By Barry Lindsay
The fourth round of the SG Petch ANECCC championship and the second round that we were contesting. With the new points scoring system based on how well you do against everyone else in your class whether they are registered or not. So with a couple of C2 R2’s and the latest Fiesta R2 200bhp and a puma kit car from the BTRDA along with all the quick locals in the class, I wasn’t hopeful of good points. With the 206 ready to go after Scrutineering where the only problem was an electric fire extinguisher push button failure. But M-Sport came to the rescue with a one off a fiesta.
After a lot of rain on the days leading up to the event I was very surprised to see dust at the start of stage 1 Comb.. First stage went well apart from an all 4 wheels locked up approaching 3 marshals standing on a bank. They disappeared backwards as I bounced off it but minimal time loss.( I wouldn’t care I had marshaled that junction a few years ago!!). I was happy with the time though 1 second behind the Fiesta with 6m 49. Quickest of the SMC members were Darren Martin & Martin Steel in the Evo with 6m 38. Mark Shaw & James Coxon got 6m 56, Jimmy Hall & Caroline Lodge were having there first outing of the new Peugeot 205 RWD, getting 7m 25 then Mark Goodfellow & Kyle Gass on 7m 36 after two spins and having to reverse. Rob Graham & Helen Gibbon were settling them selves into the rebuilt Mk1 getting 7m 56. Crews headed to Wythop the Spadeadam marshaled stage run by Barry Armstrong & Lorraine Beaty. With two runs at the same time and 30 second starts could make it interesting.
Scrabbling uphill for the first half of the stage was OK but also realized all the years I had marshaled the start I hadn’t drove the stage since the last time I did the Malcolm Wilson in 2004. Heading down hill speeds increased when ‘Left 7, fresh air’ at which point I locked the brakes. So option two was just to turn and power it. Going sideways and taking the last post out which held the tape and going under a bush but it worked. A little further caught up with the minute guy limping out on one shaft but we caught him on the fast big dipper so made our way past on the grass as two spectator disappeared into the trees.. Straight back into ss3 this time certain places had more caution but caught another car this time near the finish but with no way of passing lost a few seconds. 4m01 and 3m 56, Over the two stages we had only dropped 2 seconds to the class leader. Darren & Martin’s rally had come to an end when a rear shaft broke on the Evo near the start and limping through only for the rear wheel assembly to come off and retired. Mark & James were also in trouble with a half shaft breaking.
They headed to service to repair and would join back in for the Grizedale stages. Jimmy & Caroline got 4m 14 then 4m 04, Rob & Helen 4m 44 & 4m31 then Mark & Kyle in the JD Motorsport Subaru on 4m48 & 4m18 now with a slipping clutch, but it would be sorted on the way to Greystoke.
Greystoke was the next stage after management service on the A66. Stage was in perfect condition and ran by Eden Valley Mc with Tom Wilcox Stage Commander. A good clean run got us 8m 32, another 4 seconds lost to the Fiesta and now 7 seconds down. James & Caroline got 9m 05, Mark & Kyle got 9m 13, then Rob & Helen with 9m 29.
After service at Penrith truck stop it was down to Grizedale for three stages, first two again at 30 seconds.
Following Stuart Egglestone into the stage for the first run I knew I wasn’t going to catch him! Got 5m 00 which was 7 seconds ahead of the Fiesta R200, making us equal. Mark & James getting 5m 08, Jimmy & Caroline got 5m 17, Mark & Kyle 5m33, then Rob & Helen on 5m 54.
Re-run at 30 seconds We caught a car just before the split getting 7m 34, Now we lead the class by 8 seconds, Jimmy & Caroline got 7m 54, then Mark & James on 7m 57, Mark & Kyle on 8m 22 then Rob & Helen on 8m 30. A short road section to avoid the Ash dieback area we were at Grizedale South. We had a bit of a push in this one and nearing the end the backend was very sideways so thought we picked up a puncture, but hadn’t. 10m 14 was another 10 seconds out of the fiesta. Jimmy & Caroline got 10m 35, Mark & James on 10m 47, then Rob & Helen along with Mark & Kyle both getting 11m 24.
Back to service at Penrith then to the final stage a re-run of Greystoke. The sun was now up and a drying wind meant most of the stage was dry and dusty and
some corners were now featuring black skid marks in the braking zone it was so hard. A big moment on slight left over a crest junction with a rear wheel in the ditch in 4th gear, woke me up! It was then going well until we went into a tight hairpin and the steering went stiff as I was about to handbrake. After going wide I realized the Power steering had gone which was probably the alternator belt also. The fast straight stuff wasn’t a problem but three more hairpins would mean some time loss. 8m 21 only 3 seconds down on the R200..That would do nicely. Only thing was the results team had lost a timecard so we weren’t featuring on any results!! Limping back to Reghed for the MTC and to see the officials to get it sorted. Mark & James had a big push in the Sunbeam getting 8m 34, while Jimmy & Caroline were in trouble loosing all the water the engine temperature had gone through the roof and loosing power. 8m 51 but had to get back to the final MTC.
Mark & Kyle felt they had a good stage and pushed abit harder getting 8m 53, 20 seconds faster than the first run. Rob & Helen got 9m 13.
Thanks to everyone who turned out to marshal, and my service crew Geoffrey Harkness, Joe & Neil Thomlinson.
27th OA 1st in Class Barry & Michael Lindsay
53rd OA 11th in Class Mark Goodfellow & Kyle Gass
59th OA 3rd in Class Rob Graham & Helen Gibbon