20 February – Loburn Autocross

It was a lovely sunny (but not too hot) day in a great paddock (with built-in shade trees) at the Abernethy’s Farm near Loburn, and there was just enough breeze to keep the dust away from the service park. Richard Towse had made up some new markers that were being trialled, a road cone with an arrow attached to the top of it, and these worked a treat. The course was laid out quickly, documentation and scrutineering went well, and the event with 26 drivers kicked off in good time. The course was a goodie, quite open in places but challenging to get just right. There were a few spins at the back end hairpin and the dust was flying.

Phil Sloan was the quickest 4WD and overall on the day in his Legacy. Andrew Sim was taking part in his first paddock skid for a long while and had some secret weapon tractor tyres on the front of the Corolla, enabling him to take 2nd overall. Gavin Williams of CCC had his road going CRX cranking in the good conditions and was third overall. Kieron Telford took the battle of the Pulsar GTiR’s after Paul Jansen missed a marker in run 1.  In the small cars Grant Goile had a wee spin in the Corolla, as did Matt Jansen in the Datsun Coupe (who won the first run) and David Fletcher was able to take the class win in the Suzuki, Goile second and Greg MacIntosh in the Starlet  (sounding a bit rorty with a holed exhaust) third. In the 1301 to 1600cc class it was Andrew Sim kicking up the most dust to lead home the class, Pete Abernethy making use of his local knowledge and overcoming gearbox trouble next in the recently acquired ex-Geoff Combe Starlet, with Stewart Bufton an entertaining third in the class. There were no big 2WD cars at the event, the road cars filled in with Gavin Williams making good use of his CRX first, Rodney Walls in the MR2 having a consistently fast day second, and Rhys Ellison in the WRC Fraud Focus (a.k.a Chevette) in third.

Things went well with no incidents all day, John Weir didn’t create any dust storms other than the one he left behind on the start line, Josh Marston had a big spin in run 1, Logan Stephens spun the DX-4AGE quite a bit, and there was an intense battle between Nicole and Matthew Summerfield both using the same car, the pair separated by 12 hundredths of a second going into run 3 but a stall by Matthew in the last run and a clean drive by Nicole saw the latter take that contest home. Chris Herdman had a wee Barina he’d “borrowed” from his Dad’s car yard and hit a marker which affected his time. Andrew Bufton was gunning for style points by getting the Starlet up on two wheels, Dwight Parlane was uncharacteristically off the pace after collecting a marker in run 2 in the Civic.  Michael MacIntosh improved a lot throughout the day, Michelle Reid was steady in the grouse sounding wee Suzuki and took the ladies prize for the event. Derek Hartley was another who ruined his day early on with a big spin, James MacIntosh was ensuring the white Starlet was getting a workout and did well to steer clear of the stakes all day, and Jamie Powell in his tidy red Starlet had a good day with the tail out.

The results scored as follows:

1st Phil Sloan (Legacy) 4m25.31s
2nd Andrew Sim (Corolla) 4m28.11s
3rd Gavin Williams (CRX) 4m33.95s

1st Phil Sloan (Legacy) 4m25.31s
2nd Kieron Telford (Pulsar GTiR) 4m38.08s
3rd Paul Jansen (Pulsar GTiR) 5m00.51s

2WD 1301-1600cc
1st Andrew Sim (Corolla) 4m28.11s
2nd Pete Abernethy (Starlet) 4m37.49s
3rd Stewart Bufton (Starlet) 4m39.94s

2WD 0-1300cc
1st David Fletcher (Suzuki GTi) 4m36.08s
2nd Grant Goile (Corolla KE25) 4m42.61s
3rd Greg MacIntosh (Starlet) 4m52.52s

Thanks go to Josh Marston for organising, David Fletcher for helping with organising and timing, Michelle Reid for documentation, John Weir and Richard Towse for scrutineering, Kieron Telford for helping with documentation and membership renewals, Andrea Summerfield for spotting, Les Summerfield, Chris Hughes and Stewart Bufton for helping with timing, and the Abernethy’s for helping set up the event and allowing us to use their superb paddock. Also thanks to everyone who helped set out the event and pack it up again. It all went really well.