The last round of the UK Autograss Championship was set to be a thriller with many of the titles yet to be decided and there was still a handful of those that went all the way down to the Champion of Champions race at the end of the meeting.
To add to the anticipation of the round, it was being hosted by Stroud Autograss Club at the Javelin Park venue, the most popular track in the country and it was to be the last meeting to be held at the venue. So we were set for a spectacular meeting with all these factors combined, and unlike the previous round the weather was on our side too.
Here are reports on each of the class finals.
Going into the final the class champion, Dave Owen (NW97), had already been decided for the championship, and it was Dave who took the final win after a race long battle with Nick Taylor (E100) for the honours. Behind them the rest of the finalists were all battling it out for the other places. It was Caine Parnell (SP129) who came through to take the final trophy position, ahead of Jake Law (SR3) in fourth place and Jordan Butcher (SN375) in fifth. The final places went to Gareth Paines (PHD16) in sixth and Rich Owen (NW15) in seventh whilst James Claydon (Y229) was a non-finisher.
1st NW97 Dave Owen 2nd E100 Nick Taylor 3rd SP129 Caine Parnell
Jack Joyce (WS222) had been quick all weekend with two heat wins going into the final, where he went on to take a third. Second place went to Simon Overty (SC18) and third place to Rhys Wyeth (WS19). Behind them was Jay Albrighton (N156) in fourth, Lloyd Morgan (C64) in fifth and Matty Barber (A36) in sixth. The last of the positions were Kevin Jones (H120) and James Espley (NW101) in seventh and eighth.
1st WS222 Jack Joyce 2nd SC18 Simon Overty 3rd WS19 Rhys Wyeth
With all the cars in the final close throughout the race it could have been any one of them who took the victory, however it went to champion Adrian Joyce (WS22). Hot on his heels was Peter Lemmon (SP11) finishing in second and Viv Cole (CM4) in third. Fourth place went to Martin Beaney (IK317) ahead of Adrian Herbert (S26D) and Dave Westlake (123F) in fifth and sixth. The last to finish was Shaun Brown (WS8), whilst Mick Sumners (R169) pulled off with a puncture.
1st WS22 Adrian Joyce 2nd SP11 Peter Lemmon 3rd CM4 Viv Cole
Going into the final, Jamie Williams (M58) had done enough in the heats to secure the class championship, however this didn’t stop him from taking the win in the final too. Breaking away from the pack Jamie left the other three competitors to battle it out. The battle for second was a close match with places swapping throughout with Nick James (C14) coming out on top in second place and Luke Oakley (M51) settling for third, whilst Colin Attrill (IK272) rounded them out in fourth
1st M58 Jamie Williams 2nd C14 Nick James 3rd M51 Luke Oakley
The first attempt at the final was stopped after a big roll by Dave Watkins (BC82). On the next attempt of the final Nigel Candy (SS14) took the lead and pulled away from those battling behind. There was a battle for second between Brian Wright (P24EM) and Mark Ashmead (38F) with Lewis Richards (TA451) catching them fast. The result stood with Brian second, Mark third and Lewis fourth. Neil Jones (PAC74) finished fifth ahead of Ben Harper (M11) who had repaired the damage from the first attempt at the final. Another non-finisher was Tom Ellis (S33D).
1st SS14 Nigel Candy 2nd P24EM Brian Wright 3rd 38F Mark Ashmead
In the rerun of the final it was Matthew Scourfield (YS22) who took his third win of the weekend, ahead of Jamie Ivermee (G17D) in second and Dean Robinson (YS41) in third. Heat one winner, Jonny Barber (A23), finished fourth ahead of Craig Tovey (SS23) and Matt Baker (L117) in fifth and sixth. We saw two non-finishers in the form of Ken Thomas (PAC91) and Darren Rees (TA95).
1st YS22 Matthew Scourfield 2nd G17D Jamie Ivermee 3rd YS41 Dean Robinson
This was one of the most eventful finals of the weekend, with places being changed throughout. At the start of the race it was Guy Thomas (BC8) who took the lead, but contact with Pete Bott (S47D) saw him taken out of the race, with Pete claiming the win. Behind them, there was more position changes with Nick Williams (M60) going on to take second place ahead of Dave Smith (S21D) and Darrell Cole (CM15). Rhys Griffiths (SV212) had been quick throughout the weekend but could only manage fifth ahead of Paul Waldron (139F) who was the last of the finishers. Will Barrett (R313) was the last of the finalist but didn’t see the chequered flag.
