Lake District Classic Rally 2017

By David Garstang

Well after a disappointing retirement from the Berwick Rally due to a broken CV joint after about 2 hours on the second day of the event I was looking forward to a great day out in Cumbria.

My navigator decided to give this event a miss due to family commitments so I had to find another navigator, in stepped the WIFE, as Grandad was competing Granny was commandeered to look after Will our little boy (if you ask Will he was Granny siting) for the day and Heidi strapped herself into the navigator’s seat.

I believe that there were 5 other Spadeadam crews competing on the event, Murry/Ross in a Mini Cooper S, Holliday/Cathers in a MG Midget, Myself/Wife (Garstang/Garstang) in a Mk 1 Fiesta, Harkness/Lindsay in a Corsa, Fowler/Hamilton in a MK2 Escort and Graham/Sutton in a Ford Puma. If there were any other Spadeadam crews my apologies for not mentioning you.

Test 1 Truckstop

This is always a quick test on concrete usually 3 slalom’s through lines of wagons. Graham/Sutton set the pace on this one for the Spadeadam crews (which he continued to day for the whole day) with a time of 49 seconds just 1 second behind the fastest time of Beaumont/Fish (Sunbeam Rapier H120) 48 seconds. Followed by Garstang/Garstang on 53, Harkness/Lindsay & Fowler/Hamilton on 57, Murray/Ross on 61 and Holliday/Cathers on 86.

Test 2 Kirkbarrow

This is a short test around the farm yard on concrete with 2 short sections  of loose gravel, Graham/Sutton completed it in 63 seconds followed by Garstang/Garstang     67      seconds,     Fowler/Hamilton     73     seconds, Harkness/Lindsay 77 seconds, Holliday/Cathers 79  seconds  Murry/Ross 82 seconds. Fastest time was put up by Beaumont/Fish with 60 seconds

Test 3 Thornsgill

This is a long test on a narrow gravel track which is deceptively slippy. I remembered this test from last year as I put the car in the ditch just before the finish and ended up with a test maximum, so I was determined to make sure that we did the test clean. Again Graham/Sutton lead the charge on 62 which was also the fastest test time for this test, Garstang/Garstang 67, Harkness/Lindsay 72, Holliday/Cathers 75, unfortunately  Murray/Ross  and Fowler/Hamilton got a test maximum of 120.


Test 4

Is a narrow tarmac road over a humpback bride into a stop astride reverse into another stop astride, back over the bridge to the finish and just to keep you on your toes there are a few hidden curbs in the grass edges. Graham/Sutton 44 wgich was equal fastest time with Beaumont Fish, Garstang/Garstang 47, Murry/Ross 56 closely followed  by  Holliday/Cathers 57, Fowler/Hamilton 60 and being pushed by Harkness/Lindsay 61.

Test 5 Threlkeld

This is a nice long test on loose gravel, a bit too loose for one of the competitors as they ended up in a ditch just before the finish, but many hands make light work and we soon had the car out of the ditch and back   on 4 wheels. Surprisingly there was not a mark on the car. Graham/Sutton 83, Garstang/Garstang 97, Harkness/Lindsay 99, Murry/Ross 103, Fowler/Hamilton 104, Holliday/Cathers 105, Fastest test time was Short/Heath (Mk2 Escort) 81 seconds

Test 6 Grapevine

A little test around some industrial units on tarmac, Graham/Sutton 48, Garstang/Garstang 50, Holliday/Cathers53, Harkness/Lindsay & Fowler/Hamilton 62, Murry/Ross 67, Fastest time was Hunter/Tyson (Mazda MX5) 45 seconds.


Test 7 First of the Auction Mart Tests

Short Tarmac test with a deceptively tricky top section or so I thought as I had to have a moment and actually concentrate on what the wife was  telling me when she was yelling in my ear that I was trying to go the wrong way. Graham/Sutton 47, Harkness/Lindsay 57, Murry/Ross 63, Garstang/Garstang 68, Fowler/Hamilton 62, Holliday/Cathers 80. Fastest time Hunter/Tyson & Mactavish/O’Neil (Both in Mazda MX5s) 44 seconds.

