GavinR's Se5a Project

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Post by scimjim » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:56 pm

That’s not very good. The computer doesn’t check age of car when the tester puts in a fail, so you would have had to complain to DVSA. At least you know not to go back there as they obviously can’t read!

Even for cars newer than 2001 you don’t have to have a steering lock if there’s an alternative means of security.


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Post by MikeyBikey » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:47 pm

Glad you got sorted gavin. I too have a sympathetic mot man, and it makes a difference in interpreting the regulations.


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Post by GavinR » Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:44 pm

The final event I did in 2017 was the Ross Traders Historic in July, finishing 8th

Here is a report of what we've been up to in 2018, written by Carrie

Bluebell Run Classic Tour – May – Forest of Dean

With the Scimitar having sat in the garage for 9 months (bar its MOT and a shopping trip with myself to buy a new car), and the Leukaemia not running this year – we decided to give one of the non-competitive Classic Tours a go. The Bluebell Run, organised by Ross Motor Club, was chosen as it started a mile from home and meant I could finish work at 7.30am and still make the start in time! We arrived at the start which was at the Mining museum on the Speech House Hotel road and scrutineering consisted of: ‘’Do you have an MOT?’’ ‘’Yes – would you like to see it?’’ ‘’No it’s ok so long as you have one!’’ Compared with what we are used to, this made us chuckle!

As usual the Scimitar was a little bit ‘’rough and ready’’ looking compared with the amazing (and immaculate) array of other classic cars. We started off using some familiar roads around home which would normally be used as road sections on the Wyedean Stages Rally. It was nice to do some sightseeing instead of worrying about average speeds and regularities, we usually get distracted by posh houses, large estates and historic aircraft on the proper historic events and forget we’re supposed to be changing speeds or averaging 22mph – although Gavin at one point did suggest we get some much needed practice and use the speed tables to give me something to do! I cannot repeat my reply – I was enjoying not doing much for once!
Going over May Hill, we had time to get a marshal to take a photo of the car in the bluebells, then toured around the Ledbury area before returning to Ross on Wye and the route took in a visit to a Cider Farm which I was very well behaved at and spent nothing. We had a nice dinner at a river side hotel in Ross and got to know a few crews, but decided we were secretly too competitive natured to do these on a regular basis – especially when most crews around us kept getting lost and followed us to go the right way!

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East Anglian Classic – June – Norfolk and Suffolk

The Chelmsford Motor Club event returned to the Norfolk and Suffolk lanes having been based in Essex for a few years. We travelled there on the Friday and enjoyed watching the planes as we passed the Duxford museum. After unloading at the start hotel we went to scrutineering where we found cakes being sold for charity and the diet went out the window! The Scimitar passed noise and scrutineering and we headed to Stowmarket to find our very cheap and quiet AirBnB self-catering cottage – we had dinner and plotted everything we had to while a monkjac deer happened to pass through the pretty garden!

On the first road section (!)
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Saturday morning and we got the regularity sections to plot which we did pretty quickly and then headed off. Our usual average regularities were going ok with no wrong slots, hesitations or big blunders. Then came the tests. These were, shall we say, rather disappointing compared to the previous years – 6 miles in total all based at the same airfield – a few longer open sections where we could gain with the power and ruggedness of the Scimitar – but mainly quite twisty and lots of 180 degree turns around cones. I can only liken the technique to do these in the Scimitar to the anchor turns on the Pirates of the Caribbean films which need hours of preparation and setting up and at least half a mile to perform the manoeuvre (go watch the films again and you will understand)!

I was told off mid test on the first one as I was thoroughly over excited to see a fly by taking the place by the battle of Britain Memorial Flight as they made their way to Great Yarmouth air show – who can blame me, not often you look up and see a Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire flying overhead! Damage limitation was the name of the game on these unsuitable tests and then onto the regularities again. We got to the finish and enjoyed a lovely buffet laid on by the hotel and found ourselves 6th overall and 2nd in class which we were happy with. The detailed results showed we were 5th on the regularities and 13th on the tests!

On one of the Tests
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Ross Traders Historic – July – Ross-on-Wye

Another nice local event – we scrutineered the night before and came home to have dinner and do the plotting in comfort. The event started at the Ross on Wye cattle market and as usual we got the regularities plotted quickly. The first test was around the cattle market and we received a round of applause near the finish with a lovely “donut” around the final cone in such a big jalopy. We then headed off to the first regularity, again the morning went any problems but occasionally the distances were a bit out. Two more tests back at the cattle market, again receiving much admiration of Gavin’s car control and we headed out into the country again. A lovely lunch was followed by my favourite – plot n bash navigation whilst driving to Mitcheldean for a good test at the business park. Then our big disaster regularity – typically the one that almost passed by home – a miscommunication in the car and me not being decisive enough, led to a massive wrong slot losing us 4 minutes. We tried to get back on track with the distances and timings but never really managed to. A few more tests at Goodrich Castle proved so dusty we were driving blind at times, I thanked god that Gavin had been to the venue before, so I was very trusting when I read out square right and square left around pond and he couldn’t see beyond the bonnet yet didn’t back off! The Scimitar set some impressive times at these two tests and we headed off to the finish in Ross. Simple you may think – follow the road book map to the pub you may think – yes, but no! It was very warm inside the car so both windows were wide open and we were doing a steady 60mph on the dual carriageway back to Ross when I went to turn a page and the wind grabbed hold of the road book and whipped it out of my hand and straight out of the window! Thank god we didn’t need it anymore! Gavin reminded me of this on the next event whenever we had the windows open and I have navigation or maps in my hand!

