Ramblings….

By David Love

Well, I’m back to ramble on a bit more and it’s all Helen’s fault! When I told her at the club night that I was hoping to write some rubbish for the newsletter she actually looked pleased, that’s when I realised how desperate she was for something to put in the newsletter.

I never realised that the MSA was in the furniture removal business until they pulled the rug from under the feet of the BRC organisers by cancelling the championship for 2015. It would appear that very little thought was given to the consequences of cancelling it. It is not just undermining the hard work nurturing sponsors and supporters put in by all the organisers over the years but it also has a big impact on the host towns. Even though the BRC was ailing the financial boost it generated for local businesses was still substantial and much needed in the present economic climate, therefore it is not just the sport that suffers the local community is also affected. There is also the worry that the championship will not return and if it does will it be greeted with apathy. The MSA may only have one chance to get it right and on past performance I’m not holding my breath.

What about The Pirelli I hear you ask, well one of you must be asking that! The rally has existed in one form or another since 1975 and has even weathered 2 cancellations due to foot and mouth. Do you think the MSA could finish it off? Not if Brian Kinghorn has anything to do with it! For those of you that don’t know Brian is the Chairman of the organising committee and the main contact for sponsors and suppliers to the rally. He’s been involved in the rally for more years than he would no doubt care to remember and is determined not to go down without a fight. He told me that his first reaction on hearing of the championships cancellation was that “We’d had a good run and maybe it was time to call it a day” then he got angry and decided that it wasn’t up to the MSA to decide when our rally was finished. He’s been working hard behind the scenes and hopefully will soon be able to confirm details of the 2015 Pirelli Rally. In the meantime enjoy a photo of Malcolm Wilson, winner of the 1980 event at Carlisle Airport .

Malcolm Wilson BW

Malcolm Wilson – Escort Mk2

Reading David Coleman’s article in last month’s newsletter brought back more memories of the good old days that had been lost in the mists of time. I can still picture him in the rear view mirror of the Audi sliding from side to side. That’s what happens when you have leather seats and no seat belts. It’s good to know that I was instrumental in introducing him to hobby that has given him so much pleasure. Motorsport depends on long time enthusiasts like David to keep the sport alive, people who are in it for enjoyment rather than for out and out glory. They may put a lot of money into it but more importantly they put their heart into it. Of course coming to Spadeadam Motor Club meant he was off to the best possible start.

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My First 25 Years Of Rallying

By David Coleman

I thought I would put finger to keyboard and share some memories with you on my motorsport life so far…..

I started my love of Rallying in 1985 standing on my old school bridge that crossed Wigton rd in Carlisle and watching the last of the Gp.B cars heading from Carlisle into the lake district on the RAC rally.

After leaving school in 1988 I started my first job through my late dad at B&Q in Carlisle on an apprenticeship. One of my colleagues was a keen rally fan and took me under his wings telling me about the golden days of the sport and introduced me to Spadeadam MC and the meetings held at the sportsman in Laversdale.
My memory is a little shaded so some of the following may be slightly incorrect (20 years of painting cars seems to have broken the grey matter!).

I was introduced to marshalling through Spadeadam, on Moresby pits (Fellside stages?) where we had the clocks on the flying finish , Brett Mitton’s Chevette was one of the cars I remember to do well that day. We also did clocks at the Setmurthy stage which I think was part of the Lakeland stages, now the Malcolm Wilson rally where Dougie Watson-Clark was in his newly built Sierra Cosworth.

Jim Dent – Moresby Pit

We spectated at the Scottish rally later that year, a very hot dusty, midge bitten day that was worth it purely for the sound of the 3 door Sierra’s wastegates chattering through the forest, surely that sound should return to the BRC ! It was then I chose my rallying hero, and still to this day I have so much admiration for Jimmy McRae who after speaking to him briefly on 2 occasions seems so down to earth and friendly. Continue reading

Test On The Rest

By Eric Ritchie

Sometimes, life is just so difficult that it is hard to come to terms with the trauma and stress of it all………………….. !!!

Such was the weekend I spent on Scotland’s iconic hill climb the ‘Rest and be Thankful’. This fantastic stretch of road was first used as a hill climb in 1949, the year before I was born! In its time it has hosted drivers of the calibre of Sir Jackie Stewart and the late Jim Clark. Raymond Mays, the elder statesman of British Motor sport held the record for the fastest time over the 1.6km (1 mile) sprint course with a time of 68 seconds, and that was well over 40 years ago!

