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Classical Gas is an independent web site and is not affiliated to any of the clubs or organisers of the events featured. Words and Pictures by Michael unless attributed otherwise. Michael is a proud member of the MCC, ACTC, Dellow Register and Falcon amongst others, but does not represent their views nor the views of any other organisers or clubs.
 
May 2003 - Part 2

Lands End 2003

Brians Lands End Jonathans Lands End Peters Lands End Patricks Lands End Verduns Lands End

It was a dry Lands End this year and dust was a big problem on some of the sections. It certainly wasn’t a Falcon friendly event with many members falling by the wayside and retiring.

This years Lands End Trial was really two separate trials following a roughly parallel course. The "normal" trial (shown in blue) and "Class 0" (shown in Green).
Check out more Lands End Reports by Brian Sussex - Jonathan Laver (Class 0) - Peter Mountain - Patrick Osbourn

It had been very dry in the West Country prior to the Lands End. In fact it was reckoned to be some five weeks since it rained. As a result there was a lot of dust about and some of the sections were pretty rough.

The start had been bought forward as part of the organiser’s efforts to get the event to finish at an earlier time and all the Popham starters left in daylight. Clive Booth didn’t join them as he decided not to start after a horrible vibration on the way down from Hatfield. Closer investigation revealed that the pivot bearing on the rear A frame was completely worn away, allowing the axle to move about, so Clive decided not to start, taking the Dellow Rep home to pick up the daily driver and head back West to spectate on Beggars, Crackington and Blue Hills. Clive had better luck than Peter Mountain who didn’t even make the start in his newly re-built Dellow!

There was plenty of room at the North Petherton grouping control, where the Liege’s were all parked together, including the “old number one” machine of Peter Davis, loaned to MCC Committee man Alan Foster for the occasion. It didn’t quite have the grunt of the Foster Morgan +8, especially as the promised blower didn’t materialise and the two SU’s weren’t in the greatest tune!

The approach road to Felon’s Oak was very dusty, a sign of things to come. There was plenty of grip, and the section wasn’t on the doctoring list, so it didn’t present to many problems. The road to Minehead wasn’t an easy one for John Parsons as the steering started to go a “bit funny” on the corners. By the time the Buggy got to Minehead it was almost un-drivable and there was a horrible noise coming from somewhere at the back. Leaving the town JP pulled into the nearest lay-by, got the jack out, and soon found that one of the inner rear wheel bearings had completely disintegrated. There was no way this could be repaired so John and Dot limped back to Minehead and were on a recovery truck back to Stoke Hammond by 4am.

Stoney Street was very rough in the dry. It didn’t present to many problems for the cars, but all was not well for one of the crews as Mike Hayward had started to feel really poorly. Michael Leete found a convenient lay-by to stop for a while and they continued, but Mike felt worse and worse and the Beetle turned for home when the route crossed the A361, but not before failing the Beggars re-start when Michael stopped far to low in the box.

There was a holding control at The Culbone Inn where there was some frantic work amongst the Liege community, with various clutches being adjusted. Simon Robson had to get his handbrake working before Beggars after having to hold the car on the clutch at Felon’s Oak. Simon wasn’t the only one grovelling under the car trying to fix his hand-brake in the dark as he was soon joined by Andrew Brown whose had given up on the Stoney Street startline but unlike Simon he couldn’t get his fixed and had to do the rest of his re-starts “on-the-clutch”.

Beggars was pretty rough in the dry, with a lot of loose rocks, especially in the re-start area. Colin Perryman got a pucture here but still got away OK and went on to claim a gold. Ross Nuten was in trouble as his Dellow was using-up more brake fluid than petrol. Verdun Webley donated a litre can but this was soon used up and Ross became yet another Falcon turning for home for an early bath.

Daylight was starting to break as the cars arrived at Riverton which didn’t present to many problems for the cars, although some of the bikes found the ruts at the top a bit deep and John Lees got a foot knocked of the peg. Simon Robson was able to dive underneath his Liege again to check the back axle, which had been leaking earlier in the trial. All was well and the crew carried on but began to slip further and further back down the field as they kept stopping to check the car.

