Motor Sports Association

Cross-Country

Richard Kershaw 

Lives: Yorkshire

DOB: 1971

Occupation: Farmer

Currently competing in: MSA British Cross Country Championship Career highlights: MSA British Cross Country Championship Champion four times – 2002, ’03, ’04 and ’07. He is widely acknowledged as one of the ‘kings of Cross Country racing’

What got you interested in motor sport in the first place?

As a farmer, I’m closely involved with the countryside and there are a lot of events such as Land Rover trials going on, so my initial interest came from watching them.

Where/how did you get started?

About 15 or 20 years ago, I bought my first competition car, which was an 88-inch wheelbase Land Rover, and started trialling. But I found that a car that’s good in trials is usually also good at Cross Country speed events, so as it had a bigger engine fitted, I started racing, as I’d always preferred going fast!

What car do you use now, and how much does a season cost you?

Our car is a specially built GSR Evo 9, which has a fibreglass/carbon fibre bodyshell and a 300 horsepower Nissan V6 engine. We keep our season’s costs down by repairing and servicing it ourselves – in fact, Cross Country is excellent if you are mechanically minded and enjoy building your own car to compete against other like-minded people.

What do you enjoy about your particular form of motorsport?

The social side in Cross Country is very strong – the friendship and banter between the drivers is excellent. Although it’s very competitive, if you’ve got a mechanical problem during an event, you’ll find everyone mucks in to help fix it, including your rivals.

What tips would you pass onto someone who wants to start competing?

Learn the ropes by contacting a team that’s already competing, and start going along to meetings to help them out. None of the teams will turn down an offer of extra help.

Why would you recommend taking up motor sport?

It’s a release from pressure of work! In Cross Country racing, the regulations are fairly free, so you can simply put a larger engine into your four-wheel drive car, fit a roll cage and “drive it like you stole it”! At the same time, there are classes for standard vehicles you can start off in – the choice is yours.