Overall we ended up 7th overall despite the disaster – the detailed results showed us 12th on the regularities and an impressive 4th on the tests.


St Wilfrids Historic – August - Yorkshire

We’ve done this event twice before and really enjoyed it with good results – so after a year off we decided to go back to Ripon. We travelled up on the Saturday and got through noise and scrutineering quickly before going a lovely pub we stayed in two years ago – as the room has a very useful table for plotting the navigation. We plotted what we could the night before and were pleasantly surprised to find that 6 out of the 8 regularities were plot n bash

It was raining in the morning but luckily it cleared up by the time we started and it kept the dust down at the forest tests. First regularity started just outside Ripon by the race course and the shorter, but very busy sections, with lots of speed changes in a short distance, seemed to suit us as I couldn’t get so distracted by the lovely scenery on route! It seemed we were right and the plot n bash sections helped us as I was getting them on the map quickly and Gavin is very good at driving the first few miles on his own – checking the speed tables and telling me where he was on the road so we could keep travelling along smoothly. I also enjoyed the fact that we may have been able to play a psychological game with the cars around us (as well as my self-confidence) by plotting on the move and starting the sections immediately while they stopped and plotted.

The Boltby forest tests (used years ago on the Riponian stage rally) were brilliant and suited the powerful Scimitar and Gavin’s ability to drive practically blind as all I had was a hand drawn diagram that had far less corners on it than there were! We were just about stopping at the codeboards to write them down without wasting any time, although one we sailed past a bit too far but I was sure I could just about make out the letters and told Gavin to go – thank goodness I read them correctly as we didn’t get any penalties!

Lunch halt was at High Paradise Farm Tea Room in Boltby forest and we enjoyed baguettes and cake with the chickens, dogs, ducks and horses. Off to more tests in the forest and we were really enjoying getting the Scimitar sideways and it handles surprisingly well – despite having a close look at a ditch on the exit of a hairpin! A few cars retired in ditches on these tests so we prayed and the car just kept going in its normal rugged style. A few more regularities before the finish and we were pleased to be only dropping a few seconds here and there and keeping on par with the more experienced crews who are out regularly.

A lovely carvery at the finish and the results were taking a while, so we left our number with a friend and fellow competitor and started the 4 hour journey home knowing we’d had an enjoyable day and would be in the top 10. On the way home we had a message to say we were 4th overall and 2nd in class. Detailed results showed us 3rd on the regularities and 9th on the tests.

Footnote: An error in results (the last Regularity penalties were not included) means we should move up to 3rd overall, subject to MSA approval.


With no more events until next year, the Scimitar is back in the garage and will be taken for a full valet at my local car wash who advertise that they clean rally cars!


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Post by chrisgallacher » Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:49 pm

Thanks for the write-ups, Gavin and Carrie! Great to hear what you've been up to this season :)


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Post by GavinR » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:09 pm

Another year and I got the Scimitar out over the weekend for a bit of a drive around South Gloucestershire

It hadn't been moved or started since last August, but started up easily and was running well once warmed up
After greasing the front suspension and tightening a wheel bearing I went to the local MOT station and passed without any problems

(I know I could declare it as MOT exempt, but having an MOT gives me piece of mind that someone more experienced than me has passed it to be roadworthy, especially with the events I do)

Plans for this year are just 2 rallies, one in Kent in early June and the usual trip to Yorkshire in August :D


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Post by GavinR » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:23 am

Hughes Historic Rally - 1st June 2019

To make sure the Scimitar was ready for the year, Carrie and I did our own "Tour of the Cotswolds" in May, covering 150 miles without any problems, we found some lovely roads and byways and stopped for a quick look around Badminton Estate :)

Before the Hughes I gave the Scimitar a good check over, tightened the exhaust in a couple of places, greased everywhere, checked all the fluids, replaced the rubber fuel pipes with newer spec rubber pipe, fitted a better passenger wing mirror that I can actually see out of and finally a set of full race rear brake shoes - I was running fast road before and they sometimes overheat so I wanted to try something else!

The Hughes has been running for many years and is based in Kent, starting and finishing near Brands Hatch. It was not an event we had done before but it is known for good tests and tricky navigation so sounded like a good challenge. Last year's navigation was on the website so we practiced on that which always helps.

There was a healthy entry of 54 cars with 40 historics and 14 more modern cars doing a clubman event but following the same route and instructions as the historics. The evening before the event we were given all the test maps and most of the Regularities so we plotted them - some took a bit of time and we had trouble with one section trying to find a campsite on the map in a sensible place but we got there in the end. Talking to other crews at the start, they had similar problems and some who had bought the maps a couple of days before the event (instead of a couple of weeks) found they didn't have any campsites marked at all as a new edition had been published!

