Here is a roundup of the men’s classes of the 2017 UK Autograss Championship and how the titles panned out over the series, especially at the last round at Stroud Autograss Club. With most of the titles still to be decided it proved to be an exciting round, which didn’t disappoint.
At the opening round at Trent it was Jake Law (SR3) who took the first win of the championship, and it was an unchallenged win, however his championship was then scuppered when he crashed out in race two and scored no points for the rest of the round, however that didn’t stop him from winning round three at Ludlow and ending the championship in fifth.
It was the North Wales members who were the strongest at the other rounds with Rich Owen (NW15) having his best weekend at round one taking the win. Whilst club member Dave Owen (NW97) took the wins at the other three rounds and took the championship title, with it going down to the last round at Stroud.
Last season’s champion Caine Parnell (SP129) had a consistent year earning him second place in the championship with his best round in Ludlow. Jordan Butcher (SN375) also earned his third place in the championship by having a consistent season with round one being his highest scoring meeting.
1st NW97 Dave Owen 764 2nd SP129 Caine Parnell 689 3rd SN375 Jordan Butcher 611 4th NW15 Rich Owen 603
It was Craig Conway (SC126) who got the best start to their championship with the win in round one and unbeaten in round two, however he missed the last two rounds which dropped him down to fifth in the championship.
Round three went to fellow Scunthorpe member David Hughes (SC400), and the battle between the two had been close. David secured fourth in the championship despite also missing the last two rounds.
The strongest driver over the last two rounds was Jack Joyce (WS222), winning both. This coupled with being a consistent front runner over the first three rounds meant that he secured the championship.
Last year’s champion Jay Albrighton (N156) was consistent throughout the championship, but didn’t quite have enough to overcome the others and had to settle for second place this year. Third place in the championship went to Tim Manners (69F) despite only completing one A final over the five rounds.
1st WS222 Jack Joyce 758 2nd N156 Jay Albrighton 631 3rd 69F Tim Manners 557 4th David Hughes 524
National and defending champion Adrian Herbert (S26D) took the first final at Trent, however this was the only final win he would get. Going into the final round at Stroud, whilst he could mathematically still win the championship the battle he was in was for second with only one point separating second and him in third. This battle was with Phil Thompson (Y51) who had won round four at North Wales. Phil had a troubled weekend in Stroud so it was Adrian who secured second place, with Phil dropping to third.
The championship went to Adrian Joyce (WS22) who not only won three rounds he also had an unbeaten round at Ludlow.
Dave Westlake (123F) was the best of the rest and had qualified for the finals in every round.
1st WS22 Adrian Joyce 824 2nd S26D Adrian Herbert 686 3rd Y51 Phil Thompson 640 4th 123F Dave Westlake 608
There was no defending champion in the class however the car that won last year’s championship with Jamie Williams (M58) in the driver’s seat in his first year out of juniors. This didn’t stop him though taking three out of the five final wins and the championship.
The battle in the class when it came to round five was for second and third. Luke Oakley (M51) did everything he could with it being his highest scoring round to close the gap on Colin Attrill (IK272), however it wasn’t quite enough. Colin took second place despite not winning a round, whilst round four winner Luke lost out by 10 points.
Fourth place in the championship went to Nick James (C14) who showed his pace over the three rounds he contended.
Mike Jones (H31) only competed at round three but still took the win.
1st M58 Jamie Williams 746 2nd IK272 Colin Attrill 636 3rd M51 Luke Oakley 626 4th C14 Nick James 334
Going into round five at Stroud this looked to be a very close battle with one point separating first and second, whilst third place was 42 points behind them.
Stuart Deacon (S60D), the winner of round three, was leading the championship going into the final round and despite not making it into the A final he extended his lead to three points to take the championship.
It was Nigel Candy (SS14) who clawed his way back from third at round five, after missing round four, to take second place after winning the final. However, a win in the champion of champion’s race would have seen him draw level with Stuart. Nigel also took the win at round two at Bredon Hill, which was his highest scoring round.
It was defending champion Julian Heath (E10) who lost out dropping down to third in the championship. Whilst round four winner, Ben Harper (M11), finished the championship in fourth.
Lewis Richards (TA451) took the first win at Trent, however his championship fight ended at round two with three non-finishes.
1st S60D Stuart Deacon 688 2nd SS14 Nigel Candy 685 3rd E10 Julian Heath 649 4th M11 Ben Harper 624
This was one of the closest championship battles of all the classes, with only 23 points separating the top four after round five.
If you look at the points scored across all the rounds it is impressive that the top two ended up heading the table after both missed round three, however they did. Steve Ford (WS57), round two winner, went into round five leading the table and despite problems meaning he didn’t finish a race on Sunday he won the championship by one point.
Jamie Ivermee (G17D) came charging through from fifth in the championship to take second, and if he had taken the win in the final he would have won the championship by one point. Despite moving up the table like that at Stroud the defending champion’s highest scoring round was North Wales where he took the win.
