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
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
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
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.