Date Posted

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.
A late charge by Wild took him past Malcolm Livingston when he suffered a gearbox problem on the final test.

The Foxley estate provides an excellent venue for Autotesting.
The concrete roads left from the wartime American army hospital offered a real challenge to the 48 competitors.
Test 2 was set on a steep road which led to some interesting manoeuvres as gravity helped or hindered the throws. Newly erected fences restricted some areas but not all and one competitor did his best to widen the course by taking out a gate post, with no serious consequences.

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.
Steve has sold the faithful car and will be under pressure to complete his new “big engined” Striker ready to mix it with the big boys. Look out Simon and Malcolm, he beat you in the class E car. What will Steve and Ben manage in the new car?

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
2 Simon Echlin (Westfield) 752.5
3 Alastair Moffatt (Mini Special) 755.4
4 Stephen Wild (ABS Freestyle) 776.0
5 Malcolm Livingston (Lotus 7) 788.0
6 Duncan Wild (ABS Freestyle) 815.1
7 Stephen Morten (Striker) 815.6
8 Richard Pinkney (Dutton) 815.8
9 Chris Atkinson (Buggy) 820.7
10 Ben Morten (Striker) 859.2.

Class Winners:
A. Ernie Burles (Mini) 976.1
B. Howard Everingham (Mini) 867.7
C. Gavin Dickson (Nova) 861.3
E. Stephen Morten (Striker) 815.6
F. Simon Echlin (Westfield) 752.5
G. Paul Swift (Mini Special) 743.2

Next Round Bolton Le Moors April 22nd.  


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