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Harewood long winded....


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Well - what an eventful weekend....


When the harewood event was announced I thought great North Yorkshire in July nice weather, near my parents what a fantastic way to spend a weekend.


However it all started so badly with me loosing my battery master key (don't ask me how) at Leicester forest service station on the M1 on friday evening (I was driving not trailering) *eek*, luckliy a few phone calls later and PeterC has kindly offered to drop in on his way up and lend me one, cheers Pete *thumbup* So I spent the next 3 hours sat in the service station kicking myslef for not bringing a spare, it has been on my todo list to buy a spare for some time ☹️ So Battery key acquired I head up to my parents in north leeds, finally arriving at midnight, having left reading at 3:45 soaked, tired and p ssed off, but at least I was there....


Saturday up early and it is dry but a little overcast. A walk of the course was compulsory so a few of us wanderd down to the start line with Dales instructions to hand *thumbup* We walk up the course trying to note various points of interest and matching the pictures and recommended lines with reality. Harewood hillclimb is a long course and as the name suggest goes up hill (most of the time) which is a new expereince for most who are used to flat sprint courses. I found it quite hard to get any sense of what it would actually be like to drive as we walked up but promised myself to take it easy and get to know it before pushing at all. After that the weather got worse and ste the pattern for the rest of the weekend, heavy downpours followed by dry spells...


Following the walk, signing on, cup of tea and scrutineering, which had to be the quickest and smoothest ever. I think it may have had something to with lashing rain and wind. Luckily anumber of other entrants had easyups and we where all made to feel very welcome in, especially the kippers where at times a dozen or so hide from the elements.


As we where basically the support for the main act the Lotus 7 club class was first out, and we where called pretty much on time at 9 am and organised by a very officious lady paddock marshall, who most where scared off *tongue*. Getting back into the car it was now I realised that I should have fitted the tonneau that I have had wrapped up in the garage for the last 6 months as my car was rather wet and soggy ☹️ ☹️


We are all fired (car that is) and lined up, and drove down to the start in the rain cursing our luck with the weather. Sat in the que up the hill you can get a good view of the runners in front of you on the bottom section of the course. With three cars on the hill at any one time you can get through very quickly, and soon I was lining up onthe start line. Green light and off I go, the start is ever so slippery and not wanting to mess up and to learn the course I do not push it to hard, so round calrks and down the esses, the downhill section *confused* this feels very slippy and I go slow thorugh the esses, but then the red flags come out, so back off. I continue around slowly wondering what I do next, there was no drivers breifing so I just thought I would go to the top and get another run, however the way Harewood is setup there is a cut accross just before Orchard bend that you cantake to get back into line. 2nd effort and again I get a red flag, well at least I know which way the course goes on the bottom section... My 3rd attempt has no red flags and I go up the course trying to get an idea of primarlily where the course goes rather than lines, breaking and turning points. It is still wet and I wander up the hill not pushing at all, nothing seemed to bad at these speeds even going through the farmhouse and quary.


Back to the top and the usual banter and chat, the discussion of lines, techniques and how much faster we would all be in the dry with an r500/talent/balls (please delete as appropriate). The timing system is very detailed at harewood and you can get split timess for up to 7 sectors which you can compare with other competitiors and overall class standings. It seemed after the first run there was a problem with one of my sectors a as I did it in 7s compared to everyone elses mid teenss *eek* *eek*, but my time was around 76.8s and I factored it shuld have been more like 87.6...


I think the rain either easied or stopped at this point, so grabbing sume food and drink we all watched the other classes come up the hill, everything from mini's to judd powered cras on slicks and wings to an awesome shirt wheelbase audi quatro. This was one of the good things about being invited to a round of the national championships as there was a huge varierty of cars which made for interesting viewing at all day *thumbup*


Lining up for the 2nd run the rain came back, this time there was no flags and I was up the hill in just about the same time, however this time the timing was correct and I was reasonably happy. As with most places knwoing which way the course goes and what to expect is a huge advantage and I think all the l7 runners imporved the times greatly. Back at the top and now we where all at getting a little more confident and relaxed and started to enjoy the day, even though most where very soggy.


Lunch followed with the occasional shower, but by the time we came to our 3rd and final practice everything was drying with the later runners getting the better of conditions. Of course it was practice so nothing being counted. This was the run that I thought would be a good time to try a little harder and find out the limit of adhesion. The course was still damp and I found traction hard to find off the start line, but passed the first corner and down into the esses, judging where to brake for the esses I had trouble with all day (generally way to early) and this run was no exception, thorugh the esses quite gingerely as they are tight and twisty, around chippys praying for it to end as it seems so slow and never ending before you can put the power down... Up to country tyring not to overcok it up the hill, quick blat to Willow up to orchard, which is probably the slowest corner on the course, blast through the farmhouse and around the bend named after it trying to work out when to apply the power up to quarry trying to figure out where to lift/brake, again usually too early doe to lack of balls 😳 through quarry last dab squirt and your done. At this point I realise your time is shown at the end and I see a time just over 72s so a big improvement that I was reasonably happy with in the dampish conditions. I think this was good enough to be 2nd in class but a whopping 5s behind the class leader Paul Dickens.