Test 8 Second of the Auction Mart Tests

Which is a nice long test on a mixture of concrete and gravel usually a very fasts test, I had the first part of the test firmly fixed in my head it was a slalom from cone A to F, but when I got to Cone C my navigator started yelling Driverside 180. So a brief reverse back to cone C followed by a discussion where it turns out I was right (must be a first for a husband) and the wife was reading the wrong test notes. Graham/Sutton 63, Murry/Ross & Fowler/Hamilton 74, Harkness/Lindsay 76, Garstang/Garstang 85, Holliday/Cathers must have been having a nightmare on 109. Fastest time Beaumont/Fish 57 seconds.

Test 9 Truckstop

Rerun of the first test, Graham/Sutton 49, Garstang/Garstang 51, Murry/Ross 55, Fowler/Hamilton 56, Holliday/Cathers & Harkness/Lindsay 61. Fastest time was Hunter/Tyson 47 seconds. The lunchtime results had Graham/Sutton on 508 seconds, Garstang/Garstang on 583, Harkness/Lindsay on 622, Fowler/Hamilton 675, Murry/Ross on 681 and Holliday/Cathers 705. Graham was only 2 seconds slower than the overall fastest cars of Beaumont/Fish & Hunter/Tyson on 506 seconds.

Test 10

back first of the auction mart tests for a re run, I completed the test correctly without trying to make it longer than necessary and put in a time of 47 seconds which still was not fastest enough to beat Graham/Sutton on 44 or Fowler/Hamilton 46, Holliday/Cathers 48, Harkness/Lindsay 49 and Murry/Ross 48. Fastest time Hunter/Tyson 43 seconds

Test 11

on to the second mart test where I managed a 61 but again piped by Graham/Sutton on 60, Fowler/Hamilton 65, Murry/Ross & Holliday/Cather 68, Harkness/Lindsay 49. Fastest time Beaumont/Fish & Hill/Pears (Corsa) 58 seconds.


Test 12 Highfield

This is meant to be concrete but much of it is covered in strips of grass and weeds so is incredibly slippy now I remembered this test from last year when I went too fast down the concrete/grass downhill section and ended up going backwards away from the cone we were meant to do a 360  around, So I decided to curb my enthusiasm and make sure I did not do a repeat performance, Graham/Sutton 44 seconds 19 seconds faster than anybody else on the event (Wow), Garstang/Garstang 73, Fowler/Hamilton 74, Harkness/Lindsay 78, Murry/Ross 79 and Holliday/Cathers 82.

Test 13 Waters Farm

Very long tarmac and concrete test along the farm lane into the farm yard then out towards the cement works at Shap. Graham/Sutton 118, Garstang/Garstang 125, Murry/Ross 139, Harkness/Lindsay 141, Fowler/Hamilton 145 and Holliday/Cathers156. Fastest time Beaumont/Fish & Short/Heath 116 seconds.

Test 14 Quarry

This is a test that I always enjoy as the car is usually going sideways on gravel/stones for most of the run. Graham/Sutton 61 again posting the fastest time on the test, Garstang/Garstang 66, Harkness/Lindsay 67, Fowler/Hamilton 73, Holliday/Cathers 76 and Murry/Ross got a test maximum 120.

Test 15 Waters Farm

Back to do a second slightly different run through the farm. Graham/Sutton 113, Murry/Ross 122, Harkness/Lindsay & Fowler/Hamilton 129, Garstang/Garstang 130 and Holliday/Cathers 130. Fastest time was Iveson/Raine (Morris Mini 1275) 104 seconds (local lad to Shap).

Test 16 Highfield

For a second run, as there was a slight que at the test there was just enough time to take the mickey out of Team Sloan for running out of petrol. Graham/Sutton 65, Fowler/Hamilton 67, Garstang/Garstang 68, Harkness/Lindsay 70, Holliday/Cathers78 and Murry/Ross 78. Fastest time was Hunter/Tyson with 60 seconds.

Test 17 Truckstop

Last test of the day Trucksop for a third run but different layout this time 2 slalom’s with a twiddle bit between them. Graham /Sutton 39, Garstang/Garstang & Fowler/Hamilton 42, Holliday/Cathers & Harkness/Lindsay 45, Murry/Ross 45. Fastest time Beaumont/Fish 35 seconds.

So for the Spadadam crews it was as follows:
Graham/Sutton 1052 seconds 1st Targa overall
Garstang/Garstang 1197 seconds First in Class, 7th
Historic Harkness/Lindsay 1269 seconds Second in Class 15th Targa Fowler/Hamilton 1316 seconds  18th  Targa
Holliday/Cathers 1397 seconds 22nd Historic
Murry/Ross 1426 seconds 23rd Historic.