Although Anthony Moss won the British Cadet Championship in September 2003, it wasn’t until August 2004 that an MSA Press Release actually confirmed his victory…
He’d been excluded from the round at Nutts Corner due to an allegedly illegal carburettor. Engine tuner Tommy Johnson swore that everything was perfectly aboveboard and the matter went to appeal. What followed was a series of costly legal battles between Anthony’s father Steve and the Stars of Tomorrow organisers that lasted 11 months.
It was a messy situation. Oliver Rowland was actually crowned as the 2004 S1 champion several weeks before celebrations could begin in the Moss household. By that time, the champagne must have tasted a wee bit flat. Even after the verdict had been announced there was paddock gossip that, Anthony couldn’t be classed as a bona fide champion. This situation wasn’t particularly fair on Richard Bradley, either. For almost a year he’d believed himself to be the legitimate champion only to have this title rather cruelly taken away.
Jonny Edgar hadn’t even been born when all these machinations first kicked off. Today, he finds himself provisionally leading the British Championships pending an Appeals Process that, hopefully, won’t be quite such a long drawn out affair. Jonny is merely an interested bystander in matters involving two of his Fusion team-mates. Joe Boullen, on the other hand, has a rather closer connection and will no doubt recall the Anthony Moss episode with great clarity. Joe was very much involved in the 2003 championships as one of Britain’s leading cadet drivers at that time. He and Anthony were also members of the Manchester & Buxton club, racing at 3 Sisters.
Joe is the mechanic for Zac Robertson, working on a full time basis. At Little Rissington last month Zac was involved in a collision with fellow Fusion driver Teddy Wilson that led to a protest being lodged on his behalf. Teddy had been in dominant form all weekend, claiming 1st and 3rd places from his Heats and comfortably winning Final 1 ahead of Edgar. In Final 2 he was overtaken on the last lap. His attempt to regain 1st place resulted in the collision. That much is undisputed, although there will be arguments over who was actually to blame.
Rightly or wrongly, race officials deemed that Wilson was responsible for the accident and they docked him a full lap. He appealed the decision, but by that time several potential witnesses had left for home. His Appeal will now be heard at PF on September 13th, immediately prior to the Super 1 round. It’s all hypothetical right now, but the timing of this Hearing could actually work out in Wilson’s favour. Any decision at Little Rissington would have been made without Teddy knowing what the impact upon his championship chances might be. As things stand now he will, at least, be fully aware of the score before deciding upon whether or not to take matters further.
It’s never ideal when championship titles are decided by judicial process rather than out on the circuit. It’s even more unsatisfactory, in my view, when such arguments are between two members of the same team. I felt particularly sorry for Kizzy Hazlewood at Little Rissington. As Zac’s guardian for this meeting she had the unenviable task of initiating a protest, knowing that any successful outcome would inevitably bring victory for someone from a rival team, in this case AIM’s Tom Wood. It would also greatly assist another AIM driver, Kiern Jewiss in his quest for the title.
I felt sorry, too, for Teddy Wilson who had produced a near flawless performance all weekend. Within the Robertson camp, however, sympathy was probably in short supply. During the previous round at Larkhall Zac had been penalised following a Wilson protest. This intervention gained Teddy an extra championship point, but could well prove to be extremely costly in the longer term. The protest culture is all very well, but you must always expect that, at some future stage, the roles could very easily be reversed.
About 30 years ago there was a song called “Even the Score” by Toronto. I wonder if this catchy number has been played in the Robertson household over recent weeks????