Well, here we go. A New Minnel... Millen.... a New Year and a new ‘Wheels’ Magazine and new Editor. The last time I did this job my ever-loving had to type it out on stencils and run the thing off on something called a Gestetner machine. No, it wasn’t steam driven! Thankfully I’m reasonably computer literate (now the plum wine has been cleaned out!) and able to produce, hopefully, a passable tome for you all to read.

There are lots of new features (there’ll be even more when I get conversant with digging stuff out of Matthew’s web site) and more ‘home grown’ articles.

We’ve got our own roving reporter in the shape of Mike Petch. He’ll be harassing anybody who’s been anywhere near a motoring event recently, so please match his enthusiasm and give him (or me) a brief verbal or written resume on your result and any interesting ‘moments’ you had. The more ambitious of you may want to air your reporting talents and write a report of an event you’ve competed on. They’re all welcome. Matt Blood has kindly taken the time to write such an article and to promote his activities for the coming year.

Petchy’s done us proud in this issue with a full report on all the 12 cars for the 1999/2000 season to date. Thanks Mike. An appeal to all future 12 car organisers, please give your event a name. I know we don’t have trophies for all of them, but a little creativity makes all the difference (I hope I don’t regret this request!).

We’ve got sleaze. Oh have we got sleaze! (Hope the photo’s come out in photocopying). More sleaze please.

There’ll be the usual report from Gunner. No chance of adding to his as he does the photocopying.

There’s a report from yours truly on my first event of the year. Next 3 events coming up are NHMC Autotest Sunday 13 February, 17 February 12 car (Aaagh!),. Then the first proper autotest of the year, Larkspeed League 12 March.

I was over in Cleckheaton on Friday 28 January collecting my First in class for the ANCC Autotest Championship 1999. Too much surgery last year prevented me from defending my 1998 championship win. Tim Sargeant took the honours for 1999.

So, thanks again to all the contributors to this Mag. I’m already looking forward to the next copy. Special thanks to Gloria for typing most of this issue (twice-oops!).

Howard Everingham

Editor.


Chairman's Chunterings

Welcome to the first magazine of the new millennium. This has been sent to all those who were members as at the end of 1999 but will only be sent to current members in the future. Please ensure that you renew your membership to ensure you continue to receive details of what is happening in the club.

Howard has now got his teeth into the magazine and is getting reports from various sources. It is a pity that these sources were not forthcoming last year when I was editing the magazine.

Dinner Dance

Tickets are available from Matthew for the dinner dance which takes place on the 18th February at the Portland Hotel in Paragon Street Hull. Tickets are priced at £15 per head and includes a late bar and disco. A choice of meal is available to cater for all tastes. Awards will be given for all those who were successful throughout 1999 in various disciplines. A raffle will also be held just so Gibby can come and annoy you to buy the tickets. If anyone has any raffle prizes that wish to donate, please bring them on the night.

Thursday night championship

The current Thursday night championship is shown in the magazine. If you find any discrepancies please let me know so any amendment can be made for the next issue. Points will only be awarded when you have paid your membership fee.

Looking at the current list, the current leader is Tim Rodgers followed closely by Mike Petch hoping to get his hands back on the trophy since 1993. However these are early days and stiff competition will come from those who take part on a Thursday night.

Results

There have only been a few events where points have been scored.

The first being the 12 car organised by Andy Ledger and assisted by Matthew Atkinson and Jack frost. I won't publish the results are they are listed elsewhere in the magazine.

Andy Beaumont donned the Magnus Magnussen hat and produced the first quiz of the year extracting obscure questions from some unknown source. This was proved as the winning score just scraping into double figures.

Mike Petch organised the 1st Table top of the year using map 112 as per his 12 car. Unfortunately as I have not navigated for 2 years or so, my map was so far out of date it almost was one inch to the mile. Maybe organisers should also specify which version of the map is to be used as on 12 cars.

Committee

In the last magazine I erroneously omitted Matthew from the list of officials. A new list is shown on the next column.

