A New Beginning

07.05.13 322 (640x427) Rejuvenated Series starts in Red Roses.

After the climax last year of growing unrest within the British Autograss Series, this year’s season was always pretty much guaranteed to offer those who entered each round greater value for their money, and a more enjoyable weekend than in previous seasons.
With Round One now completed, it’s clear that competitors and spectators, for the most part, came away from Red Roses content with having had a much better time than in the past last few seasons. The simple details are right; a greater number of laps in the heats and longer finals relieves the stress on the drivers to perform quickly under pressure, and the smaller entry allows the organising club/league to relax a little, safe in the knowledge that if there are any stoppages, there’s a little more time to play with; then, if the races need to be shortened, the drivers can still have a race that’s a decent length.
The fact that this weekend there were very few serious incidents that necessitated a long period of downtime can be partly attributed to the spacious nature of the track, but also that the drivers weren’t under the same pressure to perform as in previous years. There were 462 drivers signed on here – half the number that previous rounds have tried, and sometimes failed, to contend with – which is maybe a little lower than it would have been, had the meeting not been staged so far away for some competitors. You could speculate that even if all the remaining rounds have a greater entry than at Round One, the 2013 Series could end up being a pivotal one, remembered once again for lengthy, high quality racing dealt with in a relaxed, unstressed manner.
That the South Wales league were arguably a little too relaxed and laid back on Saturday now matters little in hindsight, because organisation on Sunday was slick, and the track preparation brilliant; it’s always good to see racing on a wide, fast track where there are numerous racing lines, and the undulating nature of the surface favoured the thinking driver. There were periods of downtime on Saturday for the ambulance to tend to an injured spectator, among other things, and for a couple of larger incidents on Sunday for which the ambulance was needed; most notably Lynn Cooper’s monumental accident. In hindsight, the lasting memory of the weekend for the majority will be of a rejuvenated Series that promises renewed values for the rest of the year.
In the finals, the number of reruns bordered on the ridiculous, and there were a number of drivers who failed to score points, either because of a black flag, or because they’d sustained damage in a previous attempt to complete the race. Despite the stoppages, the finals were mostly brilliant; the pick of the bunch being Class Seven, where Oily Evans was undoubtedly the star of the weekend for his brilliant race with Phil Cooper: they had raced together in the third heat too and narrowly missed out on the win there, then was also denied the victory again in the final due to broken front suspension.

For the individual class reports, please click on the relevant link at the bottom of this story.

Main: Oily Evans and Phil Cooper provided two of the best races of the weekend (photo: Dan Moffatt)
Above: The in-car camera captures Oily Evans's reaction as suspension failure ruins his chance of victory in the final (photo: MotorMedia)

Class 1 | Class 2 | Class 3 | Class 4 | Class 5 | Class 6 | Class 7 | Class 8 | Class 9 | Class 10 | Juniors