2019 Men’s Nationals Autograss Championships Finals

Class 1

The first final saw a level break of the line but it was top qualifier Conner Griffiths (SV101) who was the first to show ahead of Aaron Middleton (SS20). These two Mini’s pulled away from the rest of the grid. The race was on for third between the three Yaris’ of Peter Watson (Y121), Ben Gould (NS443) and Andy Kelsey (E100). On the polished track the positions settled and Griffiths went on to cross the line first ahead of Middleton. However after the post-race scrutineering the two leaders, Griffiths and Middleton, were excluded from the results due to technical infringements. This means that crowned champion was Watson, with Kelsey second and Gould third. Not able to keep the pace of the leaders, last year’s champion, Jason Saunders (WS20), had to settle for fourth ahead of Rhys Edwards (NW44). The last of the finalists was Luke Smith (SR174), who was a retirement from the race.

1st Y121 2nd E100 3rd NS443 4th WS20 5th NW44 DNF SR174 EXCL SV101 EXCL SS20

Class 3

Coming from one of the outside grid slots and straight into the lead was Chris Allanson (S47Y) who made the final after a run-off with Martin Beaney (IK316). Defending champion, Sam Gould (NS334) was hot on his tail though and on the second lap was able to take over the lead after Allanson pushes wide. It wasn’t long before Martin Gould (NS343) was also past Allanson, who started to drop down the order. Adam Saint (CA1) was then putting in a challenge on Martin Gould for second position, with Ryan Power (YD98) soon joining this battle. All the while this allowed Sam to pull himself clear of the grid to retain his title with dad Martin picking up second. Power had passed Saint for third, but the two were in a drag to the line with Saint just getting his nose in front to take third spot. Dave George (SN269) held off Mick Sumners (R169) for fifth, with Allanson dropping down to seventh. Pete Robinson (NW72) had a spin on the penultimate lap which dropped him out of the battle and to the back of the pack.

1st NS334 2nd NS343 3rd CA1 4th YD98 5th SN269 6th R169 7th S47Y 8th NW72

Class 5

There was to be a new champion, as last year’s winner, Ben Reade (B32H), just missed out on a finals spot finishing ninth in the table after the three heats. It was Jason Saunders (WS1) who looked to have his nose in front going into the first turn but coming out he had Daniel Lodge (SC212) alongside. Lodge took the lead with the joint top qualifiers Saunders and Tom Ellis (S33D) side-by-side. In the battle further back Mark Uka (PHD20) was spat out and was then a retirement from the race. Once in front there was no stopping Lodge, who pulled well clear of those behind to take the win. The battle on track was for second, with Ellis just taking the position from Jabez Smith (LUD8) and Saunders who rounded out the trophy positions. Chris Winnall (B66H) took fifth ahead of Jordan Stead (BC33), whilst the defending Junior Saloon champion, Adam Browne (MA184) closed out the order.

1st SC212 2nd S33D 3rd LUD8 4th WS1 5th B66H 6th BC33 7th MA184 DNF PHD20

Class 7

Unsurprisingly for some there would be four attempts for this final. The first was stopped on the first lap with Craig Bagley (C2) and Rhys Griffiths (SV212) caught up on the pits bend. The second run was stopped when Griffiths was stranded on the track with what appeared to be broken suspension. The third stoppage was because of contact between Bagley and Andy Holtby (SC61) which saw Holtby spinning. Phil Cooper (ARC5) looked to have the best getaway but it was Holtby who led coming out of the turn followed by the first Scottish driver to make a men’s nationals final, Colin Reid (CS21). Holtby was able to pull away whilst Reid was defending from the rest of the grid. The battle was for third between Cooper, Bagley and Cameron Mills (C9). Holtby went on to take his fifth nationals title. Reid pushing on at the top bend first allowed Cooper past and then Bagley, but he was able to hold onto the final trophy spot. Darren Lodge (SC265) picked up fifth ahead of Mills, and Matt Manning (E152). Griffiths was missing from the last two runs of the final.

1st SC61 2nd ARC5 3rd C2 4th CS21 5th SC265 6th C9 7th E152 DNF SV212

Class 9

The defending champion Steven Lindsay (PHD1) just missed the cut for the final which meant that a new winner would be crowned. Top qualifier Dave Palmer (ARC31) was the first to show ahead of Jimmy Smith (LUD80). The battle was on for second with Jamie Hollingsbee (IK111) challenging Smith, with James Bowe (YD182) there too. A mistake from Hollingsbee saw him go straight on at the top bend and allowed Bowe through to third. On the next turn Smith pushed wide allowing Smith to take second place. Once in second Bowe quickly closed the gap on Palmer and using the outside line made the move to take up the running. Pulling away from the early leader Bowe took the win from Palmer. Third place went to Smith, with Rydian Evans (TA84) taking fourth, and the last of the trophie. Bran Neale (PAC16) picked up fifth from Ian Stead (BC34) whilst Hollingsbee had to settle for seventh. Rhys Williams (NS3) took the final position with a puncture on board.

