LAST weekend saw competitors from all over the region racing at motorsport events throughout the country with success generally being the order of the day.

Leading the way with a superb performance at Brands Hatch in Kent was Scorton racing driver Max Coates who was in action at the final round of the Quaife Mini Challenge. Saturday’s race saw the Graves Motorsport driver finish seventh overall and second in the Graduates Cup class and in Sunday’s opening race, a fifth position overall and win in the Graduates Cup class saw him take that title.

But the 27-year-old saved the best for last in Sunday’s final race when he emerged victorious from what he described as the hardest race of his career to see off the opposition and end the season in style to finish fifth in the overall standings.

Northallerton’s Ethan Hammerton was also involved in the three Mini races where he posted a pair of top 14 places in a couple of the races, finishing fourth and fifth respectively in the Graduates Cup but was unlucky to retire in the other outing. Despite that, it has proven to be a successful season for him as he claimed tenth in the overall points table and fourth in the Graduates Cup.

Two major rallies took place, with Saturday seeing the Carlisle Stages Rally in Kielder Forest and the Ford Part Cheviot Stages Rally contested on the military roads of Otterburn in Northumberland on Sunday.

On Saturday, County Durham pair Stephen Petch and Michael Wilkinson brought their Ford Fiesta home to second place overall on the gravel roads of the northern tracks of Europe’s largest man-made forest but for a couple of other local crews, the day ended in disappointment. Durham driver David Henderson and co-driver Peredur Davies retired their Ford Fiesta R5 on the second stage but that was further than South Kilvington landlord Nick Kitching got when the Ford Escort he was sharing with Andrew Trollope stopped on SS1.

Sunday’s event saw a class field assemble for a qualifying round of the Protyre-Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship and the AS Performance North of England Tarmacadam Rally Championship.

It turned out to be a family battle for honours with Leeming’s Kevin Procter and co-driver Peter Gibson up against nephew Joe Cunningham and co-driver Josh Beer from Bedale, both in similar Ford Fiestas. The pair traded blows all day but after 60 fast and furious miles of stages, it was Uncle Kevin who saw off his younger rival by just three seconds.

Northallerton’s Anth Eaton and Stockton co-driver Ian Jackson finished 19th overall and fourth in class in their Ford Fiesta R4, whilst making a return to the sport were Thirkleby husband and wife team of Jon and Alison Trenholme, who claimed 30th overall and eight in class in their Subaru Impreza.

Marton driver Geoff Glover and co-driver Keith Barker finished 36th overall and ninth in class whilst Northallerton father and daughter, Andrew and Georgina Smith, made a welcome return to action with an impressive 42nd overall and second in class in their Ford Escort. Richmond’s Peter Ellerby and Durham co-driver Andy Brown brought the historic-specification Morris Mini home in 53rd overall and third in class to add to the successes.