By Barry Lindsay
Spadeadam were well represented at the local tarmac rally, ten of the Ninety cars had SMC members in, and onto that, SMC were also running two stages and helping out on others. A new format this year meant crews set off much earlier so that four extra stages could be added at Lowther. Crews made their own way to the rally start at Warcop for the early setoff on a damp, cloudy morning.
Stage 1 Dom & Allan were 5th fastest setting a time of 10m33, Keith & Dave got 10m 43, Barry & Michael who struggled to get heat into the rear tyres got 10m 55 just ahead of David & Fiona on 10m57. Geoffrey & Caroline got 11m10, 2 seconds ahead of Peter & Paul. Chris & Andrew got 11m 26 then came Barrie & Andrew on Barrie’s first stage on route notes getting 11m 57, then Craig & James on 12m 29. One person with no luck on this rally is Tim; this year retired on stage 1 with various problems including Gearbox, Wheel bearing and clutch.
Stage 2 was intermingled into stage one runners which made things exciting at times, Keith & Dave were fastest SMC Crew in the Border Caravan Subaru with 10m 27 just a second ahead of Dom & Allan on 10m 28. Barry & Michael on 10m 38, then David & Fiona on 10m49 and Chris & Andrew on 11m01. Barrie & Andrew improved getting 11m 20 then Craig & James in the class 1 Suzuki on 11m 32. Stage 2 saw the end on Geoffrey & Caroline who’s gearbox cried enough after 1 lap while Peter & Paul also pulled out when Peter’s arm wasn’t able to pull the gear lever due to a gym injury midweek.
Crews now headed to the spectator stage at Lowther for two runs. Barry & Michael flew through the twisty stage getting 5th= fastest time 1m27, Keith & Dave got 1m 29 then David & Fiona on 1m 30.
The rerun Keith & Dave got 1m 24 ahead of Barry & Michael on 1m 25, Dom & Allan on 1m 26.
Into Long Lowther a fabulous stage for two stages again intermingled, Keith & Dave were quickest on both with 3m 50 then 3m 45. Barry & Michael were just behind on both runs with 3m 55 and 3m 46 in the 106. Dom & Allan getting 3m 56 and 3m 48.
After a twenty-minute service at Penrith truckstop it was back out to Warcop for two runs over a slightly changed stage. Keith & Dave quickest on the first run taking 3 seconds out of Dom & Allan then it changed back on the next with Dom & Allan getting 5 back. David & Fiona were third in the Fiona’s Flowers backed Subaru on both runs taking 27 sec in total from Barry & Michael.
Back to the spectator stage to run it the opposite way. Dom & Allan quickest on both with 1m 20 & 1m 16. Barry & Michael next with 1m 22 & 1m20 despite going off across the grass on the first run in the Total at Wallace Oils, Sandysike Builders Merchants 106. Keith & Dave and David & Fiona set identical times on both runs with 1m 23 & 1m 21.
A different layout this year for the second visit to Long Lowther saw a Split being added to give different finishes. Dom & Allan taking a second out of Keith & Dave on both stages. Barry & Michael a further 6 seconds back on each stage. David & Fiona hit trouble though. The split was taken the wrong way and with the penalty for reversing being exclusion David & Fiona carried on getting two stage maximums.
Back to service then back out to Warcop again. As crews headed out they noticed the black cloud over Warcop and the rain could be seen. Some opted for changing to Wets or Intermediates in lay-bys on the A6 on the way. Stage 13 & 14 were the opposite way round Warcop. Dom & Allan took over a minute in total out of Barry & Michael on the two stages with David & Fiona a further 50 seconds back. Keith & Dave were out, an left 8 over a crest with concrete bollards catches someone every year this time it was the Border Caravan Subaru damaging the radiators and steering rack to much to carry on. Possibly the same place where Barrie & Andrew spun the DMACK Grippa 106 on some oil ending up on the grass, luckily without loosing to much time.
To the new stages, two stages ran twice all on the roads that made the long Lowther stage. Dom & Allan were now also out in the management service a burst pipe to the gearbox couldn’t be fixed. Barry & Michael getting 1m 40 and 1m 52 on the first two with David & Fiona getting 1m 44 & 1m 53, then Barrie & Andrew 1m 51 and 1m 58, then Craig & James. Time penalties totalling 6min had been picked up on the two controls before the stage, they went on to get 1m 57 & 2m 01. Back round the short road section for the two stages again. Barry & Michael carefully drove round not wanting to break the car at this stage of the game and with a 2min class lead. Michael panicking that there was a problem as they were going so slow in places. The times dropping back to 1m 44 & 1m 51. David & Fiona having lost so much time wanted to make the finish also with 1m 45 & 1m 52. Barrie & Andrew getting 1m 46 & 1m 56, with Craig & James getting the quickest time of 1m44 on the Penultimate stage then 2m00 on the last.
9th OA 1st Class Barry & Michael Lindsay 106gti 1hr 31m 38s
27th OA 5th Class Barrie Thomson / Andrew Irving 106gti 1hr 39m 51s
28th OA 15th Class David Hope / Fiona Gourlay Subaru 1hr 40m 54s
39th OA 11th Class Craig Johns / James Coxon Swift 1hr 48m 43s
(Photos © Helen R. Gibbon/ Spadeadam Motor Club)