Monday 16 November 2015

Success on the world stage for rally driver Rodgers

Burton upon Stather rally driver Tim Rodgers overcame major pre-event car problems to win the Co-Part Fiesta Trophy on last weekend’s Wales Rally GB, Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship. Rodgers was driving his RoLEC, FMS Autoparts, Sabelt, Peart Auto Services, The Tortoise, Maple Garage Ltd, CRG Selby, Glow Feast and JFK-supported Ford Fiesta ST.

It had been Rodgers’ lifelong dream to compete on the event but two days before the start it looked like his dream would be over. All the cars taking part must pass a very stringent scrutineering check to ensure they are safe to compete and that they comply with the many regulations and homologation rules.  Unfortunately, along with several other machines, Rodgers’ car failed the test on technical grounds. The TimSport team were up all night working on the car, including a 140 mile journey home for parts.

The car was re-tested but still the event scrutineers were not happy, stating that the seat rails were 8mm undersized. With the correct seat rails not available to purchase, Rodgers had to call upon Ford’s world championship rally team M-Sport to fabricate a set of rails in the event service area.  After eight hours work these were fitted and the car finally passed scrutineering at 6:30 on the morning of the rally.

With just a couple of hours sleep in two nights Rodgers was not in an ideal position to be starting three days of hugely tough competition but, unlike many of his rival crews, he successfully completed the six stages of the opening day with the car needing nothing more than a precautionary balljoint change in service. Despite his lack of sleep Rodgers ended day one in second place in the Co-Part Fiesta Trophy, a category within the event for all those driving a Fiesta ST.

“We didn’t have the best of starts,” said Rodgers. “The scrutineering is always very tough on a world championship event and we had several issues to sort out. The car still wasn’t ready for the ceremonial start so my co-driver Stefan Arndt and I were forced to walk over the start ramp with no car. Thanks to the M-Sport team we managed to sort out the seat rail issue which meant we could start the action on Friday morning.”

“The stages went pretty well really. Conditions were awful but I quickly got used to them. It didn't feel like it had been well over a year since I last drove in a rally. We had a great battle with the other Fiesta STs and were just 2.7 seconds behind the leader at the end of the day.”

Day two was the longest of the rally with nine stages running from early hours of the morning right through to late evening. Rodgers again went well, his pace only dropping on the last two stages as tiredness kicked in. He did enough to lead the Fiesta Trophy as well as lying fifth in class despite being up against much more modern and powerful opposition.

“The weather continued to be very challenging, it rained pretty much all day and the stages were very slippery. Lots of cars were crashing out but we managed to keep going. We had a few issues with the suspension but we kept putting in good times and moved into the lead of the Fiesta Trophy. Tiredness was a real factor on the last two stages though, I was struggling to take in the notes from Stefan and the stages were very rough, I was pleased to get back to service at the end of the day."

A third day of wind and rain greeted the crews on Sunday as they faced four more stages, including a run around the tarmac of the Great Orme near Llandudno. Despite almost putting the car in a ditch on the Brenig stage Rodgers managed to bring the car home to the finish in Deeside. As well as winning the Fiesta Trophy he also finished fifth in class and 38th overall.

"I'm absolutely delighted with the result, especially after all the issues before the event. It's been a rollercoaster of emotions from the despair at scrutineering to the elation of finishing. I'd like to thank all the team for their help and support before and during the event and all my sponsors without whom I'd not have been able to afford to take part. Competing on Rally GB was my dream and I'm over the moon to say that dream has been fulfilled."

Sunday 1 November 2015

Rodgers set to fulfil rallying dream

Rally driver Tim Rodgers, from Burton upon Stather, is set to fulfil a lifelong dream when he takes part in Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship, Wales Rally GB. Rodgers will drive a Ford Fiesta ST in what will be the last time such a car is seen at world championship level as its homologation expires at the end of the year.
Rodgers used the car in both 2013 and 2014, competing in British Rally Championship events. However, a big accident on the Scottish rally severely damaged the car and he has not been in action since.
The campaign to do Rally GB started in May when Rodgers realised that 2015 was that last year that Fiesta STs would be allowed to compete in world championship events. It had always been his dream to compete on Rally GB but the massive budget needed to take part seemed out of reach. However, with no chance of upgrading to a current specification car, if he didn’t take part in the 2015 event then he’d probably never get the opportunity again so a plan was hatched.
“The car was in a sorry state after the crash on the Scottish and it sat in my garage for many months awaiting repair as other things took priority,” said Rodgers. “On realising the 2015 event was the last chance to use the ST I started making plans to get the car back on the road and raise the funding to take part. This was in May so there was only six months to pretty much build a new car, a tough task given all the work had to be done in my spare time.”
“I sourced a Fiesta road car and the long process of bringing the rally car back to life began. It’s taken a while but I’m down to one A4 sheet of jobs now so we will definitely be ready to cross the Rally GB start line in Llandudno.”
“We’ve had a few setbacks on the way, the main one of which was some major sponsors withdrawing from the project last month which left us with a large financial hole. After discussions with my co-driver Stefan Arndt we decided to press on with the plan to compete.  Fortunately I’ve been able to attract support from RoLEC, FMS Autoparts, Business 101, Sabelt, Peart Auto Services, The Tortoise, Maple Garage Ltd, Glow Feast and JFK and I am extremely grateful for that. If anyone else would like their business promoted on a world championship event please get in touch with me via my TimSport Facebook page (
“The car has done Rally GB before, my wife Becky Kirvan used it to win her class on the 2011 event. It’s also been used on other world championship rounds by a previous owner so I’m hoping I can give it a fitting send-off at world level - I'm definitely under pressure to get a good result after Becky's class win! I think we'll be the first husband and wife to have both competed on the event in the same car but in different years.”