PositionNameHome Telephone
PresidentPeter Billam01482 844513
Vice PresidentDeg Burton01964 670392
ChairmanGraeme Potter01482 708790
Vice ChairmanIan Gibbins01482 864092
SecretaryNeil Sargent01482 702839
TreasurerGraeme Potter 01482 708790
Competition SecretaryMatthew Atkinson01482 876400
CommitteeGeoff Allison01482 787275
CommitteeAndy Beaumont01482 891262
CommitteeCarl Briggs01482 354045
CommitteeMike Petch01482 446539
CommitteeTim Rogers01482 897700

Additionally Howard Everingham can be contacted on 01482 876522 for any items you wish to put in the magazine.

Club watches

We currently have 3 of the club watches which have not been returned following their use on 12 cars. If you have a Lorus stop watch which may be the clubs, please return this as soon as possible to either Matthew Atkinson or myself. One of the watches has the number 1 written on in Tippex.

Forthcoming Calendar

February 17th
12 car organised by Graeme Potter starting at Arras Cross-roads heading towards Granny's Attic. Start 7:30 using map 106 only version B3.
February 24th
Scalextric organised by Mike 'the throttle' Petch. Lets see what he brings out of the cupboard this time!
March 2nd
Tim Rodgers delves deep into the quiz books to test your brains.
March 9th
Time to head down to the Green Man on Holderness Road to throw balls at the skittles. Neil Sargent will be organising.
March 16th
Carl Briggs gets his maps out and organises a table top for us navigators to get our heads round. Map 101 is being used. This is a change for that previously advised.
March 23rd
Following on from last weeks table top, this is the last time to put your navigation skill into practice on the last 12 car of the season. Start is Oubrough lay-by north of Coniston map ref. 155368 map 107 only
March 30th
Tim Rodgers will be playing projectionist when he reveals the latest in video releases. Who knows motor sport may feature.
April 6th
Time for Matthew Atkinson to test those little grey cells as he masterminds a quiz.
April 13th
Ian Gibbins organises Karting night at the indoor circuit in Selby. Teams of 4 or 5 are requires for a 3 hour endurance race.

The next magazine will be issued on 6th April. Further forthcoming Thursday night events include:-

20th AprilEaster ExtravaganzaIan Gibbins
27th AprilTreasure HuntMatthew Atkinson
4th MayGymkhanaIan Gibbins

Further details will be given in the next mag.

Well space has beaten me once again .

GUNNER


1999/2000 12 Car Championship

By Roving Reporter Mike Petch

To bring you up to date, let’s go back to the first round. This was round one believe it or not. Officially entitled ‘The Curtis Memorial Rally’. Who was Curtis? See next issue, hopefully someone might know.

Round 1 Thursday 14 October 1999 The Curtis Memorial Rally

As per last season, I organised this one across the river, Humber that is. Ten crews started from Scunthorpe without, unfortunately, any of the locals. All of them being in Mull marshaling.

To add to the national flavour of our 12 cars we had the Selby & DMC crew of Jason Turner & Alistair Crosby, seasoned ANCC Road Rally Championship contenders.

The event was won by Howard & Matthew closely followed by Gav & Mike in the newly acquired Nissan Sunny GTi 4WD Turbo Nutter B******d, nice!

I hope you all enjoyed the rickety wooden bridge and ‘white’ at Hibaldstow, it’s the only way across for miles (what does that boy get up to in his lunch break? - Ed.) Highlight of the night was Dave’s Twilton & Everard making a rare appearance and being chased through the grounds of a stately home off route. They had to show the maps and then gained a fail after opening a ‘panic’ envelope to prove to the gamekeeper that they should’ve been somewhere else! Good job he didn’t open the boot and see all the rabbits eh!

Thanks especially to Adrian Woodcock and crew for manning the controls.

Round 1 Results

Round 2 Monday 1 November 1999 The About Time It Had A Name Rally

Jon Binns appeared and organised this one, bringing with him a large contingent of Buccaneer Motor Club members to marshal. Where are you normally?

Behind the wheel for me this time with Matthew on the maps. Coming across from Border Motor Club, John Savage and Paul Rhodes in their Mini joined the usual Beverley crews. Gav and Oggy were an ‘honorary’ Beverley crew even though they are technically Selby members.

