Batman & Robin – Members Report

Batman and Robin get wet in Devon

AKA The Prima Stages @ Smeatharpe

The summer season was barren of many things and as it turned out sunshine was one of them, along with stage rallies, which was predominantly due to the lack of sunshine causing the cancellation of the Boconnoc Motorsport Carnival sadly. So, summer was all about sitting back and chilling from a rallies perspective this year, although there was plenty of other local motorsport going on around the area for those looking for their fix.

My fix was satisfied in early September, or should we call that late summer, where I had an entry in with Dan Gibson (Cornish pixie) in his Darrian T90 Batmobile on the Prima Stages up at Smeatharpe, organised by the team from Bournemouth and District Car Club, taking us just North of Honiton on the old discussed RAF Upottery WW2 airfield, so a local event in the overall scheme of things. As the weekend approached, we basked in relative sunshine, the previous weekend had seen a bank holiday weekend surpassed by none, the sun was high in the sky and the beaches were stacked (and I had sunburn) and all was good in the world, it was truly a British summers weekend. During the week it had been much the same, with some really good weather meaning it was certainly shorts and t shirt weather, sitting out in the garden in the evenings sipping Pimm’s and Vino, all remained good in the world.

As the weekends rally approached, we did what all rally people do nowadays, and we checked our weather apps on the phone, and it wasn’t looking pretty, on the Saturday, as I sat in the garden with my cuppa thinking all was still good in the world, my app told me different. As rally people, we do tend to assume the worst so the night before the rally, we packed food, drinks, and warm clothes and waterproofs, despite the evenings gorgeous sunshine, we are rally people, we normally go prepared for every eventuality.

On the day of the event, we awoke at 4.30am, when I say we awoke, I awoke, Sam just grumbled and bumbled around blearily eyed. She most definitely wasn’t awake. I pulled back the curtains to reveal that summer was officially over that morning and the rain was torrential and it all looked bleak. Ever hopeful, we both thought it might get better. Despite the app. We dragged the various supplies to the car (in the rain) and loaded up, stopping to pick Sam’s brother and nephew who were coming along to watch on their first ever rally. 5am, and its still raining, Ill bet they were super excited. Super.

Logistically things went well, we were coming from Plymouth and Dan’s Darrian along with Mark and Andrew Clayton in their mini were coming from Falmouth in convoy, we all arrived at the same time, unloaded (in the rain) scruitineered (in the rain) and set the service area up (in the rain) and were also joined by Simon Heywood and Kev Moyses in their yellow peril Honda Jordon. In the rain.

By 7am we were all sorted, signed on and ready to go other than tweaking tyres, checking fuel and general chit chat, the service area was full as there was a big entry for this one, so there were cars and vans everywhere so minimal space to get around, but generally speaking it all worked and everyone was happy. Except for the rain. It was raining, not sure if I noted that. Fortunately the awning we had covered us. Unfortunately the wind was bringing the rain in sideways, so it was damp at best, soaking at worst. And another downside of rallying is that you must service on a tarpaulin of some sort, by the nature of what they are, they are waterproof, thus stopping any spillages getting to the ground below. It also stops the rain from draining away, so within half an hour of the tarpaulin going down, the area was awash with standing water where we wanted to service. It was a sign of the day ahead.

Getting on to the actual day ahead, come our due time I squeezed in to the Darrian, its not graceful but it works, strapped myself in, wished Dan good luck, and off we went, stage 1 was wet, did I mention it was raining, and we set of in to Smeatharpe with 2 laps to run, no dramas overall other than a minor hold up as we came to the split for the second lap with a fellow Darrian in front of us, much slower than us and clearly much keener to hold his position on the stage as he sat in the middle of the stage and held us up, as it turned out only for about 5 corners, it was their first run on the stage, and after 5 corners something broke and they had no choice to pull over. Not only was their stage over, but their day was over.

Dan’s a bit of a granny when it comes to his performance and he frequently beats himself with a wet celery stick while he’s driving, bemoaning that his granny could have driven faster etc, I think it’s a trend amongst drivers as they all seem to do it, he was all apologetic over the stage worried that he was braking to early, going to slow etc etc, to be fair, it felt alright to me, but also to be fair, im an idiot who holds a picture of the route, so in reality im just there for the ride. The stage conditions were officially wet, lots of water everywhere so a cautious drive was probably for the best as the RWD configuration of the Darian doesn’t inspire you in the wet, naturally assuming that the front wheel drives and 4wd would have the advantage. As it turned out, it was a good stage with a 5th fastest time, we didn’t initially check as knowing how he’s going isn’t good for Dan’s nerves, he frets, so we don’t worry to much in the early stages, we go as well as we can and see how it goes.

