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BORC Keith Lewis snatches BORC lead with victory in Scotland

2007 MATADOR TYRES MSA BRITISH OFF-ROAD CHAMPIONSHIP (BORC)
Castle O’er, Scotland, June 30th/July 1st - round 3 of 5

For immediate release
Sunday, July 1st, 2007

ABERGAVENNY’S KEITH LEWIS TAKES
DRAMATIC BORC VICTORY IN SCOTLAND

• Second for Preston’s Gordon Monaghan; Martin Gould takes third
• Early leaders Colin Gould and Richard Kershaw hit trouble

CASTLE O’ER (Scotland): Abergavenny’s Keith Lewis moved into a four-point outright championship lead by clinching a dramatic victory in the third round of the 2007 Matador Tyres MSA British Off-Road Championship (BORC) in a rain-soaked Castle O’er forest on Sunday, July 1st.

The lead swapped several times during the course of 10 thrilling runs through the rain-lashed 10-mile stage in the Scottish borders, with Lewis, former championship leader Richard Kershaw and Colin Gould all leading during the course of the two days.

“What a battle,” said a delighted Lewis. “It was nip and tuck all weekend and the wet conditions made it that much more difficult. But now I have the championship lead and that puts me in a great position for the last two rounds of the series later in the year.”

Preston’s Gordon Monaghan eventually finished second overall in his self-built Monaghan RS and Gould’s brother Martin was third. Neil Davey and John Cockburn completed the top five, while David Brown and Warrington’s Tony Coid took victories in their respective Trophy and Clubmen categories.

Forty-six crews began the two-day event, comprising 37 cars in the National ‘A’ category, four in the Trophy and five in the Clubmen section. Despite the wet conditions, Lewis powered his Simmbugghini to a fastest time of 13m 42s through the opening 10-mile run and immediately moved into a 15-second lead over Kershaw. Davey was a distant third in a time of 14m 18s.

Mark Andrews succumbed to terminal clutch problems, but both Clubmen front-runner Robin Clarkson and rival Andrew West showed early promise. Chorley’s Matt Lowe edged into a five-second lead over Stratford-upon-Avon’s Roy Taylor in the Trophy section.

Lewis extended his lead over Kershaw to 18 seconds with an improved second run time of 13m 28s, but Davey was overhauled by the hard-charging Colin Gould and Dan Lofthouse and slipped to fifth overall. Despite incessant rain, both Skipton’s Clarkson and Lowe maintained their leads in the respective Clubmen and Trophy categories.

After the third run, Lewis had powered his way into a 35-second lead over Kershaw, with Gould a further eight seconds behind and threatening to enter the fight for the overall lead. Clarkson and Lowe maintained their command of the two minor categories, but Paul Garner lost a windscreen wiper blade in the stage and Lofthouse wrecked his chances of entering the overall top three when he had to be recovered from the stage following an indiscretion.

Gould hit the front for the first time in stage four, albeit four seconds ahead of Kershaw, when Lewis was delayed with windscreen misting problems, posted a time of 14m 34s and slipped to third. Monaghan, the winner of the opening round at Baden Hall, edged into fourth.

Clarkson was forced to stop with mechanical problems and lost the Clubmen lead, but West was unable to capitalise and took a stage maximum. This handed the initiative to Tony Coid. Lowe slipped to 12th place and maintained his lead in the Trophy, but both Richard Corking and Ian Bartlett suffered mechanical problems.

Kershaw moved into a seven-second lead on the penultimate stage of day one, after second-placed Gould finished the section with a broken stub axle which led to the wheel falling off at the end of the test. Lewis held third, but Monaghan punctured and slipped to seventh. Lowe and Coid led their respective minor classes, but Nuneaton’s Andrew Wilson rolled out of contention.

Heavy rain persisted throughout the sixth stage and Kershaw edged into a 35-second overnight lead. Lewis was baulked by a slower competitor, but inherited second after Gould’s untimely demise. Carl Duffield snatched third place and Chesterfield’s Simon Bown was fourth. Martin Gould, Monaghan, Stirling’s John Cockburn, Toby Jefferson, Davey and Paul Garner completed the top 10.

Lowe suffered transmission woes and lost the Trophy lead to Roy Taylor, but Coid held on to the Clubmen lead from a hard-charging Greg Macleod, from Great Dunmow, in his brand new Wildcat.

The first of Sunday’s four stages was dramatic and it cost Kershaw his overall lead and dropped him to 19th overall. His Peugeot clipped a log, blocked the stage and cost several drivers valuable seconds, although Duffield was more concerned by a holed sump and a resultant engine failure.

Taylor and Graham Porter’s Tomcat crashed out of contention, as Lewis regained the overall lead from Bown, Monaghan, Martin Gould, Cockburn, Davey, Jefferson, Garner, Stephen Smith and Accrington’s Ian Bartram.

Justin Birchall left the road during the second run and Garner lost his place in the top 10 after slipping off the track. Alan Kirkland joined them off the road on the penultimate stage, as Lewis held on bravely to his overall lead. Burnley’s David Nutter inherited the Trophy lead from David Brown, despite bending an axle. Coid was well clear of MacLeod in the Clubmen section, despite a puncture in the eighth stage.

Chesterfield’s Bown lost second overall on the penultimate stage when we short-cutted with a puncture and was awarded a stage maximum, which pushed him down to an eventual eighth overall and Monaghan up to second place. Brown overhauled Nutter to take the Trophy lead, as the Burnley driver battled ongoing axle problems and was forced to miss the final two runs. Clarkson was also forced out of the running on the ninth run.

Meanwhile, Kershaw had appealed against his time on the previous stage, but this was upheld by the clerk of the course and he remained outside the top five, as Lewis, Brown and Coid held on to take their respective victories after a topsy-turvy afternoon.

Final positions
BORC
1. Keith Lewis (Simmbugghini) 2h 21m 08s
2. Gordon Monaghan (Monaghan RS) 2h 25m 17s
3. Martin Gould (Tomcat 100) 2h 26m 06s
4. Neil Davey (Peugeot GSR 206 Evo) 2h 29m 11s
5. John Cockburn (Tomcat Max Traction) 2h 30m 05s
6. Dave Harlow (Land Rover Suckbug) 2h 37m 23s
7. Richard Kershaw (Peugeot 209 GSR Evo9) 2h 38m 27s
8. Simon Bown (Land Rover Special) 2h 45m 25s
9. Philip Ibbotson (Metro 6R4 Evo) 2h 46m 16s
10. Dan Lofthouse (Lofthouse Proto LD4) 2h 46m 23s, etc

Trophy
1. David Brown (Land Rover) 2h 49m 36s
2. David Nutter (Tomcat) 3h 23m 41s, etc

Clubmen
1. Tony Coid (Bowler Wildcat 100) 2h 47m 28s
2. Greg MacLeod (Bowler Wildcat) 3h 15m 06s

Ends

Images of BORC competitors are available from Steve Rees, www.concept-photos.co.uk

For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@compuserve.com. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).

www.marches4x4.com
www.BritishOffRoadChampionship.co.uk

Date issued: 01/07/2007

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