The rally has a ceremonial start in Llandudno town centre on Thursday 12th November and then three days of tough competition start the day after. In total the crews will race on almost 200 miles of slippery forest gravel tracks in notoriously tricky conditions.  The reputation of the changeable British weather is second to none in the WRC calendar!
“The events I competed in during 2013 and 2014 were 50-60 miles long so it’s going to be a challenge doing almost four times that mileage in one event but I’m confident both the car and crew will be up to the task." 
To follow progress on Rodgers' preparations to get updates from the event itself please visit

Sunday 25 October 2015

Images from BCCC 2015 R6 Walters

Please click here to see the photographs.

Walters win for Duckworth

Ben Duckworth took his third Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship win of the season at the final round of the season at Walters Arena in South Wales. Andy Powell finished second to wrap up the runner's up spot in the championship, which has technical support from Ravenol.

Heavy rain made the already slippery course treacherous as the crews made their first runs. An early victim was Richard Green who rolled his Bowler and, after suffering neck pains, decided not to continue. Duckworth set the pace from the first run in his Milner LRM-1 and he built up a lead of over three minutes at the end of the day. Ryan Cooke was second in his Milner with Powell third.

Day two got off to a bad start for Duckworth as he suffered a puncture on the first run but he continued to head the leaderboard until the end of the event.

"I'm very pleased with the result," said Duckworth. "It was a very wet and extremely slippery course on day one and it was difficult to push hard. We had a couple of moments and struggled with the radiator getting bunged up with mud. As the course dried our times improved and, despite a puncture on the first run of day two, we managed to take the win."

With Cooke retiring after clutch problems Powell took second place despite a weekend that had gone anything but smoothly, with a broken propshaft and flat battery amongst his many issues. Powell commented: "It was a tough event and a very testing course but those are the courses I like. The weekend wasn't without incident but we overcame the problems. Thanks to Phil Ibbotson for navigating and to all the organisers and marshals, it's been a great season all in all."

Mark Jacques finished third in his 3M Challenger after tying with Britpart's Paul Myers. Neil Davey was fifth in his GSR 206 after driving all of day two with no power steering. Steve Smith was sixth despite an ailing engine in his Clio and Jason Sharpe was the final BCCC finisher in the Isuzu D-Max.

Steve Anning took his Peugeot 206 M3 to victory in the BCC Trophy ahead of the Insanity Racing Tornado of Jon Damrel. Nick Pritchard was third in his Goka Buggy despite several issues including having to change the clutch on day one. The result was good enough for Pritchard to take the Trophy championship.

In the Freelander Challenge the Race2Recovery team of Grant White and Yanto Evans headed the leaderboard ahead of Alastair Moore-Myers and Ian Linford. Linford wrapped up his second Freelander Challenge title in his Team Sheepie machine.

Justin Birchall won the Clubman class in his Lofthouse Freelander in a time that would've placed him first overall had he been registered for the championship. Birchall's win came despite a trip to hospital after suffering a back injury early on day two.

Planning is already well underway for the 2016 championships with round 1 scheduled for 9th/10th April.

BCCC Results
1. Ben Duckworth/Mathew Cook (Milner LRM-1)    02:05:46
2. Andy Powell/Phil Ibbotson (Simmbugghini)    02:14:26
3. Mark Jacques/Simon Last (3M Challenger )   02:17:03
4. Paul Myers/Martin Myers (Land Rover Tornado)   02:17:03
5. Neil Davey/Tony Barley (GSR 206 Evo 8)   02:17:57
6. Steve Smith/John Griffiths (JRG Indy Clio V8)   02:19:20
7. Jason Shape/Richard Lester   (Isuzu D-Max)   02:20:49

Saturday 17 October 2015

BCCC finale to be held at Walters Arena

The final round of the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship, with support from Ravenol, takes place next weekend at Walters Arena in South Wales.

Warrington's Mike Moran wrapped up his second BCCC title at the previous round and, having sold his car, he will not be driving at Walters. Moran's car has been bought by Rob Bool who has entered the Walters event ahead of a possible championship campaign next year. Both Moran and his co-driver Tony Coid will be on hand at Walters to sit with Bool as he learns his new machine.

