Swift shines in Hartlepool
2020 Motorsport UK British Autotest Championship
Round 3 The 2020 National Autotest: Hartlepool & District Motor Club – 20th September 2020
Hartlepool and District Motor Club moved their event from the centre of Hartlepool to the wide open spaces of the outer paddock of Croft Circuit and were rewarded with 20 entries in the championship round, and a further 5 entries in the clubman event.
A mainly dry, chilly day greeted the competitors, with two tests laid out in wide open spaces, and plenty of room to make mistakes. Paul Swift in his Mini Special was seeded at number one, followed by a gaggle of sports cars in the hands of Lee Valentine, Chris Chapman, and Ben Morten. Richard Pinkney made a return to the championship in the ex Chris Chapman Striker 1600, with Mark Thornton still getting to grips with the Irish built Westfield.
Four cars in the specials class followed, with constant championship contenders Paul Fobister, Dave Evans, Dave Mosey, and joint championship leader Malcolm Livingston in their usual cars, and the only two Mini saloons in the event for Charlie Lower and Dave Fox behind them. Despite running first on the road, which usually proves a burden, Swift set some competitive times, and it seemed that he was content to let everyone else make mistakes, with tales of “missed gears” or “shunts required” coming from each competitor after each pair of tests.
The tales of woe were misplaced at the end of the day, with Swift taking a cautious approach to the whole event. The faster drivers were taking risks to keep up with him, providing an interesting finish to the day. The expected top three of Swift, Livingston, and Mosey did indeed finish in that order, Mosey distraught at three penalties, without which, would have seen him on the top step, but Dave Fox provided the result of the day with fourth overall in his 1600cc Mini, and Pinkney beating Chapman in his old car to finish fifth.
1st Paul Swift Mini Special 1400 731-6 secs
2nd Malcolm Livingston Lindsay Special 1600 743-2
3rd Dave Mosey Mini Special 1430 747-4
4th Dave Fox Mini 1600 764-3
5th Richard Pinkney RAW Striker 1600 783-3
Motorsport UK British Autotest Championship Scores;-
1st Paul Swift Mini Special 1400 88 pts
2nd Malcolm Livingston Lindsay Special 1600 86
3rd Dave Mosey Mini Special 1430 78
4th Chris Chapman RAW Striker 1700 73
5th Charlie Lower Mini 1380 69