A couple of regularity sections were thrown into this event to catch us out as we careered around the lower part of map 106. The event was going well for us until we picked up two punctures on the penultimate section, limping back to the finish on one flat and missing the last section entirely. Highlight of the event was coming 3rd as we only picked up one fail for missing the last control, there being no letterboards on the last section. Lady Luck shone that night!

The event was won by the Selby crew of Turner & Crosby (Stills, Nash & Young? - Ed.) on the novice route. They have now been seeded officially as Experts due to Top 10 road rally results. A rule change is required here to include results outside the 12 car championship. Jon Meacock and Carl Briggs came home in 2nd place in the Golf. Did you know Jon uses up a set of brake pads on every event?

Round 2 Results

Round 3 Thursday 18 November 1999 The Pete Anable Rally

OK, so who was he as well? (Answers on a postcard please - Ed.)

Matthew put us all through it on this one. Set high up in the Wolds on maps 100/101/106. We all got a bit lost straight from the start as no-one could get the route to fit. Scratched the panic card and carried on, still finding the going tough. Howard had a bit of a moment swerving to avoid the teddy just after Gunner and Gibby gave up, but we wanted to carry on anyway as I needed the practice before Beaver. Gav & Oggy won with Jon & Carl 2nd again. A surprising 3rd was our prize for not going home early.

The route chosen was excellent, marred only by our inability to think the same as Matthew on the night. Unfortunately, the early problems meant that we had already ‘lost it’ and probably gave up mentally. Highlight of the event was getting to the finish and having a drink. Sorry!

Round 3 Results

Round 4 Monday 6 December 1999

The Another Round Of The Championship With No Official Name Rally

Mike Ogram put on a storming event, mainly on map 101, nearly all of it I think judging by the length. A disappointing turnout of both marshals and competitors. Special thanks to the Border Motor Club crew of Paul Rhodes and Angie who stood down to marshal, joining Gav and Ben Lawrenson as the only help Mike had. Come on, it takes a lot of time and effort to put events on. If organisers are let down we won’t bother! If you weren’t doing this one, you certainly missed out!

Matthew and I won by 12 minutes, that was the highlight. Thanks to the marshals for braving the wind and rain, I even had to lend Gav and Ben my coat as they didn’t have one. How they both got in one coat I don’t know, but they’re better friends now.

It was nice to see Graham Burton and Richard Walton out again, this time having ‘stolen’ the little silver Proton GTi from Deg’s showroom. Nice car, complete with chrome gear knob.

Round 4 Results

Round 5 Monday 3 January 2000 The Can I Have A Name As Well Rally

It wouldn’t be Gibby’s event without catching us all out. Matthew and I were first on the road. We W D ’d into the first control, everyone watching and following us in and getting a W D as well. Ha ha! Don’t follow.

I really enjoyed this event, dicing with Gav and Oggy most of the night. No way can I keep ahead of Gav so I let him past on two or three occasions. A different route took us down Brantingham Dale and round to a couple of new ‘whites’, one alongside the Motorway and an unpopular mudbath just outside North Cave. I think we need to be careful using ‘whites’ not to put people off tuning out and risking dirt and damage to their cars. The committee welcomes your comments on this.

Howard made a rare Monday night appearance on this event. He teamed up with Mark Edward’s, on release from college, for what turned out to be a good training exercise for Mark. Another rare appearance was Leigh Hardy, who? He sat in with Graham Burton in the Proton.

The highlight was winning again, this time ahead of Gav & Oggy who crossed off the wrong letterboard after going W D and picking up two extra fails. Thanks Ian, I liked the ‘whites’.

Round 5 Results

Round 6 Thursday 13 January 2000 The Grovehill Trophy Rally

The Ice Man cometh, covering 60 miles of maps 100 and 106 in slippery stuff. Thanks!

Andy Ledger managed to get round 6 organised with the help of Matthew Atkinson and put on a compact route over some of the best roads on the higher wolds between Millington, Thixendale, Kirkham and Buttercrambe. After winning the last two events behind the wheel, thanks to Matthew’s form on the maps. rather than any spectacular driving, it would be nice to win again on the maps myself with Howard. "Its not the taking part, it’s the winning that counts", we decided on the way out.