"It was quite sad seeing the car go to a new owner," said Moran. "We've used it in the BCCC for five years and it has served us very well. We finished third in  2012 when the car had a diesel engine, the best ever BCCC finish for a diesel racer. We had to drive it hard to keep the engine on boost and that meant we spent a lot of time narrowly missing big accidents!"

"After a huge party at the awards do a plan was hatched to swap to a 440bhp petrol Jaguar engine for 2013. We nearly finished second that year but cutting a corner too much at the final round broke both the steering rack and my finger."

"The car has been faultless in 2014 and 2015 and that has meant we have been able to take back to back title wins. I'm in my late 50s now but I've still got the competitive spirit so I'll be back next year in a new lighter car which will once again be prepared by Lofthouse Motorsport."

Walters should see a close battle for the remaining championship podium positions. Andy Powell is currently second on 347 points, just 10 ahead of Mark Jacques with Richard Green in fourth with 332 points. In fifth and sixth place are Ryan Cooke and Neil Davey respectively but with both those crews already having a retirement this season they will be able to count all the points they score at the weekend unlike the other drivers who have scored points in all the events so far.

Powell commented: "I'm looking to have a good last round, the car is almost ready, it just needs the diff rebuilt and fitted. I was not on the ball at Bovington and I didn't get a decent result. I like Walters, there's a good selection of routes. Once dropped scores are taken into account it is very close for second place so there should be a great battle."
Another driver looking to round of his season in style is Paul Harris in his Bristol Street Motors-supported GSR Maxilight. Harris is currently in 11th place in the championship standings after a few mechanical issues with his car.

"We're having the shockers rebuilt ahead of the final round," said Harris. "I'm looking forward to renewing the class battle I've been having with Richard Green and Steve Smith all season, it should be a great end to the season."

In the BCC Trophy Nick Pritchard leads the way on 332 points with Steve Anning in seconds on 247 and Sian Rogers in third on 231.

Ian Linford heads the Freelander Challenge battle with 299 points, 50 ahead of Andy Price. Louisa Felice in in third with 233. The Freelander crews will be joined by new entrant Richard Roberts for the final round.

Spectators are welcome at the event, the action will start at 11am on Saturday with Sunday scheduled to start at 9am. Further spectator information is available at

The organisers are already hard at work planning the 2016 championships with a provisional calendar set to be announced shortly. Any crews interested in competing next year can register to receive regulations by contacting Lilian Turley at

Sunday 26 July 2015

Images from BCCC Hafren

Please click here to see the pictures.

Moran masters the conditions in Hafren

Mike Moran took his third win of the season at round four of the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship, which was held in Hafren forest.

It was Moran who set the pace early on, building up a lead of 35 seconds in his AT 4x4 Indy Challenger over Ryan Cooke. Two of Moran’s main rivals were already out of contention with Neil Davey suffering a broken wishbone on his GSR and Ben Duckworth putting his Milner off the road.

Moran continued his good form throughout the nine runs of day one to build up a lead of almost three minutes with Cooke’s efforts hampered by broken power steering and brake issues.  Andy Powell lay in third in his Simmbugghini.

After sunshine and a drying course on day one the crews were greeted with heavy rain for day two’s eight runs. With the course getting increasingly slippery several drivers were caught out including Jason Sharpe who rolled his Isuzu into retirement. Moran had a couple of moments but kept it all together to take the win.

“I’d seen the weather forecast so I pushed very hard on day one when it was dry to try and build up a good lead,” said Moran. “The rain on day two made the course very difficult, it was like driving on ice in some places and we had a couple of big moments but fortunately the car stayed on the track.”

“It’s been a great weekend and the result has put us in a very strong position in the championship, I’m looking forward to the next round at Bovington now.”

Despite a last run puncture Cooke held on to second place.

“It was nice to have a good race for a change, we’ve had our fair share of problems this year. It was a very good course, very challenging. We had a few issues with the car and a puncture on the last run which almost cost us second place but we managed to hold on to the result.”

Powell continued his good run of BCCC results with third. He commented:  “I’m very happy with third although it’s a bit disappointing to be only 7 seconds off second at the end. It was a fantastic course and the conditions were very challenging. Other than throwing a belt on one run we didn’t have any issues with the car.”

Steve Smith was fouth in his Clio with Paul Harris having a good run in his GSR Maxilight to take fifth.

Nick Pritchard won the Trophy class in his Goka Buggy ahead of Steve Anning with Sian Rogers in third. The Insanity Racing Tornado of Jon Damrel made its first appearance of the season but retired at the end of day one with wheel bearing problems.

The Clubman class saw the return to the BCCC of Martin and Colin Gould, Toby Jefferson and Justin Birchall. Birchall was debuting his Lofthouse Freelander and he set some times that would’ve been quickest overall had he been entered in the championship. Problems with the fuel pressure regulator meant he could finish no higher than third Clubman. In second place was former BCCC champion Colin Gould, who survived a near roll in his new Polaris. It was Jefferson who took the Clubman win in his GSR.

In the Freelander Challenger Ian Linford took another win with Andy Price finishing second in his newly rebuilt car. Louisa Felice finished third Freelander.

