December 10th, 2013
Christmas Charity Autotest on Tar. December 8th 2013.
Our final championship event of the year turned out to be our traditional ‘Christmas Charity Autotest’, as the 12 Car Rally planned for a few days later was cancelled. Running autotests tends to produce random entry lists, sometimes with several new entrants coming along to add a little spice. This time it was the turn of Tom Hall, Kevin Andrews and Andrew MacGregor, all of whom decided this was to be the day for their SOSCC autotest debut.
Tom Hall (Doonhamer Classic Winner in 2012) made the two and a half hour journey all the way from Spennymoor as, in his words “wor lass is away all day, so this is better than housework”. Tom lived up to his reputation as a nifty autotester and in his lightweight Mini, was bettered only by our own Wullie Keaning who was imperious (if that’s a real word) all day, setting the pace on every test in the now well proven Nova.
Andrew MacGregor has decided to participate in autotests during 2014 as he has to be there anyway when son Robert competes. He was immediately on the class 1 pace in the family Nova and if you check out his picture, you’ll see he managed at least one two wheeled moment. Robert on the other hand, seemed off the pace somewhat but this is surely temporary for a junior driver who has improved so much over the last two years. Danny Pattie’s progress continues and it doesnt matter what car he drives, (and lets face it, he’s had a few) he is now almost always at the front of the class, this event being no exception.
Kevin Andrews was lucky to have a friend’s car that he could borrow and in doing so, acquitted himself well on his first ever motor sporting event with a steady drive. Paul Whyte drove the same car, ( mainly because he owns it) and unfortunately it decided on one of his early runs to develop constipation, costing him a dreaded WD penalty and setting him back in the overall placings. A serious revving seemed to do the trick though , the wee Corsa running pretty well for most of the rest of the day, probably because it was scared to misbehave !.
Gordon Clendinning’s MX5 was pressed into action in class 4 and then had its task doubled when Archie Simmonds turned up after dropping off one of his sold fleet of MG Midgets at the Cairnryan ferry and borrowed Gordons Mazda. Whether it was good planning or luck, he finished just one second behind Gordon after six minutes of competition!. He must be wanting to borrow it again sometime.
Graham and Shirley Currie had, as always, put some real effort into decorating their car as well as themselves, dressed in reindeer and polar bear onesies and the theme of ‘Twas the night before Christmas’ featured a bed on the roof, complete with Frosty the Snowman. Well done the Curries!. Graham won class two from Shirley.
A few Cumbrian drivers made the damp journey to Heathhall, with occasional entrant Stephen Dixon admitting to struggling to keep up with the pace while Stephen and Jack Palmer spent most of the day rushing to the timekeeper’s car to check times, as junior driver Jack is now getting a bit nifty and threatening to beat dad. Jack, take a hint mate, if you want to keep autotesting, just let your dad beat you !.
Peter Masters was another driver who was happy to make the trip all the way from the North East of England and with his Proton, adorned subtly with Christmas decorations, had a consistent day and a fine second in class placing on an event which refreshingly, produced very few ‘wrong direction’ or marker penalties across the entire field. Drew McLean’s MX5 boosted the class 4 field and while he was enjoying doing donuts, most of them weren’t really intended. I believe a new clutch is required !.
Sadly, new members Douglas Halliday and James Jackson’s recently rebuilt Peugeot didn’t want to play even when they towed it behind their tractor, and they were deemed DNS. Before the end of the event however , a new autotest car had been secured, so expect to see them out on our first event in 2014.
Finally, thanks to Knavesmire for access to the runway, to Wullie Keaning for organising the event virtually single handed (with grateful help from some of the competitors) and Roly P for timekeeping duties. Thanks to all the competitors and club members who contributed to the charity fund raised which amounted to a fine £140. A suitable charity will be selected soon.
Here’s the photies….