By Barry Lindsay,
Due to weather and lack of entries cancelling the others The Summer Grass Autotest at The Plump Nr Gretna was the first Autotest of the year.
Eight competitors turned up on a Sunny Sunday afternoon for an action packed 12 tests. The test was using a grass field which had been silage a few days earlier so was it excellent condition.
Test 1. Nigel Harkness was quickest with 1m07 just ahead of Helen Gibbon with 1m08, Barry Lindsay on 1m10 then Kenton Pattison & Andrew Graham on 1m10.
Test 2. Was a re run. Barry quickest with 1m05 just ahead of Helen on 1m06, Nigel on 1m08 and Andrew on 1m09.
Test 3. We moved area slightly to avoid cutting up the ground. Kenton was quickest with 52 ahead of Barry on 53 then Helen & Andrew both on 55.
Test 4 was a re-run Nigel, Helen & Andrew were quickest all on 53, John Barber got 54 on his first Autotest and had soon got the hang of it.
Test 5 was a new route and a bit more complicated, Barry getting 1m04 but was fighting back after a previous cone. Kenton got 1m05 but he also had be getting cone penalties. Helen got 1m08 and was leading the event tactically mixing precision and speed (Yep, that was exactly what I was doing…errrr…!! – Helen).
Test 6 Barry quickest with 1m03, Kenton on 1m04, Nigel on 1m05 then Helen 1m06.
Positions after Test 6
1st Helen Gibbon 6m 16 5th Kenton Pattison 6m 34
2nd Barry Lindsay 6m 17 6th John Ross 6m 42
3rd Andrew Graham 6m 23 7th Michael Holmes 7m13
4th Nigel Harkness 6m 28 8th John Barber 7m 45
Test 7. Barry & Nigel were quickest on a new part of the field with 1m 41, Helen only just behind though on 1m42 then Andrew on 1m43. John R & John B both got lost but got corrected dropping time while Kenton was collecting cones again.
Test 8. A Re-run and John B got it worked out this time to go quickest with 1m38 along with Nigel. Kenton & Barry just behind on 1m39.
Test 9. A different test Andrew was quickest with 1m33 just ahead of Helen & Kenton on 1m35 then Nigel on 1m37. Barry went wrong, returned to correct himself but dropped time and the lead.
Test 10. Andrew & Barry both got 1m30, followed by Helen on 1m32.
Next came the head to heads and with Helen leading by two seconds from Andrew it was all to play for.
Test 11. Andrew got 54 while Helen got 1m00 but Andrew had been on the quicker part of the field, Helen would have an advantage on the next run. Nigel had got 59. Barry had a 52 trying to get time back but clipped a cone which dropped another 10 seconds.
The final test Helen had been ahead in the test but by the finish Andrew clawed the gap back and the tied on time of 56. Kenton & Nigel were quickest with 54.
Thanks to Geoffrey & Michael for marshalling, and David Wilson for the use of his field.
1st Andrew Graham 14m 40 5th Kenton Pattison 15m 18
2nd Helen Gibbon 14m 42 6th Michael Holmes 16m 08
3rd Nigel Harkness 14m 50 7th John Ross (1st Road) 16m 18
4th Barry Lindsay 14m 57 8th John Barber 16m 47