RAC 2011 (Part 1)

By Jonathan Lodge

Feb 11 – I receive a phone call from Jim Valentine re doing Liege Rome Liege & the RAC in his 2 stroke Saab.  Politely say I would be very interested but due to work commitments, studying & exams it would be difficult.  I also highlighted that I had not done any map reading for a scary number of years.

May 11 – Jim phones to say Liege Rome Liege had been cancelled but he had been invited to take the car to Goodwood in July.  Cross reference diaries & decide this is only opportunity to both be in car .  No way I could refuse VIP competitor tickets to Goodwood.

July 11 – Goodwood. ‘Thank You Jim’ Another fantastic day.  Sit in car for  2 runs convince Jim all is OK & he needs to take other people in the car.  This means Caroline & I have to go to the drivers lounge at the top of the hill (just happened to time it when the motorbikes arrived – sorry Caroline) & then chauffeur driven shuttle to the main show.  Realise at this point I it would be rude not to competing on RAC.

Oct 11 – Caroline has moved camps from being part of the support crew to fellow competitor – in the same class with a Manx man called Higgins!!

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Rally Results (November 2011)

Peter Taylor retired from the Kingdom Stages at Crail. David Coleman continued his bad luck with fuel pump failure on the first stage of the Galloway Hills Rally. On the same event James McWhir navigated Michael Hunter to 36 Overall (7th in class).

Hexham Historic Rally – A Marshal’s Ramblings

By Dave Love

5pm Satruday 19th of November, Chris Walker and I are headed over to Humshaugh to sign on then man 2 controls on the Hexham Historic / John Robson Navigational Rally. I’m sure getting to signing on is part of the event, as I can’t remember it being the same place twice in the past few years. I thought we might have trouble finding the village hall but the half mile line of cars parked both sides of the road gave us a clue. First it was Alan & Rob Blake out for the first time since John Ross’ 12 car last year. Then I bumped into Phil Jobson who had Jerry Hettrick on the maps. Time was pressing on so we thought we’d better sign on. When we did we were given 2 envelopes with TC instructions, 2 meal tickets and a bedside alarm clock! Didn’t realise we’d have time for a nap. The fact that the organisers were using these clocks isn’t as strange as you first think, they had big numbers, were backlit and were radio controlled so they would al be on the same minute and second- theoretically.

Off we went to our first control, TC3, at Portgate, ten mins along the B6318 and got the car safely parked on the verge, when we looked at the control instructions which told us we had to ensure that 2 gates half a mile before us were open and secured. Although there was 40 mins before car 1, I thought it best we didn’t go WD. I said to Chris, “We’ll go back along the B road, pop down that white, open the gates and be back here in 10 mins”. I should really listen to what I’m saying, “Pop down that white”. It was a little bit rough at the start but nothing the Audi couldn’t handle, no wet grass Geoffrey. Round a corner there was ‘wet grass’, and potholes, then there were wheel ruts and a very narrow part past gorse bushes on the passenger side, which made a noise along that side of the car, similar to fingernails screeching down a blackboard. Next up came a crater the width of the track. It was pretty deep with a step down to the water. We decided that hitting reverse was the best course of action, especially when Chris said, “You get stuck in there and I’m not pushing you out!?”. It was back past the gorse bushes , which made the same noise. At least it was the same side of the car getting the punishment. Slowly we made our way back to the B road, of for a pair of Cibes on the back bumper. We then sped WD to find them both opened AND manned. ***@@@$$! Once we were back at the control Chris inspected the scratches on the paddneger side and declared that it was now time to trade in the Audi – in the rain.

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Rally Results (October 2011)

Cambrian-  Caroline 81st (11th class).  IRC Scotland-  Peter Taylor retired with suspension damage. Mull- Peter Taylor finished 23rd (7th in class). Cheviot Rally- Barry & Michael Lindsay finished 15th Overall (2nd in class), while Peter Taylor retired.

Cheviot Stages 2011

By Barry Lindsay.

The Cheviot rally was the third and final rally of the year on the Otterburn ranges. It was also the final round of the AS Performance North of England Tarmac championship. Two Spadeadam crews were out on the event, Peter Taylor & Andrew Roughead had the Clio R3 and were seeded at 5. Barry & Michael Lindsay were at 10 in the 106. The usual format of Recce and scrutineering on the Saturday followed by the rally on the Sunday. The Sunday morning dawned damp but the forecast was for it to dry up.

The organisers only had the use of half of the range but managed to run an 83mile route and all ran to time.

Barry & Michael Lindsay
Barry & Michael Lindsay

The first stage, partially manned by Spadeadam marshals and with Barry Armstrong as Stage Commander. The stage was wetter than thought and Barry & Michael struggled on the cut slicks, recording a time of 9m 25. Peter & Andrew were quicker with 9m12 (11th Quickest). There was only a ½ mile road section before stage 2 which was a blast back to service, Peter & Andrew got 3m11 (6th fastest) while Barry & Michael dropped bucket loads of time on this section which would be used 6 times on the day!