Gunner and Gibby (that well known double act-Ed.) decided to swap with Andy Beaumont and Danny Robinson in the MkI RS 2000 in an attempt to give some training advice as they’re planning to compete on the ANCC Road Rally Championship this year as are ‘Tin’ Rogers and Matt Blood. Question; Will Andy slow down to let Danny focus on the maps now? Answer; Probably not. Good luck!

The night was spent sliding around in close contact with Gav & Mike and Jon & Carl, the 3 cars swapping places on the road regularly. Then, as the other two crews headed off into Bishop Wilton following the Beaver route, we went left on this events route and into the lead. You should rub out your maps first. Ha! Ha!

The smile was soon wiped away however as the Primera slid off sideways on the last section almost taking Jon and Carl into the same ditch! Gav and Oggy stopped to help, towing Jon and Carl out. Unfortunately we were well in and not immediately recoverable. As everyone else also stopped to help, the event ceased there and everybody repaired to the nearest pub, which just happened to be ‘Yuk’ Hodgson’s local. "What’re you all doing out rallying" quoth our past rallying hero, "Nights are for drinking and sha..ing! (He didn’t look capable of the latter-Ed.)

As the last section was scrubbed, we were declared winners on the night. This has since been overturned twice, fairly giving Gav and Oggy the win and maximum points. The second debate eased Jon and Carl’s concern about their resultant third place giving us and them equal second on the event. (Serious stuff this rallying-Ed)

Many thanks to John Jenkinson for trekking out all that way in his Discovery to pull us out of the ditch on such a horrible night. That’s the second time this year I’ve not finished the last section and still got a good result. Must be another highlight.

Round 6 Results

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For Sale - Nissan Primera 2.0i

New N/S/F wing, new front bumper

Dent to N/S/F door top repaired

All new paintwork (matching)

Well run in tyres

Underside recently cleaned

Completely watertight up to 1" deep

Stable up to 45°

Price on application

See Magazine Editor

*********************************************************************

Round 7 Monday 31 January 2000 Organiser: Carl Briggs

Round 7 Results

Mike Petch

Roving Reporter

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Larkspeed League

Get these dates in your diaries NOW! Don’t sit there wittering about Howard Everingham at the end of the year when Gunner hands out the money and you collect £3.

Get off your arse (before it caves in!) and do the events.

Sunday 12 March SPOC Autotest (If they find a venue!)

Saturday/Sunday 15/16 April Lookout Stages

Sunday 30 April YSCC Autotest

Sunday 7 May S&H Sprint (One there for Jon Meacock, if the brakes last!)

Sunday 21 May Airedale & Pennine PCT (Allright for this one Jon?)

Sunday 18 June Huddersfield Autotest

Sunday 9 July MASSEY!

Sunday 23 July Ilkley PCT

Sunday 10 September York MC Sprint (Unless it turns into a surprise autotest again)

 

Oh! The embarrassment!

Driving home from Grimsby the other day, looking forward to a spot of lunch. It was a very windy and overcast morning. Pulling away from the tollbooth I saw about a dozen ‘Upholders of the Law’ clustered round a parked minibus. As I went to drive past them, one in a helmet and matching jodhpurs stepped out in front of my car. "Don’t hit him" I thought, "just had the car repaired after ‘THE DITCH’!" I was panicking a bit, wondering what I’d done - had he seen a speck of mud on the front suspension? Did he notice the brand new front bumper?

I stopped and hit the window button, greeting him with a weak smile. "Why have you got your fog lights on sir?" he asked politely (why are they always so polite?). "Good question" I thought. "Why the Hell are they on, I only use them on 12 Cars". Whilst I’m babbling on trying to tell him I didn’t know they were on, he leant into the car pointing along the dashboard, smugly telling me that if the foglights are on there’s a warning light to say so. Unfortunately he never finished the sentence, realising that there wasn’t a warning light on the dash nor on the switch.

In my defence I suddenly realised that those awfully nice Impact Refinishers who fixed my car after ‘THE DITCH’ must’ve tested the lights and had left them on. The look of disbelief on my newly found acquaintance’s face told me that I was wasting my breath with such a weak excuse. "It’s very annoying" was his parting shot as he allowed me on my way. Afterwards I remembered having to switch off the rear fog light the previous evening.

DOH!

