Dales Dependant

10.09.14 1772 (640x427) Important event needs quality and fluidity to create positive memories of 2014.

The 2014 Kent Cams/Simpson Race Exhausts British Autograss Series season might not quite have been the ‘epic’ prospect that we quoted Becky Shaw on, but we are faced with a potentially excellent final round to leave a positive impression into the winter.
The season started with a number of issues at Scunthorpe and Cwmdu, events that could have been sensational. The Stroud round was one of the best meetings for a long time, and in hindsight it’s clear that the South Wales league could have continued the level of quality had the weather not prevented them running a full programme of races. Add to that a slightly troublesome Ladies and Juniors Nationals event – remember that, by way of contrast, the fourth round had followed on from an excellent Men’s event – and it’s clear that the positive energy has dwindled.
This weekend, therefore, the host club don’t have the benefit of momentum on their side so it’s important for them to produce a quality event that’s fast-paced and fluid. The club have never held a BAS round before, but on the strength of many successful Nationals events we could get the strong event we need.
The attention this season has turned, more often than not, onto the standard of the marshalling; it was a negative situation that was quickly rectified by the excellent team working together at Stroud, and it was evident that the standard continued into round four, despite not having a full meeting to officiate. Having spoken to Dave Shields regarding the coming event, his plan is to stay on the infield and support the team on the ground instead of sitting in the camera room. It’s a system that worked well at both Nationals events and makes the marshals feel supported, and also offers a clearer indication that the decisions are being made by the team on track and not from constant review of the camera footage.
It’s been a number of years since the club have staged one of the big events in fully dry conditions as we can expect for most of this weekend – there is light rain forecast for Sunday afternoon – but the successful completion of the 2012 Nationals in the terrible conditions highlighted their ability as an organiser, their understanding of the track and how it should be best be worked, and their deftness when working under pressure. They have the added bonus that landowner Peter Almack is also a heavily involved member within the sport who can often be seen marshalling at various events – including many BAS rounds in the past – and whose son is a long-time racer. Of course it’s in his interest to ensure the best use of his land, but his input into how the track should be worked at other events has produced good results, and we can expect something similar this weekend.
The final round of the BAS is traditionally a little smaller than the others, and with this round in mind it’s questionable how many will want to travel so far north for the fun of racing if they’re not in with a chance of a trophy. With a healthy balance between a quality entry and manageable numbers, we should expect early finishes on both days if things are run smoothly, which will allow plenty of opportunity to create a relaxed atmosphere and a positive memory of this year’s series in hindsight, though there are still a number of excellent late season events yet to come.
For those who haven’t been to the venue since the 2012 Nationals, the road layout is slightly different to how it was then, and the club have provided the following directions:
“If you are travelling north on the A1(M) you need to come off at Junction 50, signposted A61 Ripon and Thirsk - if you miss this you will add about half an hour to your journey time as the next junction is a fair distance away - then at the roundabout take the second exit onto the A6055 and you’ll be driving parallel with the A1(M). Continue straight and you’ll pass the Quernhow Café on your left, and then at the next roundabout take the first exit. After three miles there will be a sign on your left directing you to the track which is about a mile down the lane on the left hand side.”