By Barry Lindsay
Dunfermline CC organised the fourth round on the North of England tarmac championship on the old Ingliston Racetrack now the Highland show ground. A damp morning welcomed five Spadeadam crews to the event. The first stage still damp but with drizzle I opted for Intermediates on the rear and slicks on the front knowing the abrasiveness of the track it would eat front tyres. 11th fastest was a steady setoff with 8m 36. Barrie Thomson & Jerry Hettrick running intermediates got 8m 55, just 2 seconds behind was the Slick shod Corsa of Geoffrey Harkness & Caroline Lodge with 8m 57 and they had passed on stage the 206 of Nigel Hepburn & Fiona Gourlay who got 9m46. Richard Clark & James McWhir in the 205 getting 9m 45.
Stage 2 was a repeat and the weather wasn’t drying up. We pushed a bit more getting 8m 27 which moved us to 3rd in class. Geoffrey & Caroline lost time finding it slippier getting 9m08. Richard & James also improved to 9m 32. Nigel & Fiona dropped a bit with 9m 57. Barrie & Jerry got a maximum for missing the split but basically were passed by the class leader Chris Greaves on his second lap and Barrie followed him the wrong way at the split.
After a few changes to the layout stage three was slightly shorter, 7m 47 was our time 2nd in the class which was hotting up 4 crews separated by 16 seconds. Barrie & Jerry back out on a testing mission to set some competitive times 8m 07. Geoffrey & Caroline got 8m 14 then Richard & James on 8m 43 and Nigel & Fiona on 8m 58. For the repeat it had brightened up and the tarmac was now damp but mixed with oil on the track lost by a crew earlier in the day it was extremely slippy. I thought we were loosing time as we slid around using the handbrake which had been adjusted up at service to turn the under steering car. However 7m 55 was actually 6th fastest and quickest of the class. Geoffrey & Caroline 8m 36 just ahead of the 8valve 205 of Richard & James who were revelling in the mixed conditions on 8m 46. Nigel & Fiona getting 9m 15 while Barrie & Jerry now suffering a engine misfire got a maximum as they chose to split off back to service.
Lunch break saw the marshals change the direction of the stages but the rain was getting heavier again so we left it to last minute not giving anything away to the opposition then with the help of Neil Thomlinson put the wets on. We were rewarded with 3rd fastest and jumped us to the class lead with 7m 49. Geoffrey & Caroline getting 8m 29 still on slicks with Richard & James on 8m 55 then Nigel & Fiona on 9m17. Barrie & Jerry went out to try and sort the misfire but to no avail and called it a day. The repeat was even wetter, 7m 41 bumped us up to 3rd Overall and building a class lead. Geoffrey & Caroline getting 8m17, Richard & James 8m 54 and Nigel & Fiona 9m13. Two stages remained another change. 7m 15 was 3rd fastest but intercom problem would need to be sorted at service. 7m 47 for Geoffrey & Caroline then Richard & James 8m 27 then Nigel & Fiona on 8m 51.
Final stage we were fastest of everyone with 7m 04. Geoffrey & Caroline sticking with the slicks were actually happy with the grip getting 7m 44. Nigel & Fiona got 8m 16 while Richard & James went off onto wet grass on the last stage loosing them two minutes getting 10m 33
3rd 1st Class Barry & Michael Lindsay 62m 34
18th 4th Class Geoffrey Harkness & Caroline Lodge 67m 12
38th 8th Class Nigel Hepburn & Fiona Gourlay 73m 33
39th 5th Class Richard Clark & James McWhir 73m 35
(Photos © B. Lindsay / Spadeadam Motor Club)