Howie

MOTOR CLUBS TO RECEIVE 30% REFUND ON INSURANCE FEES

Every UK motor club which organises events under permit from the Motor Sports Association will receive a substantial cash refund before the end of this year.

The Payments affect some 600 motor clubs, with several clubs receiving over £10,000 each.

MSA Chief Executive, John Quenby, explained:

"Three years ago, clubs were promised an overall reduction on insurance rates of not less than 10%. That promised an overall reduction on insurance rates of not less than 10%. That promise was met from the outset.

We also felt that - provided the level of motor sports activity was maintained and claim levels were contained through sound risk management - the MSA might be able to reduce motor club costs further.

I am pleased to say that those conditions have been met and that each club will receive a lump sum equivalent to 30% of the insurance premiums collected by the MSA during 1999".

MSA APPOINTS NEW INSURERS

Late last year, Norwich Union took over the MSA’s insurers, London & Edinburgh. Because motor sport is not its preferred type of business, NU have not renewed for next year.

Following a market survey by our brokers, Bradstock, the MSA is pleased to announce that its motor sports insurance will be placed with SLE Worldwide Ltd from 1 January 2000.

SLE Worldwide are leading sports, leisure and entertainment underwriters. They have undertaken the risk at no additional premium.

In addition, on condition that there are no drastic changes, SLE have agreed to maintain the premium at its current level for at least three years, which means that the motor club ‘partners cash back’ scheme described above, will continue.

Mr Quenby welcomed the new insurers, adding: "I am delighted that we have been able to hold premiums at the level they were in 1996, a reduction in real

terms of nearly 11% on top of the partners cash back".

 

 

 

ILKLEY & DMC IS BRADSTOCK CLUB OF THE YEAR

Ilkley & District Motor Club have won the national Bradstock Club of the Year Award, becoming the first club to win twice (they also won in 1995).

Club officials will be presented with their prizes at the Motor Sports Association’s ‘Night of Champions’ awards evening on Friday 21 January, when the winning club shares centre stage with the winners of every British motor sport championship. The award winners were as follows:

Overall Winner: Ilkley & District Motor Club Ltd

(Member of the Association of Northern Car Clubs)

Ilkley assembled an excellent compilation of press clippings about the club’s activities during the year. They also published a 152 page book on the history of the club. The receive £1,000 for club funds, the Bradstock MSA Motor Club of the Year Trophy, and the time of a professional Development Consultant for their nominated regional association. An aware will also be made to the club’s press officer.

Second Overall: Lancashire & Cheshire Car Club Ltd

(Member of the Association of North Western Car Clubs)

Lancashire & Cheshire are an established club who promoted their brand widely during 1999 and enjoyed a 26% membership increase as a result. They receive £500 for club funds, a Bradstock MSA trophy, consultancy time for their nominated regional association and an award for the club’s press officer.

Third Overall: North Devon Motor Club

(Member of the Association of Central Southern Motor Clubs)

North Devon run a wide range of competitive and social events, and produced one of the best forward planning strategies of any UK club. They run initiatives to target junior members and family groups. The receive £250 for club funds, a Bradstock MSA trophy, consultancy time for their nominated regional association and an award for the club’s press officer.

In addition to the above overall awards, certificates will be presented to the best club from each regional association: Green Belt Motor Club (Assoc of Eastern Motor Clubs), Wigton Motor Club (Assoc of North East & Cumbria Car Clubs), Minis in Northern Ireland (Assoc of Northern Ireland Car Clubs) Sevenoaks & District Motor Club (Assoc of South East Motor Clubs), Weston Super Mare Motor Club (Assoc of South Western Motor Clubs), Shenstone Car

contd/..

Club (Assoc of West Midlands Motor Clubs), Historic Rally Car Register (East Midlands Assoc of Motor Clubs), Border Ecosse Car Club (East of Scotland Assoc of Car Clubs), Amman & District Motor Club (Welsh Assoc of Motor Clubs).

Allan Dean Lewis, Training & Development Executive commented: "In total, some 50 entries were received in the competition, representing clubs from 12 regional associations. The judging panel were very impressed by the high level of research undertaken by many clubs to submit a quality bid, and the time commitment which this represented."

