Thursday, 15 July 2010


As a keen motorsport fan my eldest daughter Becca decided she would like to compete in Autograss racing when she was 14. Autograss is a bit like Speedway for cars, usually a grid of 8 in line on a rolled clay 1/4 mile track, there is no grass. The junior classes allowed for 14 to 16 year olds to race class 1 (unmodified) Mini 1000s so we prepared a car and off she went. I could use the same car in the open races so we had a couple of years cheap sport. Becca had a rollover at the North of England championships and a precautionary trip to hospital after another coming together but had some good results and of course a girl in a boys world is always popular. She also had a feature in Cars and Car Conversions magazine where Le Mans racer Mark Hales drove her car, she was quicker than him on the day !

After 2 years of junior racing we built a 1300 Escort that she raced in ladies classes, although still only 16 she did well once she had mastered drifting with rear wheel drive. A win in the semi finals at our biggest meeting at Lincoln put her in the final but a missed gearchange unfortunately put paid to stardom, the lady she beat in the semis won the championship.

I also had a race or two in the Escort, first meeting first corner.....we had it straight and raced again next weekend though.

After four years of the production classes we called it a day, the only way forward was to spend money and race single seater specials (nowadays nearly all powered by big bore Hayabusa engines). A couple of years later Bec had a days tuition at a rally school where she did really well. The school used RWD Escort RS2000s, most of the other students had no experience of rear wheel drive.

If nothing else the whole experience made learning to drive on the road far easier than normal, she is a bit quick on the lights though.
Today she got notification of passing 3 more of her final exams towards being an accountant, only one more to go in a couple of months. She will be able to buy her own race car then ! you can never "retire" from motor sport.

Watch some Class 8 Autograss

1 comment:

Guy@GK said...

That Class 8 vid looks like a scene out of Mad Max 2...