The Ilkley Jubilee Classic Rally started from the superb venue that is Skipton Auction Mart and even before we check into MTC1 we have three tests to do around the Auction Mart. These three tests are very enjoyable – we are not as quick as the top boys but we get them right with no wrong tests. This we see as an improvement, because on the Devils we were not sure what to expect and we have spent a bit of time since then discussing how to communicate the correct route to be taken – so we are quite chuffed that we got the tests right. In fact throughout the whole of the event we don’t get a single test wrong.
The event had a total of ten tests and by far the most enjoyable (for us) are test 8 Haw Park Farm & Test 10 Scargill Reservoir (Elslack Reservoir is pretty good too). These two tests are less Autotest and more Special Stage in nature (i.e. Less hard work for me – not too many cones to worry about – and more about Paul getting his foot down) Over the past three years, both Paul and I have wittered on about ‘Navigation’ rallies and how much we don’t like them and here we are entering classic rallies where the route instructions are all about difficult navigation and on top of that they throw in long regularity sections. Idiots or what?
As I said previously the tests are linked with navigational sections. Some are easy and its just a matter of setting the trip meter and following the instructions (tulips) at the correct miles. These I can cope with and I have now learned how to set the trip on the measured mile correctly and it all seems simple enough until they start throwing in the plot and bash instructions that also include regularity sections with speed changes. Before this event we had obtained from the HRCR some speed tables to help get our timing correct. How-ever, this numpty couldn’t find them at the start (later discovered in the back of the tow truck after we had loaded the Escort on the trailer to head home) so it was a matter of mental arithmetic to get us round. I am obviously not as good at mental arithmetic as I thought. Having said that – Maybe I am better at it than I thought I thought (Results show us not to have picked up too many road penalties) but trundleing at 26mph along some of the flat and straight moorland roads got extremely boring and it was probably that as much as anything that had us booking in either early or late.
Then came the big cock-up – A Regularity with several intermediate time controls & the inevitable speed changes. A series of tulip diagrams that one way or another I could not get to work. I followed them as best I could and managed to get to the next TTC but the route we took was not the one prescribed by the organisers (mine was actually better) and we picked up a shed full of penalties for my errors. From here on we were not in with any sort of shout and I was only hoping that we were not the only ones. Well, we were not but there was only 4 other crews that got it more wrong than me!
The next outing for me and Paul and the Escort is going to be the Berwick Classic on the 3rd & 4th of May. By then the new Paul Gardner built engine should be fitted as well as a handbrake, and I will (MUST) remember to take the average speed tables with me.
Despite our (my) poor performance we still had a great day out and it is still a big learning experience that I hope (Will) get to grips with.
The navigators on these events really are good to be able to get the P&B navigation right whilst juggling average speed and the constant changing of speed and then calling the tests.
And I complained about P&B on night rallies – did not have a clue what was going on in other disciplines of the sport
Overall – Must do better!!!
Maurice Ellison – Nav, Car 40 – Ford Escort