Successful anniversary for Sandcross

MOTORSPORT enthusiasts descended on Weston beach last weekend to take part in one of the town's more unusual sporting spectaculars.

MOTORSPORT enthusiasts descended on Weston beach last weekend to take part in one of the town's more unusual sporting spectaculars.

Vehicles of all shapes and sizes lined up to compete in the annual Weston Motor Club Sandocross event.

To bill it as 'autograss on sand' would not do the competition full justice and the fact that it was celebrating its 40th anniversary is testimony that the entrants, coming from as far as Pembrokeshire, find it great fun. True, there is a healthy autograss contingent in the entry list, but they are equalled by refugees from the rally fraternity and a number of local competitors in their converted road cars.

The format is simple enough, one practice heat of three laps and then three timed runs of four laps around the beach oval. Competitors run in heats of four, but the results are determined against the clock to avoid any contact sport.

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The nature of the beach surface makes a clean early run essential. To this end, a class structure places the juniors and standard cars in the early heats, while the modified, 4 x 4 and specials run in the later rounds.

With the tide taking the Bristol Channel into the far distance, competition got under way with the juniors. Anthony Munden set the early pace in his Corsa with his time of 2 minutes, 26.7 seconds.

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Next up came the mass ranks of the Class A cars, with Ben Byrom heading A1 in his 205 and Ian Howard leading A2 in his 306.

In Class B, local rally stalwart Pete Donnachie benefited from a clean early run to set the pace from the more fancied Minis. Mini honour was restored by Martin Breeze in Class C, with Chris Butler leading Class D in his Maestro.

In Class E, Roger Brunt set an awesome time in his Corsa, but Colin Anderson entertained the early summer crowds with his Alfa Special with Mark Carrow quite literally eating his sand in the Vauxhall Special.

After a brief lunch break it was time for the final two rounds and, as predicted, crews found it difficult to better their earlier runs. Exceptions to the rule were Jason Byrom in his Xsara with three runs within half a second of each other and Malcolm Davies who drove sideways into the Class C lead.

With the fastest time of the day secured, it was left to Colin Anderson to showboat to the delights of the crowds and marshals alike.

Thanks to the support of North Somerset Council, Weston's Sandocross should be a firm favourite on the fixture list for years to come and the next time you stare at your near MOT failure hatchback on the driveway, perhaps you should consider an entry for 2011.

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Awards: FTD, Colin Anderson, Alfa Special, 2.06.62. Best Junior: Anthony Munden, Vauxhall Corsa, 2.26.70. Class A1, Ben Byrom, Peugeot 205, 2.26.84. Class A2, Ian Howard, Peugeot 306, 2.19.18. Class B, Pete Donnachie, Ford Puma, 2.28.03. Class C, Malcolm Davies, Ford Escort, 2.28.27. Class D, Chris Butler, Maestro, 2.16.28. Class E, Roger Brunt, Vauxhall Corsa, 2.11.77. Class F, Rory Denning, Vauxhall Corsa 2.34.02. First newcomer, Jeff Brown, Alfa 155, 2.31.77. First lady, Lois Miller, Ford Fiesta, 2.32.72. Best Ford, Richard Davies, Ford Escort, 2.17.92.

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