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BCCC 2008: Richard Kershaw tops bumper BCCC entry at Driffield.

Huddersfield’s Richard Kershaw heads a bumper entry for the second round of the 2008 Britpart MSA British Cross-Country Championship (BCCC) at Driffield in Yorkshire, when he lines up alongside 61 other provisional starters on June 7th-8th. The Peugeot 206 Evo9 driver currently lies second in the six-round championship, five points behind Deeside’s Neil Davey - winner of round one at Baden Hall in April - and tops the list of 54 cars entered in the BCCC category, seven in the Trophy section and one entrant in the Clubman division.

Under the management of Newtown-based Marches 4x4, the BCCC continues to grow in stature and the two-day visit to the daunting military site at Driffield for an assault at the purpose-built vehicle proving ground is sure to throw up its fair share of excitement.

Kershaw may well be one of the favourites to take victory, but competition will be fierce over the short and tricky special stages. Stirling’s John Cockburn returns to the hot seat in his Tomcat 106 S, after missing the opening round, and starts ahead of Lancashire’s Ian Bartram, Baden Hall winner Davey and Burbage-based Ryan Cooke who completes the top five in his Land Rover Special.

Registered drivers will arrive in Yorkshire from all corners of the British Isles, with Bamber Bridge regular Dan Lofthouse keen to improve on his fourth place in the championship after round one. Oldham’s Toby Jefferson, Hyde’s Colin Gould, Holywell’s Tim Dilworth and King’s Nordley’s Ian Rochelle - winner of the inaugural Baja GB in 2006 - complete the top 10.

There is strength in depth in abundance outside the top 10, with Jeremy Fearn, Ray Kempster, Chris Hammond, Simon Bown, Ben Gott, Martin Gould, Lee Mansfield and Ian Bartlett ensuring that this could well be the closest and most exciting year in the history of the Off-Road and Cross-Country rallying scene in the UK.

Rochelle was one of the early pace setters at Baden Hall and has been testing his powerful Millington Matseratti in recent weeks, with a view to bouncing back from his disappointing crash in Staffordshire. "The car is superb," said Rochelle. "I am raring to go."

Talybont’s Martin James heads the Trophy category at the wheel of his Land Rover Special and faces the likes of Leeds-based Paul Myers, All Stretton’s Nick Forsyth, Ambaston’s Steve Lloyd, Ludford’s Robert Seaman and Stockton’s Peter Wood. Todmorden’s Howard Chopping is the sole entrant in the Clubman category in his Tomcat.

"Once again we are staggered by the strength and quality of the entry,’ said clerk of the course Selwyn Kendrick. "We have a high level of competition this season and strength right across the entry list. In times when other motor sporting disciplines are suffering somewhat, the BCCC continues to expand and attract new faces. It promises to be a fascinating weekend."

The timetable gets underway with registration and documentation formalities at Driffield early on Saturday morning (June 7th), before the competition starts at 10.00 hrs and continues throughout Saturday and Sunday.

The man-made Ministry of Defence location features several steep climbs, stomach-churning drops, narrow tracks and several fast gravel stretches and will offer a stern test for BCCC competitors. The impressive venue also features a tarmac camping and service area and usual catering facilities.

Spectator information: The disused MoD airfield at Driffield is situated off the A614 Market Weighton Road, one mile from Driffield. Travelling from Market Weighton on the A614 towards Driffield the site entrance is approx ½ mile after the village of Eastburn on the left-hand side of the road. The entrance will be clearly marked with arrows.

Leading starters (seeded) BCCC:

01) Richard Kershaw (Huddersfield) I Peugeot 206 Evo9
02) John Cockburn (Stirling) I Tomcat 106 S
03) Ian Bartram (Clayton-le-Moors) I Warrior Storm
04) Neil Davey (Deeside) I GSR 206 Evo
05) Ryan Cooke (Burbage, Hinckley) I Land Rover Special
06) Dan Lofthouse (Bamber Bridge) I Lofthouse Proto LD4
07) Toby Jefferson (Smithbridge, Oldham) I Peugeot 306
08) Colin Gould (Broadbottom, Hyde) I Milner Protruck R5
09) Tim Dilworth (Holywell) I Peugeot 206 Sti
10) Ian Rochelle (King’s Nordley) I Millington Matseratti
11) Carl Duffield (Earby, Barnoldswick) I Peugeot 206
12) Jeremy Fearn (Beeley, Matlock) I Bowler Wildcat 100
14) Ray Kempster (Chipping Norton) I Protruck R4

Leading starters (seeded) Trophy:

101) Martin James (Talybont) I Land Rover Special
102) Paul Myers (Leeds) I Britpart 100
103) Nick Forsyth (All Stretton, Shropshire) I Range Rover 101 Special
104) Steve Lloyd (Ambaston, Derby) I Milner R4
105) Robert Seaman (Ludford, Hants) I Bowler Wildcat 200
106) Peter Wood (Stockton-on-Tees) I Kap Bandit

2008 Britpart MSA British Cross-Country Championship - positions after round 1 of 6:

01) Neil Davey (Deeside) I 86 pts
02) Richard Kershaw (Huddersfield) I 81 pts
03) Tim Dilworth (Holywell) I 75 pts
04) Dan Lofthouse (Bamber Bridge) I 70 pts
05) Dan Evans (Skipton) I 69 pts
06) Simon Bown (Clay Cross) I 68 pts
07) Colin Gould (Broadbottom, Hyde) I 66 pts
08) Ben Gott (Farnham) I 65 pts
09) Ken Powell (Kegworth) I 62 pts
09) Stephen Smith (Hatton) I 62 pts
09) Martin Cox (Caxton, Cambs) I 62 pts, etc

2008/06/07 | 14:32 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Neil Perkins

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