Round three winner, Jordan Spavins (SN451) dropped down to third in the championship, but still a good position after a series plagued with mechanical problems.
A strong second half of the championship saw Matt Baker (L117) finish fourth.
Anthony Conway (SC90) took the win at Trent, but this was the only round that he competed in. Also only competing in one round was Matthew Scourfield (YS22) who took the final win at Stroud.
1st WS57 Steve Ford 502 2nd G17D Jamie Ivermee 501 3rd SN451 Jordan Spavins 487 4th L117 Matt Baker 479
This was another close class, with championship positions changing. Paul Bacon (N60), winner of round four, had a stronger second half of the series which saw him head the championship and despite not competing in a final at Stroud he held on to take the title.
Those in the other three trophy positions didn’t win a round between them, and all proved that consistency was key with 14 points separating the three of them, which was Darrell Cole (CM15), Jamie Cox (N52) and Mike Hockly (62F).
The first win went to Mike Mackenzie (CA12) however this was the only round that he raced at. Round two was won by defending champion Will Barrett (R313), round three by Lee Waldron (4F) and round five by Pete Bott (S47D).
1st N60 Paul Bacon 594 2nd CM15 Darrell Cole 570 3rd N52 Jamie Cox 560 4th 62F Mike Hockly 556
This class provided great excitement over the season, especially at the last round with the championship positions changing throughout the weekend.
National Champion Dan Mackenzie (CA44) won the two rounds that he competed in, they were one and five. Mark Smith (S46D) won round two at Bredon Hill and Gareth Edwards (NW55) won on home soil at round four.
Mike Mumford (160F) and Jay Jones (NW106) went into round five joint at the top of the table, with Kenny Smith (S41D) 11 points behind.
Kenny got the weekend off to the best start taking two wins on Saturday. Going into the final it was Kenny who held the joker card with a place already booked in the champion of champions, and after the final it would come down to the champion of champions race. He needed a win to claim the title, he finished sixth which secured him second place in the championship.
This meant that round three winner, Mike won the championship by four points and Jay third. Whilst fourth place in the championship went to defending champion Alex Hall (R411).
1st 160F Mike Mumford 701 2nd S41D Kenny Smith 697 3rd NW106 Jay Jones 692 4th R411 Alex Hall 642
When we got to round five there was only two left in the title fight, a problematic round for defending champion and rounds two and four winner, Jason Richardson (P5EM) meant that Jack Joyce (WS2), winner of round 3, was able to secure his second title in the championship, whilst Jason finished second.
The battle for the remaining trophy positions were closer and consistency over the series secured Martin Bugg (M14) third place ahead of round one winner Mike Liddiatt (309F).
Too late to make a bid for a championship trophy, Sean Collin (SN275) had his best round at Stroud and took the final win.
1st WS2 Jack Joyce 864 2nd P5EM Jason Richardson 745 3rd M14 Martin Bugg 609 4th 309F Mike Liddiatt 596
Andy Lee (R99) took wins at rounds one and third but this wasn’t enough for him to finish the championship in a trophy position, with two low scoring rounds and with no points at round five.
The title fight was between the Bennett father and son duo. Luke Bennett (NW62) took his only final win at round five, but this secured him the title. Whilst Karl Bennett (NW26) finished the championship in second with a win at round two.
Andrew Bishop (YS37) put in steady performances throughout the championship which saw him finish third whilst round four winner, Tony Jones (SR117) finished in fourth.
1st NW62 Luke Bennett 635 2nd NW26 Karl Bennett 616 3rd YS37 Andrew Bishop 561 4th SR117 Tony Jones 532
This was the only men’s title that was decided before heading to the last round, with Andrew Watson (SB20) proving to be the strongest competitor in the championship adding the highest point scorer to his name too, taking four wins out of the five rounds.
Jason Garnett (T692) was able to topple Andrew at Stroud to take the last win of the series, and finished in an untroubled second place.
Andy Reeve (N28) was consistent all year and secured third place, with Robert Paterson (SL87) finishing the championship in fourth.
1st SB20 Andrew Watson 953 2nd T692 Jason Garnett 697 3rd N28 Andy Reeve 417 4th SL87 Robert Paterson 358
The fight for the title went all the way down to the champion of champions race. It was a battle between Ian Fay (WS500) and Adam Golding (CA120). Ian secured his place in the champion of champions race winning the A race on Saturday. In the final the two raced side by side from start to finish, but it was Adam who took the win, his fourth of the series, which saw him in the champion of champions race. When it came to it, Adam didn’t finish the race but Ian only finished eighth which wasn’t enough for the title. So Adam won the championship five points ahead of Ian.
There was also a battle for third and fourth, with Paul Maxim (C23E) coming out on top with a stronger round five than Mick Wood (L2).
Phil Peek (YD24) entered a couple of rounds where he took the win at round four.
1st CA120 Adam Golding 755 2nd WS500 Ian Fay 750 3rd C23E Paul Maxim 489 4th L2 Mick Wood 447