THE OVAL RACING AND EXTREME MOTORSPORT
EXPERIENCE 2014
NEC Birmingham
Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th January 2014


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LIVE ACTION - NATIONAL AUTOGRASS



AUTOGRASS CLASS 7


A13 Laura Blaber (Chard, Somerset)
Athelstan Autograss Club




Having won National titles in a front wheel drive class 4 and a rear wheel drive Class 5, Laura moved up to the XCWorx built, Chevy V8-powered Cinquecento that’s proved one of the most spectacular cars on the Class 7 scene over the last two years. An unlucky breakage while seemingly headed for another National title put a slight dampener on her season, but didn’t stop her smiling!

ARC5 Phil Cooper (Burtonwood, Cheshire)
Abram Racing Club



After eleven years during which he won everything there was to win in open wheel racing, NEC favourite Phil diverted to the Super Saloons in 2012 and 2013, winning the Nationals at his first attempt. Now he’s heading back to the open wheel classes but appears in the live arena by courtesy of the new owner of his twin Hayabusa-powered Seicento, Carlow’s Keith Kelly.

CA2 Karl Taylor (Cambridge)
Cambridge Autograss Club



After enjoying a bit of a wild reputation in his early days in a Class 2 Escort, Karl’s earned himself a respected position as one of the team that have re-established the Cambridge club track as one of the best venues in the country. After racing irregularly over the years, Karl’s new Chris Pope built, Hayabusa-powered Fiat 126 had a few teething problems in 2013, but showed its potential.

LUD23 Alfie Smith (Ludlow, Shropshire)
Ludlow Autograss Club



A second generation member of one of the West Midland League’s most prolific racing families, Alfie graduated from the Junior ranks to become a top Class 1 racer before a succession of ever-quicker Class 7s, culminating in the twin-GSXR powered XCWorx Seicento that regularly took him to the top of the West Midland League’s ultra-competitive Class 7 field in 2013.


N70 Rich Lee (Pinxton, Nottinghamshire)
Nottingham Autograss Club



There’s probably no greater enthusiast of Class 7 than Rich, a stalwart of the Nottingham club who’s appeared in an ever widening variety of top level machinery since moving on from his very successful Class 3 career. Replacing his familiar Volvo-engined Mini, a newly acquired twin Hayabusa powered WL Seicento should see him through the NEC weekend.

S80D Aaron Middleton (Weston-super-Mare, Somerset)
Stroud & District Autograss Club



A long and chequered Class 1 Mini career began for Aaron when he moved out of Juniors in the mid-1990s and eventually saw him become National Champion of Champions in 2009 – an almost unique achievement for a Class 1 driver in the dry. On moving into Class 7 in 2012, Aaron joined the growing ranks of those using Honda Vtec power as an alternative to the not quite dominant bike and Chevy engines.

SP141 Nicola Mackenzie (Manea, Cambridgeshire)
Spalding & District Autograss Club



The youngest of the three successful Mackenzie siblings, Nicola was the first of the family to claim a National title, having taken to Class 7 power like a duck to water after moving up from her Junior Mini, in which she made her only previous NEC appearance. The single Hayabusa powered Mini gives a bit of power away to some of her rivals, but is always a contender in Nicola’s hands.

SR62 Daz Hockly (Shrewsbury, Shropshire)
Shropshire & Telford Autograss Club



A second generation racer, whose dad Mike, a long time Mini racer, now competes with him in Class 7. Daz quickly moved through the classes to arrive in the Super Saloons. His acquisition of the ex-Karl Mosley Chevy V8 powered Cinquecento was beset with problems, but the car reappeared at the end of the 2013 season looking and sounding better than ever.

SC61 Andy Holtby (Goxhill, North Lincolnshire)
Scunthorpe & District Motor Sports Club



Although Andy grew up watching his father Mike’s career as one of the all-time greats of Class 7, by the time Andy and brother John started racing, Mike had switched to National Hot Rods and that’s where Andy quickly became one of the top stars. However, he always hankered for the family atmosphere of Autograss and when he finally hit the dirt he did so in style, winning all over the country before taking his twin Hayabusa powered ARD Mini Pickup to National honours in 2013.

