March 9th, 2015
Tar Autotest. Jones’ Yard. March 8th 2015
Many thanks to James Jones & Sons for the use of their yard and thanks to everyone who made this a cracking day’s autotesting, including Donald Carruthers, Willie Keaning, Kelsey Gillespie, Warren Gillespie, Andy Pattie, Roland Proudlock, Graham Currie and Derek Kirkpatrick.
Here’s Rolypix’s photographic record of the day;
Seven long ‘all forwards’ tests in all sorts of weather made this one of those enjoyable days, where plenty of sideways action just adds to the thrill of chucking a car about with no fear. Gordon Clendinning commented at one point that driving Archie Simmonds Escort was “too much fun” and he pipped Archie by 8 seconds over the day, while Roger Pope came back smiling at the end of every test, commenting more than once that it “really gets the old ticker going”. There was plenty of mud and gravel, not to mention rain early on in the proceedings, to make most of the surface perfect for even the weakest of handbrakes to lock the back wheels.
As the day wore on, the sun came out and dried much of the course but no-one left dissapointed. Everybody was watching each other’s times and the Cumbrian contingent, including Nigel Moffat and Chris Hunter began openly taunting each other as the gamesmanship set in. I cant remember folk laughing so loudly at each others failure to avoid markers, but it was all good natured and helped them to ignore the effects of the cold wind blowing across the site. Stephen and Jack Palmer however, need to sort out team orders as Steve says “Jack’s getting too fast”, jack comprehensively rubbing the point in on this occasion.
Drew McLean was having a job keping his diff warmed up and the MX5 was therefore a bit wayward, while Nathan Hogg and Harry Marchbank were continually forensically examining each other’s times, just nine seconds eseparating the two VW Lupo team members. Willie Keaning and Kelsey Gillespie shared the 206 to good effect, Kelsey managing to be a bit more forceful as the day went on, to achieve the desired outcome.
Current Club Champion, Danny Pattie, has really come of age and was a the class act of the day with tidy driving, no markers hit and certainly no WD’s !. One wonders what he’d be like in a fully sorted autotest car and not a wobbly KA. Hopefully we’ll see this soon. Shirley Currie’s new Fiesta was misbehaving a bit but it got there, thanks to Drew McLean who always has an arsenal of tools and gizmos in his car.
All in all a very satisfying day. The next autotest is on grass so lets have plenty of support fro Premier Taxis who are sponsoring the grass championship in 2015.