By Barry Lindsay
Following months of late nights in the garage the 206 was finally ready to go back into the forests. Since Hamsterley the running gear & most of the suspension had be transplanted into another car. This car has been stripped to a shell, prepped and sprayed then built back up. (Sure there must be more as it took a hell of a lot of time!)
Arriving in Coniston on a wet November morning, finishing was important for the SG Petch championship but it also was class finish related to a class win would give good points. A nice relaxed start at 10.30 gave us plenty of time to get Joe & Neil loaded up as chase car & Geoffrey headed to the main service.
Stage 1 was the short Dunnerdale Stage, a time of 3m04 was good I remembered that it 2013 3m00 was the quickest 1600 on the second run. Only issue was that Co-drivers window had gone down but wouldn’t come back up. It was getting cool in the car! As we headed to the second run SS2 which was slotted in at 30 seconds I noticed the water temp was quite high and as we queued it rose. The fan wasn’t coming on so luckily it didn’t get too hot and dropped as soon as we left the start line with the airflow. 3m02 which meant we left Dunnerdale leading the class. But we didn’t know that as there was a delay between us and the rest of the class competitors of 40min so we didn’t get there times all day. Other SMC competitors, Peter Taylor & Jack Morton got 2m44 & 2m45 in the Fiesta, Darren Martin / Dan Hurst got 3m06 & 2m59 in the Evo, while Mark Goodfellow / Tony Vart got 3m07 & 3m01 in the Subaru. Caroline Lodge was navigating Dave Edwards in the Astra for the first time out in two years, getting 3m08 & 3m06. James Coxon was navigating Mark Shaw in the Sunbeam 3m10 & 3m06
Management Service we tried to wire the fan to a switch but the wire we cut turned out to be a permanent live. So the fan now ran all the time. Fuel then we were on our way to SS3 South Grizedale. 11m03 for the 8.5mile stage. Don’t remember any problems but it turned out we dropped 25 sec to the class rival. Straight into SS4 which went up the forest beside the visitor center then around the north of Grizedale. Some long uphill sections which made the Peugeot pull hard, 11m11 was a competitive time amongst the 1600’s, 7 seconds covered the top 4 in the class.
Peter & Jack were the quickest SMC with 9m 33 then 9m49, Darren & Dan with 10m 42 then 11m13. Mark Goodfellow got 10m51 then 11m17 with Mark & James on 11m02 then 11m12. Dave & Caroline got 11m08 then 11m17.
Crews headed to Skelwith fold for the only main service. With the door window sorted, fuelled up, suspension spanner checked and a new pair of Dmack softs on the front, the 206 headed back to Grizedale.
Stage 5 (was SS3) After a short delay the stage was repeated and was in good condition for a second pass. 10m56 despite going quicker we again dropped time to the class leader and not sure where, there must be a shortcut we don’t know about!. On the final stage it again felt good some muddy bits which sapped the power but felt quicker. 10m43 was competitive, just 5 seconds of the class leader in 9mile. Peter & Jack got 9m31 & then 9m37 putting them in 5th overall. Mark & James got the Sunbeam into Go-Pro destroying mode! A spectator was holding out a stick with a Go-Pro taped to the end to get a close up shot. Too close Mark clipped it luckily he left go as the two items departed over the car roof. 10m52 & 10m58 was enough to put them in 4th in class. Mark & Tony got 10m55 then 11m00 giving them 26th OA 19th in class. Dave & Caroline were getting back into the swing of things and a good final stage, 11m13 & 10m59, ahead of Darren & Dan with 11m05 then 11m12.
5th OA 5th Class Peter Taylor / Jack Morton 43m59
23rd OA 3rd Class Barry & Michael Lindsay 49m59
26th OA 19th Class Mark Goodfellow / Tony Vart 50m11
27th OA 20th Class Darren Martin / Dan Hurst 50m17
28th OA 4th Class Mark Shaw / James Coxon 50m20
31st OA 4th Class David Edwards / Caroline Lodge 50m51