By Barry Lindsay
The 2011 Jack Frost rally will be remembered for quite a while as the one that had all the tight chicanes! Events on Croft in the passed have had a few chicanes in the middle of the long straights but this year the put very tight deep chicanes on the corners. The event didn’t have the same support as the Xmas stages by either competitors or spectators. 72 crews lined up on the damp January morning five of which were from Spadeadam. Barry & Michael Lindsay were highest seeded at 10 in the 106. Chris Taylor & Stuart Egglestone brought out the front wheel drive RS2000 at 19. Geoffrey Harkness & Caroline Lodge were at 33 in the Corsa followed just behind at 36 by Barrie Thomson & Jerry Hettrick in a 106. Richard Clark & James McWhir were back at 70 in a 205. Richard having recently bought back Simon’s old 205 to do a few events for a bit of fun. (Standard at the moment but wait till he gets the S1600 and sequential box put in!!)
Above: Richard Clark & James McWhir
For the first stage Barry & Michael had just decided to gamble in soft slicks when the damp drizzle turned to rain. The found out how wet it was at the second corner! A very big slide which was held by powering through but this put them way to quick into the next sequence and they ended up facing the wrong way against the barrier. Barrie & Jerry did very similar but they ended up in the gravel trap, luckily they drove out. However the stage ended up being cancelled due to timing issues.
The next stage was a repeat. Barry & Michael now on cut slicks were still struggling for grip getting 6m 26. A time matched by Barrie & Jerry in the 106. Chris & Stuart were 1 second behind then Geoffrey & Caroline on 6m 47 and Richard & James with 7m18. Stage 3 was a slightly changed route, It was now Chris’s turn to fall fowl of the second corner. Again the slide was held but ended up on the tyres facing the wrong way at the next sequence of corners. Barry & Michael, Barrie & Jerry were again tied on time, 6m 13 for the 106 drivers. Chris & Stuart almost recovered the time loss to finish the stage on 6m 14, Geoffrey & Caroline struggling through the tight chicanes without power steering got 6m 27 the Richard & James on 7m15.
Above: Chris Taylor and Stuart Egglestone
Stage 4 Chris & Stuart were quickest with 5m52. The battle of the 106’s was hot Barrie & Jerry got 6m04, 4 seconds quicker than the now slick shod Barry & Michael on 6m08. Geoffrey & Caroline found the drier track more to their liking with 6m19 then Richard & James on 7m00.
A longer service at mid day to allow the organisers to change the direction for the afternoon four stages.
Stage 5 was damp Barry & Michael finally put the wets on the front and took 2 seconds back out of Barrie & Jerry only for the stage to be cancelled when a few crews found the split confusing. Stage 6 was a repeat Chris & Stuart quickest with 6m05 then Barry & Michael on 6m 13 then Barrie & Jerry on 6m14. Geoffrey & Caroline on 6m 42 then Richard on 7m10.
Above: Geoffrey Harkness and Caroline Lodge
Stage 7 was slightly longer and used a different split, Chris & Stuart quickest again and were up to 14th overall with 6m 22. Barry & Michael dropped time when a evo was blocking a chicane and had to do a three point turn got 6m 26. Geoffrey & Caroline got 6m 48. Richard & James with the cheap as chip 205 got 7m 28 ahead of Barrie & Jerry in the Dmack 106 who was loving so much they did an extra lap (Must start watching those arrows & split boards!!) With a time of 8m 25.
Above: Barrie Thomson and Jerry Hettrick
The final test was to be held in the dark. Barrie wanted a personal battle over the last stage. Barry & Michael with their borrowed lights from Caroline were up against a full lamp pod & bumper pods!! Barry & Michael got 6m 24 and Barrie & Jerry got….7m 02!! That sorted that then.. Chris & Stuart picked up a 30 second penalty for missing a bale / chicane somewhere getting a time of 6m26. Geoffrey & Caroline also had a good run in the dark going quicker than day light. Must be something to do with not seeing what they could hit. Richard & James still having fun got 7m 40.
11th 2nd Class Barry & Michael Lindsay 37m 50
13th 3rd Class Chris Taylor / Stuart Egglestone 37m 56
33rd 5th Class Geoffrey Harkness / Caroline Lodge 39m 50
39th 8th Class Barrie Thomson / Jerry Hettrick 40m 24
57th 15th Class Richard Clark / James McWhir 43m 51
(Photos © Helen R. Gibbon / Spadeadam Motor Club)