After almost 100 miles of competition at the Sweet Lamb rally complex Dan Lofthouse took victory in round 4 of the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship by just 12 seconds from Richard Kershaw with Martin Gould taking a fine third place.
Winner of the previous two rounds Tim Dilworth led after the opening run but his hopes of taking a third win were wrecked when his Peugeot 206 suffered a propshaft failure near the start of the fifth run. The resulting stage maximum dropped Dilworth down the leaderboard.
With Dilworth out of contention a three-way battle for the lead ensued between Lofthouse in his Lofthouse Proto LD4, Kershaw’s GSR 206 Evo 9 and the Monaghan R5 of Gordon Monaghan. Monaghan had previously contested the championship in 2007 and he was immediately on the pace of the leading crews, although as he had only entered to contest day one he was not in contention for overall victory.
At the end of the ten runs of day one Huddersfield’s Kershaw led the event by 25 seconds from Lofthouse with Monaghan in third.
Day two started with patchy mist on the course although this did not prevent the leaders from setting a scorching pace, Kershaw and Lofthouse separated by just two seconds over the six mile stage.
The second run of the day saw Kershaw’s car suffer a misfire due to a faulty coil pack. The problem was to continue up until the last run when a replacement part was sourced from another competitor but by this time Lofthouse had a lead of 18 seconds which was too much for Kershaw to make up.
Despite his misfortune Kershaw was pleased with his result. “It’s been a fantastic weekend, I’m happy with second place, we were lucky to finish with the problem we had,” he said. “The course was brilliant, really enjoyable and quick.”
Winner Lofthouse was delighted with the victory. “I’m over the moon, we’ve had a good weekend with no major problems. It was an awesome course in awesome weather.”
Bob Seaman took victory in Trophy class in his Milner R4 with Neil Davey winning the Clubman event in his GSR 206 Evo 9.
1. Dan Lofthouse Lofthouse Proto LD4 1:52:36
2. Richard Kershaw GSR 206 Evo 9 1:52:48
3. Martin Gould Mattserati 1:54:30
4. Justin Birchall Peugeot M206 1:56:42
5. Chris Hammond Milner R5 1:56:47
6. Colin Gould Bowler Wildcat 1:58:12
7. Steve Lloyd Milner R5 2:00:31
8. Tim Dilworth Peugeot 206 GTi 2:01:23
9. Greg Macleod Tomcat 100 2:06:05
10. Steven Smith JRG Indy 2 2:07:30
Trophy Winner: Bob Seaman Milner R4
Clubman Winner: Neil Davey GSR 206 Evo 9