Past overall winners:

Knutsford & District Motor Club (1993)

Aberdeen & District Motor Club (1994)

Ilkley & District Motor Club (1995)

Port Talbot Motor Club (1996)

Torbay Motor Club (1997)

Woolbridge Motor Club (1998)

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RECORD BROADCAST FIGURES FOR NETWORK Q RALLY

 

The UK television audience for the 1999 Network Q Rally of Great Britain set new records, with the number of adult viewers more than double the figure for 1998.

Preliminary statistics, covering only national terrestrial programmes, show a 26% increase in total coverage to 4 hours 23 minutes (up from 3 hours 28 minutes in 1998).

The total adult audience was 58 million (compared with 23.7 million in 1998).

Peak ratings on BBC2 were during their live coverage of the Blenheim Palace special stage, when the Rally obtained an audience share of 18%.

Figures for regional terrestrial and satellite channels will not be available until the New Year (in 1998, these broadcasters accounted for almost 5 hours of coverage and added over 16 million viewers).

Radio coverage was also significantly increased: the local radio service run on behalf of the organisers by The Broadcast Company was live for over 14 hours and reached a total audience of 328 million listeners.

 

FEBRUARY EVENTS

Feb 10/13 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP: Swedish Rally

Feb 19 Activ-Air North West Stages Rally: Preston, Lancs

Feb 19 NW Stages Rally: Three Sisters, Wigan

Feb 19/20 Motorsport Weekend: Brooklands Museum, Surrey

Feb 20 Kall Kwik Rally: Pickering, North Yorkshire

Feb 24/27 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP: Safari Rally, Kenya

Feb 26 Rallye Sunseeker, Bournemouth

Feb 26 Nuit Blanche Road Rally, Edinburgh

Feb 27 Autotest: Curborough, Staffordshire

MARCH EVENTS

Mar 1 1000 Puddles Rally: Edmundbyers, County Durham

Mar 3/4 Malcolm Wilson Rally: Cockermouth, Cumbria

Mar 5 British Historic Rally Championship:

Robin Hood Forest Rally, Worksop, Notts

Mar 5 Peter Lloyd Stages Rally, Pembrey

Mar 11/12 Powderham Historic Rally: Starcross, Devon

Mar 12 FIA FORMULA 1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS:Melbourne,Aust

Mar 12 Blackpool MC Rally: Three Sisters, Wigan

Mar 14/24 Rallye du Maroc Classic: Casablanca to Marrakech

Mar 16/19 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP:Rally of Portugal

Mar 18/19 Mobil 1 British Rally Champ: Vaukhall Rally, Wrexham

Mar 25/26 British Touring Car Championship: Donington Park

Mar 25/26 British F3 & Privilege GT Championships: Thruxton

Mar 25/26 Torbay MC hillclimb: Finlake, Devon

Mar 26 FIA FORMULA 1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP:Sao Paulo,Brazil

Mar 26 CAR Centre Charterhall Stages, Greenlaw, Borders

Mar 26 Dickens Tool Store Autotest: Hartlepool

APRIL EVENTS

Apr 1/2 Formula Palmer Audi car races: Donington Park

Apr 2 Prosport Tour of Epynt Rally, Llandovery

Apr 8 British Historic Rally Championship:

Astra Forest Stages, Llangollen, N Wales

Apr 8 Printagraph Granite City Rally: Aberdeen

Apr 8/9 British Touring Car Championship: Brands Hatch

Apr 8/9 British F3 & Privilege GT Championships: Croft

Apr 9 FIA FORMULA 1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Imola, Italy

Apr 21/23 FIA F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: British GP, Silverstone

 

The Almost New Year’s Day Autotest

I’m not sure which day would’ve been best, New Year’s day or 9th January when the event was actually run. Robert Newlove, quite wisely in my view, decided not to run this event on the traditional day due to the New Millennium (or Minnellium as it was described many times on the eve of the great day!). There is a hard core of about six competitors who regularly turn out on the first day of every year to pit our alcohol numbed brains against each other although we do usually adopt our ‘Party Pooper’ attitude the night before, such is the competition.

However, I was not feeling particularly chipper on the 9th due to a month long chest infection and a heavy cold contracted two days before the event. My long standing autotest partner Roy unfortunately cried off the day before for the same reason.