The next round of the BCCC, which has technical support from Ravenol, takes place on September 12/13 at the Bovington tank training course in Dorset.

BCCC Results

1. Mike Moran/Tony Coid (AT 4x4 Challenger)    01:51:56
2. Ryan Cooke/Chris Cooke (Milner LRM-1)    01:55:37
3. Andy Powell/Phil Ibbotson (Simmbugghini)    01:55:44
4. Steve Smith/John Griffiths (JRG Indy Clio V8)   01:59:14
5. Paul Harris/Karina James (GSR Maxilight)   02:01:22
6. Mark Jacques/Simon Last (3M Challenger)     02:01:24
7. Richard Green/Richard Griffiths (Tomcat 100)   02:07:25
8. Ben Duckworth/Kevin Bates (Milner LRM-1)   02:08:15
9. Neil Davey/Tony Barley (GSR 206 Evo 8)   02:15:51

Monday 20 July 2015

Moran looks to maintain position at BCCC Hafren

The second half of the Britpart MSA British Cross Country championship starts next weekend with round 4 taking place in Hafren forest near Llanidloes in Wales. The championship, which has technical support from Ravenol, has not used the Hafren venue before so it will be a new challenge to the crews.

Warrington driver Mike Moran heads the leaderboard on 252 points in his Lofthouse Motorsport-prepared AT 4x4 Indy Challenger and, with two wins and a second place so far, he’s in a good position to defend the title he won last year.

“My strategy for Hafren is to aim for a podium finish and try and be ahead of our main championship rivals,” said Moran. “The car survived the last gruelling round at Forrest Estate in Scotland although we’ve sent the gearbox back to the manufacturer to be checked over following a few abnormalities that were likely caused by heat or water. We had a great first half of the season, hopefully the second half will be just as successful.”

In second place, on 216 points, is Andy Powell who finished runner-up to Moran at the last round in his bright green Simmbugghini.

“We’re in a great position in the championship at the moment and I’m looking to maintain that at round four,” commented Powell. “I’ve had a bit of work to do on the car since the previous round  but we’re all set for the event. It'll be great to race at a new venue and hopefully we can have a good battle with the leaders again.”

Jason Sharpe in the Jewson D-Max Rally Team Isuzu is third in the championship standings on 208 points but he has Mark Jacques and Richard Green just behind him on 206 and 204 points respectively.

Nick Pritchard heads the BCC Trophy competitors in his Goka Buggy with Sian Rogers in second and Steve Anning in third.

Team Sheepie’s Ian Linford has built up a good lead in the Freelander Challenge, heading the way by 38 points over Andy Price, while the second Team Sheepie car, driven by Louisa Felice, is in third place.

“Louisa’s car is away having a new clutch fitted but mine is ready to rock,” said Linford. “We’re looking forward to racing in Hafren. We’re also making plans for both cars to contest Wales Rally GB if funds allow.”

Price rolled his car at the last round but he has managed to repair it in time for Hafren.

Price commented: “My car has a couple of new doors, bonnet, bumper and rear subframe as well as a new radiator and suspension leg so it should be fully sorted after the roll. Bring on Hafren!”

At the time of writing there was one entry for the Clubman class with Jeff Fletcher looking to build on his win at round two. However, there is a possibility of some former BCCC crews putting a late entry in if their cars are ready.

The action will start at 10am on Saturday with a full day of competition. Day two starts at 9am with the event finishing early on Sunday afternoon. The venue will be accessed from the Dolydd entrance, please follow the orange arrows. Spectator information is available on

Monday 13 July 2015

Wright continues successful rally run

Bentham rally driver David Wright enjoyed another successful motorsport weekend when he finished 7th overall on the Nicky Grist Stages event in Wales.

After winning the Goodwood Festival of Speed rally shootout at the end of June Wright had high hopes of a good result in the Llandovery-based event, which was a round of the BTRDA rally championship.

The event was split into two loops of four stages, including a lot of the roads used on Britain’s World Rally Championship round. Wright made a good start and, despite not having much experience of using his Kumho Tyres and Grove Hill Garage-supported Ford Focus WRC, he was consistently setting top 10 times to lie in 7th place after stage four.

Wright pushed hard on the second loop of stages to try and get a top five position but an overshoot and stall on the Route 60 stage cost him some time and he remained in 7th.

“I really enjoyed the event,” said Wright. “There were some amazing stages and they were in a brilliant condition. After our issues with the Focus earlier in the year it was good to be able to use it in anger with it working at 100%. It took some time to settle into a good rhythm and we made a few changes with the diff settings but we were still managing to set some top five times and mix it with the BTRDA championship regulars.”

“We were pushing for fifth at the finish but the Route 60 overshoot ended those hopes. I’m more than happy with 7th though, it’s a good solid finish and we brought the car home with no damage. Thanks to Kumho Tyres and Grove Hill Garage for their support and to Giles Philips Motorsport for the car.”