The first Regularity was quite short and we were a little late at the final control but nothing to worry about.

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Next we went into Mereworth Woods, an Army Training Area which was used for a Jogularity (which is a type of Regularity often used on private land with tulips for navigation and times given to be at each tulip). This is sometimes simple and sometimes difficult, especially when you have never been into a venue before. We dropped a total of 50s in here compared to the top crew's 11s but a lot of others could not keep to the pace. It was great fun though, at one point we were 5s behind a Volvo 144 who was 5s behind a Porsche 911, all doing a steady 30mph through the trees!

Back out on the road for the 3rd Regularity, a longer 30 mile section with 4 controls. Once again we were late at all of them and it seemed that our tripmeter was reading slightly long so when we got to the coffee halt we adjusted it to try and correct the error. It was a bit strange as it had seemed accurate in the woods. At this point we were 6th overall.

After coffee we had another short Regularity and this proved difficult for everyone - the organisers had warned us about a difficult Give Way junction and decided to position a marshal there to help us exit the junction, but there was too much traffic for the marshal to be of any use, so after waiting for over a minute, I edged forwards and someone let me out. Then it was trying to catch up the lost time and the next control was unmanned so we just had to put down the time of day and didn't know how far out we were from the time schedule - if this sounds confusing, it was very confusing for us and we had another control to get to at the right time but we couldn't work that out either! So we lost a lot of time here. Talking to other crews later on, it seemed to be down to luck whether they got out of the junction quickly or not.

Finally we reached Hole Park Estate for a few Tests before lunch. The first Test started in a large field where a 6 foot path had been cut through some long grass, finishing with a short loop of gravel. We followed our instincts through the grass and I kept my foot down around the gravel loop and set the fastest time for the historic section :D

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The second Test was along a concrete farm road which didn't suit us as well, but the 3rd was around an even bigger field, great fun but I clipped a cone and we got an extra 10s penalty.
This took us to lunch where we had moved up to 5th. It was a good lunch and Carrie had time to enjoy the sunshine / sort out the maps ready for the afternoon, while I had an extra helping of cake!!!

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The only problem was when we went to leave, the Scimitar started and died a couple of times (which it often does on when very hot, I think due to fuel vaporisation) and then the starter packed up :oops: So Carrie ran off to grab Alan Wakeman who was out in his Peugeot 205 a couple of cars behind us, while I got the tow rope ready. Alan towed me round the field a couple of times and I managed to bump start the Scimitar and we made the control with about 30s to spare :D

There were 2 more tests in Hole Park similar to the first 2 then onto another Regularity, this time with 2 controls and it was the one with the campsite in the navigation. We drove round our route and it was only when we were nearing the end we thought we might have gone wrong as we hadn't seen a single control yet - we had been expecting one near the campsite but there was nothing there. A further look at the map and we spotted our mistake - there was a shorter route to get to the campsite so we had missed a control.
This event cancels the worst lateness penalty at any control for each car (it's one way of trying to remove the element of luck from the results, e.g. if 5 cars get stuck with a herd of cows, then they would get that penalty removed), so we decided it was better to go back and find the control rather than carry on and get a 5 minute penalty for missing a control. Back on the right route we found the control and everything was fine, we were just 15 minutes late on the road now.

The next test was at a farm, short but interesting, we were 6th quickest here.

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Another Regularity took us to an afternoon tea halt - this time we got caught up with another competitor who was not quite doing the same average speed as we wanted to so we lost a bit more time here, and also missed a codeboard although we're not sure how - either I drove past it or it had gone missing (as all the cars after us missed it as well).
To make up time we drove into the tea halt and straight back out again (I couldn't have turned the engine off anyway!) - we were 7th at this point.

There was one final Regularity which went surprisingly well given the problems we'd been having with the other ones, then it was back to Mereworth Woods for 5 tests. These were very good and it helped to have done the Jogularity in there earlier so we knew what to expect, although I did manage to overshoot one junction and clip a cone on another test, but we set some quick times.

At the finish we had a good meal but the results seemed to be taking a while so we decided to head home as it was getting late and we had a 3 hour drive, and we didn't think we had done well enough to get an award! After a hour or so driving, Carrie checked the results online and we were pleased to be 5th Overall and 2nd in Class :)

We hope to be back next year and hopefully the experience will help us to do even better!

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Post by philhoward » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:32 am

Sounds like a tricky event but very well done to you both - a great result! :D


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Post by chrisgallacher » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:26 am

Great write-up Gavin, thanks! Steve Joyce and I did the Hughes in 2017 and it was a tricky event, but like you we really loved the sections in Mereworth Woods :D

Brendan Gibbs and I have entered the East Anglian Classic in a couple of weeks in the Sabre, so we'll let you know how we get on!


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Post by Roger Pennington » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:04 am

Well done, Gavin and Carrie. A good write-up, and some good photos :) An excellent result to top it all off too!


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