start at 9am with the event finishing at approximately 3pm. Spectator information is available at

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Gould races to Radnor win

Martin Gould took his second Britpart MSA BCCC victory of the season after a very tough event in Radnor forest with Justin Birchall in second and Ben Duckworth in third.

Birchall was fastest early on in his Lofthouse Freelander, with two quickest times in the first three runs. Gould was not far behind though and on run four he was 10 seconds quicker than Birchall to move into the lead in his Buxton 4x4 Rivet-BMW. At the end of the eight runs of day one Gould held a lead of 38 second over Birchall with Ryan Cooke in third in his Milner LRM-1.

Gould and Birchall were pretty closely matched on day two, with Gould's lead maintained at around 40 seconds until the final two runs. Birchall was quickest on last two to bring the winning margin down to 16 seconds.

“It was an extremely hard event,” said Gould. “The course was very rough in places and it was a real test of the cars and crews. We got our lead up to around 40 seconds with two runs to go and then we backed off a little to save the car. It’s been another good battle with Justin.”

Birchall fought back to finish just 16 seconds behind Gould to repeat the second place he achieved at round one.

“We didn’t quite have the pace to keep up with Martin, I think the extra weight of our car counted against us on the many extremely undulating sections of the course. I’m happy with second, in keeps the pressure on in the championship fight.”

After issues with his car cutting out on the first day Ben Duckworth battled back to take third in his Milner LRM-1.

"I'm really chuffed with the result after our problems at round one and during the first day here," commented Duckworth. "The course was pretty harsh with plenty of real offroad stuff but that's what it's all about. I'm really looking forward to the next round in Scotland now."

Cooke had some problems in day two and dropped to fourth with Adrian Marfell rounding off the top five in his Fouquet Nissan.

In the BCC Trophy Joe Quirk held on for the win in his Yamaha despite steering rack issues in the latter part of day two. Round one winner Paul Rowlands took his Can-Am DS to second despite a couple of maximums after engine damage. Jon Damrel overcome a run one roll to finish third of the Trophy crews in his Land Rover Tornado.

Pat Masters led the Freelander Challenge after day one but a suspected collapsed clutch release bearing caused him to take a maximum when his car stopped on the course. He then did two runs with no clutch and was rewarded with fourth place and third in the FLA class. It was Graham White who came through to take the win ahead of Michael Wilson. Alex Howard was third in his turbocharged car, winning the FLB class in the process.

Toby Jefferson won the Clubman category in his GSR 206 ahead of the Yamaha of Jason Rowlands. Sian Rogers completed the top three in her Mitsubishi Pinin.

BCCC Top 10:

1. Martin Gould/Simon Kerfoot (Buxton 4x4 Rivet) 01:33:55
2. Justin Birchall/Jonny Koonja (Lofthouse Freelander) 01:34:11
3. Ben Duckworth/Matt Cook (Milner LRM-1) 01:37:56
4. Ryan Cooke/Darren Cooke (Milner LRM-1) 01:39:40
5. Adrian Marfell/Paul Bartleman (Fouquet Nissan) 01:41:10
6. Lee Mansfield/David Roberts (Milner R5) 01:42:41
7. Mike Moran/Tony Coid (Lofthouse Evo) 01:43:06
8. Andy Degiulio/Paul Jones (Milner R5) 01:43:13
9. Steve Smith/John Griffiths (JRG Clio V8) 01:47:11
10. Rob Bool/Aaron Burch (AT Challenger) 01:51:03 

Friday, 5 May 2017

BCCC ready for Radnor rendez-vous

After an action-packed opening round, crews in the 2017 Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship will head to Radnor forest in Wales next weekend for the second round of the season.

2016 champion Martin Gould heads the leaderboard on 86 points following his Pikes Peak win. Gould has been busy working on his Buxton 4x4 Rivet-BMW to get it ready for Radnor.

“With one week to go the car is in a thousand pieces,” said Gould. “We’ve fully rebuilt the gearbox after an issue at round one caused damage to the main shaft – very expensive!”

“We’re hoping to get it all put back together by Sunday night. I’m looking forward to Radnor, it’s been a few years since I raced there so roll on next weekend.”

In second place, with 81 points, is Justin Birchall who overcame electrical problems on his Lofthouse Freelander last time out. Adrian Marfell is in third on 75 points after a successful first BCCC event in his Fouquet-Nissan, a car which, like Gould’s Rivet, has won the French offroad championship.

Andy Degiulio is hoping for a better event after fuel issues with his Milner R5 at Pikes Peak.

“The fuel was getting too hot and losing pressure,” said Degiulio. “We lost a lot of time as we had to keeping slowing and stopping to let it cool. We’ve fitted a bulkhead and heat shield around the fuel tank, the fuel system has been re-piped and we’ve also fitted blower fans and a shroud. I’ve tested the car on the road and it seemed ok but we’ll have to wait until run one at Radnor to see if the problems are fully fixed.”

Yamaha YXZ1000R driver Darren Johnson finished 8th in round one and he’s had new suspension fitted to his car ahead of round two.

Simon Adams leads the way in the National B BCC Trophy championship after an opening round win. The Can-Am Maverick driver has 86 points, 6 ahead of Paul Rowlands who survived a roll to finish second in his Yamaha YXZ1000R. Fellow Yamaha driver Joe Quirk is in third on 74 points. After missing round one Steve Anning is planning to be out in his Peugeot M3.

Pat Masters made a successful start to the defence of his Freelander Challenge title, his round one victory giving him 61 points. Mike Smith is in second with 55 points and Graham White is third with 49. After missing the opening round 2014/2015 champion Ian Linford will return in his Team Sheepie car which will feature a number of modifications from last season. Michael Wilson will also be back for round two and he’s focusing on having a fun event rather than worrying about the championship.

In the Clubman class Justin Brooks will be looking to repeat his success at round one in his Yamaha. Toby Jefferson will be out again in his GSR 206 after finishing third at Pikes Peak. Jefferson has fitted new tyres, a new wheel bearing and new brake calipers ahead of the event. Sian Rogers has entered in her Mitsubishi Pinin while Jason Rowlands, son of BCC Trophy driver Paul, will compete in a Yamaha. Returning for the first time since Ceri last season is Phil Ibbotson who'll be in his Metro 6R4 Evo. Former BCCC driver Karl Gudgeon will be navigating for him.

Unfortunately spectators are not permitted at the venue, access points will be manned to enforce this. 

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