Bamber Bridge's Dan Lofthouse ended his Britpart British Cross Country Championship season in style with a dominant win at a very wet Driffield in East Yorkshire, his second victory of the year. 2009 Champion Richard Kershaw was second in a Milner with Martin Cox claiming his best result of the year in third.
A challenging six mile course was set out at the venue, which is usually used by the military to test their vehicles. With standing water covering large parts of the course most crews made a cautious start but Lofthouse and Martin Gould were quick out of the box, both drivers over a minute faster than anyone else on the first run.
Lofthouse and Gould continued to occupy the first two places until the third run when Gould rolled his Mattserati. With Gould out of contention Lofthouse gradually extended his lead and at the end of the six runs of day one he was nearly six minutes ahead of Kershaw who was using a Milner R5 instead of his usual Peugeot 206. Martin Cox ended day one in third, a minute behind Kershaw with the top five rounded off by Alan Wilkinson and Bob Seaman.
Crews having problems on day one included Ryan Cooke, contesting his first BCCC event since last year's Driffield round, who sadly retired on the first run, Bumpy Mike Moran who had throttle troubles and Colin Gould who had broken rear suspension on his Bowler Wildcat.
Day two brought torrential rain and howling wind, creating very testing conditions for the crews. Lofthouse maintained a good lead over Kershaw but it was not all plain sailing, the wipers on his Proto LD4 breaking forcing a DIY mechanism to be hastily constructed which enabled navigator Jonny Koonja to operate the wipers manually. Although some time was lost Lofthouse still ended the event with a lead of over four minutes from Kershaw.
"It’s been a tough weekend but I’ve enjoyed it and I'm delighted to take my second win of the year," said Lofthouse. "We had some good times on the first day and pulled out a decent lead over Richard. Fortunately the wiper problem near the end didn’t cost us victory. I’ve really enjoyed the championship and I hope to be back next year with a new car."
Martin Cox continued his consistent pace on day two to take a well-deserved third while Alan Wilkinson had a good run to fourth. Bob Seaman once again took the Trophy class and also finished fifth overall.
"I'm delighted just to finish, the course was complex and very challenging, the standing water made it difficult to judge the terrain," said Seaman. "I had a few troubles with my glasses steaming up but fortunately my navigator kept me going in the right direction! The championship has been excellent, I've thoroughly enjoyed all the events. There has been a good variety of courses this year and the organisation and timekeeping has been excellent - I'm aiming to be back next year for another go."
The Clubman class was won by Martin Conboy with Ollie Lloyd taking second place in a Tomcat on his debut event.
1. Dan Lofthouse Lofthouse Proto LD4 1:54:24
2. Richard Kershaw Milner R5 1:58:49
3. Martin Cox Tornado Evo 1 2:03:23
4. Alan Wilkinson Milner R5 2:05:50
5. Bob Seaman Milner R4 2:08:44
6. Tony Coid Tomcat 100 2:10:33
7. Steven Smith JRG Indy 2 2:10:56
8. Martin Conboy Tornado 2:13:51
9. Ian Bartlett Bartletts 3M206 2:15:21
10. Carl Duffield Peugeot 206 Special 2:19:46
Trophy Winner: Bob Seaman Milner R4
Clubman Winner: Martin Conboy Tornado