By Barry Lindsay
The final round of the SG Petch ANECCC championship. Three Spadeadam crews would do battle on the icy stages in Grizedale and Broughton moor forests. Barry Lindsay & Caroline Lodge were seeded at 30 and out to make the finish of a torrid season which had seen retirements on four out of the last five events. At 35 Darren Martin had his Evo9 but Dan Hurst was replacing Martin Steele for this one. Mark Shaw & James Coxon always go well in Grizedale in the Sunbeam and they were at 37.
Cold temperatures for a few nights before meant that patches of ice had got well frozen but just in places.
After the usual rally start in the middle of Coniston it was straight to two runs through Broughton Moor with cars slotted in at 30 seconds.
SS1 Darren & Dan were quickest of the Spadeadam crews with 3m10, 1 second ahead of Barry & Caroline then Mark & James on 3m17. For the second run Darren & Dan were again quickest with 3m06. Mark & James improved to 3m11 but Barry & Caroline we held up after catching the 30second ahead car and having to force a way past half in the frozen ditch. The time of 3m12 nothing could be done about but at least 5-10 seconds were lost.A long road section round the bottom of Coniston to bring the crews to start on the bottom east side of Grizedale and to exit top west would mean the max amount of forest road mileage used.
Stage 3 was almost ice free. Barry & Caroline were on a mission getting 11m55 fastest 2wd car. Darren & Dan got 12m06 then Mark & James on 12m24. It should have been straight into SS4 mid stage but to a spectator needing medical attention the stage was cancelled and crew drove through part of the stage to exit at the finish then to service.
Time for a quick spanner check and bolt on a new set of DMACKS for the CarSpeed Autoparts Peugeot 206 which were leading the class and 1st 2wd car as they left for final 2 stages.
Stage 5 was the majority of SS3 but with a different middle loop. Barry & Caroline were the quickest SMC but for some reason dropped time to some class competition runner further back. 12m00 for the 206 ahead of Mark & James on 12m05 then Darren & Dan on 12m09. The final stage which would have been SS4 this time ran but with low sun dazzling and reflection off the road made driving tricky in places. Barry & Caroline got 9m45 ahead of Darren & Dan on 9m52 then Mark & James on 10m01.
18th OA 3rd in class Barry Lindsay / Caroline Lodge 40m03sec
19th OA 14th in class Darren Martin /Dan Hurst 40m23sec
24th OA 4th in class Mark Shaw / James Coxon 40m58sec