SOUTH Cheshire businessman Piers Grange is on the verge of glory in the Ford Saloon Car National Championship.
The 35-year-old from Audlem has had a sensational season so far, finishing no lower than third in his first seven races, and is well placed to grab the overall title with just four races remaining.
Last year's Class B champion, who runs PRG Trailers on Lightwood Green Avenue, Audlem, was looking like the
runaway winner until disaster struck at the Cadwell Park double-header in Lincolnshire earlier this month, where mechanical problems stopped him finishing either race.
But a record of three wins, three seconds and one third-placed finish beforehand, with no fewer than five fastest-lap times thrown in, has made Piers the man to beat as the Championship enters the final straight, although he refuses to count his chickens just yet.
He said: 'There are still several races left and there is some stiff competition to beat, so we will just have to wait and see.'
Piers started racing seven years ago after a lifetime tinkering with cars when he bought a second-hand Escort which turned out to have a blown head gasket.
Nowadays he drives a Mark II Escort fitted with a 2.1-litre fuel-injected Cosworth engine, taking pride in setting up the whole car himself with a little help engine- wise from friend John Yeomans.
He said: 'The car is so well balanced and so forgiving that it is easy to drive. We have spent some time developing it and the whole package is now working really well, so it is a joy to be in.'
Piers' next race, on September 17, sees him return to his favourite track at Oulton Park, where he will be hoping home advantage can help him return to winning ways and take another step towards the championship crown.