By Barry Lindsay
The New Years eve Autotest at Pirelli is always a popular day on the Spadeadam events list. 20 drivers took part and there had been a few drop out. Thankfully the car park was empty when we arrived so two tests were set up side by side so all 12 tests could be done.
Dry grippy tarmac with a little loose chippings would mean a lot of rubber would be burned and if a sale department had been open at the factory they could have had a roaring trade. Some competitors resorted to going home between runs to get some more spares.
Several West Cumbria competitors came along to support the event and would soon be showing the SMC elite how it was done. Test one was marshalled by Michael Lindsay. Fastest were Stephen Dixon & Richard Cook on 48sec ahead of Andrew Graham on 49, then Kenton Pattison on 51. Wrong test for Chris Hunter, Craig Stamper, Drew McLean and Phil Jobson.
Test two the repeat, Stephen on 46sec ahead of Richard on 47, Andrew Graham on 49sec then Barry Lindsay on 51.Test three a longer test marshalled by Ian Robinson & Geoffrey Harkness. Richard with the mini got 1m01 ahead of Stephen on 1m04 then Kenton on 1m06 then Chris Hunter on 1m10. Wrong test for Joe Herring and George Edminson.
Test 4 the repeat Stephen got 1m00 then Kenton, George & Barry on 1m06, wrong tests for Richard, Sam Trotter & Ben Nixon.
Quick move of cone, mouthful of coffee for the marshals and a quick walk round for the competitors before action was back underway.
Test 5 Stephen got 38sec, Richard 39sec, Kenton 40sec then Barry on 41sec.
Test 6 the repeat Stephen again on 38sec, Richard and Kenton on 39sec and Barry on 40sec, Andrew on 41sec.
Test 7 Stephen on 39sec ahead of Craig Stamper & Richard on 41sec, Chris on 42 then Phil Jobson and Kenton on 44sec.
Test 8 the repeat Stephen on 39sec, Richard on 40sec, George & Chris on 41sec, Jamie Stuart on 43sec.
Test 9 & 10 still running side by side but were now identical tests and would be ran like a super special starting at the drop of a flag.
Still didn’t slow Stephen though, getting a 40sec, Richard on 43sec then Barry & Kenton getting 44sec, John Ross & Jamie on 45sec
On the repeat Stephen again got 40sec, Richard 41sec, Barry 42sec then Kenton & Chris on 43sec.
Test 11 & 12 were ran the same but a different route through the same cones. Stephen on 46sec, Richard & Kenton on 48sec, Barry on 49sec then Andrew & Chris on 50sec.
The final test was Stephen on 44, Kenton & Chris on 47sec then Barry & Richard on 48sec.