Racing with Andy Laurence

Published on: 28 Mar 2016


FOUR drivers left Downend in convoy for Chepstow Racecourse to compete in Bristol Motor Club’s AutoSolo, which for James Hurford, Phil Oliver and Sandy Smith was also the first round of the Vincenzo and Son Bristol MX5 Challenge. The venue is used to big sporting events full of horses, but this time it was horsepower in the big tarmac area alongside the horse racing track.
The weather was bright, sunny and bitterly cold, but it didn’t put anyone off. Phil was off to a quick start and took the lead after the first test by 0.7 seconds from Garry Hendy of Fishponds.
It didn’t last into the second test though and Sandy found some otherworldly skills (and a cone) to beat Phil by over 4 seconds. Garry was now quickest overall. James Hurford was slightly off the leading pace but still in touch for a possible podium.
Meanwhile, Alex Millard was setting some great times, just 0.1 seconds of the lead of his class after the second test. He picked up some pace in the afternoon and some blistering times gave him a well deserved and long awaited class win.
In the MX5 Challenge, the field remained close, but Sandy continued his form, taking the lead by two seconds; a commanding victory and he has to be a lead contender for the championship.
The MX5 Challenge continues at Castle Combe whilst Downend Voice goes to press where Sandy will look to increase his championship lead and everyone else will hope to reduce it! If you like fast cars (or slow ones), then Bristol Motor Club hold a number of events you’d probably like; search for them online.
The MX5 Challenge will resume at Llandow Circuit near Cardiff in May; spectating is free and you can volunteer to marshal trackside if you want to get really close.
Andy Laurence

All photos courtesy of Scott Boulton of Jack Flash Photography in Yate

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