Stage 2 was much the same, a good clean run, similar stage conditions, but we improved our stage 1 time by 16 seconds putting us 3rd fastest and 3rd overall at that point. Our lack of knowledge over how we were doing was ruined by a text from Ben Parker saying we were going well and were 3rd, Dan didn’t have a melt down as it was and we continued in the same theme, with every stage going well and Dan living the dream as we blasted around the stages. We spent a lot of the day chatting to competitors around us comparing times etc and generally having a giggle. Drive of the day was from another ASWMC championship contender Darren pool/Chris Beer in their 1600cc super 1600 type spec Corsa, he was flying and laying in 2nd overall, we were swapping a second here and a second there with them, in fact the 2nd to 4th places were all by a whisker, swapping seconds each time, but all generally holding position, Martyn England in his Ford Fiesta R5 Evo plus super mega bit of kit was out in front by a reasonable margin each stage, driving the socks of the Fiesta its fair to say, and none of us were ever going to catch him with conditions as they were, so we continued the fight through the day for the highest place non 4WD car.

 

The day was thereafter fairly undramatic, Dan put in a very good drive, very clean and tidy, generally winding the Darrian up a bit more every stage to keep with the group we were fighting with, Dan was very calm, the pressure was handled very well, the car was going well and everything truly was good with the world, except of course, the weather which just seemed to get worse. Stage 7 being the penultimate stage of the day, we all went in holding our positions and pretty much 2nd to 5th set exactly the same time such was the consistency of our group, stage 8 also saw us all hold our positions and finish as we had entered.

We were delighted that the Darrian had taken us to a 3rd overall and 1st of the 2 litre cars and indeed the RWD cars, at the start of the day we were all a bit doomy due to the weather but it goes to show a clean and tidy drive in the wet pays dividends, Dan did a brilliant job all day, kept focussed and pushed on hard to give us the result. Overall an awesome event despite the weather, giving Dan good experience in the Darrian under challenging conditions and also for Dan a very good haul of ASWMC points putting him in 2nd in the ASWMC series with a mathematical chance of winning, with 2 events left to run were of to Caerwent at the very beginning of October and then Bovington in late November, plus fitting in a grand tour to Jersey for the fantastic Jersey rally in between as well, so watch this space for updates as we go.

 

Dan Gibson/Alf Chanter

Darrian T90 Batmobile.

Know you Tatra from your Alvis? Car recognition quiz is here!

It is Car Recognition Quiz time again. Or more precisely Thursday 23
November will be.

The venue will again be the Plume of Feathers in Mitchell with all proceeds going to

Macmillan Cancer Support here in Cornwall.

Do you think you know your cars and parts of cars! Then why not enter and come along and try to beat some of of the other teams that have won in the past from the likes of

Merlin Farm who scored 228 points in 2015 and Scoobytwits with a score of 222 and by the way these are very high scores!

The team with the highest score will be awarded the Paul Munro Trophy for the year.

 

Any people interested are requested to send the following details by post to:-

Nigel Stephens

7 Glenfeadon Terrace

Portreath

Redruth. TR16 4JX

 

Team Name, 3 Team members name, Contact details, telephone & email. Along with this information an entry fee of £15 on a cheque made payable to Nigel Stephens.

Spaces are limited so get your entries in asap.

 

 

 

Porthreath Sprint the Results – now with pics!

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What a weekend, we held our first sprint on a new course at R.A.F. Portreath. After nearly a couple of years planning by one of our sub committees it finally came to fruition. Using the tarmac roads and runway at the MOD base the course came out just in excess of 1.5 kilometres. With this being the first one we had a number of conditions to observe, the main one from MSA was that we were not allowed to run single seaters. The MOD also gave us a number of things to do and observe one being no photos to be taken in any form. However, we were allowed appointed photographers and once the MOD have approved all pictures we should be able to release them. Hopefully on the next event we will have some of the conditions relaxed if we get a good report from both bodies.

Over the weekend we had over 70 drivers competing, with the Sunday event being the best supported. There was also a good variety of cars, ranging from some oldies like an MG TA 1937 and a Riley Brooklands, these two vintage cars ran in class A1 along little Mini and Peugeot 106. Then you have in class A2 a bit quicker machinery, like a Lotus Elise and 106 Rallye etc. in class D2 we have some spectacular machinery like a Mini with 4-wheel drive and 2.5 motor under the bonnet, another 4-wheel drive is the Subareno Cliopreza this was once a standard Clio now having Subaru running gear with a ‘blazing’ 2.35 motor. We had a good selection of rally cars in class D3, ranging from a Mini Cooper and a few BMW’s with mark 1 and 2 Ford Escorts. Also in this class, it was great to see and hear the Metro 6R4 running. This brought back memories of when we used to have about a dozen of these fabulous 6R4s competing in the Tour of Cornwall.

Even with Saturday starting a little later than planned competitors still had the 2 practice runs and two timed runs with an extra timed run thrown in and on the Sunday even with the bigger entry we still squeezed in a third timed run.  With this lengthy course running through narrow roads to start ending up with a fast finish up the runway most drivers had miles of smiles! Keep an eye out for a list times together with the results, it will prove to be interesting reading.