1st S47D Pete Bott 2nd M60 Nick Williams 3rd S21D Dave Smith
It was National Champion Dan Mackenzie (CA44) who took his third win of the weekend in the final. But all eyes were on the battle behind, with the championship still to be decided and points very close the three in contention were next up. It was Jay Jones (NW106) who took second place, ahead of Mike Mumford (160F) and Kenny Smith (S41D) in second and third, this result meant the championship would go down to the Champion of Champions result later in the day. Behind this battle was another between defending champion Alex Hall (R411) and Richard Danby (SN49) who finished fifth and sixth respectively. They were the last of the finishers, with Matt Bishop (YS73) and Lee Kent (NW38) not completing the race.
1st CA44 Dan Mackenzie 2nd NW106 Jay Jones 3rd 160F Mike Mumford
A wheelie off of the start by Martin Bugg (M14) saw the red flags come out instantly and Martin excluded. In the rerun we saw Sean Collin (SN257) take his third win of the weekend, his most successful weekend of this year’s championship. Second place went to Gavin Pitman (SS81) ahead of Jack Joyce (WS2) who had already done enough to seal the championship. Fourth place went to Mike Liddiatt (309F) ahead of Derek Warren (LUD93) and Billy Gardener (S57D) with Stephen Goodman (M888) completing the line up in seventh.
1st SN257 Sean Collin 2nd SS81 Gavin Pitman 3rd WS2 Jack Joyce
Another of the classes whose champion was to be decided in the final. It was one of the strongest competitors in the class this season, Luke Bennett (NW62) who took the final win of the weekend and therefore the championship. Second place went to James Poltimore (SS79) ahead of Tony Jones (SR117) in third and Matt Booth (SR46) in fourth. The title fight was between the Bennett father and son duo, with Karl Bennett’s (NW26) fifth place finish in the race saw him settle for second in the championship. Garry Morris (C28) had been running well at the start of the race but dropped back to sixth ahead of Andrew Bishop (YS37) and Andrew Adams (R12).
1st NW62 Luke Bennett 2nd SS79 James Poltimore 3rd SR117 Tony Jones
Champion Andrew Watson (SB20) made a mistake in turn 1 of the final which saw him drop to the back of the field, leaving Jason Garnett (T692) to take up the lead which he holds onto pulling away from the rest of the field. Andrew works his way back through to take second place ahead of the pair battling for third place, with the position going to Andy Reeve (N28) ahead of Nathan Paterson (SL78), whilst Robert Patterson (SL87) rounds the field out in fifth.
1st T692 Jason Garnett 2nd SB20 Andrew Watson 3rd N28 Andy Reeve
This was the closest race of the weekend, if not the whole championship, and it was also for the championship title. The title contenders Ian Fay (WS500) and Adam Golding (CA120) raced side-by-side from start to finish of the race with Adam edging forward across the line to take the win ahead of Ian. Jonathon Crosby (N80) closed out the trophy positions ahead of Mick Wood (L2) and James Clamp (WS53). Rhys Cluett (SS16) took sixth place ahead of the battling Paul Maxim (C23E) and Vivienne Chapman (CA149)
1st CA120 Adam Golding 2nd WS500 Ian Fay 3rd N80 Jonathan Crosby
Josh Lewis (S3) took the lead of the race from the start and continued to pull away from those behind. Second place went to Sorren Powell (T777) ahead of Rachel Alderson (YD63) and Ryan Powell (NW52). Kyle Newman (BC99) was next in fifth ahead of Maddiew Owen (NW15), Sam Smith (SV99) and Fergus Reynolds (PHD16).
1st S3 Josh Lewis 2nd T777 Sorren Powell 3rd YD63 Rachel Alderson
In the rerun of the final it was champion Connor Jones (NW115) who took the win ahead of Samuel Pinches (R35) and Sam Middleton (T909). Next up was Blake Dudley (S4D) in fourth followed by Jay Gallagher (LM13) and the last of the finishers Chloe Richardson (P6EM). Charlie Steele (SN727) had lead the first attempt at the final, but was out of the race, with Caitlin Barnett (SV34) also a non-finisher.
1st NW115 Connor Jones 2nd R35 Samuel Pinches 3rd T909 Sam Middleton
Bethany Embling (C535E) had shown her speed throughout the weekend and went on to take a convincing win in the final. Linda Lawlor (NW143) took second place ahead of champion Hannah Hinton (IK225) in third. Fourth place went to Lacey Law (SR24) followed by Lindsey Pitman (SS7) and Natasha Lawlor (NW142). Closing out the race was Chloe Reynolds (SC630) in seventh and Jess Singer (SS26) in eighth.
