Despite the best efforts of the weather to disrupt proceedings, last weekend’s Men’s National Autograss Championships held at Thornborough in North Yorkshire proved a massive success with a huge crowd witnessing some excellent racing over the two days.

Yorkshire Dales Autograss Club had been looking forward to hosting this prestigious event since 2020, but due to Covid and other restrictions, they decided to hold off until this year whereby over 400 top drivers arrived at their track near West Tanfield to do battle in the various classes.

Heavy rain caused muddy conditions during Saturday and into the final round of heats on Sunday, but just in time for the finals, the sun broke through, and the capacity crowd was treated to some intense wheel-to-wheel action which saw success for a number of local drivers.

The Yorkshire Dales club in the shape of Knaresborough driver Paul Lickley brought his popular ‘Fabulous Lightning McQueen’ liveried car home to win the Stock Hatch class with Shildon’s Mark Grant claiming third and outgoing champion Phil Peek from Ripon recovering from a first lap spin to take seventh.

Northallerton’s Andy Dockray made it to the final of Class One with a victory in his third heat and in the main race, he battled to fourth as they crossed the line, only for a driver in front to be penalised so he ended up in third position and on the podium.

Experienced Graham Blackburn from Darlington got a run from the reserves list and made the most of it in his Smith & Allen Class Seven Mini Super Saloon as a victory in his final heat saw him qualify for the final. Up against seven of the most powerful Autograss cars in the country, Blackburn circulated with the leading bunch until retiring late in the race.

Other Yorkshire Dales members who enjoyed success included Sean Power who romped to victory in Class Nine, Darren Mullen who was just pipped for the win in Class Eight with Jack Hodgson (Class Two) and Ryan Power (Class Three) also making it to their respective finals.