Two weeks since our last outing and we are in the same situation. Our own club meeting was cancelled mid-week, so it was a check of the fixture list to find our next destination. But then that was cancelled, and so was the next back up. So it was Pennine Autograss Club that we headed off to instead.
One of only three meetings left running this weekend, but the most central venue, it was set to be another busy meeting, especially as the first BAS/UKAC weekend is getting ever closer, leaving limited testing opportunities beforehand. And it certainly was busy with 220 drivers signed on.
With the weather conditions effecting everyone, Pennine were lucky that they hadn’t been hit too hard and were able to run the meeting, although the outfields for the trailer park, pits and spectators were wet and spongy, the track was in perfect condition to provide the fast and furious racing that we’ve been seeing this year.
With so many cars and such close racing throughout the class’ it was difficult to pick out what stood out for me, especially with the same people impressing as well. But there were a few people and races that are certainly worth a mention.
But first a mention to the track. This threw up something different to what we are used to seeing, as it was shaped in a circle, with the only straight that the drivers were doing was off the start.
The stand out race definitely has to go to the class 3 boys from heat three. The drivers involved were Barry Almond (SN27), Phil Thompson (Y51) and Ryan Power (SC83). As terrible as it sounds I can’t actually remember who took the victory from the race, but that is down to closeness between the trio and the amount of swapping and changing that took place all the way through the race. Coming out of the last bend it still could have been any of theirs.
Another race that stood out was the class 5 A final, and this was the fight for the top 4 places between the league members. This included Wayne Orton (M45), Gary Cheetham (N17), Ben Harper (M11) and Jamie Lane (M9). This was another close fight, with all of them battling for their league National Qualifying points. Again I can’t remember the final result, this time though it was due to concentrating on one of my own club members also taking part in this race, running just behind this battle.
A stand out performance throughout the day was Rob Schofield (Y70) in class 7. All day he looked completely tuned in with both the car and track, dominating in his heats with flawless drives. Not a name that is often thrown in the mix for the big titles, but definitely one to watch this year, this weekend he showed his potential against the ‘top’ names.
Obviously I wasn’t flying solo, and Team Concord were being represented by Mike Sullivan (C11E) in class 5, Barry Hathaway (C83E) in class 8 and Lynn Thomas (C21E) in ladies class 8. Another successful weekend saw Mike make the A final where he finished 5th after a 3rd and 7th in the heats. Barry’s first run out in the 8 for the year saw him with a 4th and 5th in the heats and coming home 2nd in the B final. Lynn had another good run with a 3rd and 4th over the heats and a 3rd in the final.
Thank you to Andy Heath and his team at Pennine for another enjoyable days racing.
Thank you to David Bennett for the use of his photos to accompany this post.
A break this coming weekend, then the next stop is back up to Nottingham Autograss Club for the first round of the UK Autograss Championship, and this time I’m supposed to be getting into the driver’s seat too.