BORC Richard Kershaw clinches 2007 BORC title in Radnor
2007 MATADOR TYRES MSA BRITISH OFF-ROAD CHAMPIONSHIP (BORC)
Radnor forest, mid-Wales, October 27th-28th - round 5 of 5
For immediate release
Sunday, October 28th, 2007
RICHARD KERSHAW CLINCHES PRESTIGIOUS
2007 BRITISH OFF-ROAD CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE
Dan Lofthouse seals victory in final BORC round in Radnor
Abergavenny’s Keith Lewis loses out on title with second place
David Brown secures victory in BORC’s Trophy category
BLEDDFA (Wales): Huddersfield’s Richard Kershaw clinched the 2007 Matador Tyres MSA British Off-Road Championship after nine thrilling runs through a testing 11.7-mile Radnor forest stage in mixed weather conditions in mid-Wales at the weekend.
The Peugeot 206 GSR driver had started the weekend’s action embroiled in a three-way tussle for the coveted BORC title, with Preston’s Gordon Monaghan and Abergavenny’s Keith Lewis also in with a chance of taking the title.
Kershaw began the weekend with a 10-point series lead over Lewis, but it was the Abergavenny driver who led for the first day and the first two runs on day two.
As the Welshman came under increasing pressure from Bolton’s Dan Lofthouse, Kershaw edged his way back into contention after earlier problems and climbed from 36th to12th, up to eighth and then into a superb third overall near the end. Monaghan was sidelined with mechanical problems, but Kershaw had done enough to clinch the title. David Brown clinched the BORC Trophy title, pipping David Nutter by just four points.
“I thought we’d blown it after the first run when we were down in 36th position,” said Kershaw. ““The ignition load relay had blown and it was then a big fight back through the field. We did the maths last week and worked out all the dropped score permutations on a flow chart. If Keith won we needed to finish second. If he was second we needed to finish seventh. But I just knuckled down and drove it as hard as possible over the last few runs and it paid off. It feels great to win the title again – as good as the first time.”
“I am a little disappointed to come so close and then miss out,” said runner-up Lewis. “But we achieved a good result for a beam axle car. Four spins with a worn tyre probably cost me the overall victory, but Richard came back very well and I don’t think that it would have affected the outcome of the championship unless he had finished lower than fifth or sixth.”
Mist was prevalent during the opening 11.7 mile run on Saturday morning and forced the 46 starters to err on the side of caution, but it didn’t stop Lewis storming into a 25-second lead over Lofthouse, with Monaghan seven seconds further behind in third place. Simon Bown and Colin Gould were also among the leading group.
Championship leader Kershaw was in trouble from the start with an ignition load relay problem that dropped him to 36th overall, but the Huddersfield driver hit back with the fastest time of 12m 45s on the second run. After two stages he was down in 12th place overall, 4m 19s behind leader Lewis, who increased his overall lead over Gould to 49 seconds after run two. Lofthouse was in close contention, but Monaghan slipped 2m 06s behind the overall leader into fifth place with mechanical problems and dented his championship aspirations.
A resurgent Kershaw was again fastest on run three in his Peugeot 206 GSR Evo9 with the fastest time of the event to date - 12m 42s. Light rain had begun to fall during the afternoon and a light coating of mud had developed on the stage surface.
Fog was still prevalent at higher altitude, but Lewis maintained an overall lead of 52 seconds over Gould’s Mattseratti, with Lofthouse, Bown and Martin Gould completing the top five. Kershaw’s pace lifted him from 12th to eighth place, as he closed menacingly to within 3m 55s of the overall leader. Monaghan hit further transmission trouble and slipped out of contention.
Lewis kept his cool through run four and emerged with a 49-second overall lead over Lofthouse, with Colin Gould closing in on the Bolton driver. Ongoing propshaft problems forced Monaghan further down the standings, as his championship challenge began to wane with a stage maximum. Bown joined the sub 13-minute stage pace setters with a time of 12m 52s.
The fifth and final run of day one was critical and Lewis maintained his composure to take a reduced 21-second advantage into the overnight halt. But Lofthouse was closing fast and it set the stage for a fascinating final day.