Sutcombe saw the end of Verdun Webley’s Lands End. The axle twisted on it’s mountings, ripping the UJ out of it’s lugs, breaking one of them in the process. Verdun and Mike Pearson dived under the car to assess the damage and it was soon apparent that it wasn’t repairable without new parts. An Easter holiday with the ladies was planned so they had to go on down to Cornwall. Phoning home Dorinda and Frances were just on their way so they diverted to pick up the stranded crew, leaving the Marlin at Sutcombe. Over the weekend Verdun made a tour of the Cornish scrap-yards and managed to find the necessary parts, stopping back at Sutcombe on the way home on Tuesday to fix the car and drive it home.

Verdun Webley and Roger Hooper leaving Popham Airfield in their Marlins
Nick Farmer on Crackington in his MG Maestro (picture by Tim Hellings)

Up until now Patrick Osbourne had been going well in his nicely prepared Skoda, complete with children asleep in the back! Unfortunately the clutch suffered a bit on the Sutcombe re-start. They continued but there was another re-start to come at Darrcott and this finished the clutch completely. They managed to limp out of the section and telephoned Britannia Rescue to take them down to St Ives for their family holiday.

Crackington had been doctored as usual, but only the class eights had to re-start. It wasn’t a formality though and Dave Nash and Neil Bray spun to a stop in the doctored bit. Team Liege had some problems here when Chris Sewell sputtered to a halt. The fuel tank outlet had fractured, but they continued with the bouncer holding things together by hand until they found a shop that sold super-glue and fixed everything back together!

Class Eight competitors arrived at the foot of Treworld to be greeted by a friendly marshal asking them if they had read their route card! Closer examination revealed that only the yellows had to stop here, so the class eights were able to blast up without any difficulty, although at the expense of a ruined rear tyre for Dudley Sterry.

Warleggan wasn’t too much of a problem, and neither was Hoskin, where the yellows had a much easier re-start than usual and were able to blast up. There were quite a few clean sheets when the cars arrived at Bishops Wood but this was to change on the Yellow and Red re-start. Like last year it was on the steep bank after crossing the track, but this time it was right on the steep slope, positioned so that even if cars stopped just in the box the rear wheels were still on a steep slope, which seemed to have experienced an extremely local shower of rain! This was where the MCC slimmed out the Triple list and only the real Supermen retained their clean sheets. For the record the following are now allowed to call themselves Clarke Kent :- Dudley Sterry, Tony Young, Eric Wall, Tim Whellock, Roger Bricknell and Tommy Kalber.

Action on Bluehills 2

(pictures by John Salter and John Lees)

John Looker and Keith Vipond in Class 6
John and Shirley Beaumont in their very special Reliant
Two of the "Supermen" who had earlier pulled away from the Bishops Path re-start. Dudley Sterry/David Wall and Tim & Anne Whellock displaying considerable skill in getting their very long Fugitive around the tight corners.
Bluehills 2 wasn't a happy experience for everyone. John Bennett did quite a bit of damage when he hit one of the banks in his delightful Renault.

The route wound it’s way towards the coast, an ever-increasing dust cloud announcing the approach to Bluehills. No problem on “One” but “Two” was a different issue. There was an enormous amount of loose dust, rock and stone on the re-start area making it very difficult for the restarters to get away. Even if they did their problems were not over as the spinning wheels threw up huge clouds of dust that the tail wind blew past the cars so the drivers couldn’t see the corners at the top properly!

In consequence the banks relieved a fair amount of bashing, and early runners Mike Relf (Opel Manta) and John Bennett in the immaculate class 4 Renault, did quite a bit of damage to their cars. Clive Booth was spectating here and thought the Liege’s went really well, being nimble enough to negotiate the deviation with ease. Dave Nash and Neil Bray weren’t so lucky and were unable to get away on the restart. As the cars went through so much of the loose material was blown away, but then they started to dig holes, and by the time Dave Haizelden came through as the last car it looked as though the section had been cluster bombed!

With the dry weather and the earlier start time the event finished pretty much on time and competitors were able to “enjoy” the delights of their Newquay Hotel! Or not as the case may be as both Dave Nash/Neil Bray and Simon/Matt Robson were so disgusted by theirs they refused to stay there. Dave drove home and Simon managed to take over Brian Osbourne’s room as the MGB had broken it’s back axle. Popular opinion is that the trial itself was enjoyable and well organised. All it needs next year is some rain in the weeks before the event and to move the finish back further West!

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