By Barry Lindsay
It was that time of year when the crews head to Otterburn for the first of three visits, the Tyneside organised by Alnwick DCC & Berwick DMC. This year a round of the National Tarmac championship as well as the North of England and ANECCC championships meant an entry of 66 crews. Peter Taylor & Andrew Roughead were the best seeded of the SMC crews but had to withdraw due to work. Barry & Michael Lindsay were seeded at 25 in the 106, Geoffrey Harkness & Caroline Lodge were at 47 in the Corsa.
Scrutineering and Recce were on the Saturday and the event the day after, Caroline wasn’t available for the Recce so Barry with nephew Martyn tackled the recce to note chicanes and gravel before marking the other set of notes the next day.
It was a dry cool morning with a forecast for a dry day, Stage 1 Barry & Michael were out to compete against the quickest of the National tarmac 1600 crews. Seeded behind the main rival meant in places Barry could guess the time difference. With the car still fresh from its reshell there was a few points where Barry wanted to be more careful just to see how it reacted on jumps & bumps 7m 56 was 9th fastest overall and leading the class by 5 seconds. Geoffrey & Caroline were 5th in class on 8m31.
After a quick service the stage was repeated this time Barry & Michael dropped a few seconds in class despite going 4 seconds quicker, then straight to stage 3 where the 106 crew were fastest by two. Stage 4 Barry & Michael got another 5seconds. Stage 5 though ended up being cancelled despite Barry & Michael getting most of the way through before being red flagged due to a car blocking the stage. Darren Atkinson had gone off and needed medical help but with a queue of 12 cars on the stage Barry put his marshal brain into gear and started getting cars passed the wreckage so the medics could get to the crew. Following the restart there was another accident which needed air ambulance so both runs were cancelled. So to stage 7 an uphill stage with chicanes at bottom of hills. Barry & Michael dropped 12 seconds to the lightweight nova. Then on the re-run dropped another 14.
At service before the last 18 mile stage Barry & Michael were 2nd in class and equal with another class crew, while Geoffrey & Caroline were 6ththey had also had a close one with a hole off the edge of the road. Caroline looking out the window thinking ‘your way abit!’
Final stage and Barry & Michael didn’t want to drop to 3rd in class and went quickest in class by 6 seconds while Geoffrey & Caroline got passed midstage and then followed the car to the finish a tactic that helped them move from 6th to 4th! Pace setter needed…
8th OA 2nd Class Barry & Michael Lindsay 106Gti
23rd OA 4th Class Geoffrey Harkness & Caroline Lodge Corsa