East Anglian Classic 21 June 2014

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GavinR
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East Anglian Classic 21 June 2014

Post by GavinR » Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:32 pm

East Anglian Classic 21st June 2014

My first rally of the year, based near Diss in Norfolk. There were 45 cars entered this year and we were running car 5 after finishing 3rd last year. Georgina Clark was navigating as usual, although it was the first historic she had done since this event last year.

The event started with a long regularity out of the start to take us over to the first test venue. We'd set the trip against the measured mile, but it was under reading a fraction on the regularity section so we were early at the first 3 controls, then got held up following a local which made us late into the 4th control, so not a good start.

The first 4 tests were at a farm last used 2 years ago and I remembered it being quite rough, but the tracks had been regraded since then and it was good this year. There were 2 tests run twice, and they all went well, we were equal quickest on one run and in the top 5 on the others.

Back out on the roads for the second regularity, I asked George to adjust the trip slightly to try and make it more accurate, but I went the wrong way and we were still early at the next control. George adjusted it the other way and it was a lot better after that, we got to the next control spot on time and the next 2 we were very close. This took us to 6 tests at Thorpe Abbotts airfield, 3 layouts run twice, the first just cones on a concrete runway but the other 2 more interesting around the perimeter track on a mixture of gravel and broken concrete. We struggled on the first layout, only managing 10th quickest each time, but the first run of the second layout we were fastest by 5s as a lot of crews went the wrong side of a cone and got a 10s penalty. On the other runs we were 5th or 6th, definitely closer to the top crews than last year.

The lunch halt was also here and we sat out on the grass chatting to the other crews in the sunshine. At this stage we were 6th and the only worry I had with the Scimitar was the steering wheel moving up and down a little. This was traced to the bottom u/j sliding on the pinion splines so I did the pinch bolt up even tighter which helped a little.

After lunch there were 3 regularities in a row which sounds difficult but the middle one was off road round an airfield so a different challenge to the normal ones. The first one went well, only dropping a few seconds here and there except for the final control where everyone was slightly late. The airfield regularity worked very well - we had a series of tulips defining the route of roughly 3 laps but slightly different each time - each tulip had a time beside it and we were managing to average 30mph without too much trouble although we were confused by the location of the final time control and arrived 18s early (most other crews had a similar problem). The 3rd regularity was ok, a bit early everywhere but no mistakes from George - I turned up a side road that turned out to be a farm track but George reversed the trip while I reversed out and we got back on time without any problems.

The next 4 final tests were back at Thorpe Abbotts, similar to the morning tests but run in the reverse direction with the 2 gravelly ones run as one long test, all done twice again. I was trying hard on these and on the second run through the longer one we started 30s behind a Triumph 2000 and managed to catch him at the finish, not bad on a 3 minute test!

The final regularity was plot and bash, made slightly harder this year by giving the navigation at each control rather than all of it at the first control. First section George got down quickly and we were just 1s out at the control. The second section was a 'herringbone' type of navigation which George is not that keen on - she couldn't make it work all the way, so we stopped briefly and I couldn't make it work either, but we had the first few miles on the map so continued driving while trying to work it out. Finally we realised what we had done wrong but by this time we were 26s late. The 3rd section worked better, only a few seconds early here at the final control.

At the finish we handed our paperwork in and had a buffet dinner while waiting for the results................

When the results were first published we were surprised to be 1st overall - we'd had a good day, but not an amazing day so didn't expect to be leading.
There were some discussions / queries about a particular reference in the first part of the plot and bash navigation - 8 crews (including us) had got it right and 35 crews had got it wrong, driving a shorter distance and arriving roughly 60s early.

To cut a long story short, after the queries were rejected, the crew lying in 2nd formally appealed to the Stewards of the event who, after some deliberation, allowed the appeal and this demoted us to 5th. Ironically, the crew in 2nd were still in 2nd, with the 3rd placed crew moving up to 1st, having gained more by the penalties being scrubbed for that one section.

If we'd been 5th at the finish we'd have been happy, but to be 1st and then be demoted to 5th through no fault of our own, was disappointing to say the least.

There were some positive things to come out of the day - our speeds on the Tests were a good improvement over last year - we were 4th quickest on Test Times, instead of 8th last year.

Thanks to George for a great job all round, to the organisers, marshals and everyone who helped put the event on, it was a great pity it ended how it did.

Picture from Andy Manston of M & H Photography - there's a cone just out of sight on the left and George is pointing to the next one!

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Re: East Anglian Classic 21 June 2014

Post by CNHSS1 » Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:58 pm

enjoyed reading that :-)

great shot on the lock stops too 8)


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Re: East Anglian Classic 21 June 2014

Post by scimjim » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:45 pm

Brilliant - car's looking good too :-)


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Re: East Anglian Classic 21 June 2014

Post by Roger Pennington » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:54 pm

Good result, and a great photo - well done to you both! :D :hurrah:


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