So, armed with a box of Kleenex and a jar of Vaseline (?) I headed off for Reader’s Transport yard in deepest Brandesburton. The event was also being used as a shake-down for the rebuilt gearbox following our retirement from the last autotest on 7 November at the same venue. The clutch had given up on that occasion, but Roy and I decided to have the gearbox rebuilt as all the internals were shot and had caused me many problems on last year’s ANCC championship. The oil pump had also required replacing, that particular unit only lasting a year (sucking in bits of gearbox perhaps?).

Bright sunshine and a heavy ground frost would be typical weather for this event. Most of the competitors were already there by the time I arrived though all the cars were still on trailers. Wishing each other a happy New Year took priority, but this was not extended to me when they found out I was ‘smitting!’ The loss of Roy was made up by a returning Graham Hardwick who hadn’t done an autotest for about 7 years. He was sharing Richard Wood’s Mini.

As usual there was only room (and marshals) for one test, this being run three times. The cars were ready, test one had been memorized and walked, but no-one was rushing to start. A bit of tactical ‘hanging back’ was being practiced so, despite having number 6 on my card, I decided it was time to get the ball rolling.

The first part of test one was a slalom which started almost at the far side of the yard. It was quite a long drag in first gear to get there and Heepy doesn’t take kindly to high revs, but I hung on to first ‘cos there was a 180° turn to start the slalom. I also knew I was the ‘guinea pig’ for the rest of the competitors to see how much grip was out there! The slalom was only 4 cones long and Robert had spaced them fairly easy though they had to be driven down then back up again. The bit everyone was waiting for was after the slalom.

Heading forward towards a ‘gate’ the map required a 180° handbrake turn to reverse astride the line. The interesting feature of this venue in winter is that the low sun only hits half of it so when it’s frosty, the grip varies greatly. The gate I was heading for was on untouched frost and Heepy had to be set up very carefully just in case there was less grip than I’d anticipated. Fortunately it worked perfectly and the test was completed without penalty.

Three of us were in the frame from the off. John Taylor, Dave ‘Shorty’ Short and myself. After the first 3 three tests I was almost a second ahead of John. It would’ve been more, but he popped in a very quick time on his last run. Shorty had a rather indifferent start, dropping 6.6 seconds to John and me.

Tests 4,5 & 6 involved ‘dipping’ into a line of gates in forward and reverse with a blast in reverse from the far end then flicking the front round to finish with a 360° round a cone. This maneuver also highlighted the other downside of the venue, parked articulated trailers! These should be avoided at all times though there was some debate later in the day as to whether a Mini would safely pass underneath the front of one. We all agreed Rob White’s Mitsubishi wouldn’t!

This second set of tests also saw the first mechanical failure of the day. Shorty grabbed first gear off one of the lines, dropped the clutch and was rewarded with no forward movement and the sound of a rattling CV. Whilst being pushed off the test he had time to reflect that the resulting washout (fastest time on that test plus 30 seconds) would do little for his chances of a good result as newly crowned NHMC Autotest champion of 1999. Early days yet Dave.

This was not a good time for Shorty and John Taylor to discover that most of their tools had been left at home! Autotesting being a good-natured sport though, they had all the tools needed before you could say "Doh!" Worryingly, I was the only one there with a taper splitter. It wasn’t until the job was nearly finished that Shorty realized he’d done all the work and was up to his elbows in graphite grease whilst John looked on! Their motto must be, ‘you bend it - you mend it’.

Andy Beaumont made a guest appearance about that time. He’d obviously just washed the Escort and came to show it off in daylight and catch up with some of his old NHMC pals. He couldn’t be tempted to have a go at one of the tests to show us how well his LSD worked though.

In the meantime the rest of us had been getting on with the test and by the time we’d all done 3 runs of it, Shorty had fitted the spare CV and the blue machine was ready to go again. John did his 3 runs while Shorty was cleaning himself up.

John pulled a tenth on me on the first run and we equalled times on the next. I’d had a good nose blow on the last and did quickest time snatching 2 tenths back. Shorty was still ruing his washout and dropping further back. Graham Hardwick was getting to grips with Richard’s Mini and popping in some respectable times.

