By Barry Lindsay
Round 4 of the SG Petch Championship was a new round for 2018 and was a little further than most we were used with, ourselves included. The Dunoon based event consisted of 8 stages. Three Spadeadam cars made the start, two-wheel drive cars ran first on the road so myself & Caroline Lodge were seeded at 107 which was 7th car on the road. In the 4WD Rory Young & Allan Cathers were at 7 in the R5 Fiesta then John McIlwraith at 18 in the Subaru, looking for points in the Scottish championship Subaru Cup.
Following a hectic driver’s briefing which saw 2wd crews running to their cars in order to make the MTC (Spadeadam don’t do running a brisk walk uphill was fast enough). Stage 1 Rory & Allan got 5m 00 which put them into a 6 sec rally lead. John got 5m39 then us with 6m06. Happy enough as it was 2nd in class but already 17sec of the class pace. A ‘Quick’ road section to SS2 where Rory & Allan were again quickest with 3m24 adding 7 seconds to their rally lead. John getting 4m04 then myself and Caroline on 4m 18 dropped us to third in class, only issue was the back suspension bouncing on the fast, bumpy sections. Almost straight into SS3, a massive uphill start didn’t help the 206. Dropping to 4th in class with a 6m24.
John got 6m12 but Rory & Allan were out. A puncture caused them to get onto the edge and pulled into a ditch.Service back in Dunoon. Tyres swapped and a few clicks on the rear dampers keeping Jonathan entertained. Stage 4 was a good open stage and the dust was clearing in the open bits but still hanging in the tree’s. John getting 7m19 while we had a ‘misheard’ note and approached a 90degree left thinking it was a 50degree!!
We got round… but the inquiry as to what happened is still ongoing!
Back to Dunoon service with the 206 still in 4th in class for the SG Petch / ANECCC championship this wasn’t good news. Tackling the Scottish Rally to be on the pace using Sturrocks note system which we hadn’t used for four years hadn’t worked. (Report wasn’t good enough for the Editor to be in June or July Tyred Topics! If you’re reading this I must have improved my spelling and punctuation.,!? )
Stage 5 was a repeat of 1. John getting 5m42 while I was happier and found the stage cleaner and getting 5m55 boosting us straight back to 2nd in class. However, we dropped back to 3rd with a 4m07 on stage 6 while John got a 4m01. However, John also picked up a 6m early road penalty along with about 10 other crews, given that the road sections were so tight not sure how this was possible, however results stood despite a lot of queries.
Stage 7 was to be the roughest stage of the day John getting 6m09 while we were throwing the 206 at the stage and even got Caroline adding extra encouragement to keep it on the road with a ‘Keep a hold of it!’ there was a considerable drop into a valley on her side. However, a few miles on the 206 picked up a puncture. The first for a long time and I tried to minimise time loss but after two ditch moments when it wouldn’t turn, a finish had to be better than nothing, so the pace dropped more and frustration increased clattering along on the rim and sumpguard to the finish. 6m14 was still a good time but dropped to 4th in class. Service in Dunoon, ahead of the final stage.
A stage that had gone well on the first run and with the L5 now going to be a L9 could the 15sec time gap be made up.
Stage 8 John getting 7m17 and ourselves on 7m28 and it was enough to get 2nd in class on the return to the finish.
18th OA 2nd in class Barry Lindsay / Caroline Lodge 48m 06
26th OA 6th in class John McIlwraith / Paul Barbet 52m 23
Thanks to Jonathan Lodge, Michael Lindsay for servicing and chase on the event and Nigel & Helen Harkness who were part of the team and went to marshal.