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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.
August 2003 - Part 2 - Added 29 July 2003

Keith Pettit sets FTD at July Joust

Keith Pettit being presented with his award for FTD by Falcon Treasurer John Newberry

Keith Pettit broke the recent Mini domination by setting FTD at Falconís July Joust Autotest on 27th July. David Manning gave Keith a real run for his money for most of the event but the pressure told before the end and Keith took his well-deserved victory despite breaking his steering wheel.

 Thirteen competitors lined up for action in Neil and Allison Brayís back garden. It certainly wasnít an un-lucky day though, as although it was a bit damp the heavy overnight rain had stopped and although the field was a bit slippery to start with it soon started to dry out. Andrea Lane and Mike Hayward were in charge and Andrea had laid out a series of tests where the cones stayed in the same pace all day even though the start and finish were at the opposite side of the field in the afternoon.

 There were Miniís galore; seven of the entry was in Longbridgeís little marvel. Ed Nikel had his new black Mk1 Golf Gti, which looked pretty smart and sports a Cornish registration. Ed found the car on the Internet through E-Bay and it only required a new clutch before it was ready to be blooded in competition. Richard Tompkins has added to his Imp collection by acquiring Edís old white and orange car and bought that along for a run.

 Simon and Matt Robson were competing in their first Autotest of the year. Matt was in his smart pale blue Mini. Simon was driving his familiar Liege. It may have looked familiar on top but a look underneath revealed that it has a new Suzuki/Bedford Rascal back axle.

 Arnold Lane got straight down to action, setting fastest time on the first test with Simon Robson demonstrating he had lost none of his old skill with a time only a fraction of s a second less, just in front of Keith Pettit.

 The second test was to determine the outcome of the event. It was a straightforward up and back wiggle-woggle. The problem was that the cones were a tad close together and it needed a perfect line to get up and back without having to reverse. Keith Pettit and David Manning were the only two competitors to mange it. They both set an identical time of 26.6. This was three and a half seconds quicker than Arnold who was the next along. It was particularly tricky for the larger cars and Ed picked up penalties on both of his runs. 

Keith set the fastest time on the next two tests as well to be three point seven seconds in front of David Manning at the lunch break after Keith produced another storming time on test four where Roger Dudley was the only competitor to get within two seconds. The pair were a long way in front of Arnold Lane who was lacking his usual consistency. 

Rachel tried to explain the right line but Arnold didn't listen!
Ed Nikel in his new Golf GTi
David Manning was a contender for FTD
Bob Tatum provided relief to the Mini domination

The weather had brightened up quite a bit and the free draining nature of the land made for dry conditions in the afternoon and there were even signs of dust before the end of the day. Keith held onto his lead for the rest of the day, even though he didnít set any more of the fastest times.

David Manning was quickest on test five and Simon Robson on test six. Then just as the day was drawing to a close Arnold Lane got the bit between his teeth to produce storming times on the last two tests. Arnold couldnít get to Keithís overall time but it was good enough to pip David for second place overall and win Class A.

 Keith was lucky to hold onto his lead because one of the spokes on his steering wheel snapped during the afternoon which prevented him from really throwing the Spridget into the turns for fear that the other two would break as well!

 Roger Dudley was a lonely fourth a fair way in front of a slowly recovering Simon Robson who seemed to go faster as the ground started to dry out. Peter Manning had a bit of a disaster on the last test when he got a double wrong course and he fell behind both Bob Tatum and Matt Robson.


 Keith Pettit certainly went well in his Midget, even without a limited slip! Keith took part in another clubs Autotest the previous week and found he was practically the only car without one!
 It was shame that the CSMAís Grasshopper Autotest was on the same day just up the road at Stanbridge. I donít know how many entries they had but there were quite a few Falconís who might have had a go if it wasnít for the clash. Something for the committee to avoid next year?
Simon Robsonís Liege sported itís third different axle since he has had the car. It started with a Reliant unit but this proved un-reliable as Peter Davis rear suspension design put to much strain on the split case design and it refused to keep itís oil in place. This was soon replaced by an A series unit. This was not ideal, as it had to be narrowed by cutting and welding and shortening the half shafts, which is never really satisfactory, as they become a weak link.
 Designer Peter Davis then came up with the axle from the little Suzuki/Bedford Rascal commercial vehicle, which is a meaty unit and comes with a low 5.1 to 1 ratio. It came courtesy of Arnold lane and after having the necessary brackets welded on it now sits under the Liege, complete with a new specially shortened prop-shaft.



Bob Tatum		Fiat		398.9	
Arnold Lane	Mini		359.0	1st Class A
David Manning	Mini		359.6	2nd Class A
Peter Manning	Mini		412.9	
Martin Cheshire	Peugeot 205	434.7	
Matt Robson	Mini		406.7
Ed Nikel		Golf Gti		485.7	
Richard Tompkins	Imp		457.6	1st Class A
Keith Pettit	Spridget		353.0	FTD
Simon Robson	Liege		379.3	1st Class C
Roger Dudley	Mini		368.3	1st Production Class	
Jackie Dudley	Mini		524.9
Rachel Lane	Mini		493.8	Best Novice	

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