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Roger Albert Clark Rally route outline announced

Sunderland will be the host town for the 2015 Roger Albert Clark Rally when the 12th edition of the rally that re-creates the RAC Rallies of the 1970s and 1980s runs from 27-29 November.
Rally director Colin Heppenstall has revealed outline route details for this year’s event, which will feature a revised route taking in the best elements of recent editions. In total, competitors will tackle 160 stage miles in just over 48 hours, with the route returning to Sunderland for overnight halts on Friday and Saturday and the rally finish on Sunday.
Following a successful move to the north-east city last year, scrutineering and documentation will be based in Sunderland during Friday (27 November). The rally will then feature a city centre start on Friday afternoon ahead of two runs through a spectator stage at Herrington Park and four forest stages in the southern part of Kielder to give a loop of nearly 40 stage miles.
Saturday’s route will be a little shorter than usual and will cover 60 stage miles in the central block of Kielder with service at Kielder water and the end of leg in Sunderland at around 6pm.
On Sunday crews will tackle another 60 stage miles in a loop to the north, taking in stages in the Scottish borders with service at Hawick. The rally will finish back in Sunderland at 6pm.
“Based on competitor feedback, we’ve brought together the best elements of the last three or four events,” said Heppenstall. “Apart from the spectator stage at Herrington Park, the shortest stage is seven miles and there are several stages of between 12 and 15 miles.”
Heppenstall has pledged to hold the entry fee at a similar level to 2014 for a total of 160 stage miles and says that spectators will be welcome at just about all special stages.
More details about the event will be published in due course and event regulations should be available by the end of August.
For more details about the Roger Albert Clark Rally, please visit

Monday 29 June 2015

Wright triumphs in Goodwood Festival of Speed rally shootout

Rally driver David Wright enjoyed a hugely successful Goodwood Festival of Speed when he beat some of the fastest drivers in British rallying to win the shootout event, which was held over the three days of the festival at Goodwood House in Sussex.

Bentham-based Wright was invited to appear at the prestigious event in his Kumho Tyres and Grove Hill Garage-supported Ford Focus WRC, a car which has been used at world championship level by Spanish champion Carlos Sainz.

The shootout format meant that each driver had to nominate one run of the three mile course each day as a timed run so the pressure was on not to make any mistakes. Wright made a fantastic start on Friday, setting the fastest time of all the drivers. He continued his form over the weekend, with his times only beaten by Citroën world rally championship driver Kris Meeke.

“It was brilliant to get the shootout win,” said Wright. “The format of the event made it feel a bit like Formula 1 qualifying – you had to go flat out but just one little mistake would drop you right down the leaderboard. The rally course was quite narrow and very twisty with trees and banks right at the side of the track waiting to punish any errors.”

“I pushed hard on Friday and took a narrow lead. We couldn’t match Meeke’s times on Saturday and Sunday but then he’s a world championship driver in the latest specification of rally car! We did enough to top the time sheets over the three days though.”

“The whole event was amazing and to win the shoot-out just topped it off. Thanks for Lord March for inviting us and letting us rally in his garden! Thanks also to the International Rally Drivers Club and Southern Car Club for running the rally stage, Giles Philips Motorsport for the car, Kumho Tyres and Grove Hill Garage for their support and everyone else who has helped us.”

Wright’s next outing in the Focus will be on the Nicky Grist Stages in Wales on 11th July.

Monday 22 June 2015

Wright to battle against World Rally stars at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Bentham-based rally driver David Wright will take on the stars of the World Rally Championship next weekend when he competes in the prestigious Goodwood Festival of Speed.

It is the fourth time that Wright has been invited to the event, which runs in the grounds of Goodwood House in West Sussex. He will use his ex-Carlos Sainz Ford Focus WRC which will be backed by Kumho Tyres and Grove Hill Garage. The car has been prepared for the event by Giles Philips Motorsport.

“It’s a huge honour to be invited to take part in the event,” said Wright. “The forest rally stage will see a variety of cars running with everything from classic 1960s Minis to the latest World Rally Championship machines. Britain’s two world championship drivers, Elfyn Evans and Kris Meeke, will be there so it’ll be interesting to see how my times compare to them.”

“We’ll be using the same Ford Focus that we used on the Malcolm Wilson rally earlier this year. We also used the car at Goodwood last year. It’s a brilliant event – as well as the rally stage there is also a hillclimb course has an entry including several Formula 1 cars. There’s usually a good mix of celebs there too!“

Wright will be one of several International Rally Drivers Club members at the event, with others including Shelly Taunt, whose car has just arrived back in the UK after she competed on Rally Barbados.

The Festival of Speed starts on Friday morning with the action continuing on Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday 7 June 2015

Images from BCCC Forrest Estate

Please click here to see the images.

Back to back BCCC wins for Moran

Mike Moran repeated his round two win with victory at round three of the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship at Forrest Estate in South West Scotland.

Moran took the lead on run one amidst horrendous weather conditions , setting a time four seconds quicker than Ryan Cooke. Cooke’s hopes of a good result were dashed when the radiator on his Milner LRM-1 was damaged after run three. Neil Davey was putting his run one retirement on the previous event behind him and, despite several issues with his GSR, he was second behind Moran at the end of day one. In third place was Andy Powell who had a narrow escape after going off the road and almost hitting two large tree stumps.

