Class Acts

17.10.15 1839 (640x399) Gould and Simmonds-Grant are runaway winners in Class Three.

Where Martin Gould ended his time in the Nova saloon in 2013, son Sam has continued its run of form unabated, winning four out of five finals this season to take his second title in a row; the fifth for the Gould name in Class Three.
Gould was on a different level to his competitors for the majority of the season, and such was his standard he is only 30 points shy of 1100, which is the maximum year total. He was unable to take a maximum at any of the events, and Jon Napier may have equalled his maximum tally so they both have the same doubled score, but Gould’s winning margin is a huge 161 points.
Indeed, Napier was also one of the stars of the season in his self-built car and spent the last few events battling with Barry Almond for the runner up spot in the Series. Adrian Joyce too was a contender for the position, but forfeited his place with a non-appearance at York and dropped to fourth overall. Joyce was the winner at round two and a welcome addition in the BAS again after his time in the UKAC last season and because, nostalgically speaking, of those superb battles with Martin Gould from many seasons ago.
To emphasise how close and competitive the class has become, in addition to Gould being top qualifier at rounds two and five, and Napier at rounds four and five where he tied with Gould, Andrew Empson and Andy Pipe also made their mark in the heats with unbeaten runs at Stroud and Evesham respectively. For Empson this was the only appearance in a final: an unusual statistic given how sensationally quick and competitive he can be. Pipe too was unusually absent, only starring in two of them on his way to seventh in the standings, with Empson 89 points behind.
Aaron Mackenzie showed moments of superior speed in what is a rather outdated machine, but knowing there’ll be a new John Wright-built Starlet for the next year for the Spalding driver gives rise to the speculation that he could be a serious contender next season. His best result was a second behind Gould at round one, two more appearances after which helped him to sixth overall behind Dave George. George was a regular top three finisher throughout the whole season, appearing in four finals and enjoying several close battles with the other frontrunners in his self-built Micra.

George’s car was a brilliantly effective weapon for Trish Simmonds-Grant this season, and she drove an almost faultless season. A brilliant run of 19 race wins out of 20 easily gave her the title – the missing result was a third place in heat two at round four – and also secured the overall Ladies title too.
That third place meant that National champion Donna Brown was the top qualifier at Severn Valley with a trio of wins too, but a win for Simmonds-Grant in the final and a third for Brown levelled things overall for the event overall.
A 933 points total for Brown is an impressive one too, and could have been much higher had she made an appearance at round five. Her position is a rather lonely one in the end as she is a way adrift of the champion, but also 317 points ahead of Joanne Rowlands whose consistency was justly rewarded with a third place. Simmonds-Grant, Rowlands and Catherine Beynon were the only three drivers to contest all five rounds, and Beynon finished 110 points behind Rowlands, with Gemma Fullard and Sally Corbett in fifth and sixth overall.

Main: Simmonds-Grant's performance was almost faultless and she is the overall Ladies winner. Above: Similarly, Sam Gould was rarely outperformed and took the title by a clear margin.