By George Rutherford
45 years ago, while an active rally driver I was involved in the setting up of the Galloway Hills Rally which ran on the first weekend of December as an end of season fun event where drivers could bring Sponsors, mechanics and wives as a thank you for their contribution to another season. Unlike most Scottish events we had the party the night before the event, as running on a Sunday ferries were very limited for the many Irish crews getting back in time for work on Monday. Other Scottish events had their prize giving/party at the end of the event and virtually all competitors attended. normally having changed into more suitable attire. Continue reading
By John Ross
Sorry I am a bit late in tapping away at the keyboard, but there was a little thing called the Blue Streak Targa Rally got in the way.
WOW, WOW, WOW. I think that would just about sum up the weekend, but no doubt some of you would like to know a little more.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is a petrolhead’s dream, every supercar ever thought of, plus a few more; from the world launch of Maserati’s new Chelsea tractor, to the craziest vehicle I have ever seen, the Aston Martin Cygnet, but this was no ordinary Cygnet which is normally a Toyota IQ with a posh interior and a bit of body styling. This one had been sprinkled with crazy dust in that they had shoe-horned the AM 4.7Ltr V8 into it. This was a one off for a customer (presumably from the Middle East). Perfectly road legal but god knows how it would handle with all that power. Presumably the boys from AM had that sorted. It sounded fantastic as the mechanics revved it to the max making the whole paddock area reverberate.
By David Garstang
1st July – Spadeadam demonstration auto test at Carlisle, The car was ready and already loaded on the trailer the week before, so it was a quick trip down the road to Carlisle auction mart where the carpark was rammed with polished cars of all makes and models. The Spadeadam team of volunteers had set out the auto test the day before and Barry then gave a driver’s briefing as there were a number of things that we had to abide by to ensure that we met all the MSA stipulations. Due to the very sunny weather that we have been having so far this summer the gravel area that we were using was bone dry and very dusty, so we had a democratic vote and decided to make Nigel be the sacrificial lamb to kick up a dust storm and see how many of the polished car brigade would come charging over with tyre leavers waving as the dust was blown over their cars. Unfortunately, due to a few complaints we had to abandon giving a demonstration of auto testing. At the end of the day as I was loading the car back onto the trailer the brakes decided that they were not going to work. As I have fitted new slave cylinders at the back and new callipers at the front I presumed it was an issue with the master cylinder. Just another job to sort out before the Hexham Northern Dales event on 15th July. Continue reading
Thank you to everyone who represented Spadeadam at the Cumbria Auto Show at Rosehill. Sadly, we weren’t able to demonstrate the Autotesting on the day. Following all the work building up to the day with the MSA paperwork requirements for the safety of spectators, and then on the day before the event, the organisers reduced our area so maps had to be redone Saturday night. It finally couldn’t run because of the dust blowing over the polished cars. I had to agree with the organisers that at the end of the day it was the polished cars that were the main feature of the car show and they needed to keep them happy also. So, the Club display then turned into a static one!
Show organisers are hopeful that autotesting could happen next year in different weather…. Good luck with organising that.
By Helen Harkness
As some of you may have noticed, for the last 6 months your newsletter has been:
- On time (if not early!!)
- Filled with interesting stuff
- Spelling & grammatical errors have been missing
- Dates have been correct!
This has been down to the hard work of Caroline Lodge. Who very kindly agreed to look after it for 6 months, to give me a bit of a break. I cannot thank her enough. So, apologies to everyone reading this, normal service has now been resumed and if you spot any errors or omissions, please keep them to yourself! 😉 If you feel that you’d like to put pen to paper, fingers to a keyboard, or chalk to a piece of slate, please get in touch. Continue reading
By David Garstang
So what’s been happening in the garage you may be asking? Has the fiesta lost any weight? Is the car any shinier? Was the underside painted? Did it get serviced and the gear box oil checked? Was the puncture fixed? What progress on the Spitfire.
