Andrew West and Peter Widdop battled tough weather conditions to take victory in round two of the Britpart British Cross Country Championship.The event was held near Ebbw Vale on a hilltop farmland course made up of tracks and moorland. West was quickest on the first run of the event in his Discovery Centre-backed Milner R5, three seconds ahead of round one winner Martin Cox with Martin Gould lying in third place in his V8 Clio.
West continued to head the leaderboard throughout the opening day and he built up an overnight lead of 1m 39s over Cox. With Gould blowing a diff on the Clio it was Paul Garner who held third place going into day two.The top three maintained their positions on day two with West extending his lead by a further 10 seconds.
“I’m very pleased with the result,” said West. “It’s been a real battle in the wind and the rain and it’s good to take the win. We had to change a wheel bearing overnight but other than that we had no problems. We’re up to second in the championship now so we’ll be pushing hard for another win at the next round.”Cox took second despite his brakes failing on the last two runs, the result meaning that he keeps the lead in the championship race.
“Second is a great result in the circumstances,” commented Cox. “After a problem-free round one we had a few issues this weekend, wrong tyres for the first three runs, leaking power steering fluid and brakes which starting going three runs from the end and then totally failed on the last two runs. The weather was atrocious and I’m indebted to my service crew and all the marshals who stood out in it.”Garner claimed his first podium position of the season in his GSR V10. He commented: “I’m happy with third, we were running on part-worn tyres so we struggled for grip in the wet conditions. We also had a rear shaft break which lost us time. We’re working our way up the leaderboard though so that’s good.”
Paul Myers managed to get his car repaired in time following it’s round one inversion and he was rewarded with fourth place. Ryan Cooke fought back from electrical problems on the opening run to take fifth place in his Milner LRM-1.In sixth was Andy Powell. There was some doubt as to whether Powell would make the event as the new diff he needed for his Simmbugghini wasn’t delivered as planned. However, it finally appeared at 2.30pm on Friday and he got it fitted in time.
Paul Harris was 7th in the Bristol Street Motors-supported GSR Maxilight, a good result after his round one retirement. Mark Jacques claimed 8th in his new 3M Challenger despite a broken trackrod end on day two.The Isuzu UK D-Max of Jason Sharpe was in 9th, the team having to borrow a CV joint from their service vehicle to keep the car going. Ian Bartlett rounded off the top ten in his Tomcat Tornado.
Alan Thomas won the Trophy category in his Warrior Gemini while in the Freelander Challenger Ben Gott triumphed in the Dynamic Metals-supported Race2Recovery car.The BCCC moves to Scotland for the next round with the crews heading to the Forrest Estate course in Dumfries and Galloway.
BCCC Results1. Andrew West/Peter Widdop (Milner R5) 01:41:39
2. Martin Cox/Paul Carson (GSR 206 Evo 9) 01:43:28
3. Paul Garner/Giles Tinkler (GSR V10) 01:48:09
4. Paul Myers/Martin Myers (Land Rover Tornado) 01:49:41
5. Ryan Cooke/Lee Channing (Milner LRM-1) 01:55:52
6. Andy Powell/Phil Ibbotson (Simmbugghini) 01:56:52
7. Paul Harris/Mark Phelps (GSR Maxilight) 01:59:16
8. Mark Jacques/Simon Last (3M Challenger) 02:06:45
9. Jason Sharpe/Russell Sharpe (Isuzu D-Max) 02:07:32
10. Ian Bartlett/Gary Bartlett (Tomcat Tornado) 02:09:23