Cloudy, warm weather greeted the competitors in the 9th round of the championship on Saturday, at the Lockerbie Lorry Park. Three tests were laid out, each to be attempted six times to count for the awards. Malcolm Livingston (Lindsay Special 1600) was in trouble before the start, having to replace a locating bolt in the rear axle, successfully completed with the help of 2 or 3 other competitors. The first round of tests saw Alastair Moffatt (Mini Special 1400) and Malcolm Livingston (Lindsay Special 1600) just 1 second apart, with Paul Fobister (Fobby Special 1600) a further 7 seconds behind. The Sports Car class was in the hands of local man, Willie Keaning (Striker 1800), with championship leader Chris Chapman (RAW Striker 1700) 4 seconds back. The saloon car class saw the renewal of the Knutsford battle between Toby Cook (Micra 1275) and Murray Walker (Nova 1600), Cook taking the initial lead by 9 seconds.
The cloud had turned to rain part way through the first round, and continued to affect competitors until the end of round 2, and produced some interesting times, though Richard Pinkney (Westfield 1600) thought it hadn’t made much difference to his times whilst still learning to handle his new car. On average, most rain affected times were 5 to 10 seconds slower.
The lunchtime scoreboard after nine tests saw Moffatt having a lead of 7 seconds over Livingston, with Fobister now 20 seconds behind. Chris Chapman was now up to 3rd overall, 20 seconds behind Moffat, and 10 seconds ahead of the battling Keaning and Pinkney in the class. Cook had expanded his lead in the saloon cars over Walker to 23 seconds, but Charlie Lower’s Mini 1275 was beating them both, 14 seconds clear of Cook.
The weather cleared up for the three afternoon rounds, and warm, dry conditions prevailed, allowing times to speed up considerably. Moffatt set off in fine form, pressurising Livingston into three small hesitations which were to prove decisive later on, whilst Chapman and Pinkney continued their private battle at the head of the sports cars, swapping times throughout the nine tests. Keaning collected a couple of penalties whilst giving chase, but not enough to fall into Dave Evans (RAW Striker 1600), who finished 20 seconds down. Lower’s Mini continued apace, but Cook and Walker traded various penalties which saw Cook prevail by just 11 seconds at the finish. All the drama was left until the penultimate test, where Livingston had completed one of his best times, then watched as Moffatt’s Mini Special came to a halt in the middle of the test with a broken driveshaft, and a maximum penalty. Moffatt replaced the driveshaft, again with the help of fellow competitors, and finished the last test. What were the scores? Livingston had set fastest time on the last test, but was it enough? The scoreboard said NO. Moffatt won by just 1.7 seconds to end an absorbing, furious day.
1st Alastair Moffatt Mini Special 1400 852-9 secs
2nd Malcolm Livingston Lindsay Special 1600 854-6
3rd Chris Chapman RAW Striker 1700 883-7
4th Richard Pinkney Westfield 1600 884-5
5th Paul Fobister Fobby Special 1600 885-8
Demon Tweeks BTRDA Autotest Championship Scores;-
1st Alastair Moffatt Mini Special 1400 138 pts
2nd Chris Chapman RAW Striker 1700 126
3rd Malcolm Livingston Lindsay Special 1600 125
4th Willie Keaning RAW Striker 1800 123
5th Paul Fobister Fobby Special 1600 114
Sunday “fun” Event
This is for the Sunday event I copy you all in so you can see what you have missed , Sunday was a great day weather held no rain although it did threaten for the afternoon , 5 runs at tests A & B set up as tandem tests completed by 12 and a deserved and popular winner Mr Paul Fobister
The draw for the afternoon event was done during the mornings driver briefing and some may say there were some finals run early on , our mornings winner obviously peaked and was knocked out in the first round “Fobby ” this was almost as popular an occasion as when he won the mornings event !!
Ian triumphant in his elimination of the King , waited to see who his next target was going to be ?
Jack and Toby Front wheel drive head to head , very close but Toby for the win with a missed gear from Jack
Willie and Chris next up as a 1st round final , Willie having tried most of the rear wheel drive entries had finally settled in Stephens Striker , unfortunately for Chris, Willie takes it until I am corrected I am sure this was decided by single cone penalty !
Phil and Charlie , Phil not looking forward to this but piloted the MX5 well but ultimately the road going MX5 was to big a handicap on these tests, Charlie progresses
On to the veterans run Dave Cook had secured a by to the second round but Kevin withdrawing meant Dave Evans needed some company ! once we got them shuffled up to the line some old dog skills were apparent but Dave now getting to grips with the striker secured the win
Drew and Stephen , Drew has been enjoying the morning runs and approached these runs the same smiling all the way round and enjoying every second! Stephen Progresses
Zack and Murray winner takes a by to the third round so all to play for , Nothing in it till the return direction and we can see Murray Pulling out a slender lead repeats on the B run and knocks Zack out , now has a we rest till round 3 !
Now every one has had a run and the tension rises no one had predicted the excitement or the pressure for driver and spectator the crowd not calling for one or the other but chasing both drivers on this is what I love about this sport and you all. Well most of you ! You know who you are ! Who doesn’t like Irn Bru how rude
Ian getting in his stride and determined not to be beaten by FWD pulls a commanding lead from Toby and is gracious in his success
Willie still in (Stephens Striker) shows no compassion during a strong run at A&B forcing colleague Charlie out who piloted Zack’s car excellently
Dave and Stephen this could go either way and I wasn’t looking forward to having to count with my crayons to sort this one out both stunning drives spectacular to watch both drivers across the tandem tests. Stephen Wins
Murray still having a Nap waiting for his call up having secured a by to the 3rd round
Ian and Willie – old dog versus young upstart tension rising, gear boxes straining, and there off, tyres squealing two runs later Willie Clinches the win and secures a place in the Final,
Stephen and Murray – not to be biased here but I was hoping for a good show from the FWD ship of Murray and boy did he nearly deliver !!! a finish line cone for Murray gave the win to Stephen without which we nearly had a Scottish Final , without the penalty Murray took Stephen by 0 .2 of a second fantastic runs.
We now have the problem that Willie has borrowed the car from his companion in the final Stephen, 2 choices we run individual timed tests and fastest wins or Willie drives another car , after a mad rush of cars getting strapped to trailers , you know I am not lying when I say Ian was still talking to some one and his car was still on the tar !!!
Ian kindly offered up the Riot for Willie to use because the spectacle of tandem test has gripped everyone and they want to see a tandem final
Cars Cooled, drivers slapped, time keepers ready they are off , nothing in it both drivers focused and pushing hard and then a cone !! no one has recovered from 5 sec penalty but the pressure of the final meant nothing was certain , Willie I know was wanting no distraction and just to get on with the second run having a 5 second advantage with Stephen hitting the cone meant nothing with still one run to go , nothing said quiet whispers and a hush in the control centre.
Second run everyone I mean everyone was as focused as Stephen and Willie watching for a levelling mistake or a missed gear but nothing , both having clean runs handed Willie the win , probably the most satisfying and dare I say important win of the season, I am not sure but that was a great spectacle and what a buzz !!!
Again I thank you all for coming to our weekend and look forward to seeing you next year
Results for the ninth round of the BTRDA Autotests can now be downloaded as well as those from the Sunday “Fun” event.