In contrast to day one the sun shone on day two and, as the course dried out, the top three maintained their pace to hold position. Davey was lucky to finish though after a major problem with the exhaust but he managed to get it fixed to allow him to complete his runs. It was Moran who headed the leaderboard, leading the pack by over three minutes. 

“I’m very pleased with the win,” said Moran. “The course was very tough and challenging but I think it put a smile on everyone’s face! Other than one puncture we had no issues all weekend. It’s a shame our rivals had problems but we still had some fun trying to see who’d set the fastest lap of the weekend.” 

Davey commented: “I’m really chuffed to get second, especially with the problems we had over the weekend – it was a case of damage limitation. We had issues with the clutch on day one and then the centre of the exhaust blew off on day two. Fortunately we were able to sort it out so we got to the finish. It was a belter of a course.”

Third place gave Andy Powell his second podium position of the season, a result he was happy with: “It’s been a cracking event and I’m very pleased with third. We had a few problems on day one including the fan belt coming off and a couple of near misses with ditches and tree stumps but we battled on and made it to the podium.”

Rounding off the top five were Jason Sharpe in the Isuzu D-Max and Mark Jacques in his 3M Challenger. Jacques was fourth overnight but two stoppages on day two caused by a belt coming off and broken windscreen wipers dropped him to fifth. Steve Smith was sixth in his Clio with Richard Green in seventh after a difficult weekend in his Tomcat which included having to replace both diffs.

In the Trophy category Sian Rogers took the win in her Mitsubishi Pinin ahead of Nick Pritchard’s Goka Buggy.

Ian Linford overcame a few problems, including a broken alternator, to win the Freelander Challenge. Alastair Moore-Myers, with Ravenol’s Brian Chase navigating, finished second despite a day one excursion. Louisa Felice continued her 100% finishing record in third, her first Freelander podium.

BCCC Results:
1. Mike Moran/Tony Coid (AT 4x4 Challenger)   02:16:14
2. Neil Davey/Tony Barley (GSR 206 Evo 8)   02:19:23
3. Andy Powell/Phil Ibbotson (Simmbugghini)   02:22:39
4. Jason Sharpe/Richard Lester (Isuzu D-Max)   02:26:27
5. Mark Jacques/Dan Lofthouse (3M Challenger)   02:29:18
6. Steve Smith/John Griffiths (JRG Indy Clio V8)   02:32:46
7. Richard Green/Richard Griffiths (Tomcat 100)   02:33:46

Monday 1 June 2015

All to play for as BCCC title race heads to Scotland

Forrest Estate in South West Scotland will be the setting for round three of the 2015 Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship next weekend. 

After two rounds it is 2014 champion Mike Moran who heads the leaderboard on 166 points, 24 points ahead of Andy Powell. There’s a very close battle for third presently with four crews separated by just five points. Mark Jacques is third going into round three on 139 points with Richard Green and Jason Sharpe on 137 and Ryan Cooke on 134.

Several crews will be hoping for better luck at Forrest Estate after suffering retirement at the previous round in Radnor forest. Paul Harris was forced out after a major gearbox oil leak but his Bristol Street Motors-supported GSR Maxilight has been repaired and is ready for Scotland. Ben Duckworth and Neil Davey, who finished first and third respectively at round one, both retired after the opening run at Radnor so they’ll be aiming to get their season back on track next weekend. 

In the Freelander Challenge Ian Linford leads the way on 116 points. After a tough course in Radnor Linford has had a lot of work to do on both his own car and that of fellow Team Sheepie driver Louisa Felice who has finished both rounds so far to lie in fourth place.

“I’ve had to put a new bumper on Louisa’s car and fix the one on mine as well as repairing the exhaust and fitting a new engine,” said Linford. “Since round two we’ve also taken both cars to a local Beavers and Cubs evening and apparently the kids haven’t stopped talking about it since. Maybe one day some of them will be competing.”

Craig Bounds is in second place in the Freelanders on 98 points with Andy Price just behind in third on 96. Price is another driver who has been busy since round two.

“I was losing a lot of power at Radnor and the engine was boiling at the end of every run,” said Price. “I thought it would be the head gasket but I took the engine apart and it was fine but I only had compression on two cylinders. I’ve changed and reseated the valves and did the head gasket as a precaution so hopefully there won’t be a repeat of our Radnor issues.”

Alastair Moore-Myers and Brian Chase from championship technical partner Ravenol will be aiming for a finish after retiring their Freelander at Radnor.

The action at Forrest Estate will start at 10am on Saturday with a full day of competition. Day two will start at 9am with the event finishing early on Sunday afternoon. The venue will be arrowed from the A713 north of St John’s Town of Dalry. A public car park is available for spectators near the event service area. Please visit for further spectator information.

Sunday 10 May 2015

Victory for Moran after tough Radnor event.

After a gruelling two days of competition Mike Moran was victorious in round 2 of the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship.

