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Old Hands

11.07.13 IMG_3197 (640x427) Experienced hosts stage the midpoint.

This weekend’s round of the Kent Cams/Simpson Race Exhausts British Autograss Series marks the halfway point of what is turning out to be a pivotal season.
York Autograss Club is the host for round three, which is a venue and track that will be familiar for most and needs little introduction. For many years the club ran under the Chairmanship of George Capper - known to most people for his idiosyncratic commentaries - before handing over the position to Mark Grice, who has successfully continued the high profile of the club, and also now resides on the British Autograss Series directorate. The club are hugely experienced at running big meetings and are more than capable of producing the kind of high quality event for which this exciting season looks set to be remembered.
The venue, on the side of the A59 York to Harrogate stretch, contains a track for which competitors need to keep a close eye on the weather forecast, and has one of those surfaces which divides opinion among drivers. After beautifully seasonable weather this week which looks set to continue into the race weekend, the track will be hard and dusty and will inevitably polish up very quickly.
Unlike Cwmdu, where the rain in the finals created some incredible racing, a downpour at York will quickly turn the racing surface into a skating rink and create a markedly different set of races than last time out. At the time of writing, the forecast is for sun and intermittent cloud on both Saturday and Sunday, with temperatures of 24 and 22 degrees respectively.
It’s great to see the entry lists staying constant, and there are some interesting additions to some of the classes. It’s an exciting prospect to have Antony Ross entered for Class Eight, the former multiple champion has taken a back seat of late to concentrate on family life but is a welcome returnee to top level Autograss, and a standard which was defined by him, amongst others, for many seasons.
Those who followed British Rallycross in the early 1990’s, and the British Touring Car Championship in the noughties will instantly recognise Mark Proctor’s name from Formula C and the Independents categories respectively. Father of Junior Saloons star Senna, and son of former Rallycross legend Tony Proctor (who can be seen in a Mini Pickup in Class Five), it will be interesting to see how his depth of ability translates to Class Seven: watch out for S39Y on the side of what we believe to be the car that Karl Mosley used to great effect in the last few seasons.
Proctor is joined as a new entrant into the class by Kevin Roche, who is a proven race winner at this level; Richard Northway, a racer for many years with the host club, who now carries the Scunthorpe club’s prefix, and James Almack, whose self-built Twingo-bodied machine is often fairly rapid.
Dean Barnes is the only other new entry for Class Eight and had a brilliant race with Darren Mullen to win the class at the North of England championship a few months ago. For the lists of all entrants in all classes go to the ‘entries’ tab at the top of the page, and choose either Mens or Ladies from the submenu in each class.
To keep up with the progress of the meeting you can tune in to BASFM to listen to live commentary as it happens; follow us on Twitter @basautograss, and check our Facebook page - search for ‘British Autograss Series’ and like our page to get updates to your timeline as we post them.

Main: one of the most competitive home drivers; you're always guaranteed some kind of action from Phil Thompson (photo: Dan Moffatt).