Rain fails to stop play for country’s top drivers
THOUSANDS of motorsport fans braved the mud and rain to see the country’s leading drivers compete in the National Autograss Championships at Dodwell’s John Wilkin Raceway.
York’s Adam Henley was crowned champion of champions and there was silverware for a number of Dodwell-based drivers competing for Evesham Autograss.
One of these was Tom Powell who picked up a fourth-place trophy after guiding his class one Toyota Yaris through the muddy qualifiers on Saturday and into Sunday’s final.
He said: “The weather is not ideal for us. There are three different cars that you can have in class one – a Mini, a Micra and a Yarris – and the Micra and Mini are better in the wet. When the weather is like this it is more down to luck and what car you have because the Micra and Mini are a lot lighter and are therefore a lot quicker in the wet. They also have a better tyre choice.
“I won the British round in the dry last weekend up in the Yorkshire Dales. I had a bit oof luck up there so maybe I’ve used it all up.”
The 40 best drivers in each of 11 classes won through to the final weekend which was hosted by the Evesham club for the second time following a successful event in 2019.
But Powell admitted that his home circuit knowledge went out the window in such dismal conditions.
He added: “I have good knowledge of the track and I’m quite good on it when it’s dry but when it’s wet slop like this it’s just a pot of luck.
“I started doing this when I was ten and I’m 33 now so it’s been a long time. I’ve always raced class one although I used to race Minis. I’ve gelled well with the Yaris and won a few British rounds.
“I actually build these for a living – so I have to try and keep winning to sell more cars. I’m based in Ludlow, Shropshire, but this is a really well-run club and while there are others more local to me, they are not as good as this one.”