Y34 Mark Grice (Elvington, North Yorkshire)
York Autograss Club



After winning hard-fought National titles in Class 5 and Class 9, “Blobby” jumped from the frying pan into the fire of Class 7 for 2013, with a twin-Hayabusa Mini Pickup prepared by Full-On Fabrications. He immediately made his presence felt by pulling some of the most spectacular wheelies of the year, but it wasn’t long before he was making a similar impact on the results sheets, combining his very impressive season with a stint as Chairman of the York club and North Yorkshire League.


AUTOGRASS CLASS 10

ARC1 Lee Seagreaves (Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire)
Abram Racing Club



A graduate of Junior Mini racing, Lee cut his single seater teeth in Class 8 but has now completed a dozen years racing alongside father Terry in Class 10. During that time Lee’s been National Champion three times, in 2007, 2008 and 2011, and Terry’s beaten him to the title twice. In 2013 Lee had to make do with second in the Nationals, but claimed the BAS title to keep the familiar turquoise colours in the limelight.

DA121 Derek Leech (Mullingar, County Westmeath)
Down Autograss Club



Living in the heart of the Irish Midlands, but representing a club north of the border, Derek’s been one of the most widely travelled Irish racers of recent years. With the twin GSXR-powered Xtreme chassis that replaced his very successful self-built chassis (which was the first top-line Special to be built wholly in Ireland) Derek featured at most major British events in 2013 but also enjoyed a strong season in the thriving All Ireland series.

NS120 Liam Evans (Telford, Shropshire)
North Shropshire Autograss Club



After graduating from Junior Minis to a successful stint in Class 2, Liam’s next step was the huge one into unlimited single seaters. His early efforts as the youngest regular competitor in the class marked him out as a quick and consistent driver and, armed with Mark Hatfield’s 2009 National winning car, Liam topped the BAS points in 2011 and 2012 before mastering the strocious weather conditions to bring home the 2013 National title.

SN19 Josh Hassell (Thaxted, Essex)
St Neots Autograss Club



The youngest of the “senior” racers appearing in the Live Arena, Josh at the end of 2012 leapt from his Junior Special straight into the unlimited Class 10, impressing in his first drive in a borrowed car. With his own twin-GSXR powered ARD car in 2013, the 17 year old was quickly mixing it with the veterans of the class and won the East Anglian League championship at his first attempt.


Y7 Andy Hornshaw (Harrogate, North Yorkshire)
York Autograss Club



One of the most successful open wheel racers in Autograss history, former Motocrosser Andy chalked up three Class 9National titles in the 1990s, plus four Champion of champions wins, before bouncing back to win Class 9 in 2011 and 2012. Having undertaken an ambitious dual programme in Classes 9 and 10 in 2013, anything that could go wrong for Andy did, culminating in a dramatic flight at the Border Counties long track event, but you can’t keep a good man down and he was soon back on form.


AUTOGRASS CLASS 9

IK121 Stuart Taylor (Sherborne, Dorset)
Invicta Kent Autograss Club



Stuart had a relatively low profile season in 2013, and wasn’t seen at all at his “adopted” home club in Kent, but he did appear closer to home with a good run to third in the Southern League’s round of the UK Autograss Championship. Having made his name with self-built cars that twice earned him the accolade of best turned out special at the Nationals, Stuart now races an Xtreme chassis with Honda Vetec power.

NS343 Sam Gould (Shebdon, Staffordshire)
North Shropshire Autograss Club



Sam’s a third generation racer and comes from perhaps the most successful Autograss family of recent years; father Martin’s won the Nationals five times in the last nine years, while brother Ben, who started racing alongside Sam in Juniors just nine years ago, has come very close, while all three cleaned up their classes in the 2013 BAS. Sam’s successful Class 9, based on a John Williams chassis built up by the family team, is one of the few front runners using the Ford Duratec engine.

NS3 Rhys Williams (Connahs Quay, Flintshire)
North Shropshire Autograss Club



Rhys was one of the stars of the early years in the Junior Specials class, but as the son of long-time Class 9 driver and constructor John Williams it was only to be expected that he jumped from the restricted Junior car to the Class 9 as soon as his age allowed, and he proved instantly competitive. The Shropshire and North Western leagues’ strong Class 9 fields have provided Rhys with excellent experience and if he can beat his dad (he does, but not always!) he can beat the best in the class.

