Now an annual event on the Spadeadam Calendar is the NYE Autotest at Pirelli Carlisle. This year increased in popularity with 29 entries if everyone turned up. All of which had competed on SMC events during the year so popularity is increasing.
12 tests were planned during the day and two tests were set up side by side to get maximum runs done. Hampered slightly by an abandoned car meant out area was squashed slightly making tests tighter than planned.
Test one. Peter Wright was joint quickest with 40sec in his nimble mini ideally suited to the layout the same time as Chris Hunter in his MX5. Drew McLean was next on 41sec showing that rear wheel drive MX5’s can compete with mini’s on tight tests. Next was Barry Lindsay in the 106 with 42sec. Quickest Junior was Jamie Barnett using the club car on 49sec. Wrong tests for Mark S, Colin Trotter, Kieron Stynes.
Test two was the rerun. Chris was quickest with a 39sec. Peter matched his first time a 40sec then Phil Hodgson on 42sec then Drew and John Holiday on 43sec. Quickest Junior Jamie on 47sec. Wrong test for Mark, John Ross.
The October autotest was held at the Peth, nr Longtown, but this year, instead of the concrete of the main yard, we were in the lower yard on the gravel and mud. We had 15 starters, including 11 newcomers and 4 juniors.
Test 1: Helen (me) was fastest on 46 seconds, followed by three members all on 48 seconds – Nigel Harkness, newcomer Mike Burke who’d swapped the MX5 for a Yaris, and an excellent start by junior member, Martyn Petry.
Then we had newcomers Mark Salisbury, Carl Barnett, Rob Glendinning and junior Sam Trotter on 49 seconds. This might be a close-run day!
Test 2: A repeat of test one, and joint fastest time on this test went to Martyn Petry and Mike Burke with 46 seconds. Followed by Nigel and Helen on 47 seconds. Sam Trotter was hot on their heels with 48 seconds. Then the MX5s of Drew McLean and Phil Hodgson, and John Ross in the club car, all on 49 seconds. Continue reading →
The September autotest was held near Calthwaite, with the new venue, thanks to Colin, Patricia & Sam Trotter. We had an entry of 18 crews, with 10 newcomers, 4 juniors and 4 ladies on the list.
Fastest on the first test were Barry Lindsay & Colin Trotter on 59 seconds. Followed behind by on 1m 1second; Jon Ross, Jon Stynes, newcomer Carl Barnett. The first person of the day to “kiss a cone” was newcomer Mark Salisbury.
Test 2, a repeat of test one, and once again, Barry & Colin shared fastest time, 56 seconds. Carl on 57 seconds was next, then Jon Ross, Jon Stynes, Helen Harkness and Mark. The first wrong test of the day went to Mike Burke, with Sade Burke also hitting a cone on that test. Continue reading →
The July Autotest ran on a stubble field at the Plump to add variety to the Autotest championship. However, the surface change didn’t attract the entries that I’d hoped. The weather on the day didn’t help but the 10 entered all turned up and had a fun afternoon.
Test 1 – Nigel Harkness was quickest with 1m23 followed by Helen Harkness & myself on 1m30 the John Ross on 1m31.
Test 2 – Helen went quickest with 1m25 to lead the event ahead of myself by 1 second, Mike Burke next quickest on 1m29 ahead of Colin Trotter on 1m30.
Test 3 – I went quickest with 1m04 only 1 second ahead of Nigel on 1m05 then John on 1m08. Continue reading →
The second grass Autotest ran mid-June but this report wasn’t written for the newsletter copy deadline the week after so for those of you can remember back, this is how it unfolded.
Fourteen competitors arrived at the freshly silaged grass field at Longpark. Setting out the new layouts a test of routes to be used at the display the club were doing at the Cumbria Auto Show the week later…turned out to it never ran as dust prevented the display happening. However, test one of the new tests was one that no one had ever ran so this event was a leveller. Helen Harkness was fastest with 1m06 just ahead of Nigel Harkness on 1m07. Geoffrey Harkness and Barry Lindsay getting 1m09. Running new tests always produces wrong tests, Phil Hodgson, Andrew, Geoffrey, Mike, Sade & Lizzy Burke and Josh Shaw.
On the second run, Barry got the hang of his recently acquired 206 which was to be broken for rally car spares getting 1m 03, Helen, Nigel, Phil H and Martin Davies were close behind on 1m04 though, then Andrew J & David Garstang on 1m05. Continue reading →
16 competitors turned out to do the sealed surface Autotest at the Peth. With Helen Harkness taking on the role of organising this one and came up with a great afternoon of non stop action with very little cone moving. The event was marshalled by Ian Robinson, Michael Lindsay & Graham Petry with Caroline Lodge on results and Barry ‘Hop along’ Lindsay on photos (still not able to compete due to a broken ankle).
First test Nigel Moffat was quickest on 48, with John Holliday and Nigel Harkness on 50sec then Helen Harkness and Phil Jobson both on 51sec. Wrong tests for Simon Jobson & Bradley Rutherford.
Test 2 was a repeat Nigel M & Craig Stamper were quickest on 49sec, then Helen, Nigel H, John H and Martin Davies all on 50sec. Continue reading →
On Sunday 8th October Helen Harkness and the autotest team of helpers put on a great afternoon of fun running a number of interesting challenging tests on concrete in a haulage yard just outside Longtown.
The tests were set up so that you ran each test twice and for those of us that are mentally challenged at remembering routes around an auto test they lettered each cone. Now this is what I am use to when competing on the classic and targa events so I found it much easier to remember what the route was around each test. They had set up the first test so that with either no moving of cones or moving one or two cones they were able to run a variety of test patterns in a very quick set up time.
The third round of the Spadeadam Autotest championship was the Summer visit to the Pirelli factory carpark. The SMC contingent of autotesters getting entry priority, but then friends from West Cumbria joined to make a full entry. 10 good surface tests were planned and with the carpark with not a single stray car we managed to set two tests up to run at the same time.
Test 1, marshalled by Michael Lindsay and Graham Petry, was set off by Barry Lindsay, with the first wrong test also! He was joined in wrong tests by David Garstang, John Ross, and Paul Hettrick. Quickest was Chris Hunter in his MX5 wth 51sec but had also used 2 rear tyres! Stuart Moffat and Andrew Robinson got 54sec then Helen Harkness on 59sec.
For the 2nd run at this test Stuart got 50, Andrew on 52, Nigel Moffat and Jamie Stuart on 53sec. Wrong tests on this run for Chris Hunter, Paul Hettrick, and John Barber.
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. Continue reading →