Invicta Kent Autograss Club
We are very fortunate to have the only autograss club in Kent racing here on Romney Marsh. Invicta Kent Autograss Club have their very fast 1/4 mile raceway at Wenham Lane, Ivychurch. Autograss is car racing on a dirt track very similar to Grasstrack motor bike racing. The format of the meeting is short, sharp races with up to eight cars in a race starting from a standing start. The race is started like Speedway by means of a vertical tape. The first corner can be quite hectic!
It is very much a family sport with different classes catering from Juniors (12 to 16 years) to all the Senior classes. The club/family spirit is so obvious to see at all the meetings run at Ivychurch, everyone is so friendly with rival drivers always willing to help each other out in times of need. There are ten Men’s classes starting with a basic, standard Mini or Micra in class 1 up to a twin motor bike engine super saloon in class 7. There is a mixture of front wheel drive and rear wheel drive in all the seven saloon classes. There are three Specials classes which are single seater open wheelers. Class 8 is for motor bike powered cars, Class 9 is up to 2 litre car engine powered cars and class 10, the monsters, can be V8, twin motor bike, turbocharged or super charged machines. Juniors have to race the Class 1 cars in the saloon class with a Junior Special class also available using purpose built cars running a 1200cc Vauxhall Corsa engine.
Pictures can be enlarged
The club is run by a committee of members, local man Derek Linch is the chairman. The set up at the race meetings is run to a very high standard with safety always the priority. There is a team of helpers who manage every aspect of the race meeting and as a result it runs like clockwork. It’s very much family orientated with sometimes Mum, Dad and Junior all racing the same car in the different classes.
The Largest Club in the Country
Invicta Kent is the largest club in the country with over 200 members and regularly attracting over 100 cars at the meetings. Drivers from all over the country can compete here at Ivychurch against the local drivers as has been the case when the club hosted a round of the British Championship a few years ago. The club holds 12 meetings every season from April until October. At the beginning of the season drivers are qualifying for a place at the National Championship which this year will be held in Hereford. On average we get 2 drivers per class allocated to us by NASA the governing body of our sport. The final qualifying meeting was on Sunday 24th May.
At the race meeting on 24th May the club paid its respects to a young Scottish driver, Keir Millar, who sadly was killed at a stock car race on 9th May. Keir was just 11 years old and a future champion in the making. He had already won the World Cup for Juniors in the Ninja Sprint Cars and was progressing well in Mini Stox.
Although stock car racing is slightly different to Autograss the club felt that as one big family involved in oval motor racing and featuring Juniors in particular that they would like to pay a tribute to the wee man. The parade, which was led off by the club chairman, Derek Linch, involved everyone from the club with Keir Millar #643 stickers proudly displayed on the cars. Some drivers painted their bumpers and grilles gold, some of our ladies had gold ribbons in their hair and even the water bowser and tractor proudly displayed a #643 sticker!
From everyone at Invicta Kent we’d like to send our condolences to the Millar family.”
Admission prices to one of the meetings are very reasonable @ £7.00 per adult with children under 12 free. 12 to 16 year olds and concessions pay just £4.00. Racing starts at 10.30am and usually finishes about 4.00pm so it’s a full day of entertainment with thrills and spills along the way!
Why don’t you come along and enjoy the fun at the Ivychurch Raceway some time this year?
Local Photographer & motorsport enthusiasts Craig Freathy has been covering the action with his photography this season and says ‘Tremendous tight racing that you won’t see on a race track, always plenty of action on a packed days racing.
Thanks go to Craig Freathy & Neil Thomas for the photo’s and literature provided.
“Rye’s Own July 2015
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