It is over four decades since the glen was last used competitively and the rally test day organised by John Parker and Brian Kinghorn, brought back a flood of memories to the many fans and spectators who gathered in the car park above the hairpin. This time, it would not just be the 1.6km hillclimb section that would be used, but the entire 4km from the bottom of Glen Croe to the traditional finish line above the hairpin. Continue reading

Tyred Topics Thanks

Just a very quick thank you to all of you who submitted items for the newsletter in 2013. Without you, there wouldn’t be a newsletter at all. The website wouldn’t be half as interesting without your input of photos, videos, etc. too.

As always, if you think there are things that you would like to see in the newsletter, or something you don’t think works, please drop me a line (contact).

RAC Thanks

Thank you to everyone who turned out to help marshal on the Roger Albert Clark rally.  Another top class effort by all, making a great job of running the Florida stage aswell as the End of leg service halt on Saturday Night and the restart Sunday morning.

Thank you all once again, the 2014 event is 28-30 November. Please put it in your diaries it’s a different weekend.

(Image © David Ambridge / Spadeadam Motor Club 2013 – Used with permission)

The 4th European Austin Healey Tour – Part 2

By Linda & Eric Ritchie

Because of our mechanical problems we had long since abandoned the official route and travelled to Inverary Castle for afternoon tea. A visit to my old friend Peter Semple who owns the Renault garage in the village brought back an hour or so of nostalgia.

Wednesday was Knockhill day. We had a fantastic Healey convoy drive across to Scotland’s race circuit. I was privileged to be in the ‘advanced’ group, I’m not sure if that was because of my advanced years, or the perceived competition experience.

h3  Continue reading

Greystoke Thanks

By Phil Raffel

Many thanks to the Sprite team’s invite to marshal on the Greystoke stages.

The weather was hot and sunny, and the dust was taking about two minutes to settle after the cars had passed.  There were a few close calls at our junction and a retirement due to electrical fault. Stages where stopped for a while due to a Car Rolling at Junction three stage one.

We also had a car go off at our junction (16) into the scenery and setting fire to the dry grass! But after the efforts of the Marshals and spectators we managed to get them back into Competition.

Two gallons of water put the fire out..

See you again soon.

The 4th European Austin Healey Tour – Part 1

By Eric Ritchie

Things did not look promising when 97 MVK passed out when climbing out of Greenhead Bank on Saturday afternoon. However, I managed to get the Froggie back to the Sands Garage at Brampton on a trailer, and David and Robert removed the fuel tank and cleaned out 53 years of muck from the bottom. Convinced all was well, Linda and I set off on Sunday to Creiff Hydro, the centre of our adventure for the next week. However, six hours to do 120 miles certainly challenged us a bit. I even pushed the car 3/4 of a mile along the duel carriageway from Dunblane.

We triumphantly made it to Crieff, 30 minutes before we were due to sit down for dinner. We quickly checked into the hotel and joined the champagne reception. Full of relief and champagne, we sat down at an empty table in the massive dining hall, and were joined by two couples who became our friends for the week. Continue reading

Autosport International Show 2013

By Richard Thomson

So, where can you see live motorsport in the UK in January? The Jack Frost Stages, I hear you cry? Well yes, but I was thinking of somewhere where you didn’t have to contend with the wind/rain/sleet/snow/sun, (Not very likely this last one!!), whilst spectating. In fact, I was thinking of the Autosport International Show at the NEC near Birmingham

It had been a few years since my last visit, and this year I decided to take along my two and a half year old, car mad, son Stewart for the first time. Having let the train take the strain we arrived at the NEC at lunchtime. If you have never been to the show before, the thing that will amaze you is just how much there is to see. In fact you could probably spend the whole weekend there, and still not see everything! We only had 4 hours, and that included an hour or so in the Live Action Arena. Among the static exhibits were several cars from last year’s Roger Albert Clark Rally. These included the Bikini Porsche, which still had the chunk missing from its front bumper, sustained on the Saturday of the event from memory. Stewart amused himself by spotting several examples of Porsches, Ferraris and Lamborghinis, but was particularly impressed by the mock-up of the Bloodhound land speed record car. My personal favourite was a choice between a collection of Group C Lancia sportscars, a red and white Porsche 917, and a Top Fuel dragster. Continue reading

Pirelli Richard Burns Foundation Rally 2013 Update

By David Love

So what do I know!  In my last scribblings about this years rally I said we were keeping International in the name, which at that time we were, but things constantly change in the run up to the event.  We along with Pirelli are honoured to be associated with Richard Burns name and are pleased to be in a position to help promote the work of the Foundation.  I was amazed to discover that it was 20 years ago that Richard won the Pirelli and then I was depressed to realise that I started marshalling on the event 10 years before that.  No Geoffrey! There wasn’t a man with a red flag walking in front of the cars. Continue reading