Sandy just misses out on championship win
Published on: 03 Oct 2016
SANDY Smith ventured from Mangotsfield to Wiscombe Park Hillclimb in Devon for the final two rounds of the Bristol Speed Championship. Leading the championship, he needed a good result to seal the win. Saturday was wet and with such a demanding course, Sandy was struggling against his formidable opponents. He was placed in the under 2600cc class in his Mazda MX5, which left him against cars with over 300bhp driven by competitors with lots of experience at the hill.
He finished several seconds off the pace, losing the lead of the championship and dropping to third place behind Simon Clemow and Luke Trotman. Sunday was the day to make it right and the better weather and increased experience played to Sandy as he finished within two seconds of the field to get a much better score. Sadly, it was not enough to win the championship, but it was enough to claim second place.
Phil Oliver of Downend finished 13th with Andy Laurence close behind in 15th and James Hurford in 19th. Garry Hendy of Fishponds finished 23rd. Garry is looking for a new MX5 to compete in 2017, whilst Andy is selling his Mygale EgoBoost and joining the MX5 fraternity with a supercharged car. Sandy, Phil, and James will remain in their MX5s. Before then, Sandy had one more championship to contend and the penultimate round was at Shelsley Walsh in Worcestershire.
The venue is the oldest continually running motorsport venue in the world and consists of a blast up a tarmac track just 14 feet wide with several very fast corners. The fastest cars complete the 1,000 yard track in just over 20 seconds, hitting 150mph in the process, but Sandy wasn't quite on that pace in his MX5. He was, however, in fine form and broke the class record to score a good haul of points, winning the MX5 class of the national HSA Speed Championship.
If this sounds like fun and you want to be involved, Bristol Motor Club runs a bunch of events throughout the year. Use your favourite search engine or social media to find the club or head to the club house in Colston's School, Stapleton at 8.30pm on the first Tuesday of the month.