Drivers burn rubber at national car competition in Hartlepool

Car enthusiasts were well catered for with two events this weekend.

A host of modified cars performed impressive manoeuvres at Middleton Grange shopping centre car park yesterday as Hartlepool & District Motor Club played host to a round of the British Autotest Championship.

Screeching tyres and the smell of burnt rubber British Autotest Championship held at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre car park on Sunday.

Screeching tyres and the smell of burnt rubber British Autotest Championship held at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre car park on Sunday.

The air was full with the sound of screeching tyres and the smell of fuel fumes for the spectacle.

A steady stream of spectators were afforded good views as they watched the event from the shopping centres raised walkways.

Drivers in a wide range of cars had to perform a variety of manoeuvres in as fast a time as possible around two courses laid out with coloured cones.

Vehicles included including Minis, BMWs, Caterhams, Fiats and various cars built specially for the sport.

The Northern Bygones Society's car rally at Blackhall Community Centre

The Northern Bygones Society's car rally at Blackhall Community Centre

Hartlepool & District Motor Club had held a round of the national championship for over half a century, and is the only one between Leeds and Scotland.

Chris Langan of Hartlepool & District Motor Club said: “Autotesting is a very precise section of Motor Sport although not high speed it sometimes looks it as the drivers perform controlled handbrake turns, 360 degree spins and plenty of sideways slides which are the crowd’s favourite.

“There are many Autotest photos and videos on the Club’s website and videos on YouTube.”

Drivers competed for points in about 16 different tests during the course of the event which ran until mid afternoon.

Screeching tyres and the smell of burnt rubber British Autotest Championship held at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre car park on Sunday.

Screeching tyres and the smell of burnt rubber British Autotest Championship held at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre car park on Sunday.

Autotesting is said to be the ideal discipline in which to learn car control.

Colin McRae started his motorsport career by winning a regional Autotest Championship.

The events in Hartlepool has previously received the backing of police in TV’s Police Interceptors as a legal and low cost way for young drivers to have fun in their cars.

Classic car fans also enjoyed a motor down memory lane at Blackhall Community Centre.

Screeching tyres and the smell of burnt rubber British Autotest Championship held at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre car park on Sunday.

Screeching tyres and the smell of burnt rubber British Autotest Championship held at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre car park on Sunday.

The centre welcomed a variety of makes and models spanning the decades in the rally by the Northern Bygones Society.

A red double decker United bus proved a popular attraction which was parked outside the community centre.

The bygones classic and vintage car club organises rallies across the region.

Last month it organised an event at Wynyard.

Screeching tyres and the smell of burnt rubber British Autotest Championship held at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre car park on Sunday.

Screeching tyres and the smell of burnt rubber British Autotest Championship held at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre car park on Sunday.

Screeching tyres and the smell of burnt rubber British Autotest Championship held at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre car park on Sunday.

Screeching tyres and the smell of burnt rubber British Autotest Championship held at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre car park on Sunday.

Screeching tyres and the smell of burnt rubber British Autotest Championship held at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre car park on Sunday.

Screeching tyres and the smell of burnt rubber British Autotest Championship held at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre car park on Sunday.