ACCRINGTON'S Steve Johnson finished second at the Halewood Autosolo at the weekend – with 16-year-old Blackburn driver Simon Robinson taking an encouraging seventh place in his first ever solo event.
Johnson, of Accrington Motor Sport Club, was competing in his new Nissan Micra 1300 in the ninth round of the ANWCC Autosolo Championship.
Robinson has impressed since linking up with the Under 17 Motor Club North West to take part in the sport, which allows teenagers to drive for three years before they can do so on public roads.
“It was his first ever event on his own and he was seventh and his dad David was sixth,” said Johnson, who is involved with the Under 17 Motor Club.
“For a 16-year-old to be only five seconds behind his dad on his first ever solo drive is fantastic and it’s great for the Under 17 Motor Club.
“The event was affected by rain and I was leading by half a second.
“There was a torrential downpour that affected my next run and I was three seconds slower, which spoiled my chances.
“But I finished second overall and first in class, which I was pleased with.”
The event was won by Steve Kettle with Clitheroe’s Steve Lewis fifth.
Another member of the Under 17 Motor Club, Matt Faulkner, was the winner of the Production Car Autotest.
The club are running a Pre-Driver 2 Day at Blackburn Services on the M65 on August 25, introducing 14 to 19-year-olds to motor sport.
Accrington Motor Sport Club will hold an autosolo and production car autotest at the same venue a day later. More details about the weekend are available at u17mc-northwest.org.uk and www.sd34msg.org.uk.
Six young drivers from that weekend will be chosen to provide the support act for Paul Swift’s stunt driving, also at the service station, on August 31 at 6pm. Swift has appeared on Top Gear and is raising money for East Lancashire Hospice.