1st C535E Bethany Embling 2nd NW143 Linda Lawlor 3rd IK225 Hannah Hinton
Continuing the Joyce’s family success over the weekend, Wendy Joyce (WS222) went on to take the final win ahead of champion Hannah Hinton (NASA25) and Fiona Mauchland (CS44) in second and third. Natalie Green (R22) took fourth place ahead of Helen Bishop (IK252) and Gracie Perry (G18D) was the last of the finishers in sixth.
1st WS222 Wendy Joyce 2nd NASA25 Hannah Hinton 3rd CS44 Fiona Mauchland
There was only two competitors in the final and it was Donna Brown (CM4) had the better weekend and continued this with the win in the final, whilst Shell Sumners (R169) had to settle for second.
1st CM4 Donna Brown 2nd R169 Shell Sumners
Mandy Kennedy (SB6) was the only competitor over the weekend but had competitive races with the class six’s and stock hatch.
1st SB6 Mandy Kennedy
Diane Heath (E10) had been one of the strongest and most consistent over the season and the champion went on to take the win in the final ahead of Janet Murphy (38F). Barbara Harper (M11) finished in third and Natalie Green (R420) was the last of the finishers in fourth.
1st E10 Diane Heath 2nd 38F Janet Murphy 3rd M11 Barbara Harper
Over the weekend there was four ladies competing but when it came to the final there was only one still going and that was Toni Humphrey (IK331) in only her second round in the class.
1st IK331 Toni Humphrey
Another class with just the one competitor, Lisa Hills (WS500) who again had another competitive weekend racing with the other classes.
1st WS500 Lisa Hills
In the final there was just four left and it was Jo Thompson (Y55) who held off the charging Clare Horner (M60) to take the win. Third place went to Terri Mumford (62F) ahead of Emily Barrett (R10) in fourth.
1st Y55 Jo Thompson 2nd M60 Clare Horner 3rd 62F Terri Mumford
Champion Clare Horner (M62) took four wins of four from the weekend with Abi Shields (N24) taking her best final result of the championship in second. Completing the podium was round one winner Cloe Smith (S46D) ahead of Kim Jenkins (B106H) and Vikki Lamb (NW83) in fourth and fifth. Completing the line-up was Sandra Shields (N20) in sixth.
1st M62 Clare Horner 2nd N24 Abi Shields 3rd S46D Cloe Smith
An eventful race saw champion Dru Hollingsbee (IK111) take the win despite a damaged car. Louise Back (M24) picked up second place after Helen Rummery (IK214) retires from the race when the back end of her car collapsed.
1st IK111 Dru Hollingsbee 2nd M24 Louise Back
Megan Booth (SR46) took the last win of the season ahead of Diane Heath (E111) and champion Kelly Bishop (YS37) whilst Gina Lee (R98) just missed out on a trophy in fourth place.
1st SR46 Megan Booth 2nd E111 Diane Heath 3rd YS37 Kelly Bishop
Champion of Champions
A very busy Men’s Champion of Champions saw a very exciting race with titles being decided. The F600 of Andrew Watson (SB20) took the win after working his way through the field and holding off the charging Dan Mackenzie (CA44). See the full results below.
1st SB20 Andrew Watson 2nd CA44 Dan Mackenzie 3rd M51 Luke Oakley 4th SS14 Nigel Candy 5th NW97 Dave Owen 6th S41D Kenny Smith 7th WS2 Jack Joyce 8th WS500 Ian Fay
Another competitive race saw the Class 8 of Clare Horner (M62) charge her way through the field to take her fifth win of the weekend in the car, will she be able to be beaten in 2018. Full results below.
1st M62 Clare Horner 2nd E10 Diane Heath 3rd C535E Bethany Embling 4th WS222 Wendy Joyce 5th SB6 Mandy Kennedy 6th IK111 Dru Hollingsbee
What a round it was, maybe even one of my favourites in the history of the UK Autograss Championships. Congratulations to all champions, trophy winners and competitors, it has been another brilliant championship and I look forward to more of the same in 2018.
In the New Year I will be doing a season review of the whole championship as well as catching up with posts from the Men’s Nationals, the Ladies and Junior Nationals and the Border Counties Festival.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!