First of all I must apologise for posting Prestcott results in 3 Sisters column and vise versa Oooops ! late at night and I had brain lapse. Now all corrected as can be seen from the Southern and Northern results attached. Apologies to all concerned.
Now that the driving for this year is complete, the results collated and published it's time to celebrate and party. As you all know the Northern Dinner Dance is held at Shrigley Hall, Pott Shrigley on 24th November Attached is request for tickets and info re booking rooms. PLEASE RETURN TO DAVID RAINSBURY and not me. Anyone who thinks they have a trophy to collect should send a photograph of their car for engraving purposes. I need these photos as soon as possible. The Dinner Dance for the Southern Series is to be held at Limpley Stoke Hotel on 24th February. More about that next month.
The Southern Series have had their Drivers Meeting and many interesting points were raised which have to be discussed at the Northern Drivers Meeting which is held before the Dinner Dance at 4.00 pm. Any other points that are raised will also be discussed by the speed committee at their next meeting held at beginning of December. The results of which will be sent to you all before Christmas with a draft calendar and regs for next year. More about that in the next newsletter.
Now from your notes on the last few events Eelmoor 3 Sisters and Castle Combe from David David and Jim.
Eelmoor was very much a 'game of two halves'. The morning was dreadful and the afternoon got better, as you will see. Non-existent marshalling or advice on arrival, quite annoying to queue for 10 minutes to sign on only to be told you have to scrutineer first, most odd. The course was a bit like a mirror image of Curborough only around twice the size so much faster. Good smooth tarmac and huge flat run-off areas, but precious little grip even when dry.
A casual start at 9.45 and then suddenly it was gone midday before first practice runs were complete. The organisers then did their sums and got everyone to agree to a course change to remove the second lap round the top loop, otherwise we would still be there! FDMC have used this venue before so there really is no excuse. It was dry until around midday but the drizzle turned into heavier showers as the day progressed.
I drove like a complete idiot and cocked up both practice runs by having to stop and reverse back onto the track, at the same corner. Andy Bush and David Butler having a bit of a ding-dong battle, and Carol going well too. No lunch-break, but straight into the timed runs at 2 o'clock. David's BGT died halfway round and came back in behind the Land Rover, some sort of electrical gremlin which we thought had been fixed but then it died again in the queue for the second run and he only took the single point for all his pains.
That left Andy putting the pressure on me, but fortunately the change to the Bridgestone wets after practice had sorted me out and the thick head cleared enough to give me the class. Carol stayed ahead of a rapidly improving Ralph Higson in the Midget who in turn just beat the F-VVC of Marc Hanson who is also quickly getting it all together.
Good to welcome a new face in the form of Phil Taveria in the MGB at only his second event. Carol seemed to get 3 awards but I'm not sure why. And the fastest MG ? The only car there that I REALLY would love to have - an MG Metro 6R4 of course.
The weather forecast for Three Sisters promised 2 inches of rain and storm force winds for the ten hardy pilots who venture to the final round of the Northern Championship. However, whilst scrutineering took place in the drizzle, the rain stopped in time for practice and a steady breeze, plus the odd glimpse of the sun, resulted in a dry track for the two timed runs.
Talk of the paddock was the attractive moss Andy Long had cultivated in a miniature terrarium attached to his Arkley (that's a leaky reversing light full of algae to you and me). Rumours that Chris Mansley would refuse to scrutinise Andy's car unless he washed it proved unfounded.
In the Group "A" class, the BGT of Keith Williams wrapped it all up on his first run. Keith's Co-driver Nick Yates fended off Richard Watkinson's Sprite for second place by just 4 hundredth of a second, leaving Richard to rue a 'moment' on his first run.
Merged Groups "B" and "C" was another MG versus Austin-Healey battle. Midget mounted as ever, John Wilman's 1.7 second 2nd run improvement overturned Steve McKie's 1st run advantage, to take the class by just under three quarters of a second. Philip Broadhurst's Midget followed the Sprite home for third spot.
Group "D" was another Terry Pigott benefit, the big V8 too much for yours truly, despite getting under the class target time by 3 hundredth of a second! Andy Long rounded of an uncompetitive day in third. Perhaps the moss or the muck were slowing him down?
What a day! As if the troubles of this season weren't enough, you get a 20+ mile tail back on the M4 at 7.00am on a Saturday morning on your way to the circuit. Well that isn't completely accurate. The M4 was a car park, being completely closed at Swindon, the tail back was on every A and B road trying to find it's way past from London to Bristol.
But, once past the morning's small exercise in navigational prowess, the sprint was pure MaGic. With a field of 29 championship competitors drawn from almost all the classes, and on a steadily drying track the sport was unbelievable. A damp practice session saw several spinners, foremost among them Steve Holford, demonstrating the style that earned him the prestigious trophy (I can call it that, 'cause it's sitting on my mantelpiece at the moment) "Spinner of the Year" in 1999, in his Standard class days. It's funny though, how much faster you rotate with the extra 40 Bhp in a Road-going Modified car, particularly when your chasing Adrian's new class record time. Speaking of which, it was great to see both Steve and Adrian getting down into the 90 second times, the only Midgets to do so on what is essentially a power circuit, more suited to V8s than anything else.
It was also nice to see Max throwing the Montego around his home circuit, and I do mean round.....around and around... as he carried just a tad too much speed into Bobbies on his second timed run. Methinks Mr Tyler also seeks the coveted spinner trophy.
But on a more serious note, the level of commitment on what is still and awesomely quick circuit, was stunning. There were more MGB's sideways than is really decent, and I'm sure Revelation Racing are getting help keeping their cars on the track. How Keith got it around Quarry I will never understand. Then again, when the rest of us just turn in and pray we don't have quite the same direct line. But "King of Commitment" for the day had to be Chris "fyffes" Cooper in the MGC GT. I watched from outside Quarry on the first runs and swear to you, no word of a lie, he did not even lift until after he'd cleared the crest, and not a sign of a brake light. Mind you, second time around and I watched him through Tower. Talk about last of the late brakers. He practically ploughed a furrow from the marshal's post trying to get some speed off, and still used every bit of curb and some. No wonder he pipped Tel to fasted MG of the day with a new class record of92.58.
Other close battles of note were between Niall Campbell and Philip Methuen in the Standard MGBs, where less than 2/10ths separated them, with Philip ending up on top. A similar small margin separated the TFs of Bruce and Russ Morgan, which after the first runs seemed unlikely, but somewhere on the second lap Bruce found almost 6 seconds, but sadly it wasn't quite enough to beat the young upstart. You'll have to stop this you know Russ, otherwise dad'll make you play with your own toys.
So, at the end of a gloriously sunny day, in late October, we can close this year's championship season, and look forward to 2002, hopefully free of F&M and other disruptions. Although, as someone did point out, there are an awful lot of Southern events on MOD land........