By Barry Lindsay,
Grizedale was the final round of the SG Petch ANECCC Championship. Three drivers were separated by 5 points, Steve Bannister, Barry Lindsay & Matt Smith. While in the co-drivers Caroline Lodge was 3rd behind Louise Rae & Giles Dykes.
In order to improve the Spadeadam pair knew when they entered that it had to be a class win…but then when the entry list went online they knew it was going to be difficult. Top 1600 on the entry list at 25 but the 206 had struggled against Alex Curran / Heather Grisedale in the rapid Corsa this year and they were Scottish 1600 champions down at Grizedale for a fun day!
The event was based in Skelweth Fold for the first time which made the Pre event more compact. The stage format was just the same, 2 Dunnerdale, 2 Grizedale, Service repeat 2 Grizedale, Finish. The previous wet weather had relented for the event and caught some out with a snap of frost, but this prevented the stages cutting up.
Barry & Caroline were on the pace straight away showing they were up for a fight, after the two short stages had a 3 second lead. A quick management service then a road section round Caroline’s old area.
Spadeadam members were also in their own battles after stage 2, Peter Taylor & Andrew Roughead were 2nd Overall 5 seconds behind in the Focus after a few months concentrating on a new side to the family business. Stuart Egglestone & Brian Hodgson were also getting back into it after crashing as Course car back in July but held a 2 second class lead. Darren Martin & Martin Steele were thinking they had chosen the wrong tyres. Mark Shaw & James Coxon were also finding the conditions tricky in the Sunbeam.
Into the main stages Stage 3 was 9.6mile followed almost straight away by a 7.7mile. Barry & Caroline were on a full on attack which saw them use the road and the odd layby just to keep the momentum. Getting 11m 38 which would turn out to be 24 sec quicker than anyone else in the class but they didn’t know that. Straight into stage 4 and again alittle too quick at some bits ( See front cover!) Think I was only told “ We’re not going off here!” once on this one, but I wasn’t as sure, at the time. 9m 28 would be 14sec ahead of any 1600. Returning back to service. Peter & Andrew had had a spin on Stage 3 dropping them 30 sec, after getting 10m 54 then 8m 28. Stuart & Brian were pulling clear in there class getting 11m 26 then 9m11. Darren & Martin were struggling with the tyres which would now be changed at service they got 12m 17 & 9m 57. Mark & James were on a similar pace getting 12m 18 & 9m 52.
After service, The 206 was armed with new DMACK Softs and checked over. Results showed Barry & Caroline leading the class but several class contenders weren’t on the results, was it because they had trouble or their times weren’t in yet… they found out that the main rival had rolled the Corsa on stage 3 and were out. But that left 9 others to beat.
Stages 5 & 6 were repeats of 3 & 4. The 206 had to carry on at the same pace to be sure. Stage 5 was a cleaner run and backed of alittle on a rough section, but still followed the same line through the layby on the outside of a very long Right, the time was slower with 11m44 but still 15 ahead of next in class. Into the last and was a good committed drive but about a mile from the finish the engine cut for a milli second. Not sure what was going on they pressed on but it did it again, then again with all electrics cutting. Keeping the car going was now a priority but the lack of concentration Barry missed 2nd gear going into a square right and saw the 206 sideways down a ditch. Thankfully the finish was gained in 9m 25 quicker than the first run so the first half must have been a lot quicker! Peter & Andrew had been fighting back with fastest stage time but 4th overall 15 seconds behind and regretted that stage 3 spin. Stuart & Brian were quicker on both afternoon stages to also get there class win by 90seconds. Darren & Martin went 30seconds per stage quicker in the afternoon on different tyres. Mark & James also improved in the afternoon and would return to Skelwath in 3rd in class.
Returning back to service the SG Petch mechanics had already worked out that Barry had won his class as had Matt Smith. But Barry would be champion by only 3 points. This was later confirmed by the Colin the championship co-ordinator.
Grizedale Stages Results
4th OA 4th Class Peter Taylor / Andrew Roughead Focus WRC 43m 28
13th OA 1st Class Stuart Egglestone / Brian Hodgson Astra 47m 00
17th OA 1st Class Barry Lindsay / Caroline Lodge 206 48m 12
26th 17th Class Darren Martin / Martin Steele EVO 49m 36
34th 3rd Class Mark Shaw / James Coxon Sunbeam 50m 22