It was another resounding FTD to Neil Bray at Falcons Autotest on 13th September. Held, literally, in Neils back garden. Neil was chased all the way by Peter York in his Nova GTE, but Neil was not to be denied his day.
There were threatening black skies as competitors arrived at Upper Caldecote. Fortunately the rain held off but an overnight downpour made conditions nice and greasy, without any real mud. Ideal conditions for a grass autotest. Neil Bray started the day with fastest time on test one in his Mini, just under a second quicker than Martin Cheshire who is really getting to grips with autotesting his Polo. Peter York started slowly but soon warmed up to be quickest on the third test, but his leisurely start to the day put him two and a half seconds behind Neil at the lunch break. Martin Cheshire, was fighting off a challenge from Chris Saunders, who was co-driving his Polo, and Arnold Lane in his Mini. The three being covered by less than a second, so close was the competition.
In class B John York and Mike Hayward were level pegging at the break, but Mike really got his act together after lunch and took the class at the end of the day, by a clear five seconds, in his unique rear wheel drive Escort Mk3.
Simon and Matt Robson were autotesting their Tempest for the first time and came away with first and second in class C in their nimble little machine. Neal Masters was hard on their heels all day in his Locust, but with a longer wheel base, and a little to much power for the conditions, had to give best to the nimble Reliant Kitten based machine.
Neil Bray really put the hammer down in the afternoon, setting fastest time on all of the tests for FTD. Peter York chased hard and stayed in front of the rest of the pack to take the class win in front of Arnold Lane and Chris Saunders.
Results:- FTD Neil Bray (Mini) Class Winners:- Peter York (Nova GTE) Mike Hayward (RWD Escort Mk3) Simon Robson (Tempest)
There were some interesting bits and pieces on the competing cars this time. Mike Haywards ex-Autocross Escort has sprouted a full set of seats, ready for its Classic Trials debut later in the season. Arnold Lane has fitted an electric fan on his autotest Mini to keep it cool between the tests. It was getting a bit hot and bothered during the summer, but strangely he has not had the same problem with his similar trials prepared car.
Simon and Matts Tempest went very well. Its limited power output proving no handicap on the greasy grass. All is not well the road though, as it lost top gear on the trip home after the summer run and its still not been found! Talking of gearboxes Neil Bray had his Trials Skodas box re-built during the summer and it came back with five reverse gears after A1 Gearboxes put the crown-wheel in the wrong way round!
It was nice to see Ian Lawsons Dutton Phaeton taking part. The species Dutton is certainly growing within Falcon. We now have at least five. John Boswell has his ACTC championship winning Phaeton, the one achieving national fame when it carried Top Gears camera on the Lands End. Then we have another Top Gear star in Fred Gregorys Melos and similar models in the hands of Martin Sheppard and Andy Clarke.
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