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BCCC 2008: Chris Hammond triumphant at Walters Arena.

Shropshire driver Chris Hammond drew the curtain on another successful season for the 2008 Britpart MSA British Cross-Country Championship (BCCC) by taking a stunning victory in the final round at Walters Arena in South Wales on Saturday.

The sixth round of Britain’s premier all-terrain series had shifted to a Friday and Saturday format to enable competitors to enjoy a social get-together at the end of the season, but the competition was as frenetic as ever over the varied 10-mile stage, with Bamber Bridge-based Dan Lofthouse sealing second in the championship with the runner-up spot and Holywell’s Tim Dilworth eventually securing the final podium place.

Newly-crowned BCCC winner Richard Kershaw had edged into an early lead at the wheel of his Peugeot 206 Evo9 and held a 2m 39s lead after the opening day’s timed safari stages in mixed weather conditions at Walters Arena. Hammond was a distant second in his Milner R5 and Broadbottom’s Martin Gould was third overall.

Dilworth held fourth position, Lofthouse and Gisburn’s Justin Birchall rounded off the top six and Ambaston’s Steve Lloyd held the advantage in the Trophy category with eighth overall. The much-vaunted and well-publicised first appearance of Keith Lewis in his new car failed to materialise.

Conditions were far wetter and more slippery over the final day’s safari stages and Kershaw’s hopes of ending the season on a winning note ended on the ninth run when the Huddersfield driver succumbed to broken rear suspension. Gould also retired after incurring three stage maximum times and Hammond took up the reins.

The Shropshire driver was pedalling his Milner to a career-best result and Birchall’s delays with stage maximum penalties increased his chances of seizing a memorable win. Lofthouse continued to be Hammond’s closest challenger, but the Chelmarsh driver hung on to seal a superb victory, with Lofthouse and Dilworth confirming the final podium places.

Chipping Norton’s Ray Kempster improved as the event progressed to take fourth position in his Pro Truck and Lloyd finished fifth overall, won the Trophy category and again advertised the fact that he will be a serious challenger for the overall title in 2009.

Chesterfield’s Alan Kirkland finished sixth overall, Plymouth’s Tim Marsh was seventh in a Wildcat QT, Oldham’s Tim Jefferson was eighth overall, while Wellesbourne’s Dave Harlow and Caxton’s Martin Cox completed the top 10. Rochdale’s Phil Ibbotson, Keighley’s Adam Evans, Dick Corking, Farnham’s Ben Gott and Warrington’s Tony Coid rounded off the top 15.

Evans also secured second position in the Trophy category, with Talybont’s Martin James, All Stretton’s Nick Forsyth and Stockton’s Peter Wood completing the Trophy section’s top five. There were a total of 31 finishers.

Walters Arena - BCCC final results

01. Chris Hammond (Chelmarsh) - Milner R45 - 2h 11m 11s
02. Dan Lofthouse (Bamber Bridge) - Lofthouse Proto LD4 - 2h 13m 13s
03. Tim Dilworth (Holywell) - Peugeot 206 STi - 2h 17m 24s
04. Ray Kempster (Chipping Norton) - Pro Truck R4 - 2h 26m 03s
05. Steve Lloyd (Ambaston, Derby) - Milner R4 - 2h 27m 16s
06. Alan Kirkland (Chesterfield) - Kirkland Proto 1 - 2h 28m 33s
07. Tim Marsh (Plymouth) - Wildcat QT - 2h 29m 31s
08. Toby Jefferson (Smithbridge) - Peugeot 306 - 2h 30m 20s
09. Dave Harlow (Wellesbourne) - Land Rover - 2h 32m 41s
10. Martin Cox (Caxton, Cambs) - Tornado 1 Cosworth - 2h 34m 25s, etc

Walters Arena - Trophy final results

1st and 5th o/a - Steve Lloyd (Ambaston, Derby) Milner R4 - 2h 27m 16s
2nd and 12th o/a - Adam Evans (Keighley) Bowler Wildcat - 2h 35m 28s
3rd and 16th o/a - Martin James (Talybont) Land Rover Special - 2h 42m 52s
4th and 23rd o/a - Nick Forsyth (All Stretton, Shropshire) Range Rover - 3h 04m 23s
5th and 29th o/a - Peter Wood (Stockton) Kap Bandit - 3h 21m 55s
6th and 30th o/a - Paul Myers (Leeds) Britpart 100 - 3h 27m 59s

2008/11/10 | 21:01 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Neil Perkins

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