BORC Richard Kershaw takes BORC lead with victory at Sweet Lamb
2007 MATADOR TYRES MSA BRITISH OFF-ROAD CHAMPIONSHIP (BORC)
Sweet Lamb, Wales, September 8th-9th - round 4 of 5
For immediate release
Sunday, September 9th, 2007
HUDDERSFIELD’S RICHARD KERSHAW SNATCHES
BORC LEAD WITH THRILLING SWEET LAMB VICTORY
· Preston’s Gordon Monaghan takes second; third for Simon Bown
· David Brown closes in on David Nutter with Trophy victory
SWEET LAMB (Wales): Huddersfield’s Richard Kershaw moved into a 10-point lead in this year’s Matador Tyres MSA British Off-Road Championship (BORC) by clinching a thrilling 12-second victory on the 11-stage fourth round of the series at the Sweet Lamb Rally Complex, near Llangurig, in mid-Wales.
Preston’s Gordon Monaghan pushed the Peugeot 206 GSR Evo9 driver to the limit and the pair traded times on each of the second day’s five specials, held in dry, bright conditions, at Sweet Lamb.
Monaghan eventually finished second, although he moved to within nine points of Abergavenny’s second-placed Keith Lewis in the championship, prior to the final round of the series in Wales on October 27th-28th.
This was Kershaw’s second win of the season – he was also victorious on the second round at Bleddfa – and the result sets up a gripping final round showdown with Baden Hall winner Monaghan and Lewis, the victor in Castle O’er.
“It was crucial that I managed to win this event,” said Kershaw. “Now I have a 10-point lead to take to the final round in Wales. I have already won two events in Wales this year. A hat-trick that would be sufficient to clinch the title.”
Lewis was disappointed with his result. “We were off the pace on the first two laps and then really struggled to keep up with Richard and Gordon,” admitted the Welshman “Their cars are far superior to mine, especially on the rally-type stages we had at the weekend. I had a puncture and we rolled on the eighth run and lost about 1m 50s. The marshals were quick to get us back on our wheels again, but not quick enough. Now I’ve got it all to do on the last round. I just hope we have more difficult off-road sections. That suits me better.”
Kershaw extended his 10-second overnight advantage to 11 after the first run of the morning and the margin rose to 21 after run eight. But Monaghan reduced the deficit to 16 seconds and then to 12 over the next two runs to set up a gripping climax. The pair set the same time on the final 11th run and Kershaw duly managed to edge in front of Lewis to take the overall championship lead.
Lewis began the final day in fifth place, but was unable to improve on that position, as the top six all held station over the final day. Chesterfield’s Simon Bown finished third in his Land Rover Special, Neil Davey moved up to fifth in the championship with a fine fourth overall and Stirling’s John Cockburn finished 1m 36s behind Lewis in sixth position.
Lee Mansfield, Stuart Winter, Ryan Cooke and Accrington’s Ian Bartram rounded off the top 10. Both Colin Gould and Paul Garner retired their Mattserattis and Y Rali Bryn Cymru winner Dan Lofthouse was not able to fully recover from first day technical problems and eventually finished 31st in his Proto LD4.
County Durham’s David Brown put life back into his challenge for overall Trophy honours by beating Northern Ireland’s David Nutter. Nutter looked set to extend his championship lead until the penultimate stage, when he hit trouble, and Brown now heads to the final round in Wales a mere seven points behind his rival. Chorley’s Matt Lowe, Tim Hayday and Roy Taylor all retired at the end of the first day.
Ronnie Hoyle dominated the Clubmen category in his 3M Challenger and reached the finish over eight minutes ahead of Paul Myers, with Great Dunmow’s Greg MacLeod in third in his Bowler Wildcat. Dean Sutcliffe and Rupert Astbury completed the list of finishers, while retirements included Steve Cobbold, Warrington’s Tony Coid, Nick Forsyth, Frazer Williams and Tim Dilworth.
Kershaw held a 10-second lead over Monaghan after six runs through the 6.75-mile special stage in bright, sunny conditions on Saturday. The Peugeot 206 SGR Evo9 driver moved into an eight-second lead after run one, although Monaghan pegged his advantage back to six after the second stage, where Lofthouse also broke the nine-minute barrier. Stephen Smith suffered a front puncture on his JRG Indy BMW and lost over three minutes.
Kershaw’s lead was extended to 17 seconds after run three, the pair tied on the fourth stage and Kershaw headed into the final test of the afternoon with a 30-second advantage, courtesy of a quick fifth stage. But Monaghan ensured that the second day would be a nail-biter by beating Kershaw by 20 seconds in stage six. Kershaw then suffered the ignominy of his car falling off the jack in Sweet Lamb service at the end of the day.
Bown held third position at the end of day one in his Land Rover Special, Neil Davey was fourth and championship leader Lewis was fifth in a Simmbugghini, 2m 05s behind Kershaw and under pressure to regain some time on the final day. Cockburn, Ryan Cooke, Toby Jefferson, Mansfield and Colin Gould completed the top 10.
Lofthouse needed a good finish to boost his fading championship challenge, but the Y Rali Bryn Cymru winner stopped with a broken driveshaft at the start of stage five and finished a topsy-turvy day in 43rd place.
In the Clubmen category, Ronnie Hoyle held a four-second lead over Nick Forsyth (Land Rover), although the pair were down in 25th and 27th places in the overall classification. Coid held third, despite crashing on the opening run. Nutter headed arch rival Brown in the Trophy category and looked set to extend his lead in the championship.
Meanwhile, Laurie Boyle was running his Range Rover Classic on bio-degradable fuel in 44th place, despite fuel pump problems and a broken exhaust. He eventually finished 34th overall.
Ben Gott was down in 34th place in his TMC at the end of day one, due to the intermittent fuel feed problems that plagued his progress in the recent Y Rali Bryn Cymru. He eventually finished 21st. Justin Birchall coaxed his Land Rover 90 to the finish of the first leg, despite putting it on its roof, and went on to complete the event in 33rd overall.
2007 Matador Tyres MSA British Off-Road Championship
1. Richard Kershaw (Peugeot 206 GSR Evo9) 1h 36m 52s
2. Gordon Monaghan (Monaghan RS) 1h 37m 04s
3. Simon Bown (Land Rover Special) 1h 39m 44s
4. Neil Davey (Peugeot 206) 1h 40m 40s
5. Keith Lewis (Simmbugghini) 1h 42m 12s
6. John Cockburn (Tomcat Max Traction) 1h 43m 48s
7. Lee Mansfield (Bowler Wildcat) 1h 43m 52s
8. Stuart Winter ((Winter SC1) 1h 44m 21s
9. Ryan Cooke (Land Rover Special) 1h 44m 54s
10. Ian Bartram (Warrior Storm) 1h 45m 00s, etc
1. David Brown (Land Rover) 1h 58m 09s
2. David Nutter (Tomcat) 2h 22m 18s
1. Ronnie Hoyle (3M Challenger) 1h 55m 42s
2. Paul Myers (Land Rover 100) 2h 03m 57s
3. Greg MacLeod (Bowler Wildcat) 2h 07m 34s, etc
Positions after round 4 of 5 (provisional):
1. Richard Kershaw 305 pts
2. Keith Lewis 295 pts
3. Gordon Monaghan 286 pts
4. John Cockburn 270 pts
5. Neil Davey 265 pts, etc
1. David Nutter 309 pts
2. David Brown 302 pts
3. Matt Lowe 228 pts
4. Tim Hayday 205 pts
5. Roy Taylor 133 pts, etc
For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).