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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.
June 2003 - Part 1

Arnolds Spring Fever

Arnold Lane was the winner of Falcon’s well-supported Autotest opener, setting FTD in front of Bob Tatum and the hard charging Keith Pettit and Peter Mountain. Roger Dudley won the well-supported production class in his Mini, coming very close to Arnold’s winning times.

Arnold Lane being presented with his trophy for FTD by Clerk of the Course Andrea
Martin Cheshire in his new Montego Estate
Jackie and Roger Dudley
Geoff Hodge in his Wetfield rather than his trials RDT
Laura and Andrew Dudley
 There were sixteen starters for the opening round of the summer Autotest series. This was an excellent entry, considering a number of the regulars had travelled down to Brands Hatch to lend support to Neil Bray’s circuit racing début, while the Autotest took place in Neil’s back garden!

The organisation was in the hands of Andrea Lane and John Newberry, but Arnold didn’t get to grips with Andreas first test. It was Jim Mountain who was fastest in the family Dellow, making it’s competition début after exhaust problems prevented it starting on The Lands End. Bob Tatum was flying as well in his familiar Fiat and he was only just behind Jim.

Test two saw Keith Pettit fastest in his familiar Austin Healey Sprite with Roger Dudley taking the honours on test three. Arnold soon steadied his nerve and flew around test four to lead into the break. In class A Bob Tatum had fallen behind Arnold a little but was keeping his Fiat in front of David and Peter Manning in their familiar Mini. Simon Groves was leading class C in the trial’s Escort, ahead of Martin Cheshire’s Montego Estate. John Groves was third and last in class but as he was driving a huge Mercedes E class Estate he was probably really the leader judged by seconds per foot!

The experienced Keith Pettit had pulled a fraction ahead of Peter Mountain in the open car class after Jim had a disaster on test two. Geoff Hodge was another to have a disaster, with a WC on test three. Geoff was driving a smart red Westfield on this occasion instead of his trials RDT.

The Production Car Autotest was going very well with five entries. Roger and Jackie Dudley were sharing a Mini, Andrew and Laura Dudley Rachel a Mk2 Escort and Rachel Lane was driving Arnolds Mini. It was very good to see this class so well supported as it provides the ideal starting platform into club MotorSport. An ordinary driving licence is not necessary, you can take part at fourteen years old and best of all you can carry a passenger to help you find your way around the cones!

After lunch Arnold continued his winning ways to set FTD and Bob Tatum won class A. David and Peter Manning had to retire after test five but were classified as finishers as they had completed more than half of the tests. Simon Groves won Class C although I think John was the real winner for having a go in the big Merc!

In Class D Jim Mountain set some very fast times in the afternoon but not enough to recover from his test two debacle and Keith was the winner ahead of Peter Mountain when Geoff Hodge had a WC on test seven.

Roger and Andrew finished first and second in three Production Car Autotest but I am sure they will agree the stars of the day were the three young ladies who all drove very well and we look forward to the day when they give their old Dad’s a real thrashing!

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