Andy clinches title on final weekend
The final two rounds of the Vincenzo & Sons Bristol MX5 Challenge were at Manor Farm Hillclimb in Charmouth.
One race on Saturday and one on Sunday would decide the title.
Andy Laurence, of Downend, just needed to beat Tom Caldecourt once, whilst Tom needed to beat Andy twice, with at least one win and a second place, to take the title. Away from the lead championship battle, Paul and Curtis StGeorge, of Staple Hill, were continuing their season-long battle with Josh Long and James Hurford, of Downend.
Saturday was wet. Josh, Andy and James had made a last-minute decision to book a static caravan to sleep in, whilst Paul and Curtis found a hotel, which meant they were all much more awake than Tom, who had travelled all the way from London to sign on at 08:00!
Nobody had competed there before and the times were remarkably spread, with John Roberts taking his first fastest run of the season and 5.5 seconds covering the whole field.
Lots of rain was due after lunch, so the event pressed on into second practice. Andy had been 3 seconds off the pace after first practice and improved by 3.5 seconds to slot into third place, behind Tom and Nick. Josh was 7th, with James just behind in 8th and Paul chasing in 9th. Curtis was in 12th, and hopeful of improvement in the timed runs. The first timed run was held before lunch and the contenders queued up ready.
Shortly before being called to the start line, a car in another class span off the track and collided with a gas pipe, causing a leak. The gas board were called, but the site was evacuated and the Saturday event cancelled. With no times on the board, there was no winner or loser - and that meant Tom's opportunity to win the championship had evaporated. Andy was crowned champion and all the drivers piled into the local pub to celebrate.
After a night of exuberance, Andy wasn't able to drive the following morning and resorted to spectating instead for the Sunday event.
The sun came out and it turned into a wonderful sunny day. Tom had a point to prove, and stormed into the lead. Everyone else played catchup for the rest of the day, improving steadily into the final run.
Tom took the win by 0.09 seconds from Nick, whilst James was in 6th place, but only 0.17 seconds off the podium. Josh did exceptionally well in his first hillclimb to finish 8th, ahead of Paul in 9th and Curtis, who did improve markedly, in 11th.
The season kicks off again in March for the MX5s, but in the meantime, there's Supercar Saturday at Castle Combe Circuit on 27th October, where some of the drivers will be giving passenger rides in exchange for donations to the Stroke Association.
In November, the muddy season gets underway with the Roy Fedden Sporting Trial at 11:02 on Remembrance Sunday in Old Down, where specialised cars climb impossible hills in the woods. The Allen Classic Trial starts again at The Bull in Hinton on November 25, with 80 classic cars driving the lanes around Bristol and slipping up muddy trails. If some of this sounds interesting, then they're all events run by Bristol Motor Club and you can get involved too. Search them out on Google and social media.