Date Posted

Knutsford & DMC organised round 5 of the Link up Ltd MSA Autotest Championship event at Demon Tweeks near Wrexham.

Dave Mosey and Alistair Moffat in their Mini Specials were in a class of their own. These equally matched drivers put on a display of precision driving in the tight tests with FTD finally going to Dave. Simon Echlin (Westfield) renewed his battle with Malcolm Livingston (Lotus 7) and took the class by 9 seconds. Steve Morten (Striker) mixed in with the big sports cars to take an excellent class win and fifth overall.

This was another hot day and in contrast to the open spaces of Anglesey the previous day for the BTRDA championship. The small car parks provided a different challenge. Duncan Wild, fresh from competing on Saturday laid out three technical tests which were each tackled five times. Although it was another hot day, car reliability was 100% but two drivers retired.

With Paul Swift away in London at the Motor Show parade it was left to the other two Mini Special drivers to battle for overall honours. Dave swapped back to his Mini Special after using a Mini Saloon for the first half of the season. Dave led by 0.1 seconds after the first round then Alistair led by the same margin after the second round. Thereafter Dave got back into the swing of driving the Special and pulled out a small advantage to take his first FTD of the year.

Simon and Malcolm admitted to the odd error as they continued their season long battle for sports car honours. In the end it was Simon who took the class honours. Stephen Morten put the good handling of the Striker to excellent use as he took the small sports car class from son, Ben, and also an excellent fifth overall. The welding the previous day was spot on.

Gavin Dickson was finding the Nova's handling seriously affected by his accident the previous day and he struggled in the tight space. He had to give best to Duncan Stephens and Carl Sams who had his best result of the year.

The small Minis continued their battle, this time it was David Higginson who took the class. In the large Minis, Anthony Preston had his best run at Wrexham with a class win. In the past Anthony has often been seen in the workshops at Demon Tweeks repairing the Mini.

The Perrens had another excellent day. Helen won the ladies award and Stuart was best KDMC member, taking the MAN F1 trophy. Eileen Sargeant presented the awards, including the Tim Sargeant Memorial Trophy which is the steering wheel from her late husbands Dutton.

Next Event is at Birmingham Wheels Adventure Park on the 13th of August.

Result. Overall; 1 D Mosey (Mini Special) 796.5; 2 A Moffatt (Mini Special) 809.5; 3 Simon Echlin (Westfield) 860.1; 4 M Livingston (Lotus 7) 869.5; 5 S Morten (Striker) 873.0; 6 S Perren (Retrotester) 887.0.

Class: A. D Higginson (Mini) 1069.5; B. A Preston (Mini) 926.3; C/D. D Stephens (Nova) 895.3; E. S Morten (Striker) 873.0; F. S Echlin (Westfield) 860.1; G. D Mosey (Mini Special) 796.5


Link-Up Ltd British Autotest Championship 2006
Round 4 - 25th June 2006

The North East round of the MSA Autotest championship took place at the Middleton Grange Shopping centre car park in Hartlepool town centre as it has for the past 30 years.

It was great to see the return to the event of Ken Irwin from Northern Ireland who first competed at the event in 1979. On his last visit to Hartlepool in 2002 Ken shared a Mini with Nephew Glen Irwin who took FTD with Ken 2nd and Paul Swift in 3rd. Still to win the event Ken was out to beat the now Current British Champion Paul Swift who has won the event every year since 2002 and was actually born in the same year as Ken's first visit!

Also one of the favourites was previous event winner Alistair Moffat who returned to the event 7 years after his title winning campaign and with high hopes of his 3rd FTD of 2006.

A strong entry of Local drivers bolstered a fairly low national entry by national standards but with overnight rain and continued showers throughout the day made the surface tricky for everyone. As usual Malcolm Livingston in the Lotus was in amongst it but was struggling to find grip, this coupled with an uncharacteristic penalty set him back. Steve and Ben Morten in the Striker swapped to new tyres after several tests which helped with grip but the Mini's seemed to fair best in the conditions and this looked to be where the eventual winner would come from.

It was Swift who took the early lead from Moffat followed by Irwin. Mosey was close behind in the Mini but was dropping time with an engine misfire later found to be a faulty fuel filter. Irwin was next to suffer gremlins breaking a drive shaft in the morning earning him a maximum time, this followed by 4 penalties in the afternoon put paid to his challenge dropping him to 5th. Swift & Moffat were left to battle it out for overall honours, penalties were again collected with tricky line positions but with two a piece this kept the gap the same leaving Swift to win by exactly 11 at the finish.

Gavin Dixon had a consistent drive to take the Nova class but was chased all day by hard charging local driver Carl Sams taking an excellent 2nd in class and 9th O/A.

Results: Overall; 1 P Swift (Mini Sp) 789.4; 2 A Moffat (Mini Sp) 800.4; 3 D Mosey (Mini) 817.4; 4 M Livingston (Lotus 7) 844.4; 5 K Irwin (Mini Sp) 853.1; 6 Steve Morton (Striker) 861.7. Class: A. D Goodlad (Mini) 1029.6; B. D Mosey (Mini) 817.4; C. G Dixon (Nova) 873.4; E. S Morten (Striker) 861.7; F. M Livingston (Lotus 7) 844.4; G. P Swift (Mini Special) 789.4.

