Sunday, 22 October 2017

Birchall wins at Walters as Gould retains title

Justin Birchall won his second Britpart MSA BCCC event of the season as Martin Gould finished third to retain the championship title. 

With the crews facing horrendous weather conditions it was Birchall who was quickest on the first run, completing the course 18 seconds ahead of Andy Degiulio with Mike Moran in third. Drivers not fairing so well included Ben Duckworth and Richard Coleby who both retired after stopping on the first run

Birchall continued to build a lead throughout the six runs of day one despite having to change the gearbox on his Lofthouse Freelander. Degiulio maintained his second place and Gould, who needed to finish in the top nine to guarantee the title, was in third. 

Conditions improved for day two and the crews faced another five runs of the course. The top three held their positions to the end although the day was not without drama for Birchall, his car snapping a propshaft a mile into one run which meant he had to complete the course in front wheel drive.

"We've had a tough year but it's great to end with a win," said Birchall. "We had a gearbox issue on day one and fortunately we had a spare so the team were able to change it. We lost some time on day two with the snapped prop but we had enough time in hand to hold on to the win. I thoroughly enjoyed the event, I love the tracks at Walters,"

After he was denied a potential win at the last round Degiulio was happy with second place, his best result of the season: "It was nice to get to the finish, especially after our Bovington retirement. It was a good course and the car went very well. The organisers deserve a medal for keeping the event going in the awful conditions on Saturday."

Gould rounded off the top three to give him the championship win: "We had a lot of work to do on the car after Bovington and, as usual for us, it was very last minute to get the car ready for Walters. The course was quite different to last year, it was a proper offroad course. We pushed enough to maintain concentration but, with the championship at stake, we reigned in our pace a bit to make sure we finished. I'm delighted to retain the BCCC title."

In the BCC Trophy Paul Rowlands took another win in his Can Am DS to win the Trophy championship. Jon Damrel, whose Insanity Racing team had to fit a new engine to the Tornado after Bovington, finished in second.

Michael Wilson won the Freelander Challenge event ahead of Graham White and Ian Morson. 2017 Freelander Challenge champion Pat Masters rolled his car early on day one.

In the Clubman class Jason Rowlands took his Yamaha to victory with Phill Bayliss in second in his Land Rover 90.

1 Justin Birchall/Jonny Koonja (Lofthouse Freelander) 01:44:02
2 Andy Degiulio/Paul Jones (Milner R5) 01:46:32
3 Martin Gould/Simon Kerfoot (Buxton 4x4 Rivet) 01:47:36
4 Richard Wynne-Williams/Matt Lowe (Lofthouse Freelander) 01:51:36
5 Mark Jacques/Adam Nicholson (Lofthouse Freelander) 01:52:53
6 Rob Bool/Aaron Burch (AT Challenger) 01:56:07
7 Paul Myers/Martin Myers (Land Rover Tornado) 01:58:13
8 Steve Smith/John Griffith (JRG Clio V8) 02:27:13
9 Ian Bartlett/Gary Bartlett (3M Challenger) 02:30:00

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

BCCC title down to the wire at Walters

The 2017 Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship title will be decided next weekend at this season’s final round at Walters Arena and several drivers are still in with a chance of claiming the crown.
With four wins to his name this year 2016 champion Martin Gould is in a good position to retain the title but, with only one dropped score allowed and a retirement at round three, any major problems for Gould could see the title go elsewhere. Gould currently heads the leaderboard on 345 points.
“The last round at Bovington was very tough on our car and we’ve had a lot of repairs and maintenance to do,” said Gould. “We discovered that we had cracked brake discs so we were lucky to win really, one more run and we could’ve been out of the event. We need to finish inside the top nine at Walters to guarantee the title.”
Justin Birchall is in fifth place on the leaderboard with 324 points but, having already had a retirement, he can count all the points he scores at Walters which puts him in the best position to profit should Gould retire. Birchall's car is back to full health after problems at Bovington, with a broken earth wire to the injectors now fixed.
Ryan Cooke is in second place at the moment, just four points behind Gould. Cooke has finished all the events so far so will have to drop his lowest score after Walters. Steve Smith and Richard Coleby, who are in third and fourth place respectively, are in the same position. 
In the BCC Trophy Paul Rowlands leads the way on 333 points ahead of Jon Damrel on 307. Damrel was forced out of the last round after the engine on his Tornado drank some of the course. His Insanity Racing team were flat out fitting a new engine at the time of writing but they are hoping to be at Walters. 
With a win at Bovington Pat Masters took a 66 point lead in the Freelander Challenge which meant that he retained the title he won last year. The battle for second place is close, Ian Morson is currently second with 216 points, just three ahead of Graham White. Mike Smith is fourth with 196 and Michael Wilson is fifth on 195 in his Gibsons of Kendal-supported car. 
In the Clubman class 2016 Trophy champion Phill Bayliss will do his second BCCC event of the season and Paul Harris will return in his GSR Maxilight. Other Clubman entries include Steve Hallett in a 3M Challenger and Roger Thomas in a Peugeot 206.
The event takes place at Walters Arena near Glyn Neath in South Wales. Spectator information is available at The action starts at 10am on Saturday with racing continuing until around 4pm. Day two starts at 9am. Pictures from the event will be available on on Sunday night.