October 14th, 2013
Solway Classic Rally. Sunday 20th October.
Wigton Motor Club’s Solway Classic/Targa rally took place today, starting and finishing at Rowrah Kart Race Track in Cumbria.
Many thanks to Gordon and Karen Clendinning and Colin Marshall for assisting me on the chicane and at the very busy stop line of the Kirkbride test which was run twice consecutively as tests ten and twelve, which meant that as there were 50 cars entered, we saw 100 through our test solidly for around two hours of non-stop entertainment.
Here are a couple of pics, showing SOSCC Chairman, Tony Currie, and our Membership Secretary, Paul Whyte, in Tony’s Rover and Committee Member, Bob Sloan and Derek McCrae in Bob’s latest acquisition, a Focus, which seemed to do the job very nicely with absolutely no modifications. That’s the beauty of Targa Rallying for you.
The Solway Classic Rally – by Bob Sloan
After some determined goading by Paul Whyte, I entered the Solway Classic Targa Rally on Sunday October 20th. It was to be the first time my navigator Derek McCrae and I had been out for ten years – it’s good to be match-fit for an event. Chosen steed was a Ford Focus, bought on ebay for buttons with some tax and test left (no, I haven’t finished building an Amazon yet!!).
We set off for the excellent Rowrah kart track near Cockermouth for the start. Scrutineering complete, we watched from race control as the classic and historic cars tackled the streaming wet track. The targa cars came next and after watching Tony and Paul on their lap we set off – my first timed event for four years. We had great fun on the slippery surface and made it round without spinning or hitting anything.
Test two was a couple of miles away, but Derek’s infamous inability to tell his right from his left made this and all the other road sections doubly entertaining. We arrived at what turned out to be a dirt bike track, and went round cautiously, not wanting to risk damage as there were twelve more tests to go. From there we travelled to Energus in Lillyhall for a tar test on a lovely smooth car park. Assuming I knew what I was doing Derek decided to shut up and enjoy the view, so we recorded the first of two wrong tests. Thereafter we did three more tests in the area before our excellent lunch back at Energus.
The afternoon tests took us to Kirkbride airfield where Roland, Colin, Gordon and Karen were marshalling. First run at their very fast test was great fun, but I managed to hit and drag a cone. I felt we needed to make up for this embarrassment on the second run, and managed a fairly impressive ‘moment’ directly in front of our clubmates to help brighten their day. The rest of the afternoon consisted of more fast, open tests on a variety of surfaces before we arrived back at Rowrah for the final test. We were running last on the road so to wake up Derek (who had taken to sleeping on road sections) and the marshals, we decided to have a bit of sideways fun for our two laps on the greasy track, entering every corner at least ninety degrees to the direction of travel. Not especially fast, but fantastic fun.
We handed in our time cards and returned to the clubhouse for dinner, and to swap times and tales of derring-do with Tony, Paul and the rest of the crews. Results were posted and we were happy to have achieved our goal – umpteenth in class but not last! Huge thanks to the fantastic and generally wet and cold marshals, Wigton Motor Club for organising the event and to Derek for navigating.
For the record, Bob and Derek finished 34th, just 41 seconds and one car ahead of Tony and Paul.