It was Ryan Cooke who was the fastest driver early on, building up a lead of 39 seconds in his Milner LRM-1 after three runs. Early casualties included the crews who finished first and third at round one with Ben Duckworth damaging a propshaft on his Milner and Neil Davey suffering a burst power steering pipe on his GSR.

Moran took the lead after the fourth run as Cooke had a drivebelt problem on his car which gave him a maximum time and dropped him down the leaderboard. With Cooke out of contention it was Andy Powell who lay in second place at the conclusion of day one’s six runs with Mark Jacques in third.

A further eight runs took place on day two and, despite the very difficult course conditions, the top three had a relatively troublefree day to maintain their positions at the finish.

“It was a tough old weekend,” said Moran. “The course was extremely challenging and it was very tough on both the cars and the crews. It was a shame that Ben and Neil retired early on but Ryan and Andy were putting in some great times so it wasn’t an easy win. All credit to everyone who finished, especially the guys in the standard Freelanders.”

“My car also won the Baja event last weekend in the hands of Dan Lofthouse so it’s been a great two weeks for the Lofthouse Motorsport team.”

By finishing second Powell equalled his best ever BCCC result in his Simmbugghini.

“The event was brilliant, a proper offroad course! Congratulations to Mike on the win, I’m very pleased with second. The car performed really well, other than a slight steering issue that we resolved overnight we had no problems which was a relief after the electrical troubles we had at round one.”

Behind Jacques in fourth place was Paul Myers with Cooke putting in some very quick times to battle back to fifth, despite an off on one of his later runs. Richard Green fought back from a power steering belt problem on his first run to take sixth in his Tomcat 100 with Steve Smith in seventh after having several issues with his Clio over the weekend. Jason Sharpe was the final classified BCCC finisher in eighth. Sharpe was another driver who overcame car issues to get to the finish, including a broken suspension on his opening run.

In the Freelander Challenge Pat Masters took the win ahead of Ian Linford and Craig Bounds with Louisa Felice in fourth. Brian Chase from the BCCC’s technical partner Ravenol co-drove Alistair Moore-Myers in his Freelander but they sadly retired.

Steve Anning won the Trophy category in his GSR despite breaking a steering arm early on day one. After rally co-driver Justin Brooks set some very quick times on day one in his Polaris it was Jeff Fletcher who won the Clubman class in his Bowler Tomcat.

BCCC Results:
1. Mike Moran/Tony Coid (AT 4x4 Challenger) 02:05:58
2. Andy Powell/Phil Ibbotson (Simmbugghini) 02:11:08
3. Mark Jacques/Simon Last (3M Challenger) 02:17:20
4. Paul Myers/Martin Myers (Land Rover Tornado) 02:20:54
5. Ryan Cooke/Lee Channing (Milner LRM-1) 02:24:43
6. Richard Green/Richard Griffiths (Tomcat 100) 02:31:19
7. Steve Smith/John Griffiths (JRG Indy Clio V8) 02:51:10
8. Jason Sharpe/Ian Bevan (Isuzu D-Max) 03:09:03 

Monday 4 May 2015

BCCC crews ready for Radnor challenge

The Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship continues next weekend with round two being held in Radnor forest near Monaughty in Wales.

The opening event in the championship, which has attracted support from Ravenol this season, saw a very close battle between 2014 champion Mike Moran and BCCC debutant Ben Duckworth. Duckworth eventually took the win by just two seconds to lead the championship on 86 points, 6 ahead of Moran. In third place, on 74 points, is Neil Davey who had a successful comeback to the championship at round one after a break of five years.

Crews hoping for better luck at Radnor include Paul Harris who had gearbox issues on his Bristol Street Motors-supported GSR Maxilight at the opening round.

“Round one didn’t go well for us at all,” said Harris. “We had to take maximum times on the first two runs and only managed to complete four runs before calling it a day. The gearbox has been changed and we’ve also worked on improving the gearbox cooling so hopefully we will have a better event at Radnor.”

In the Freelander Challenge Ian Linford leads the title battle on 61 points after continuing his 2014 form with a win at round one. Andy Price is in second on with 55 points with Craig Bounds, who is driving the ex-championship winning Nick Lines Freelander, in third on 49 points.

The championship has used Radnor forest several times in recent years with the large amount of tracks permitting various course layouts. The venue is also popular in rallying and has been a stage in the World Rally Championship. As usual a mix of fast gravel tracks and technical offroad sections will be used to fully test the BCCC crews and their machines.

The action starts at 10am on Saturday 9th May and there will be competition until around 5pm. Day two starts at 9am with the event expected to finish at around 2pm. Spectators are welcome at the venue and the site will be arrowed from the A488, just south of Monaughty. A map showing the route in is available on as is further spectator information.

Monday 20 April 2015

Sykes enjoys Somerset success

Stourbridge rally driver Richard Sykes got his BTRDA Mixed Surface Championship campaign off to a flying start when he finished second in class on the Somerset Stages in his Bathams Brewery, Boroughbridge Marina, G I Sykes and Body Clinic-supported Citroën DS3.

