2022 Autotest Championship – R6

Photo: Adrian Hanna
Three-in-a-row now for Steven Ferguson in the 2022 Autotest Championship.

Three in a Row for Ferguson

Report by Grace King and photographs by kind permission of Adrian Hanna.

The sixth round of the McMillan Specialist Cars Northern Ireland Autotest Championship seen the competitors travel to the North Coast, with the Coleraine & District Motor Club hosting their first autotest event of the season at the Northwest 200 paddock. Again, it was Steven Ferguson who was the pacemaker at this event, taking the win by 11.5 seconds from David Thompson, with James Wilson completing the top three in his Mini Special.

In the Clubman category, it was again young Adam McMullan in his Toyota Starlet Special, who took the category win by 8.4 seconds. In the Advanced category, Jack Gillis in his Vauxhall Nova took the overall category win by 17.9 seconds. 

Stewartstown’s Steven Ferguson proved hard to catch, setting the fastest time on eleven of the twelve tests on Saturday. With Ferguson taking the overall win, Wilson would be elevated to first in Class A, with father and son Christopher Grimes Senior and Junior taking second and third place, respectively.  

Chris Grimes Sr. had the upper family hand this time and took 5th place overall in the Championship category on the day.

Trevor Ferguson in his Silvia Stryker took the honours in Class B, finishing ahead of Paul Blair in his Westfield. A failed test on the first run of test one and a number of penalties throughout the day would prove costly for Andrew Blair, who finished the day third in class and ninth overall. 

A penalty-free day for Trevor Ferguson saw him back on top in the Sports Car Class.

In the Small Saloon class, Andrew Earney would be the solo entrant, taking the class win and his final score of 994.3 seconds left him finishing twelfth overall.

The Large Saloon Class had five contenders, with Manorhamilton’s David Thompson taking the class win from Newmill’s Mark King, both in their Vauxhall Nova’s. Dungannon’s Gary Campbell had another fantastic faultless drive to finish third in class and eleventh overall, as well as taking the Semi-Expert Class win. Ballyclare father and son pairing of George and Jamie McMillan would be forced to withdraw after completing eight tests, following gearbox issues with their Vauxhall Nova.

David Thompson put in another classy performance but couldn’t quite match the Mini Special this time for the overall award.

The overall Clubman category winner, Adam McMullan in his Toyota Starlet Special would also take the Class A win. 

In Clubman Class C the Nissan Micra of Ben McKee took the class win and finished second overall in the category.

Clubman Class D was again made up of all Mazda MX5’s and it was Lawrence Baird who took the class win from Derek Harrison. Ian Lowry settled for third in class, after a failure on the first run of test 3 and a couple of penalties during the day cost him precious time.

Adam McMullan in his Starlet Special took the Clubman Category win.

There was a small but highly experienced and competitive turnout in the Advanced Category.  Jack Gillis would take the Class A win alongside the Overall Category win. Stewartown’s Norman Ferguson in his Mini Saloon would take the runner up spot in the class. 

Gareth Dillon in his Mazda MX-5 took the Class D win as well as finishing second overall in the Advanced Category.

Gareth Dillon steered his Mazda MX5 to a class win. Photo Adrian Hanna.

With only four rounds to go Stewartstown’s Steven Ferguson currently holds the Overall Championship lead by a minimal two points from David Thompson. Mark King holds a comfortable six point advantage over Christopher Grimes Senior for the third spot overall. 

The next round sees the competitors head to the Showgrounds in Omagh, with the event hosted by the Omagh Motor Club taking place on 11th June.  Will Steven Ferguson make it four back to back wins or will either Thompson or King in their Vauxhall Nova’s be able to take the top spot?

Full results can be found here ===> Results at Stopastride

McMillan Specialist Cars Northern Ireland Autotest Championship Round 6

Overall Winner – Steven Ferguson

Championship Category:

  • Class A – James Wilson
  • Class B – Trevor Ferguson
  • Class C – Andrew Earney
  • Class D – David Thompson

Clubman Category:

  • Class A – Adam McMullan
  • Class B – No Competitors
  • Class C – Ben McKee
  • Class D – Lawrence Board

Advanced Category:

  • Class A – Jack Gillis
  • Class B – No Competitors
  • Class C – No Competitors
  • Class D – Gareth Dillon