Swift Start to Season
Paul Swift started his challenge for the Link Up Ltd MSA British Autotest Championship with the Fastest Time of the Day in dry sunny conditions in Hereford. Penalties for Alastair Moffatt (Mini Special) and Stephen Wild (ABS) on test one gave Paul the initiative which he was not to loose. The challenge was taken up by Simon Echlin in his Westfield and Malcolm Livingston in the Lotus 7.
The Foxley estate provides an excellent venue for Autotesting.
Broken drive components were being changed throughout the weekend. It was calculated that 20 Nova/Corsa drive shafts broke. Both Anthony Preston and Rob Rolston had CV joints fail on their Minis in their battle with Howard Everingham. Howard took the class win.
Breakages eventually settled the saloon car class. Lee Matthews broke a drive shaft at the end of test 7 but only lost seven seconds as he pushed the Corsa over the line. He was less lucky when he broke another drive shaft on the last test and collected a maximum. This let Duncan Stephens in but he broke a drive shaft on his Nova at the same point on the last test. The lucky class winner was Gavin Dickson despite an off day with five penalties. Lee Valentine was fourth, just beating fellow Northerner Carl Sams by 1.5 seconds.
Steve Morten reversed positions from Curborough on son Ben and took the Striker to its last class win in the hands of the Mortens.
Malcolm Livingston knew that he had his work cut out to beat Simon Echlin in the dry conditions. The battle was close although not helped when a penalty was missed for Simon and then Malcolm collected a penalty of his own. Worse was to come for Malcolm when on his last test he broke a tooth in reverse gear which let in Stephen Wild to fourth place.
Paul Swift set fastest time on seven of the sixteen tests which kept him ahead of the Westfield of Simon Echlin, the Mini Special of Alistair Moffatt and the ABS of Stephen Wild in 2nd ,3rd and 4th spots respectively.
There was a close battle for sixth place overall. Duncan Wild (ABS) just squeezed ahead (perhaps due to the car’s small size) of Steve Morten and Richard Pinkney (Caterham), only 0.7 seconds covering the three. Chris Atkinson’s penalties dropped him from a potential top six place.
Thanks to the Hereford MC team put a lot of effort in to an excellent weekend.
1 Paul Swift (Mini Special) 743.2
Next Round Bolton Le Moors April 22nd.
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