Lake District Classic Rally - 28 June 2015
Report by Maurice Ellsion (Clitheroe & DMC) photo Keith Thomas
afternoon following the G&PMC Memorial Rally I get a phone call
from Ian Dixon. “I need a navigator for the Lakeland Classic. Are
you free?” I check the Calendar and say yes. My son sees me
writing the event on the Calendar and pipes up “ Oy. You‟re
running me to Manchester Airport at 10 on that day!” Quick reply
from me “ I might have been but I am not now. I am doing the
Lakeland Classic. You will have to catch the train”
following the Memorial I then get a phone call from my eldest daughter
“ Following my 40th birthday party on Saturday the 27th of June.
Can you have Freddie (My Grandson) to stay. We will be pretty zonked
out after the party and you wont be staying late will you?. And we will
pick him up Sunday afternoon”. Party! What party? I had not
written that on the calendar either. Lots of pleading and my sister in
law agrees to stay the weekend at my house and look after grandson on
the Sunday .
Still going Rallying.
Saturday before the Rally
and I get a phone call from work “The job on Monday to Banbury
has been cancelled so can you set off on Sunday and go to Hastings
instead?” the polite answer is NO but I can go Monday and come
back Tuesday if that‟s OK (Not what I actually said but near enough).
Half an hour later its confirmed that I am off to Hastings on Monday.
Still going Rallying.
Later on Saturday I get a NESCRO update
from Bob Hargreaves and discover that my ride (Ian Dixon) is lying in
second position behind his brother-in-law in the NESCRO Championship.
No pressure then! Saturday night and off to the Daughters Party. She
was born in 1975 and we have been told we have to go in „70‟s
gear. Not much of a prob-lem for me (other than the expanding waistline
and where are my platform shoes?) I still have a wardrobe full of stuff
Tell the Sister-in-Law and Grandson that we will have
to get away at 10pm - I have to get up early „cause I am go-ing
Rallying. Eventually get home at 2pm. Its going to a struggle to get up
in the morning at 6am.
Get to Truckhaven in Penrith (Start
Venue) for 7:15 and have breakfast with Ian Dixon. The car is well
sorted and the Left hand side of the cockpit is a dream. Everything you
want within easy reach with plenty of storage for maps and clipboards,
pencils, pens, highlighters - you name it and its exactly where you
want it. Turns out Ian used to work for Brittish Leyland Competition
dept in Abingdon and had spent 2 years building the car from a shell
upwards. And a very fine job he has made of it too. Goes like stink,
handles well and even stops despite having original brakes, although it
does have racing pads and fluid.
Scrutineering & noise done
and we get the route instruc-tions. Easy Peasy : only 32 Map References
to plot and an hour and a half to do it in. 19 Tests, No Regularity and
just 2 maps (90 & 91) Total Mileage 65
test is at the Start Venue at Penrith Truckstop. A fast flowing test
but its up and down the roadways between an endless amount of parked up
A.W.Jenkinson Articulated trucks. Get it wrong and hit one of those and
its rally over and a big bill from Jenks.
Out of Truckstop and
on to the A66 to Rheghed round the roundabout and head back down the
other side of the dual carriageway to Tests 2 & 3 at Penrith
Auction Mart. When organisers of Classic Rallies give you Test Diagrams
they always state that they are „Not to Scale. Test 2 is
certainly not. On paper it looks big and simple. In truth it is tight
and far from simple with the addition that the first corner is shown as
a 900 left followed by a 900 right. Both corners are hairpins not 900s
and the test area is tight making it hard to tell one cone from
another. The finish Marshal (Paul Gillighan : see Inside the Industry
page 59) tells me that 1/4 of the crews got a wrong test here.
3 is still at the Auction Mart but a far longer and flowing test,
however we dont see a cone and do a 1800R round the wrong one and get a
Test 4 is round one of Paul Birds Chicken factories
near Lanwathby and we almost miss going round a cone near the finish
(bloody „not to scale‟ again) Test 5 is another of Mr.Birds
chicken factories : no problems on this one. Test 6 is yet another of
Mr. Birds and Ian either isn't listening or I am not shouting load
enough but he ignores my repeated instructions, misses out a cone and
another wrong test. Test 7 is a re-run of Test 4 with no problems other
than the car overheating and running rough and Ian trying to add an
extra cone or two to a slalem.
Test 8 is a cracker, loved it. Fast and easy to see the cones. Running rough seems to have gone away.
9 and we are warned that in one corner the farmer has been moving
‟muck‟ and to watch out its very slippy. Must have dried up a lot since
they set the test up and we got there. We back off on approach and then
it wont go round on the handbrake and we have to do a 3 point turn.
10 & 11 are re-runs of Tests 2 & 3 at the Auction Mart. Spot on
this time : no Wrong Tests and then its back to Truckstop for a repeat
of Test 1 & then Lunch. Ian tries to get extra value for money by
going the wrong way and doubling up on the slaloms but I manage to stop
him in time but we are slower than the morning run.
and back to the Auction Mart for the 3rd run of Tests 2 & 3. Should
know it by now! 6 secs faster on Test 13 (T3) and on Test 14 (4) we are
going like a train. So much so that we slide over the Stop Astride line
and incur a 10sec penalty. Bugger!
Test 15 is a rerun of Test 8 (they one I loved) Love it even more the second time around and take 4 secs off our earlier time.
16 and 18 are at Waters Farm with Test 17 being a test at British
steels Quarry at Shap. Good run on all three of these but once again
the Farmer had been moving „Muck‟ and it was very slippy through
the farmyard and on the exit road up to the quarry. We were well
sideways all the way up that road.
Test 17 was the final test
and it was back at Truckstop. This time the route had been changed from
those run earlier and was a little more taxing in both driving and
calling the turns. All in all (despite the wrong tests) a cracking good
day out. A very well organised slick event with some brilliant tests
and a super drive from Ian. Loved it a lot