P5EM Jason Richardson (Ashbourne, Derbyshire)
Pennine Autograss Club



After graduating from Juniors via Class 1 in the mid-90s, Jason still qualifies as one of the younger Class 9 racers despite chalking up 14 years in the class. After starting in a venerable secondhand chassis it wasn’t long before Jason’s first self built car hit the track, and ever since he’s been bucking the trend of professionally built cars in the class by taking a series of ever more competitive home-constructed machines to the sharp end of the field.


SC4 John Whitehouse (Pontefract, West Yorkshire)
Scunthorpe & District Autograss Club



One of the “elder statesmen” of Class 9 racing, John’s clocked up over thirty years of racing in the open wheel Autograss classes, most of which has been in Class 9 although he’s also had considerable success in the 10s and has on occasion shown up the youngsters in Class 8. For many years John held the unenviable unofficial title of “best driver never to win the Nationals” but he shook that one off in 2010, having already twice won the prestigious Fastest Man on Grass title.


AUTOGRASS JUNIOR SPECIALS

LM13 Jay Gallagher (Wigan, Lancashire)
Leewood Motor Club



Last time Jay was in the NEC Live Arena he was supporting mum and dad, Mel and Giddy, racing their Class 8, and counting the days until he’d be old enough to take over the family Junior Special from brother Brad. Now Jay’s in action himself after a promising debut season and it won’t be long before he’s adding to the Gallagher family’s long list of successes.

LUD4 Brynley Powell (Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire)
Ludlow Autograss Club



Racing in the very competitive West Midland League, Bryn started racing in a Mini, following in the footsteps of his sister Amber, but in 2013 he moved into the Specials class and quickly started to make his mark. Probably his best showing was in the National championships where he finished 17th out of the 56 starters - unluckily just one place away from transferring to the semi-finals.

NS115 Matt Owen (Whixall, Shropshire)
North Shropshire Autograss Club



Matt joined the Junior Specials ranks after his brother Dan had established himself as one of the top contenders in the class. In Matt’s second year Dan moved on to the senior classes and Matt stepped up to take his place in the leading group at most of the major events. He excelled himself with fourth in the National final, also taking third in the BAS points.

NW47 Dan Borman (Chester)
North Wales Autograss Club



With father Mark being a long time Class 8 racer in the North wales club, Dan joined the Junior Specials racing against his brother Tom and, while both brothers had a highly competitive year, racing in the inaugural UK Autograss Championship, the highlight for Dan was a very impressive showing at the Nationals at St Neots, making it to the semi-finals stage.

SC52 Josie Tomkinson (Micklefield, West Yorkshire)
Scunthorpe & District Autograss Club



Josie’s sister Beth was a leading contender in the Junior saloon class until her “retirement” and graduation to Class 2 racing, but Josie opted to start her career in the open wheelers. In her second full season, she moved up to mix it for the leading places at many of the big meetings. The two sisters’ success has more or less forced the retirement from racing of mum and dad, Di and Ian, but Di will be behind the scenes, orchestrating the grassers’ action at the NEC

SP6 Lewis Clayton (Sutterton, Lincolnshire)
Spalding & District Autograss Club)



Again we see the youngest member of a prolific Autograss family, representing the relatively small but ambitious Spalding club. Dad Mel is a long time Class 8 racer, mum Alison’s also won regional titles in Class 8 and sister Chamelle, after vacating the Junior seat, has become a competitive Class 7 racer. Lewis had a busy 2013 season in his Chris Pope-built car, being competitive at local and national level.

WR44 Calum Ball (Liversedge, West Yorkshire)
Whiterose Autograss Club



Calum showed promise from the start, having a very brief spell in a Mini before moving up to Specials. Having now completed two full seasons he’s a regular front runner in his ex-Jack Rawlinson car and, having chalked up many wins at northern events, is expected to be one of the leading contenders nationally in 2014.

YD24 Abi Shields (Strensall, York)
Yorkshire Dales Autograss Club



With dad, Percy, and mum, Sandra, having been leading class 8 racers for as long as she could remember, of course it had to be a Special for Abi as she counted down to her twelfth birthday. She made a steady start but by the end of her first season was up there mixing it, and now, with three years’ experience behind her, she’s a front runner at any level, completing her 2013 season with victory in the Nottingham Winter


   

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