By Barry Lindsay
The Solway Coast was a new rally in the AS Performance NE tarmac championship for 2011. With very few crews knowing what the surface of the stages were like, but the event was advertised as having 8 mile of loose in the 40 stage miles.
Three cars represented Spadeadam in the 43 entries. Barry & Michael Lindsay seeded at 8 in the 106 after some body repairs after coming together with a Focus WRC on the Tyneside only two weeks before. Phil & Caroline Jobson were at 22 in ‘snowy’ the Mk2, then James McWhir was navigating Michael Hunter in the Lada Samara at 32
The scrutineering and service area was in the base near Dundrennan, with two stages with a mile road section between, the layout was good and compact.
Stage one was slippy from overnight rain and with the first half tree lined it wouldn’t get any sun. Most crews went out on tarmac tyres with a treaded pattern. Barry & Michael getting 6m 08 would be joint class lead with a C2 Max. Phil & Caroline got 6m 44 despite a spin and a stall in the slippy conditions. Michael & James got 7m 07 thinking the new clutch was slipping but then realised it was just spinning the wheels. Straight into stage 2 this contained a couple of sections of gravel. The first a section along a field with a right over a crest then a gate. It caught a few crews out including Barry & Michael who were well up the bank, they also had a spin and had to reverse on a hairpin, 7m 33. Michael & James getting 8m34 while Phil & Caroline picked up two punctures on the gravel section and got a stage maximum.
A 45min service then into a repeat of stages, stage 3 was a little drier but more mud had dragged onto the road with corner cutting. 5m 57 for Barry & Michael. Phil & Caroline got 6m22 then Michael & James on 6m33. Stage 4 Barry & Michael got 7m 16 then Phil & Caroline 7m 41 then Michael & James 8m00.
The format stayed the same, a 45min service then stage 5 & 6, which were again identical. Barry & Michael again went quicker but with the sun now high in the sky the intermediate were going off 5m 52 on SS5 the 7m 13 on SS6 after a spin and having a close shave with a road sign and hedge near the finish. Phil & Caroline got 6m 21 then 7m 31 and had picked up another puncture. Michael & James got 6m 24 & 7m 44.
The final leg was again the same but now with clear sky Barry & Michael put cut slicks on the front and just as well as the intermediate they took off had a hole in the tread through the wires and would had punctured. They were 6th= going out of service but 5th-7th only seconds apart. 5m 50 & 7m04 were safe runs with a championship in mind and oil leaking from the crank seal. Phil & Caroline getting 6m 03 and 7m 23 after a troubled day. Michael & James continued throwing the Lada around getting 6m 16 and 7m 45.
7th Oa 1st Class Barry & Michael Lindsay 106gti 52m 53sec
22nd Oa 7th Class Michael Hunter & James McWhir Lada 58m 23sec
30th OA 8th Class Phil & Caroline Jobson Mk2 60m 05sec
(Photos © Yvonne & Martyn Petry / Spadeadam Motor Club)