The Carvers Traders Rally made a welcome return to the ASWMC calendar this year after taking a year out. After getting one of my best results to date on the 2012 event I was keen to get out and prove that it wasn’t a fluke.
On the way up from Wellington the fog got thicker and thicker the closer we got to The Rest and Be Thankful ontop of Exmoor, hopefully it will clear by the time we were off.
Signing on and scruitineering all went without a hitch, minus someone else eating Pat’s Gammon and Chips in the pub! It was good to see at least 20 entries for the first event in the south west which does struggle with entries sometimes, hopefully this is a sign of things to come. There wasn’t much to plot as there were several handouts which we marked maps or plot and bash, so this didn’t take long, and sooner or later we were less then a mile down the road waiting for our minute.
And it was go! The first section, I think it was called 7 yumps, was a welcome introduction back into the lanes. As you can tell from the name there were a few moments the little Nova had a little jumps into mid air and followed by a slot 90 left, we were flying.
This was my first time out with Pat and after only a few miles I was pretty confident that things were going to go well. With a bit of local knowledge and a healthy few revs and the odd tweak of the ‘oversteer bar’ it was a brilliant drive all night.
Within 10 miles we came across a poorly ‘FLY’ cut out on the side of the road on a steep hill, Gavin and Georgina did pop up again a few times but FLY didn’t sound healthy at all so it was soon after that they pulled out and headed home.
At petrol there were several stories of happenings along the route including Lucas and Rob taking a early trip up the hedge on the first bit of road, but most of the 24 crews were still going.
The second half went just as well as the first with only a couple problems from both seats, me struggling to realise what was going on with the plot and bash at first and Pat pushing the tyres beyond there limits on one or two occasions. Parts going up over Exmoor without hedges with long straights, bumps, yumps and hairpins were brilliant.
And sooner then I thought that was it! We had made it to the finish! I was confident that we hadn’t missed any controls but we had dropped a few minutes and I did clock us in early at one point, but luckily not by much.
After a great fry-up the results were provisional already thanks to Rally Roots. 5th overall and 4th in class 2! Very happy with this in a little 1.4 Nova and the first time me and Pat had teamed up. By the time results had gone final we were up to 4th o/a and 3rd in class, which was even better. My second best result ever so I was happy to take that.
Thanks very much to James and all the crew at Burnham-On-Sea MC, top event and a brilliant way to start the year! Thanks to all the Marshalls as well, luckily the rain stayed away but it was bitterly cold, so thank you.
See you all at the Bath Festival for round 2 of the ASWMC Championship.
Daniel PidgeonNav Car 10, Vauxhall Nova (4th O/A)