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BCCC 2008: Dan Lofthouse seals second BCCC-Win in Radnor.

Bamber Bridge driver Dan Lofthouse clinched victory in the penultimate round of the Britpart MSA British Cross-Country Championship (BCCC), held in the Radnor forest complex of mid-Wales on Sunday. The win was the Lancashire driver’s second successive triumph in the series this year and keeps him in the hunt for the coveted off-road title.

Lofthouse overcame the slippery and muddy conditions to finish 36 seconds in front of second-placed Richard Kershaw, although the Huddersfield driver maintains the outright championship lead. There were 47 starters and 38 finishers in the BCCC, Trophy and Clubman categories.

Broadbottom’s Martin Gould had been on course for a top three finish until transmission problems dropped him to sixth place on the last of the 11 runs through the four-mile Radnor stage. His demise promoted Chipping Norton’s Ray Kempster to third place. Deeside’s Neil Davey finished fourth overall and Bromsgrove’s James Webb rounded off the top five.

Ambaston’s Steve Lloyd maintained his excellent run of form to take victory and 18th overall in the Trophy category, with Talybont’s Martin James finishing second in the section and 35 seconds behind the Derbyshire driver.

Chris Bowler sealed victory in the Clubman category, which also saw Drew Bowler and Alan Wilkinson demonstrating the impressive new Bowler Nemesis over Saturday’s six runs through the safari stage.

Marches 4x4 Motorsport Management had to make late changes to the route and site of the service park and camping area, because of recent heavy rain in the mid-Wales area, but the safari stage was challenging nonetheless.

Martin Gould had edged into an early lead through the first run on Saturday, the Hyde driver beating Kershaw by eight seconds. He extended his advantage after the second run, but was pegged back by both Lofthouse and Kershaw in run three.

Richard Corking suffered in the muddy conditions and blocked the stage on two occasions during the third and fourth runs, with several competitors also being handed notional times. But Martin Gould continued to be the form driver over the subsequent stages, where both Clayton’s Ian Bartram and Hyde’s Colin Gould were delayed.

Martin Gould, Lofthouse and Kershaw continued to pull away from the rest of the field as the event progressed and sunny conditions ensured that the stage remained passable. Holywell’s Tim Dilworth blotted his copybook with driveshaft problems on the ninth run and slipped out of the top six to eventually finish 10th.

Caxton’s Martin Cox won class E and finished 11th overall, Brampton’s Paul Garner secured class G2 and 12th place, Beeley’s Jeremy Fearn won the H2 category and Heswall’s Roland Marlow won class C. Lancashire’s Laurie Boyle brought up the rear of the field, but won class B.

Retirements over the weekend included King’s Nordley’s Ian Rochelle, Bartram and Colin Gould after the first day, Greg McCleod after run seven, Burnley’s Dave Nutter before run nine and both Kegworth’s Ken Powell and Seaham’s Dave Brown.

"I came very close to being forced to cancel the event mid-way through last week," admitted BCCC clerk of the course Selwyn Kendrick. “The sheer amount of rain we have had in recent days meant that I was concerned that the stage would not stand up to the constant use by 4x4 vehicles over the two days. "We managed to run a near four-mile section, however, although it was understandable that we had to impose several notional times on several competitors on some of the worst affected sections of the stage."

Radnor - Final results - BCCC

01. Dan Lofthouse (Bamber Bridge) - Lofthouse Proto LD4 - 1h 13m 53s
02. Richard Kershaw (Huddersfield) - Peugeot 206 Evo9 - 1h 14m 29s
03. Ray Kempster (Chipping Norton) - Pro Truck R4 - 1h 17m 42s
04. Neil Davey (Deeside) - GSR 206 Evo - 1h 18m 25s
05. James Webb (Bromsgrove) - Milner R45 - 1h 19m 01s
06. Martin Gould (Broadbottom, Hyde) - Matseratti - 1h 20m 07s
07. Simon Bown (Clay Cross) - Land Rover Special - 1h 20m 19s
08. Ben Gott (Farnham) - TMC - 1h 22m 14s
09. Alan Kirkland (Chesterfield) - Kirkland Proto 1 - 1h 26m 09s
10. Tim Dilworth (Holywell) - Peugeot 206 STi - 1h 26m 18s
11. Martin Cox (Caxton, Cambs) - Tornado 1 Cosworth - 1h 26m 38s
12. Paul Garner (Brampton) - Matseratti sri - 1h 26m 43s, etc

Radnor - Final results - Trophy

1st and 18th o/a. Steve Lloyd (Ambaston, Derby) - Milner R4 - 1h 32m 26s
2nd and 21st o/a. Martin James (Talybont) - Land Rover Special - 1h 33m 11s
3rd and 24th o/a. Adam Evans (Keighley) - Bowler Wildcat - 1h 34m 56s
4th and 28th o/a Robert Seaman (Ludford, Hants) - Bowler Wildcat 200 - 1h 36m 15s
5th and 29th o/a Nick Forsyth (All Stretton, Shropshire) - Range Rover - 1h 36m 15s
6th and 31st o/a Paul Myers (Leeds) - Britpart 100 - 1h 38m 25s

2008/09/16 | 02:01 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Neil Perkins

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