The rally started with two runs on the tarmac of the Porlock Hill toll road near Minehead. Sykes and co-driver Emma Morrison were immediately on the pace, finishing the stages just three seconds behind Callum Black in another DS3.

After the tarmac opening the rally moved onto gravel forest tracks for the remainder of the competition. Sykes was consistently quick and maintained his second in class position throughout the day. He also finished 18th overall out of 166 starters and third two-wheel drive car.

“It’s great to get a good result in the DS3. It’s a new car for this season and it has been a massive learning curve trying to get to grips with it,” said Sykes. “Porlock was the first time I have driven the car on tarmac so I was delighted with our times there. The forest stages went well too, we weren’t far behind Callum even though he has a lot more experience of the DS3 and he’s also got an extra performance kit fitted to his.”

“We used DMack tyres for the first time and they performed very well. We had no issues at all with the car and all in all it was a fantastic event. The BTRDA events don’t have as much mileage as the British Rally Championship ones I’m used to but they are still great fun.”

“There’s plenty more to come from the new car as I learn more about how to set it up and how best to drive it. It’s a completely different car to my previous one so it will take time to reach its full potential.” 

The championship switches to a full tarmac event for the next round as crews head to the high-speed roads of the Isle of Man for the Manx National rally. 

“The DS3s come into their own on tarmac so the pace is going to be frenetic. It will be very daunting, challenging and frightening but I can’t wait!”

Image courtesy Dave Johnson

Sunday 12 April 2015

Images from BCCC Myherin

Please click here to see the photographs.

Duckworth wins on BCCC debut

Ben Duckworth won the opening round of the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship after a weekend-long battle with Mike Moran to kick off what looks like it will be a close season of competition in the offroad series, which has attracted additional support this year from new technical partner Ravenol. 

Moran set the pace on early on day one, opening up a lead of 21 seconds after three runs in his AT 4x4 Challenger. Duckworth was in second place on both his first BCCC event and his first event in his Milner LRM-1.  The pair were evenly matched over the remainder of day one with Moran leading by 24 seconds going in to day two. 

Third overnight was Ryan Cooke in another Milner LRM-1. Crews suffering problems on day one included Steve Smith who had an engine failure on his Clio and Paul Myers who had propshaft and trackrod end issues as well as an offroad excursion.

The lead was to change after the first run of day two, Duckworth completing the course 30 seconds faster than Moran. The pairing exchanged fastest times over the day and with one run to go Duckworth was 10 seconds up. In a tense finish Moran made up 8 seconds on the final run but victory went to Duckworth.

“I’m really pleased with the result,” said Duckworth. “We had a few teething problems with the car before the event so, although we knew it was quick, we weren’t sure how reliable it would be.”

“It was a brilliant course, we kept it consistent in the quick bits and tried not to lose much time in the offroad sections.”

2014 champion Moran was happy with second place on the first event for his newly lightened car.

“It was a perfect weekend really, we had no problems at all with the car, the course was great and there was tough competition. It’s good to see some new competitors joining the BCCC.”

Neil Davey finished third in his GSR 206 on his first BCCC event for several years with Cooke in fourth. 

“I’m happy to get a good finish,” commented Cooke. “We had a huge accident last time we were here so I was dreading coming back but we enjoyed the weekend. Fair play to the guys at the front, we gave it our all but they were quicker.”

Rounding off the top five was Jason Sharpe in the Isuzu DMax, Sharpe also winning the production class.

Mark Jacques was sixth in his 3M Challenger with Richard Green in seventh. After electrical problems resulted in two maximums on the first two runs Andy Powell battled back to finish eighth in his Simmbugghini. Championship newcomer Dean Gibbs was classified ninth although he had to take maximums for his final runs after his Milner left the road near the start. John Thorne, another championship debutant, completed the top ten in his Arctic Cat Wildcat. 

In the Freelander Challenge Ian Linford continued his 2014 form with another win. He faced tough competition from Andy Price who had been leading until a puncture and broken exhaust brought him to a halt on a steep uphill offroad section. Price was able to continue and finished second ahead of Craig Bounds. All female crew Louisa Felice and Jessica Reynolds finished fourth on their debut.

Gordon Monaghan won the Clubman category in his Monaghan RS.

BCCC Results

1. Ben Duckworth/Matthew Cook (Milner LRM-1)  01:46:54
2. Mike Moran/Tony Coid (AT 4x4 Challenger)  01:46:56
3. Neil Davey/Tony Barley (GSR 206 Evo 8)  01:49:04
4. Ryan Cooke/Lee Channing (Milner LRM-1)  01:50:26
5. Jason Sharpe/Richard Lester (Isuzu DMax)  01:56:32
6. Mark Jacques/Simon Last (3M Challenger)  01:58:18
7. Richard Green/Richard Griffiths (Tomcat 100)   01:59:47
8. Andy Powell/Phil Ibbotson (Simmbugghini)  02:08:57
9. Dean Gibbs/  (Milner R5)  02:11:23
10. John Thorne/  (Arctic Cat Wildcat)  02:12:31