Next event:

Welsh Weekend -

15th July - Anglesey Showground
16th July - Demon Tweeks, Wrexham

PS 25th June 2006

Round 3 Maidstone & Mid Kent MC - Sittingbourne Stadium - Saturday 3rd June

Dave Cook and his team laid out four awesome tests, made all the more challenging by the hot weather for the Maidstone and Mid Kent MC event. According to Dave himself a new record was set with ten cars breaking down during the event. These included potential FTD, Alistair Moffatt who suffered a damaged gearbox three tests from the finish, unfortunately three maximums dropped him to sixth leaving Paul Swift to take his 2nd FTD of the year and and the lead in the championship.
Dave Mosey in his Mini saloon had a steady drive to second after top challenger Simon Echlin suffered with a gearbox problem, eventually Simon finished 4th after replacing the broken box with a spare. Malcolm Livingston suffered a misfire all day which later turned out to be caused by a set of loose accelerator jets but still managed an excellent 3rd O/A Steve Morten had another excellent day in Kent, finishing fifth overall. His Striker is very manoeuvrable and has tremendous traction which helped him on Daveís fast flowing tests. The ďNovaĒ class was won by Duncan Stephens with Brian Bridge wining the small engined Mini class. It was good to see increased entries from last year and those who took part enjoyed their weekendís motor sport.

Overall; 1 P Swift (Mini Special) 717.6; 2 D Mosey (Mini) 754.4; 3 M Livingston (Lotus 7) 774.6; 4 S Echlin (Westfield) 778.5; 5 S Morten (Striker) 792.3; 6 A Moffatt (Mini Special) 794.1 Class: A. B Bridge (Mini) 920.3; B. D Mosey (Mini) 754.4; C. D Stephens (Nova) 832.6; E S Morten (Striker) 792.3; F. M Livingston (Lotus 7) 774.6; G. P Swift (Mini Special) 717.6

Next Event is Hartlepool on June 25th
Round 2 Ė Bolton-le-Moors CC, Bolton, 23rd April
posted by Peter Cox on 04/24/06

Youth Beats Experience Ė Just!! Youth beat experience on the second round of the Link Up Ltd MSA British Autotest Championship. Paul Swift had a very hard fight with Ken Irwin as they swapped fastest times all day. Paul finally opened up a slight lead of 1.8 seconds on the final three tests as he risked everything to beat the old master. Both were in Mini Specials and it was the similar, although older version, of Alastair Moffatt that took third place. The battle for sports car honours was equally close as Simon Echlan (Westfield) and Malcolm Livingston (Lotus 7) were only separated by fractions of a second during the morning runs. Gavin Dickson took his first class win of 2006 over the ever improving Carl Sams in a similar Nova. Dave Mosey was the class of the Minis, beating second placed Howard Everingham by 119 seconds, while taking fifth overall. This win puts Paul into the lead of the MSA and BTRDA Championships.

After the cold of the last two rounds it was sunshine all day at the Bolton West Services on the M61. After a slow response it was good to see an entry of 40 starters, only Richard Pinkney failed to make the start. Although the test were relatively simple by the usual MSA standard they still caught several drivers out as they tried to make up those vital seconds.

Luckiest driver was Malcolm Livingston. As he lined up for test 11 his clutch failed. A concerted effort by several drivers made a temporary repair to the actuating arm and he was able to continue without penalty and no doubt drive home as well. Another driver to suffer a failure was Duncan Wild when the ignition switch of his ABS Freestyle broke up mid test and he collected a maximum. Duncan managed to pull back from 20th after the first round of tests to twelfth.

Dave Goodlad won the small Mini class again, beating local driver and best Junior, David Higginson. Stephen Morten won the small sports car class but had to be content with eighth overall in such quick company. John Moffatt made a welcome return to a MSA event after Clerking the Foxley round. He borrowed Simonís Westfield and soon got to grips with it to finish ninth. Tenth and eleventh were the leading Novas closely followed by Duncan and John Wilson. These two had a close fight for Jubilee points and Duncan just shaded the place from John on the last run.

Adele Mosey took the ladies award. Steph Carey is new to autotesting and is continuing to improve. She shows the same aggression as Adele and flings the Nova around. As she develops her skills Iím sure she will challenge the other ladies and then the men.

Results:Overall; 1 P Swift (Mini Special) 691.6; 2 K Irwin (Mini Special) 693.4; 3 A Moffatt (Mini Special) 717.2; 4 S Echlin (Westfield) 719.0; 5 D Mosey (Mini) 722.3; 6 M Livingston (Lotus 7) 735.7; 7 R Lyons (Mini Special) 751.7; 8 S Morten (Striker) 777.8; 9 J Moffatt (Westfield) 784.6; 10 G Dickson (Nova) 793.3.