As with most first-time events you have problems to overcome but with the weather being kind to us and the support of our officials, committee members, marshals etc it all came together nicely. From the comments over the weekend and from social media and other sources it seems everyone was upbeat. However, from the positive we also had a few suggestions on how improvements could be made, all will be taken on board when we have the debrief meeting and the committee will act on it over the next few months.

Just keep watching T.D.M.C. website on updates for this new event.

 

An Evening with David Richard & Friends from the Aston Martin Owners Club

Truro & District Motor Club are pleased to announce another evening in St Mawes with our club president Mr David Richards on Saturday 14th October

Full details of the event –

‘The Story of Aston Martin’

Club President David Richards has on behalf of the Club invited a number of guests to come along and give presentations on this very British marque.

The event will be held at the Memorial Hall St Mawes on Saturday 14th October 2017 commencing at 8.00pm, it is a ticket only event and we have priced them at a very reasonable cost of £15.00 each.

After the normal expenses, the remaining money raised will all go to two local charities – The Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust and The Cornwall Urology Trust for Prostate Cancer.

Speakers will be:

David Wright, a longstanding member of the Aston Martin Owners Club and aficionado of the brand, who will talk about how the company started and the pre-war years of Aston Martin.

Maitland Cook, who knew all the key members of the 1950’s Aston Martin Race Team, will talk about the David Brown era of the company.

David Richards, who will bring us right up to date with the latest motor racing activities from when they launched the DBR9 in 2003 right up to the most recent Le Mans success and their new car for next season.

And Marek Reichman, who is the current Vice President of Aston Martin and responsible for the design of all the current cars, who will talk about the present vehicles and the future of the company.

Quite a line up, which bodes well for a very exciting evening.

The post code for the memorial hall is TR2 5DJ, it is up the road opposite the Idle Rocks hotel. You should use the general car park as there is very, very limited parking in the hall road.

There will be tea and coffee available during the mid-evening interval.

 

Tickets, which MUST be purchased in advance are available from:

Tony Wood tel. 01209 200751 or tonybwood@btinternet.com

Bob Eddy tel. 01726 64170 or bob.eddy@btinternet.com

Cheques must be made out to Truro & District Motor Club. Payment can also be made by Bank Transfer, with details available from Tony or Bob.

The all new Portreath Sprint is on!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

26th & 27th August

TDMC are at last pleased to announce that the MSA have today signed off on the track license for Portreath sprint circuit.

The sub-committee have worked hard to design a challenging new track with the best possible tarmac.

As you will see from the enclosed image of the track layout the length of the track is around 1 mile in length and returns the driver to the pits allowing for the fast turn around of cars.

The regulations are now available to download from here. The first year as with most new layouts the classes will be limited so check the regs.

Tregrehan Speed Hillclimb

This weekend, June 24th and 25th is the first Tregrehan hillclimb of 2017. It’s also the start of our celebration of 50 years at this idyllic Cornish garden. As well as the hill climb featuring both cars and motorbikes, there will be a display of interesting and unusual cars, a Hill climb simulator so that you can have a go at driving in a speed event, and entertainment for all the family including a bouncy castle.  The postcode for your SatNav is PL24 2SJ and the cost for an adult is just £6 with children free. Further details at http://www.trurodmc.co.uk/tregrehan-hill-climb/

Tregrehan Hill Climb in the 70s

A great picture of a MK1 Escort Mexico driven by Norman Tonkin from Roseworthy.

Remember that the year is the 50th anniversary of the Tregrehan Hillclimb and entry prices have been reduced in celebration.

Check the events page for more details.

If anybody has a picture of their car at a Truro & District event and would like it showcased pleas email or speak with any member of the committee.

Autosolo 29th May

The next motorsport event is an Autosolo event being held at Cornwall College Camborne in the Holman car park on the 29th May.

This is the first of two rounds of the ASWMC AUTOSOLO Championship that we are hosting this year.

Entry forms are available download on the AUTOSOLO page which also includes a full list of TDMC Autosolo dates for 2017.

Regs and entry form now available for Cornwall Classic Tour ’17

Sunday June 11th

Truro & District Motor Club are pleased to announce the date for this years ever popular classic and sports tour. This event fills up fast so ensure you get your entries in asap.

The Regs and entry form are now available for download. The closing date for entries is Saturday June 3rd.

Download the regs here, and the entry form here.

Your entry fee includes tea / coffee at the start, lunch at Pencarrow House and a cream tea at the finish in Trelissick Gardens for the driver and one passenger. Additional passengers can book their refreshments at £17.50 each.

The route starts on the stunning Camel estuary at Padstow, before heading up the North Cornish coast to our lunch stop at Pencarrow House. The afternoon route heads South until we arrive for a traditional Cornish cream tea at the spectacular Trelissick Gardens with their views over the Fal estuary. In total the tour covers around 85 miles.

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