And now, for something completely different

by Tim Whittington |

In each of the last ten years Blyton Rallycross track has played host to an end of season event for grass track cars. Originally setup to allow grass racers the opportunity to sample mixed surfaces, the event has developed over the years and regularly includes drivers not only from the UK’s various grass track disciplines, but also from short oval racing, Rallycross and autocross. The event is run by the Scunthorpe and District Motor Sports Club that also organises autograss racing on the Blyton airfield venue.

One of the slickest organisers you will find anywhere in motor sport, SDMSC handled last weekend’s tenth anniversary event with its typical aplomb, practice, four sets of qualifying heats, finals, a superfinal and three ‘open’ races being run for the the 115 -car entry between 0900 and 1530, during which time there was also an hour-long break.

Eclectic is barely adequate  to describe the mix of cars in the event: the full range of grass track cars from standard 1000cc Minis to the ‘unlimited’ Class Ten specials (typically using two 1000cc motorcycle engines in an open-wheel chassis with a race ready weight of less than 600kg) is evident. There’s variety in the Rallycross field too, from Todd Crooks’ Minicross car to the Lotus Exige of Supernational front runner Ash Simpson. With Stock Rods, Superlites from the NORA sanction and a handful of cars from the ANECCC Autocross Championship in the North East of England, there was something for everyone in this ‘anything goes’ event.

The overall event win was taken by Superlite racer Jonathan Bennett, the first NORA racer ever to win overall. Simpson won the class he raced in, making a last lap on the twin-engined Mini Pickup of Andy Holtby and snatching the win despite hitting the banking on the finish line and damaging the rear of his Lotus. Ben Cree won the Stock Hatch class in which rallycross racers had the better of their Autograss counterparts. Former Rallycross star Barry Hathaway was less fortunate, crashing out of the open-wheel final while challenging for the lead.

Run on the UK’s Remembrance Day and on a track established on a disused second war airfield, the break in racing also accommodated a ceremony to unveil a commemorative memorial to the air crew that flew from Blyton which was an operational airfield for Wellington bombers between 1942 and ’45.


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