Peter Taylor & Andrew Roughead
Peter Taylor & Andrew Roughead

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SMC Crew ‘Sees The Light’ on the Illuminations Rally (2011)

By Phil Jobson/Jerry Hettrick

The Navigator had recovered somewhat from the flu he had contracted, but heading off to the start of the Illuminations Road Rally at Great Langdale, the driver was suffering from debilitating back pain. On arrival, further angst challenged the crew with a Poti to rewire and then a flat front tyre, so starting the event on 3 x Yokohama A021’s and 1 x A048 was not ideal when the crew faced a challenging route over some of the most gruelling mountain passes in the country.

Bleatarn, Wrynose and Hardknott Passes in a single opening Regularity provided a rude awakening for crews; it was clear that the multitude of historic Minis were better suited to the route. Oblivious to the BIG DROPS on either hand, the crew pressed the Silver Bullet hard into each hairpin trusting the tyres to turn in. The crew dropped just 4 minutes 25seconds over the 17 mile opener, but were beaten by some nimble small FWD cars, including Dave (King of Hardknott) Head who cleaned the section.

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Flat Crest ‘See 120’ – I Wish!!

By Phil & Caroline Jobson

Basking in 28˚C ? Well not in Perthshire on 1st October! Torrential rain greeted crews to the otherwise picturesque Aberfeldy beside the River Tay. Receiving a tow off the trailer park / service field following scrutineering was a sign of things to come.

We took Snowy for a thrash around some classic stages on the Colin McRae Stages and survived a massive attrition rate to come away with a respectable result. As usual, we stopped overnight in the middle of nowhere at an isolated steading that, to me, resembled Father Ted’s House on Craggy Island. Our very welcoming host had moved recently from Kendal – my dreams were interrupted with fears of what terrible crime had caused him to be banished to such a place!

SS1 had been cancelled for the National B event because Peter Smith / Russell Langhorne Historic BDA Mk1 went off at a rough quarry area. I can understand why! This meant us hanging around at MTC1, but eventually we headed off to Auchtar Gate (more commonly known as the classic Drummond Hill). Now having done this stage before, I know why it’s a classic, but this time round it was both treacherously slippery (rain on the dusty surface leaving me thinking I was riding a bar of soap on the bathroom floor) and low cloud restricting visibility to 30m in places.  This wasn’t helped further by a misting up with the heated screen failing. We caught a car after about 8 miles and he wouldn’t let us past. Frankly I wasn’t about to force the issue as to get off line in there would certainly be curtains. We lost at least 2-3 minutes.

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Rally Results (September 2011)

Lindisfarne – Peter Taylor was 2nd Overall winning his class, Barry & Michael Lindsay were 5th Overall (1st in class), Geoffrey Harkness & Caroline Lodge were 13th Overall (4th in class). Rally Yorkshire Peter Taylor was 4th Overall 2nd in class.Merrick – Peter Taylor was 11th Overall (1st in class).

Lindisfarne 2011

By Barry Lindsay

The Pirtek Lindisfarne Rally was the second of three events on Otterburn, this one organised by Tynemouth MC. It was the penultimate round of the AS Performance, North of England tarmacadam championship, of which the three Spadeadam members are all registered Peter Taylor & Andrew Roughead (6) Myself & Michael (10) and Geoffrey Harkness & Caroline Lodge (25). I was in a good position to clinch the title at this round only needing to finish ahead of or just behind stunt driver Paul Swift. But if we didn‟t finish, we still had the next round to fall back on. I had done the Recce with Caroline on the Saturday using a disguise. Caroline had obtained David Robinsons highly tuned Recce Car. Well not quite. A 1.2 Micra S !! I did get a bit of stick on the Sunday morning, but I think they believed me when I said it was Caroline‟s pride and joy….lol. (Hmmmmm will get you for that one Barry, Ed.) The morning dawned cool but there were clear blue sky‟s over Otterburn as crews got ready in the service area on the airstrip. However as we lined up at the first control the black clouds appeared over the hill. We were on slick tyres with little cuts in but other crews (our class rival being one) had time to change to intermediates.

The 6mile road section gave time for me to weave about and get some heat into the tyres but the drizzle was now starting to dampen the tar. In the first stage we had noted in the recce that the roads were dirty and quite mossy in places, “sh*ty” was Caroline‟s interpretation in the notes (Well it didn‟t look like moss and I never heard you describe it as moss on the recce, tell it like it is. Ed) The first few miles the rear tyres had cooled and struggled to get grip, I thought we were loosing time but it turned out were 10th fastest, 6 seconds behind class leader Gareth White in a C2 max.

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Rally Results (August 2011)

Tyneside stages saw Peter Taylor finish 6th Oa (1st in class), Barry & Michael Lindsay 13th OA (1st in class), Geoffrey Harkness & Caroline Lodge were 33rd OA (5th in class). At the Solway Coast Barry & Michael Lindsay were 7th Oa (1st in class), James McWhir 22nd (7th in class) & Phil & Caroline Jobson 30th (8th in class). At the Richard Burns, Keith Taylor retired while Peter Taylor  came 7th OA.