Colin Gould retained third position, while Bown, a flying Kershaw and Carl Duffield rounded off the top six. After his earlier problems, Kershaw posted the fastest time of the day – a sensational 12m 22s – and headed into the second day, 2m 47s behind Lewis.
James Webb held a comfortable advantage over Roland Marlow and Martyn James in the Clubmen category, while Matt Lowe was the pace-setter in the Trophy section, although second-placed David Nutter was sitting pretty to clinch the overall title. Tim Hayday was third.
Rain-filled skies and low lying fog greeted teams for the final four runs on Sunday and Lewis managed to extend his overall lead to 52 seconds, as Lofthouse, Gould and Bown remained in situ. Kershaw had the bit between his teeth and completed the sixth run to close within 2m 38s of the overall leader. Thirty-six cars restarted on day two.
Seven was not a lucky number for the overall leader: Lewis spun on worn tyres no less than four times during the course of the muddy seventh run and dropped sufficient time for Lofthouse to draw level. After over 77 miles of competitive action the pair were tied to the second with an overall time of 1h 31m 09s to set up a thrilling finale over the final two runs.
Kershaw also leapt into contention to steal the title from Lewis’s clutches over the closing miles and a mere 1m 39s separated the top five crews after run seven, with Lewis and Lofthouse heading Gould, Bown and Kershaw into penultimate run eight.
Lofthouse hit the front for the first time after the eighth run and headed into the final stage in drying conditions with a 16-second lead over Lewis. Gould maintained third overall, but a determined Kershaw disposed of Bown and moved ominously into fourth place. He trailed Lewis by just 1m 19s heading into the final special and was within 24 seconds of Gould and third overall. The Huddersfield man’s form was developing into the drive of a champion.
Sunshine led to drier conditions for the final run and Lofthouse sealed victory by a margin of 44 seconds, with Lewis forced to settle for second overall. Kershaw’s fight back to third place was sufficient for him to take the overall BORC title, with Colin Gould and Simon Bown separated by just four seconds in fourth and fifth placed.
Monaghan’s challenge for honours ended in retirement, but he managed to finish third in the championship, ahead of Stirling’s John Cockburn, who did not enter the Radnor event.
Martyn James won the Clubmen category in a Land Rover from Paul Myers in a similar car and James Webb in a GM Proto, while David Brown pipped David Nutter to the Trophy title.
2007 Matador Tyres MSA British Off-Road Championship
Radnor (round 5) - final results
1. Dan Lofthouse (Lofthouse Proto LD4) 1h 56m 30s
2. Keith Lewis (Simmbugghini) 1h 57m 14s
3. Richard Kershaw (Peugeot 206 GSR Evo9) 1h 57m 50s
4. Colin Gould (Mattseratti) 1h 58m 13s
5. Simon Bown (Land Rover Special) 1h 58m 17s
6. Carl Duffield (Tornado II) 2h 01m 43s
7. Ian Bartram (Warrior Storm) 2h 07m 30s
8. Ryan Cooke (Land Rover Special) 2h 07m 55s
9. Ben Gott (TMC Proto) 2h 08m 26s
10. Alan Kirkland (Kirkland Proto Mk1) 2h 12m 24s
11. Stephen Smith (JRG Indy BMW) 2h 12m 31s
12. Stuart Winter (Winter SC1) 2h 15m 53s, etc
1. Martyn James (Land Rover Special) 2h 29m 54s
2. Paul Myers (Land Rover 100) 2h 47m 09s
3. James Webb (GM Proto) 3h 31m 31s
Final positions after round 5 of 5:
1. Richard Kershaw 309 pts
2. Keith Lewis 303 pts
3. Gordon Monaghan 287 pts
4. John Cockburn 270 pts
5. Neil Davey 255 pts
6. Ryan Cooke 248 pts
7. Dan Lofthouse 245 pts
8. Toby Jefferson 243 pts
9. Ian Bartram 237 pts
10. Stephen Smith 230 pts, etc
1. David Brown 313 pts
2. David Nutter 309 pts
3. Tim Hayday 207 pts
4. Matt Lowe 159 pts
5. Philip Elliott 70 pts
6. Shaun Godber 68 pts
7. Roy Taylor 68 pts
8. Anthony Fern 3 pts
For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).