There were fourteen entries for Falcon’s second Autotest of the season in
Neil Brays back garden at Upper Caldecote. Unfortunately two of the entry turned
up without cars! Ed Nikel couldn’t get his Imp started after an open door
flattened the battery so came along to marshal. Michael Leete has been
concentrating on his mountain biking this summer and didn’t check his Nova out
beforehand. Unfortunately all was not well with the brakes as one of the
callipers had seized and worn the pads down to the metal. Unfortunately Mrs
Classical Gas hadn’t noticed the noise on the family shopping car!
Mike Hayward and John Newberry were in charge and Mike had laid our some
different test, the idea being to have two sets of cones laid out and to have
five different routes round each to give ten tests.
Ed Nikel and Michael Leete weren’t the only ones to have car trouble. Neil
Bray hadn’t used his autotest Mini since last summer and it refused to start
until points, plugs and a few other electrical bits were changed. There was yet
more trouble when Keith Pettit fired up Frogeye “Toad” at home. Normally the oil
pressure is around 60psi when cold, dropping to 45 when warmed up. Unfortunately
there was only 30 on the gauge and after a few miles it dropped to zero. Keith
phoned home to get a tow home and pick up another car to make the start.
Arnold Lane set the fastest time on test one, nearly a second quicker than
Neil. Then on the long test two it was Keith Pettit’s turn and he really flew
round to be more than a second quicker than either Neil or Arnold. Although
Arnold was still narrowly in front overall. Neil gritted his teeth and posted a
real flyer on test three to take an overall lead he was not to relinquish for
the rest of the day. This test saw the end of Peter Manning’s hopes, as
penalties added another thirty seconds to his total.
Roger Dudley was fastest on test four. Roger was competing in the Production
class, sharing the family Mini with Jackie, who contrary to my last report is
not the Stock Car Web master, that is sister Christina. Then on test five David
Manning was set the best time, five different competitors setting the fastest
times on the first five test’s.
At the half way stage it was Neil Bray in the lead on 140.2, followed by
Keith Pettit on 142.0 and Arnold Lane with 143.1. Arnold and Neil tied for
fastest on test six and then Arnold was joint fastest with Keith on test seven,
but not enough to get up to Neil. David Manning was the fastest on test nine but
the order remained Neil – Keith – Arnold – Roger until the last test when Roger
put in a super time to get in front of Arnold to be third fastest at the end of