Class: A. D Goodlad (Mini) 890.8; B. D Mosey (Mini) 722.3; C. G Dickson (Nova) 793.3; E. S Morten (Striker) 777.8; F. S Echlin (Westfield) 719.0; G. P Swift (Mini Special) 691.5
Round 1 - Herefordshire Motor Club, Foxley, 2nd April
posted by Peter Cox on 04/03/06

Previous Champion, Alastair Moffatt, returned to winning ways on the second round of the Link Up Ltd MSA British Autotest Championship. Paul Swift in a similar Mini Special led at lunchtime but a stripped first gear put him under pressure and he lost the lead. The fast tests allowed him to keep the pressure on Alastair while using second gear. Simon Echlin closed in on the two leaders as the Westfield driver found the drier surface of the Foxley estate to his liking. A penalty on the penultimate test cost Simon FTD and a similar penalty on the last test cost Paul his second FTD of the year.

John Moffatt laid out four challenging tests on the concrete roads of the Foxley estate. After overnight rain the surface was very slippery, although not as bad as the previous morning when the Inter-association event was held at the same venue. There was a large entry of 52, boosted by some of the drivers from the previous day. However Paul Swift competed in Dungannon the previous day and had to fly back to Birmingham in time for the event. He must have wondered if it was all worth it as he had a pot joint fail the previous day then stripped first gear after lunch at this event. Despite his problems he nearly won the event and retains the lead in the championship.

Simon Echlin was the star of the Saturday event with the fastest time. He was drafted in to the Welsh team at the last minute and helped them to a first Inter-association victory, at least as far as any of us present could remember. Sunday was more competitive and Simon had to settle for third place, although he went very well as the surface dried out and but for a penalty on the penultimate test could have completed the weekend double. He is second in the championship.

Alastair Moffatt proved that you donít loose you skill by having a few years away from the sport. He was quickly on the pace although had to give best to Paul in the morning. A string of good tests kept the other two challengers at bay and he took his first FTD of the year. While the first three represented the future you could say the next four represented the past as they were the Jubilee class drivers. This showed that anyone can enjoy autotesting as Malcolm Livingston (Lotus 7) led Duncan Wild (ABS Freestyle), Steve Morten (Striker) and Stuart Perren (Retrotester) filled the next seven places. Steve also won the small sports car class. You just canít keep a good small one down.

A penalty on the first test was all that separated the Corsa of Lee Matthews from the class winning Nova of Duncan Stephens. While Lee was fastest on the tests his penalties proved his undoing. This was disappointing for the Welsh team captain after the teamís victory the day before. Last years class winner, Gavin Dickson, admitted to having an off day as he settled for third in a class of eighteen small saloons. Anthony Preston reverted from navigating on Historic rallies to driving his Mini Clubman and was rewarded with a narrow class win over Rob Rolston. Another close class battle was the small minis with Dave Goodlad getting the better of Brian Bridge which made up for the previous event when Dave failed to get to Curborough when his tow car expired.

Results Overall; 1 A Moffatt (Mini Special) 824.3; 2 P Swift (Mini Special) 827.1; 3 S Echlin (Westfield) 829.1; 4 M Livingston (Lotus 7) 841.8; 5 D Wild (ABS Freestyle) 870.4; 6 S Morten (Striker) 888.7; 7 S Perren (Retrotester) 905.9; 8. M Biss (Nova Special) 922.6; 9. R Pinkney (Dutton) 922.6; 10. D Stephens (Nova) 924.7.

Class: A. D Goodlad (Mini) 1040.1; B. A Preston (Mini) 960.2; C. D Stephens (Nova) 924.7 S Morten (Striker) 888.7. ; E. S Morten (Striker) 888.7 F. S Echlin (Westfield) 829.1; G. A Moffatt (Mini Special) 824.3
Inter-Association Autotest, Herefordshire MC, Foxley, 1st April
posted by Peter Cox

Herefordshire MC hosted this yearís Inter-association Autotest on behalf of the West Midlands Association. Some may have thought it was an April fool when the Welsh Association team was declared winners for the first time that any one could remember. However Lee Matthews (Corsa), Simon Echlin (Westfield) and Graham Powell (Harrison Special) deserved their victory, especially as they had to draft in a reserve sports car driver at the last minute. The winning margin of 40 seconds was opened up over the Association of West Midlands team on the first round of three very slippery tests. Third of the six A teams were the ANE&CCC team who had a close battle with ANWCC until the surface dried out at lunchtime. The AWMMC B team reversed the honours by beating the WAMC B team.

Results 1. WAMC A (L Matthews, S Echlin, G Powell) 2101.8; 2. AWMMC A (M Sones, M Livingston, A Moffatt) 2159.4; 3. ANE&CCC A (L Valentine, R Pinkney, C Sams) 2310.1; 4. AWMMC B (R Holder, M Burn, J Wilson) 2316.5: 5. ANWCC A (M MacKenzie, B Sargeant, D Wild) 2353.8; 6 WAMC B (Y Matthews, B Barker, G Parry) 2523.4; 7. ACSMC A (R Rolston/A Preston, B Anderson, M Biss) 2572.4; 8. ASWMC (W Grimshaw, N Ayre, M Williams) 2953.9.

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