November 17th, 2013
Tar Autotest at Oakbank. November 17th 2013.
Here are Rolypix’s images of all today’s competitors.
With the winter setting in , twelve brave souls readied themselves for an entertaining but chilly afternoon, skillfully masterminded by Club Chairman, Tony Currie who was aided by co-organisers David and Ian Crosbie. Noticeably, this was one of the few tar autotests we have run recently where no reversing was required !.
New members Mark McGawn and Bob Irving brought their wee Peugeot along and while Mark was only competing on his second tar autotest, Bob is more likely to be seen on the tar stages in his 205 GTi. Both gave it a good go but were hampered by a car that wasnt really suited to the job and neither were their tyres appropriate for the event, or the abrasive surface. The fact that the car kept jumping out of first certainly didnt help. Even though they didnt finish the event, they hope to return for the Christmas charity event in December.
Stevie Hogg was sharing the Corsa with son Nathan but left after just a few runs. Had he spotted a bargain present for someone’s Christmas ?. We may never know. Nathan, on the other hand, was displaying some fine skills worthy of a junior champion and was also one of several drivers who had no trouble cocking a wheel on the tighter sections, at least up until the rain came on at around 1.00pm. Then it was all about sliding everywhere.
The prize for lifting a wheel however, definitely goes to Danny Pattie, whose Peugeot saved a fortune on rubber at most markers as it spent most of its time on three wheels – see pictures above.
Shirley Currie was soldiering on with the class 2 Fiesta which seems sadly bereft of a decent handbrake. Still, she carried on regardless, smiling mostof the time and keeping herself near the top end of the club championship table. Rear wheel drive is always entertaining at autotests and a joy when the car is held in a finely balanced and tight slide round the markers. Gordon Clendinning gave a masterclass in this with his MX5, while Robert Shankland’s big BMW was a handful, lacking a diff, which would have afforded that extra control needed to shepherd something the size of a frigate round a tight course.
Peter Masters drove all the way alone, from the North East of England in his wee Proton, changed the tyres and then, when the day was done, changed the tyres again and set off for home. Peter competes on at least one event a week, sometimes two, and it appears distance is no object. He certainly has no fear of not making it home, as he never uses a trailer. A good RAC membership is a wonderful thing though !.
Tony Currie’s Rover was suffering from faulty or even non-existent power steering but he manfully manhandled the car round the tests, which were more suited to the lighter more nimble cars.
As is often the case, the best fun came at then end where Tony had set up tandem tests. Perhaps we should start with this, as there sems to be little better to get the adrenalin flowing than being pitted against another driver on an identical test, whose every move you can see out of the corner of your eye. The best matched pair were always going to be Wullie Keaning and Warren Gillespie who set to this task as if their lives depended on it, Wullie taking the upper hand in his Nova, but only by the smallest margin from Warren’s Mini.
Then, when the event ends, we usually have one or two drivers asking if they can have a ‘wee practice’. On this occasion the arrangement was that Warren and Wullie would swap cars and what a revelation that was. Without fail, Warren was now quickest in the Nova, while try as he might Wullie couldn’t match him. Guess what Warren wants for Christmas?.
Many thanks to John Bogie and his staff at Oakbank, who undertook the sizeable task of clearing their massive yard for us. Thanks also to Tony, David and Ian, for a job well done. Next tar autotest is at Heathhall on December 8th.