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British ORC: Matador British ORC Rd.1 Driffield Summary.

Huge yumps and deep watersplashes greeted the contestants of the first round of the Matador MSA British Off Road Championship at Driffield, last weekend. In a dramatic opening round in mixed weather conditions, Colin Gould in his first National A championship drive who took the final honours, by a mere seven seconds against seasoned campaigner Alec Lofthouse, the winner of the final 2005 round.

Guy Smith, deputising for the absent triple champion Richard Kershaw, in his own construction GSR 206 Evo was the fastest from the blocks on Saturday morning by a whole 29 seconds over just 5 miles of inhospitable terrain. Second fastest was reigning champion Keith Lewis whose 10m03s was equaled by Ryan Cooke. Guy followed his opening pace with two further fastest times, despite a puncture, before destroying his gearbox.

Keith Lewis was meanwhile closing the gap, and when Guy’s gearbox woes struck, he pounced. Ryan Cooke was chasing hard in his Land Rover, but couldn’t quite match Keith’s pace, until, that is, bad luck struck Keith on the penultimate run of day 1 when a cv joint failure, locked the front nearside wheel and pitched them into an uncharacteristic roll.

Ryan, then took up the role of leader - posting consistently fast times and holding the outright lead until close of play on day one. Unfortunately with a rapidly failing clutch and despite a return trip to Hinckley to fetch parts, Ryan was unable to restart on day 2.

So from lap 1 on day 2, reigning Northern Off Road Club (NORC) champion, Simon Bown then took up position at the front of the field. This was a position that he looked to be making his own until a rear diff failure on lap 11 handed the lead to Colin Gould, who had overhauled Alec Lofthouse on the same lap when the latter had suffered a puncture.

Sensing victory was in his grasp, Colin Gould took the sensible option in what was rapidly becoming a war of attrition and took it steady on his penultimate lap - although by all accounts too steady as it let Alec back through to be the sixth leader of the event.

With it all to play for on the final lap - Colin Gould summoned up all the last lap dash prowess of his car’s previous owner Richard Kershaw stopping the clocks nine seconds quicker than Lofthouse and gaining his first British Championship victory by just seven seconds.

2006/04/12 I 13:22 CET I Editor:

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