Round 11 The 2019 National Autotest Hartlepool & District Motor Club 15th September 2019
Hartlepool and District Motor Club created a milestone on Sunday when they ran The 2019 National Autotest on the town centre Library Car Park, a venue that’s been continuously used for autotesting for the last 40 years! Furthermore, they used electronic timing clocks, and an internet based results system sending live results to competitor’s phones. Cloudy, warm weather greeted the competitors in the 11th round of the championship, where two tests were laid out, each to be attempted eight times to count for the awards. The first round of tests saw three competitors with maximum penalties, but Alastair Moffatt (Mini Special 1400) and Malcolm Livingston (Lindsay Special 1600), just 1 second apart, had already stamped their mark on the event, being 4 seconds clear of Paul Fobister (Fobby Special 1600) in third place. The Sports Car class was in the hands of Steve Morten (RAW Striker 1800), who was a second clear of father and son duo, Ian (Xmoor Riot 1700) and Chris Chapman (RAW Striker 1700), with Willie Keaning (Striker 1800) a further 6 seconds back. The saloon car class saw the renewal of the Scotland battle between Toby Cook (Micra 1275) and Murray Walker (Nova 1600), with Walker taking a comfortable lead when Cook suffered fuel starvation problems. The Mini class saw local star and former champion Paul Swift (Mini 1400) taking a 6 second lead over another former champion Dave Mosey (Mini 1430).
Dave Cook (Micra 1275) retired after test 2 to resolve the fuel starvation problem, whilst Ian Chapman retired the Xmoor Riot after test 4 when he broke a drive shaft inside the gearbox.
The lunchtime scoreboard after eight tests saw Moffatt having a lead of 5 seconds over Livingston, with Fobister nearly 30 seconds behind. Chris Chapman was now up to 3rd overall, 20 seconds behind Livingston, and just 2 seconds ahead of Morten. Willie Keaning had a busy, and frustrating lunchtime, firstly replacing a broken gearbox and then finding leaking clutch cylinders as he tested the new box! With everything renewed, he continued to finish the event. Walker was maintaining his 20 second lead over Toby Cook in the saloon class, whilst Swift’s lead in the Mini class had expanded to 12 seconds over Mosey.
A light covering of rain had fallen before lunch, and continued as competitors set out on the afternoon tests, but soon cleared up to leave a dry, warm atmosphere for the rest of the day. The rain was of no issue to Moffatt or Chapman, who both extended their lead over their immediate rivals, but Swift had collected a maximum score, and had work to do to rectify a clutch problem which was hampering gear changes, a job overseen by his father, Russ, another former champion.
With the weather clearing up for the final afternoon rounds, and a sizeable crowd watching proceedings from the surrounding gallery, some spectacular tests and times were set, drawing applause from the spectators and competitors alike. Moffatt finished some 20 seconds ahead of Livingston, whilst Chapman had extended his lead over Morten to 29 seconds, who only had 5 seconds in hand over a hard charging Keaning. Walker’s 20 second lead over Cook proved too much, but Cook had reduced the deficit to 17 seconds at the end. Swift’s pace in the afternoon, and the repaired clutch, allowed him to retain his lead over Mosey by just 6 seconds.
Alastair Moffatt has claimed the championship again, but Livingston, Chapman, Keaning, and Fobister are left to resolve 2nd and 3rd overall on the last event at Demon Tweeks on 29th September.
1st Alastair Moffatt Mini Special 1400 811-71 secs
2nd Malcolm Livingston Lindsay Special 1600 831-71
3rd Chris Chapman RAW Striker 1700 858-90
4th Paul Swift Mini 1400 885-72
5th Steve Morten RAW Striker 1800 887-39
Demon Tweeks BTRDA Autotest Championship Scores;-
1st Alastair Moffatt Mini Special 1400 140 pts
2nd Malcolm Livingston Lindsay Special 1600 134
3rd Chris Chapman RAW Striker 1700 128
4th Willie Keaning RAW Striker 1800 125
5th Paul Fobister Fobby Special 1600 114
Resultss for the eleventh round of the BTRDA Autotest Championship are available.