Northern Ireland drivers have excelled at the sport of Autotesting for many years, and this year is no exception.
The N.I. Autotest team won the Ken Wharton International Team Autotest in Warwickshire last weekend. The team, Steven Ferguson and Sam Bowden from Stewartstown, Mark King from Desertmartin and Ballyclare’s Ashley Lamont won the event which is organised each year by the Hagley & District Light Car Club.
The event is the most prestigious team event on the autotest calendar and teams from England, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales compete over the challenging tests for the coveted winning team prize.
Northern Ireland established a slender lead of 3 seconds over the ROI team on the first test, but a good run on the second test, combined with the ROI team suffering a 5 second penalty allowed N.I. to extend the lead to 17 seconds with ROI second and England moving ahead of Wales into third. Despite a penalty on test 3 the NI team maintained the lead, albeit slightly reduced to 16 seconds.
Over the next 2 tests the team put in an excellent display of skill and precision driving and extended the gap to 30 seconds. The weather changed to torrential rain but the team used all their experience in the dreadful conditions to finish the last two tests with a winning margin of 22 seconds. The ROI ream finished second with England in third.
The reserve drivers also had a very successful weekend with Robin Lyons, Paul Blair and Richard Allen all winning their respective classes.
The NI Team has now won all the team titles for 2012, the James Pringle International, the MSA Inter- Association and the Ken Wharton International.