The Ilkley and District Motor Club Autotest Championship set off to a flying start with the first round which took place at the Snaygill Industrial estate last week. Ilkley members of all ages lined up to see who could be the quickest around the three tests set out by the clerk, Nick Pullan.

The tests, which included some high-speed reversing, suited the smaller nimbler cars and the Jubilee run winners, father and son team Ray and Ben Jude, were moving well in their well-prepared Citroen AX. They took the over 45’s and under 23’s award respectively and had a fantastic evening in the wonderful French flying machine.

Jake and Simon Crossley were in Jake’s new purchase, a 1.2 Corsa, which seemed to be up to the job in hand. With a steady drive Jake secured the under 45’s award with Simon taking the class award.

Team Raven were out in force with Neil and Claire in their trusty Saxo VTR and son Elliot making effective use of the hand brake in his 1.1 Saxo. Autotesting is an ideal sport for young drivers as it teaches them great car control and an understanding of the limits of grip in a safe controlled environment. Elliot had a great night and with the added pressure of a group of spectators made a couple of mistakes but had done enough to secure the novice award.

Fastest on the night was Henry Kitching who was showing newcomer Jake Gilmour the ropes and putting on a good display of how to drive a standard Peugeot 106 to a win. Steve Waddington was enjoying being back in his trusty Mini and taking advantage of his cars short wheelbase to get around the tight tests but couldn’t quite match the speed of the bigger engined cars.

The next Ilkley event is the first round of the Car Trial championship on May 15 and round two of the autotest championship is on June 19. More details can be found at