1st YD182 2nd ARC31 3rd LUD80 4th TA84 5th PAC16 6th BC34 7th IK111 8th NS3

Class 2

It was unclear what the first attempt of the final was stopped for, but Ollie Stevens (LUD15) was excluded from the rerun. The reds were out again for the second run after contact on the opening lap leaving Craig Conway (SC1) and Jack Hodgson (YD104) facing the wrong way. The third attempt would see completion and it was top qualifier with three heat wins Daniel Heath (P56EM) who took the early lead with Danny Kelly (YD203) close behind. Conway was soon up to second and taking over the front position. Heath wasn’t going to allow Conway to take it easy though and retook the lead. Conway was back in front again, and the pair spent the rest of the race side-by-side taking it in turns with whose nose was just in front. It was a race to the line out of the final bend with Conway taking the win. Heath picked up second but was later excluded from the event due to a technical infringement. Second therefore went to Kelly who had been holding off Daniel Robins (SN34). Kevin Atkins (Y443Y) took the final trophy place in fourth ahead of Hodgson. Will Henry (E219) had made it up to third in the first half of the race but a nudge from Robins sent him down the order to sixth.

1st SC1 2nd YD203 3rd SN34 4th S443Y 5th YD104 6th E219 DNF LUD15 EXCL P56EM

Class 4

The first run of the final was stopped due to contact between Rob Lancaster (R47) and James Bubb (E46) which saw Bubb stranded. Lancaster was given a black flag for the contact. As was in the first run Darren Grasby (E220) in the famous Imp was straight out of the gate and into the lead. This time though he wasn’t able to pull such a gap in the opening lap and had five time class four champion Rob Corbett (PAC3) on his tail. Despite the race long challenge from Corbett Grasby was able to hold on to take the nationals title. Wes Johnson (IK34) took an unchallenged third place. There was a battle for the final trophy position between Jamie Taylor-Williams (M58) and the defending champion, Adam Henley (Y777) with Taylor-Williams holding on. Dorian Davies (TA12) took sixth whilst a problem getting off the start for Bubb saw him as the final finisher.

1st E220 2nd PAC3 3rd IK34 4th M58 5th Y777 6th TA12 7th E46 BF R47

Class 6

Josh Holden (P9) and Ben Gadsby (P7EM) made it through to the final after a close three car run off, with Lloyd Elliot (N53) just missing out. The first attempt of the final was stopped due to contact at the first corner which saw Matt Jess (DA77) picking up a black flag. Defending champion, Ben Gould (NS434) gets the best start and leads the way, followed by Anthony Conway (SC90). The battle was for third with Gadsby and Will Elford (PAC81). Out of shape, Elford dropped to the back of order. Sam Gould (NS433) in the early stages of the race was down in sixth, but was able to move up to fourth after Elford’s mistake and was then challenging for third with Gadsby. Ben went on to reclaim his title ahead of Conway. Contact on the last lap saw Sam pick up third and Gadsby out of the race. Darren Bryan (S41Y) went on to take fourth ahead of Elford. Elford however had picked up a green flag which dropped him behind Holden.

1st NS434 2nd SC90 3rd NS433 4th S41Y 5th P9 7th PAC81 DNF P7EM BF DA77

Class 8

A bunched up first lap saw Matt Berrisford (NS155) just edging his nose in front to take the lead, but he had the defending champion, Tom Lewis (BC55), Stuart Whitehouse (T5) and top qualifier, Dan Mackenzie (CA44), challenging for the position. Mackenzie was able to move up from fourth to second on one bend and was then putting the pressure on the leader. This continued for the remaining laps, over half the race, until the flag where it was a drag to the line with Berrisford holding on to take his first Men’s Nationals title, adding to his Junior Special title from 2012. Behind there was a battle for third between Lewis, Whitehouse and Mitch Well (IK356). Lewis broke away to take third place with Wells picking up the final trophy. Whitehouse had a dash to the line just holding of Darren Mullen (WR38). Steven Mills was seventh ahead of Tom Chadwick (NS151) who had a spin on the second lap.

1st NS155 2nd CA44 3rd BC55 4th IK356 5th T5 6th WR38 7th C10 8th NS151

Class 10

The reds flags were out on the first run when Lee Seagreaves (ARC1) and Gary Wetherick (IK100) came together. The rereun went without Wetherick. Phil Cooper (ARC6) took the lead at turn one with Gary Morris (C28) and Callum Hope (Y144) behind. A spin from Hope and Morris pushing wide allowed Graham Blackburn (YD11) up to second. Copper continued to pull clear of Blackburn, who in turn was pulling away from the battle behind. Vinny Gibbons was sitting in third until a problem which saw him push on at the top and drop down the order. Cooper took his 10th nationals title in style, almost half a lap clear of second placed Blackburn. Morris held onto third, whilst Lee Seagreaves despite contact with the armco, picked up the final trophy in fourth. Hope recovered to sixth ahead of Gibbons, whilst Chris Colegate (NW19) had picked up a puncture and crawled his way to the end.

1st ARC6 2nd YD11 3rd C28 4th ARC1 5th Y144 6th LM170 7th NW19 DNF IK100

Champion of Champions

1st SC1 Craig Conway (2)
2nd SC212 Daniel Lodge (5)
3rd ARC6 Phil Cooper (10)
4th E220 Darren Grasby (4)
5th CA44 Dan Mackenzie (8)
6th YD182 James Bowe (9)
7th NS155 Matt Berrisford (8)
8th SV101 Conner Griffiths (1)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s