A sideways look at autosport on grass

Published on: 27 Aug 2014

phil oliver

It’s been a busy month for the Downend drivers.  Andy Laurence started the month fixing the wheel that fell off his ADR sports racer at Clay Pigeon Raceway.  

With just 5 working days (and nights) until Bristol Motor Club’s Dick Mayo Sprint at Castle Combe, time was not on his side.  Thanks to some last minute work by Grant Motorsport in Warmley, new parts were manufactured and the car was finished by 21:00 on the Friday night!

Saturday brought a strong challenge with the as yet unbeaten Matt Carter the likely winner.  That was to be the case in the scorching heat.  Andy managed to break his class record, but so did Matt taking the win, Luke Trotman from Chipping Sodbury in third place and a rather dejected Clive Wooster in fourth.  Sunday was a non-competitive day where Andy was joined by his family who were keen to cycle around the race circuit during the lunch break.

The following weekend, Andy took his ADR to display at the South Glos Show in Westerleigh with Downend residents James Hurford and Phil Oliver’s Mazda MX5s.  Sandy Smith from Mangotsfield also brought his Abarth Punto to display.  All four drivers were signed on to drive at the grass autotest and for Phil Oliver, this was his first taste of motorsport, emulating the exploits of his father in the 1970s.

James enjoyed driving the Citroen C1s that MyGarage in Emerson’s Green had supplied but “the Renault Twizy from SJ Cook & Son’s and the TVR race car slithering around on its slick tyres were the highlights.”  He also enjoyed driving his MX5 around the course in what Andy termed “a sideways fashion.”

James and Sandy are heading to Hullavington Airfield as demonstration drivers at the Emergency Services Show on Sunday 7th September.  Both will be competing at the Kemble AutoSolo, where James is sharing his car with twice Cotswold Champion, Dave Greenslade, to get some setup advice.

Phil has decided to compete in his first two sprints at Clay Pigeon Raceway and Castle Combe in October, where Andy will join him.  Before that, both drivers will be marshalling with Bristol Motor Club at Wiscombe Park Hillclimb in Devon.  

You can join them for free to watch racing cars travelling at over 100mph up the tarmac driveway of the stately home that winds its way through the trees.  Search for Bristol Motor Club on Facebook or your favourite search engine for more information.  You can also follow @BristolMC on Twitter.

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