All good questions which I started to think about the week end before the White Heather Tests, so it was a case of prioritising the things to do. The weight loss programme has been put on hold as I think a layer of fat around me will keep me safe during the Beast from the East, should I get stranded in a snow drift I will last better than a skinny person. Due to the cold it’s been too cold to paint the underside of the car I will perhaps now put this off until spring. I did manage to get the engine serviced and adjust the rear brakes, however the cold had affected the oil in the can that I was going to use as I was pouring it out it was coming out in globs of jelly like substance. I decided not to put it in the car until I had put the can of oil on the radiator in the house to warm through and become like normal oil again. I tried to disguise it with a tea towel but I was soon found out when the aroma of hot engine oil started to waft out of the kitchen. I then quickly put it in the engine and topped up the gearbox. So car serviced time to sort out the tyre which I dropped off at my local garage who kindly repaired it for me. So the Fiesta was now ready for the first event of the season only 7 days to wait and see if the snow will melt so that I could get the car out of hibernation and give it a test drive.No such luck due to the snow and work so it was a case of load it on to the trailer on Friday night the evening before the event start on Saturday and hope for the best. Continue reading
By David Garstang
Well it’s getting to the time of year when the rally season starts for me, so I had better get my finger out and start going through the little fiesta in preparation for the first event in March, the White Heather run by Wigton Motor Club.
So during the winter months since the last event I have been mulling over how to make the car go faster and what jobs need doing before the first event of 2018. I have been looking at the power to weight ration of the Fiesta and looking to see where I can lose a few kilograms of weight from the car. I have found a source of carbon fibre bonnets, Perspex windows, fiberglass front wings and then generally stripping as much surplus weight and unnecessary gear out of the car. I then started to tot up the bill for all the light weight parts and stupidly left the sizeable estimate out on my desk. Where, the good lady of the house found it, and pointed out that she could make the car far lighter than what I was considering, and actually save me money. Mystified how SHE knew better than me I asked her to prove it. “Simple” she said “I will put you on a diet, I can get a good few stones of weight out of the car by making you lose weight, this will also mean we spend less money on food, therefore saving money every week”. Continue reading
By Richard Thomson
Last November I was given an E-Type Experience at Knockhill as a birthday present. I should explain that my only previous experience of a Jaguar E-Type was also at Knockhill, but that time as a passenger in an ex-Ecurie Ecosse lightweight version. Winter is not the best time to be driving at Knockhill, so I decided to wait until spring and the better weather.
Come that day I had booked, and the weather didn’t look good at all. It was very, very wet on the M74, and conditions only started to improve as I approached Edinburgh. Sadly the traffic didn’t, and I was lucky to arrive at Knockhill on time. There were 3 of us taking part in the experience, and I don’t think the others would be too unhappy if I was to say that I was comfortably the youngest! It was decided that I would go first, which had the advantage that I had the track mostly to myself. Out first for 4 laps in a Honda Civic Type-R to get used to the damp circuit, and with strict instructions to keep off the painted kerbs, apart from at the chicane. I had been looking forward to the Honda, but it was a bit of a disappointment. It had loads of grip through the corners, and I think it was quite quick on the straights, although it didn’t feel so. I remember driving a Golf GTi around a damp Mallory Park about 20 years ago, which was much more entertaining! The Honda felt like it would let you do anything, until it ran out of grip and you had a big accident! Continue reading
To Every club member who marshalled on the event in any way a big
Spadeadam MC were represented on all of the 8 stages, service area, re-group, start & finish.
Was good to see the Spadeadam banner managed to get itself propped up in a prominent position in middle of a stage also!! Who saw it on the TV coverage?
Hope you all enjoyed the action. Kind Regards
By Barry Lindsay
Rallying is a lot more than a driver and navigator in a car going as fast as they can, anyone who wants to get involved in the running of an event is part of a big team of officials. Here’s an insight to only my small part of a big event.
Pirelli meetings start about September 7 to 8 months before when all it is, is a blank note pad and a copy of Kielder map with a red line on it. Following the 2016 debrief it was obvious more chicanes were needed. So I was to organize another 42 large bales wrapped and stored for winter. Along with another role I was appointed that first night; the role of Chief Marshal.
By December’s cold icy days, a route and format were decided and I went on a route survey choosing points we could have chicanes where a marshal could man them and have a car parked at or near. The conclusion after this was we are going to need a lot more bales. Continue reading