|Grass Gymkhana - 6 August 2017|
sun was making its presence felt as, members and friends arrived at
Rumbling Bridge, near Kinross for a bit of fun, testing our driving
skills in a grass field.
collection of cars spanned almost a 100 years. Taking oldest, but by no
means slowest, was Branislav Sudjic in his 1914 Stutz Speedster. open
to all the elements, this fine machine had been driven to the event
from home near Pitlochry. It has been some time since the Stutz
has been seen on a club event, but the car did return to its roots in
America in 2014, to celebrate the 100th anniversary. Branislav drove
all the way from east coast to Los Angeles on the west. Now thats what
I call endurance driving.
Gesa Walker arrive din her Mazda
MX5, joining my own MX5 which I was going to use on the event. Duncan
Massie and Jenny McKay arrived in their 1984 Citreon 2CV, another
car that we have seen on previous club events. John Mellon was joined
by Paula Mellon in his authentic bright orange 1974 Ford Escort Mk1
RS2000. Would those wide tyres work on damp grass was the big question.
Graham Morris and Cheryl Ann Hanlon arrived in a splendid BMW
Z3, another modern wide tyred car, ideal for fast tarmac tracks but
soon to be tested in the damp. Will traction control help?
from Inverness were members and committee members Dave Spence and
Roddie Main. Both would help with the marshalling and the scores,
though Dave could not resist having a go in his 2002 BMW 325Ci
Organiser George Shand had set up a few teaser
trials for us, with most of the cars being driven over the tests by two
drivers. A simple one to start was driving across the field to stop
between two canes. The car with the least gap between door/wing mirrors
or widest part and canes was the winner. Sounds easy, but the driver
had to call the width from the start line to the end marshal. To close
and it would touch. Try it over a distance of 50 yards and you'll see
its not that easy.
Spanner in the air is a favourite for a
Gymkhana, so we had one too. Driving in a circle, keeping a line with a
spanner tied half way along tight enough to stop it touching the ground
sounds simple. Too tight and the cone holding the centre will topple
over and disaster. Too slack and the spanner will dip down to the
grass, and disaster again. The trick is all in keeping the right amount
of lock on the car to form a s near a perfect circle as possible.
for some 'blind' driving. Our 'blind autotest' course had the navigator
do all the work. Instructing the driver, who of course is now
blindfolded, to drive round cones, into a garage, without touching
anything is hard enough, but then to reverse back is pushing self
control to the limits. Just as well we were not recording the
crew conversations. Mind you the laughter would probably drown
out the crew comments.
An uphill 'trial' was where grip was all
important. Tough enough in a straight line, our course twisted and
turned all the way up, with a final hairpin taken at a 30 degree angle
just to sort the drivers from the day trippers. The 2CV is designed for
carrying hay bales on a farm, but front wheel drive on skinny tyres
meant lots of wheel spin. However Duncan and Jenny got it under control
to reach the top successfully. Gesa Walker in her MX5 did very well
too, unlike me who wondered why I ground to a halt at the last and most
difficult turn. A quick look to see the handbrake full on was the
answer. Must learn to drive sometime!
John and Paula Keeping the spanner off the ground
the wide tyred Escort and BMW Z3? The Z3 managed remarkably well, while
the Escort did have a few rear wheel spins on the way. Karcher
required to clean it up later. The Stutz too was pretty good
though changing gears is a full time job, which makes a few growls too.
had a go at all the trials at least once , we could see the clouds
forming and the rain approaching from the west. This is summer in
Scotland after all. We decided to retire to the pub, well where else,
for a meal and a chat over todays fun. Branislav and the Stutz
headed off quickly home, to keep ahead of the rain. So would I if I had
no weather protection should it rain. Jenny McKay collected the overall
prize of 'bubbly', for her clean sheet in the itreon 2CV..
enjoyed this our first Gymkhana event, one we have picked up a few
pointers to make it bigger and better for our next attempt. A great way
to spend an afternoon with friends.
|Published 9 August 2017|