Birley storms into top six of Autosport National Driver Rankings

Veteran club racer Rod Birley has jumped up to sixth place in Autosport's National Driver Rankings after taking another two wins last weekend.

Birley storms into top six of Autosport National Driver Rankings

Despite there being just two circuit racing events over the weekend, there was a surprising number of changes to the top 50 winners' table, with Birley the highest-placed driver to improve their position.

He won both of the Classic and Modern Motorsport Club Southern's Super Saloons/Tin Tops races at his local Brands Hatch track in his Ford Escort WRC - although he inherited the second win after rival Nick Sutton was penalised having been found to have passed Birley just before a caution period ended.

The latest victories took Birley's 2021 total to 14, and meant he gained nine places on the leaderboard.

But Birley was not the only change inside the top 10 as David Drinkwater was also on the rise.

The Hot Hatch ace swapped his BMW Compact for a Citroen C1 for the special Race of Remembrance endurance contest at Anglesey and was part of a class-winning crew. That was his 13th success of the season and meant he gained 10 places as he moved to 10th.

Further down the leaderboard, 2013 British Touring Car champion Andrew Jordan was a notable mover after racing his father Mike's Mini Se7en. He surged 21 places up the table to 26th after taking three hard-fought class wins at Brands over former BTCC team-mate Jeff Smith.

However, there were fewer than the six required Se7en class starters in the final race, meaning only two of those victories counted towards Jordan's total - denying him the chance to move into 21st place. 

Jordan (right) and Smith scrapped fiercely in Mini Se7en contest, the former moving up to 26th in the leaderboard

Jordan (right) and Smith scrapped fiercely in Mini Se7en contest, the former moving up to 26th in the leaderboard

Photo by: Gary Hawkins

Two other Mini 7 Racing Club competitors also improved their position after the club's winter races at the weekend.

Michael Winkworth took another Se7en S class victory to boost his placing by six positions to 21st, while Endaf Owens moved into the top 50 in 48th spot after winning two of the three races overall.

Oil pressure issues on his Miglia, however, meant he was unable to challenge Rupert Deeth in the opener and therefore missed out on the chance to move further up the leaderboard.

Autosport's most successful national racers so far in 2021

Pos Driver (Car) Overall wins Class wins Total
1 Cam Jackson (Winkelmann WDF2/Brabham BT2/Van Diemen RF90) 17 1 18
2 Miles Rudman (Legends 34 Ford Coupe) 17 0 17
3 Michael Cullen (Stryker/Ford Fiesta ST/Lotus Cortina) 12 3 15
4 Charlie Hand (Citroen Saxo VTR) 14 0 14
5 Stefano Leaney (Dallara F317) 14 0 14
6 Rod Birley (Ford Escort Cosworth WRC) 13 1 14
7 John Mickel (Legends 34 Ford Coupe) 13 0 13
8 James Little (Ferrari F355 Challenge/Ferrari 458 Challenge/Citroen C1) 13 0 13
9 Scott Parkin (Volkswagen Golf TDI/Ford Focus 2.0 TDCI Zetec S/Ford Ka) 10 3 13
10 David Drinkwater (BMW Compact/Citroen C1) 0 13 13
11 Ben Short (Mazda MX-5 Mk1) 12 0 12
12 Alistair Camp (Honda Civic EP3) 12 0 12
13 Nic Grindrod (Citroen C1) 12 0 12
14 Ollie Neaves (MGB GTV8) 12 0 12
15 Lewis Thompson (Caterham 310R) 12 0 12
16 Dan Gore (Jedi Mk6) 11 1 12
17 Andy Smith (March 783/March 742) 10 2 12
18 Barry McMahon (Alfa Romeo 156/Alfa Romeo Giulietta) 10 2 12
19 Harry Senior (Caterham 7 SigMax) 9 3 12
20 Jon Woolfitt (Spire GTR) 9 3 12
21 Michael Winkworth (Mini Se7en S) 0 12 12
22 Sam Neary (Mercedes-AMG GT3) 11 0 11
23 Steven Dailly (BMW E36 Compact 318Ti/Ginetta G40 GT5) 11 0 11
24 Shane Murphy (SEAT Leon/Ford Fiesta) 11 0 11
25 Gary Prebble (Honda Civic EG/SEAT Leon Cupra 20v T) 8 3 11
26 Andrew Jordan (Mini Miglia/Mini Se7en/Morris Mini Cooper S/Studebaker Lark Daytona 500/Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe/Austin GT40) 7 4 11
27 Dave Griffin (BMW M3 E36) 6 5 11
28 John Davison (Lotus Elan S1/Lotus Elan 26R/Lotus Elite) 4 7 11
29 Richard Neary (Mercedes-AMG GT3) 10 0 10
30 Sam Smith (Mazda MX-5 Mk3/Mazda MX-5 Mk1) 10 0 10
31 Adam Shepherd (Honda Civic Type R) 10 0 10
32 Brad Sheehan (BMW E46 M3) 10 0 10
33 Oliver White (Medina Sport JL17K) 10 0 10
34 Jim Larkham (Radical PR06) 10 0 10
35 James Harridge (Maverick Vee) 5 5 10
36 Joshua Jackson (McLaren 570S GT4) 0 10 10
37 Marc Warren (Ginetta G40 Cup) 0 10 10
38 Niall Bradley (BMW E46 M3) 9 0 9
39 Sam Kirkpatrick (MG ZR 190/MGB) 9 0 9
40 Max Esterson (Ray GR18) 9 0 9
41 Steve McDermid (MG ZR 170) 9 0 9
42 Dave Cockell (Ford Escort Cosworth) 9 0 9
43 Paul Brydon (BMW M3 Solution F) 9 0 9
44 Alex Walker (Spectrum 011) 9 0 9
45 Jamie Blake (Mini Cooper R53) 9 0 9
46 James Cottingham (Jaguar E-type/Shelby Cobra/Lister-Jaguar Costin/Tojeiro-Jaguar/Ford GT40) 8 1 9
47 Aaron Cooke (Toyota MR2 Roadster) 8 1 9
48 Endaf Owens (Mini Miglia/Austin Mini Cooper S) 8 1 9
49 Ben Pearson (BMW E46 330Ci) 0 9 9
50 Nic Carlton-Smith (Kieft FJ) 0 9 9

All car races in UK and Ireland are included except qualification/repechage, consolation and handicap races. No races in other countries. Class wins are only counted when there are at least six starters in the class.

Only classes divided by car characteristics are included. Classes divided by driver characteristics such as ability, professional status, age, experience (for example rookie or Pro-Am classes) are not included.

Where there is a tie, overall wins take precedence. Where there is still a tie, average grid size for a driver’s wins determines the order.

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