Here is a report on the Men’s finals from Round 1 of the UK Autograss Championships at Trent Autograss.
A big thank you to Mark from Mixed Bag Photography for the use of his photos. Please go and take a look on the Mixed Bag Photography Facebook page and on https://www.mixedbagphotography.co.uk/ for more images from this meeting.
Going into the first bend, it was Lee Still (SP48) who took up the lead of the race, but battling hard and hot on his heels was Rich Owen (NW15). These two broke away from the pack as the laps dropped, and it was starting the last lap that Rich was able to make the move to take up the lead, where he stayed to take the first final win of the 2017 championship. Behind the leading two there was a battle taking place behind amongst the remaining cars. Crossing the line in third place was Lee Powell (NW52) ahead of Russ Thompson (SC14) in fourth and Jordan Butcher (SN375) in fifth. The remaining places went to Andrew Still (SP49), Jack Anderson (WR86) and Lee Poole (S70D) respectfully.
Victory for the final was one of the closest battles of the weekend, with 5 cars in contention from the start. The first laps saw Jack Joyce (WS222) and Craig Conway (SC126) make a break and battle it out for the lead. Jack, with a few laps still let to go took a wider line which saw him drop back down the pack. And battling hard and bringing the challenge to Craig was also Darren Monks (T16), David Hughes (SC400) and Lloyd Morgan (C64). Despite the challenges it was Craig who took his second win of the weekend, followed by Darren, David, Lloyd and Jack. Not quite part of this battle, but still strong runners were Andrew Jones (SV151), Jay Albrighton (N156) and Michael Bird (Y160), who finished sixth, seventh and eighth respectfully.
It was Adrian Herbert (S26D) who made the best of the start and took the start at turn 1, but it was Adrian Joyce (WS22) who took up the running at turn 2. This was a battle that continued throughout the race with positions being swapped numerous times, with Herbert taking the win ahead of Joyce. Behind this battle was another battle, between four cars, at the start of the race it was Peter Lemmon (SP11) who took up third position, but a mistake sees him drop back, with Phil Thompson (Y51) taking up the position, which he would finish the race in. Hot on his tail though was the battling pair of Martin ‘Noddy’ Roberts (PAC157) and Dave Westlake (123F), who would finish fourth and fifth, ahead of Peter. Steve Goodwin (NS41) took seventh place, ahead of Aaron Mackenzie (SP401) who looked to have an issue with his car.
There was an even break between the cars of Luke Oakley (M51), Jamie Williams (M58) and Jonny Brown (Y87), with Jonny having taken up the lead coming out of turn 1. The three continued to battle, until Jamie made his way past to take up first position and then continued to break away from the others. This left a three car battle for second place, which Jonny took, ahead of Colin Attrill (IK272) and Luke. The last of the finishers was Gary Pemberton (CA242).
This was another multi car battle for the victory. We saw an even break between Nigel Candy (SS14) and Lewis Richards (TA451), with Stuart Deacon (S60D) hot on their heels. Throughout the race we saw these three swap positions numerous times. Come the chequered flag it was Lewis who took his third win of the weekend, ahead of Stuart and Nigel in third. Joining in on this battle on the last couple of laps was Julian Heath (E10) who finished in fourth, ahead of Scott Holmes (N444) and Jason Alderson (YD64). The remaining two finalists, unable to complete the race were Ben Harper (M11) and Alex Puddiphatt (SN23).
It was Jordan Spavins (SN451) who took up the initial lead, but a wide line coming out of turn 2 saw Anthony Conway (SC90) take up the position, from then on in it was Anthony who had control of the race and built a reasonable lead to the cars behind. Second place was Jordan’s ahead of the two Wessex boys of Steve Ford (WS57) in third and Lee Rowley (WS24) in fourth. It was local man, Simon Hornby (T13), who took fifth ahead of Mark Evans (YS57), who looked to have problems. Unable to complete the race was Jamie Ivermee (G17D) and Andy Russell (IK64).
This was a two car race right from the start, between Tom Page (SC19) and Mike Mackenzie (CA12). No matter how hard he tried Tom couldn’t make the move on Mike who led the race from start and they finished the race in this order. Third place went to Lee Forster (CA1) ahead of Dave Law (SR4) and Nick Williams (M60). Following from them was Trevor Martin (C18E) and Jamie Cox (N52), whilst Rob Griffiths (H121) was unable to complete the race.
Favourite going into this race was Dan Mackenzie (CA44), with two wins already under his belt, and he was the right one to bet on, taking his third victory of the weekend. Next up was a close battle between Jay Jones (NW106) in second and Stu Whitehouse (T5) in third. Next up was Victor Majoram (CA543) and James Poltimore (SS79). Sixth place was Alex Hall (R411), despite his heat one roll, ahead of Lee Cox (B2H) and Mike Mumford (160F).
A level break saw all the finalists going into turn 1 on a level, but it was Anthony Read (SC150) who made the move up the inside to come out of turn 1 ahead, just. A battle then ensued between Anthony and Mike Liddiatt (309F), with a couple of laps to go, it was Mike who took up the lead of the race to take the win ahead of Anthony. Close behind them was two-time heat winner Jason Richardson (P5EM), taking third place ahead of Allan Kerr (SB47). Next up was the North Wales duo of Ynyr Davies (NW334) and Ellir Davies (NW34), followed by Gareth Jones (TA3) and Jack Joyce (WS2).
This final was a bit controversial, before the start of the race the track was watered….a lot, this meant that there was only one line, just. However, making best of the conditions was Andy Lee (R99) who took his third win of the weekend ahead of Sean Wright (WR11) and Tom Taylor (R98). Next up was Julian Heath (E111) in fourth, followed by Alex Kershaw (SC21) and Luke Bennett (NW26). Andrew Bishop (YS37) crossed the line in seventh ahead of Matt Duffell (L1).
Here we saw some great wheel-to-wheel action. Andrew Watson (SB20) made the break at the start, but Josh Tickle (P74EM) was hot on his tail and throughout tried every which way he could to get past, with one attempt at getting past paid off but didn’t stick. Behind this battling duo was Graham Dawson (SL03) and Steve Faunch (T36) who finished third and fourth respectfully. Andy Reeve (N28) finished the race in fifth ahead of Matthew Hickingbotham (ST62) in sixth. Jason Garnett (T692) was the last competitor, but had a coming together with the armco in the first attempt of the final.
This was a race won at the start, Adam Golding (CA120) took the lead from the bungee and that was where he stayed, extending the gap from Ian Fay (WS500), who finished in second, with each lap. Ian was also safe in second place though, with a comfortable gap between himself and Paul Maxim (C23E) in third, who also held a strong gap over the battling duo of Vivienne Chapman (CA149) and Mick Wood (L2) who finished fourth and fifth respectfully.