New years eve can only mean one thing, Pirelli Autotest. This year saw an almost full entry, 19 drivers in a very varied selection of cars from MG Midget & Escort Mk1 to a BMW 5 series.
With 10 tests planned and a cracking entry, our marshals Michael Lindsay & Ian Robinson would be kept busy and only time for a quick brew while tests were changed round and walked.
First tests was the out going years route the 15. Jack Palmer from West Cumbria was soon showing the regulars that the Ka would be the car to beat with a 53sec. Barry Lindsay & John Ross were as close as you can get though on 54sec Then Andrew Graham on 55. Wrong tests for Joe Herring, James McWhir, James Boothroyd and John Barber.
Test 2 was a re-run. Jack was again quickest with 51sec ahead of Barry on 52sec then Kenton Pattison on 53 despite fighting back from hitting two cones on the previous test. Andrew Graham next on 54sec ahead of the Stephen Dixon now with a LSD in the Corsa.
A Quick change round barely letting the marshals get there tea poured. Jack hit a cone letting Barry take the fastest with a 53sec just ahead of Kenton and Stephen D on 54sec, next Chris Hunter in the MX5 on 55sec and Jon Stynes in the 205 on 57 but both with LSD’s so would also carry a 5% penalty at the end.
Test 4 the rerun Jack was back on form with a 53sec as was Stephen D. Barry & Kenton both getting 54sec then Stephen Palmer 55sec and John Ross 56sec.
Test 5 again after a quick change then a walk round. Barry getting 41sec from Kenton 42sec, John Sloan with the MG on 43sec, then Jack & John R both on 44sec.
Test 6 the re-run Barry was identical on 41sec as was Kenton on 42sec. John S & Stephen D also getting 42sec. Jon & Keiron Stynes were having their own battle sharing the 205 rally car. Both set a 44sec which put them only 2 seconds apart, but trouble was just around the corner when the clutch had had enough, so they departed to the ALS workshop to get it ready for Jack Frost rally in 2 weeks.
Top 5 at this point Barry 4m55, John R 5m14, Andrew, Stephen P & Stephen D all on 5m 15 (inc Diff penalty) then Kenton 5m18.
Test 7 was a new drawn test Exclusive the ‘16’ Kenton was quickest with 55 then Stephen D on 56sec along with Jack, then Andrew on 57sec while Barry had hit a cone and paid the 10sec price tag.
Test 8 the re-run Kenton went a second quicker with 54sec, ahead of Barry on 55sec, Andrew on 56sec then the Honda of Martin Davis on 57sec. Wrong tests on this one for Stephen D & John R.
Test 9 was the first of the two runs at the Super Special, two tests run side by side at the same time. A slight delay while the torrential downpour was on and results were being calculated to run in position order.
When it stopped raining Jack was quickest in the Ka with 44sec ahead of Barry & Kenton on 47sec then Andrew & Helen both on 49sec. Wrong tests for Drew McLean & Joe H.
Test 10 the final one, Andrew & Barry both got 46sec, Kenton & Stephen both got 48sec, then Chris & Jack on 49sec.
Thanks to Pirelli for the venue, Michael & Ian for marshalling in poor conditions & Geoffrey Harkness for helping with tests & car repairs.
1st Barry Lindsay 8m 27 11th Nigel Harkness 9m 35
2nd Kenton Pattison 8m 42 12th Martin Davis 9m 38
3rd Andrew Graham 8m 43(Road) 13th Drew McLean 10m 32(Diff)
4th Jack Palmer 8m 55 14th John Barber 10m 32
5th Stephen Palmer 9m 01 15th James Boothroyd 10m 45(Diff)
6th Chris Hunter 9m 02(Diff) 16th James McWhir 11m 23(Diff)
7th Helen Gibbon 9m 05(1st Lady) 17th Joe Herring 12m 21(Diff)
8th John Sloan 9m 13(Diff) 18th John Stynes RTD Ctch
9th Stephen Dixon 9m 16(Diff) 19th Kieron Stynes RTD Ctch
10th John Ross 9m 24
Autotest Championship Points After Final Round (top ten)
1st Kenton Pattison 50 6th John Ross 22
2nd Barry Lindsay 46 7th Neil Thomlinson 14
3rd Helen Gibbon 31 8th Andrew Robinson 12
4th Nigel Harkness 27 9th Kieron Stynes (1st Road) 11
5th Andrew Graham 25 10th John Barber 10