The next set of tests were made up of four ‘gates’ set in a square round the edges of the yard. Each was a reverse stop astride, so precision was required in setting the car up on the handbrake. Robert certainly tested us on this one as some of the gates were fairly tight. A 540° turn round a cone finished off this test which flowed nicely despite its awkward nature.

John was credited with fastest time on one of his runs, but a lack of consistency meant Shorty beat him on the other two. My enjoyment of these three showed in the 6 seconds I pulled clear of John.

During this set of tests, Roy turned up for a short visit. He looked like I felt! In between tests and then during lunch we discussed the long overdue re-shelling of Heepy (originally bought second-hand in 1986 as an MOT failure). Unfortunately standing out in the cold while we were chatting made me feel worse through the afternoon.

So the halfway results after 9 tests were;

Howie 367.8 seconds

John 374.8

Shorty 416.6

Richard 434.4

Rob White 456.6

Graham 469

After lunch we tackled Tests 10,11 and 12 which were quite tricky with two reverses from a gate immediately followed by a flick forward to negotiate a 360° turn. The conditions at this point were still difficult. One side of the yard was relatively dry whilst the other was wet and very greasy with rubber and the inevitable diesel from the trucks that normally use it. The finish gate was in the shade all day and became very slippery with some inevitable overshoots and penalties to go with them.

These more technical tests suited me and I banged in a couple of sub 34 second times where Johns best was a 34.9. Shorty was smelling blood at this point and sticking in some more good runs to worry John, although he was still suffering overall due to his earlier washout.

 

It was about this time the ugly rumors started flying around. The accusation was that the Vaseline on my nose gave me an unfair advantage over my fellow competitors. Of course I strenuously denied the charge and, following a steward’s inquiry, the matter will now be decided at an RAC tribunal in March.

I always hate test 13! Not much finesse was required, more of a blast round cones. However, it did bring us into close contact with the artic trailers again. I’ll swear the back end of the car went under one as I handbraked a 90° left. John’s third run of this test was again quickest, beating my best by a tenth but, despite my second run being messy, I extended my lead by another 2.3 seconds after three runs. Shorty fell off the pace on this test, his time being 3 seconds shy of the best.

After walking the final test of the day I was feeling like death and ready to go home. The nose was playing up badly, so I announced I was going to sort it out before driving the tests. John Taylor asked me if I had time, alluding to my large (and at the time - red) nose. While I was sulking John put in 3 good times to pull a second back on me, but all too late, the day was over.

By the time we were all loaded up, Robert had the results for us as follows;

Howie 690.6 FTD

John 703.7 First in class

Shorty 754.7 Second in class

Richard 812.2

Graham 824.2

Whitey 843.6

All in all it was an excellent day with a good mixture of tests. The new gearbox was wonderful compared to its previous condition. Roll on the next event, same venue on 13th February. Why not come and watch, you might pick up some tips for the next 12 car (like avoiding ditches!).

Howie

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Beverley & District Motor Club Annual Dinner

Friday 18 February 2000

Dig out those glad-rags (and your cheque book!) and get down there.

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DITCH HOOKING

YOU CAN WITH A NISSAN!

 

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Witch Way Road Rally

Pendle & District Motor Club organised the above event, starting from Gargrave near Skipton. This being the first round of the ANCC Road Rally Championship.

Our two hero’s Gav Smith and Oggy tackled the event which apparently sported some daunting ‘fresh-air’ corners. These were tackled with Gav’s usual gusto (probably ‘cos he didn’t know they were there!) Gav’s only comment was that Oggy’s arse caved in! (What does that mean?)

Despite some wrong-slots on the night, witnessed unfortunately by Andy Beaumont and ‘Tin’ Rogers, 3rd overall was a good start to the season.

RR

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Bruce Robinson Road Rally 12/13 February 2000

ANCC Round

Lincoln Motor Cycle & Light Car Club

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Pople Landscapes Moorlands & Meadows Road Rally

26/27 February 2000 ANCC Round

Mid Derbyshire Motor Club

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Subject: Cars & Computers.

You’ll like this

The Bill Gates Car

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that get 1,000 miles to the gallon."

In response to Bill’s comments, General Motors issued a press release stating: ‘If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics’:

You’d press the ‘start’ button to shut down the engine.