Pack up and hope for a quick getaway but one of the problems with Harewood is that they will not let you leave the paddock while there is a run in progress. I can see why from a safety POV as the exit is through the section where the cars a slowing down form their runs. Eventually a break in proceedings and we get to leave, home via the petrol station for a drop extra petrol for the real event the next day and a trip to my dads garage to help fettle David Nelsons accelaertor pedal with a lump hammer 😬


This harewood event was being run over 2 days with 1 practice run on the sudnay am for those unable/willing/excempt to do the saturday. The BARC organised a BBQ for those campign and I believe all had a good time.


Sunday I woke to sunshone and clear blue skies, the forecast was for showers developing after lunch. I brought over my sticky tyres and wheels that Dave McFarlane had kindly brought up from the previous event over to the paddock (no trailers allowed in the hill top paddock where we assembled). Just as I set down my wheels the heavens opened and an almightly rain shower hit us and everyone ran for cover. We where supposed to start at 9am but this delayed proceedings till about 9.45 when it was deemed the course was drivable. It had stopped raining but by the time we where lined up it was raining again and we all slipped and slid up the course very slowly I think I was around 82s *eek*


As the runs progressed there where lots of spinners and a couple of delays to recover crashed cars and repair tyre barriers, so lunch was called early.


First timed run was called and I think it might have stopped raining byt this time, or at least it was very light. This is where it counts and I was determined to get a respectable time in I tried to do a fast but tidy run up the hill. However I fluffed by gear selection out of willow and was in too high a gear up to orchard, out of orchard slighty confused I was in 4th to my horror, so down to 2nd and I lit the tyres up all the way through the farmhouse, annoyed with myself I powered up the hill and went through quarry fasterthan i had before. My time flashed up and it was 72.6 which I was quite amazed with due to my error before. Still some way behind Paul Dickens on my cr500's but 2nd in class I think...


The rest of the cars came up the hill, but there was frequent delays and the chat in the paddock was would we all get a 2nd timed run, those who where pessemistic thought not and most agreed with them. Eventually around 3:40 there was an annoucement to the fact that if we had not started by 4 pm on our 2nd runs then they would not be started. At this point in time there was still a number of cars to run plus the first top 12 run off. But at least it was dry. Being one of the pessimist at this time I hauled my tyres back to Daves trailer safely assuming I would have no need for them.


Watching the top 12 run off with all the big cars trying to grab crucial champiosnhip points was very spectatclur with somevery committed drivers... At about 4:15 (past the 4 pm deadline) with about 4 cars to go, everyone was resingned to one run, but it started to rain and someone chirped up that as it was raining it must be our time to have another run, and we all started to laugh 😬 😬 as whenever it rained it seemed to be that we where due to go out. At the same time the announcement came out calling our class so we all ran to our cars, some already packed up (some had even gone home) and frantically got ready not really believing our ears....


By the time we where lined up at the bottom it was starting to dry up and it was likely that we would all be going faster than our first runs...2nd timed run and I was far more committed due to at least having knowledge of where the course goes and confidence to push it slightly harder. I falt a lot more ragged as I went up especially out of farmhouse but it was clear I was going fasyer almost everywhere up the course, over the line in 70.70, I knew I could have been faster and smoother and was so annoyed with myslef that I went back into the paddock rather than into the car park so then being stuck until I could get out ... I was pipped back down to third by david Nelson by .2 of a second but Robin Oldfield popped up with a very fast sub 70s time to take the class win, PAul unfortunatley spun at Chippies I think and so his time from the first wet timed run stood. I think if he had stayed on the course he would have won the class and been chasing the class 5 boys around the 66s mark...


I was pleased with 3rd but annoyed with my tyre moving, however having said that I was not likely to have changed as it was not totally dry and the course very slippy in places...


Eventually out of the paddock and home, and then the balst home down the M1, and would you believe it , bar one little shower it stayed dry the entire 220 miles, bloody typical 😬


Home very tired, so dump car in garage and showered and it was nearly 10 pm.


A great weekend slightly ruined by the weather but I think most if not all really enjoyed it *thumbup* *thumbup*


Roll on next year and lets hope it stays dry as it is a fantastic venue/weekend event *thumbup*


Congrats to all the winners and competitors *thumbup*


rob *smile*

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Found some pickies of us . . . . Forgotton who I was talking to about it - Tony7 *confused* maybe, but I went and got the list of official photographers and found some pickies on this website.This is me coming over the finish for 74.77 in the rain. I'll post the video tonight if anyone's interested.


And . . . watch this website for photos in the next couple of days.



After a hi-vis (pocketted side) driver's door if anyone's got one? *thumbup*


Edited by - AdamHay on 5 Jul 2004 16:12:19

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After a good days practice on the Saturday which left me third or fourth overall I had an eventful Sunday.

To add to your report I was car 54 who went up the bank, down the bank, across the track and then backwards into the tyre wall. The wing was virtually ripped off and the back panel left somewhat dented. However, car push started after marshalls lifted it off the tyre wall. Unfortunately this caused a 15 minute delay as I had moved tractor tyres which meant getting a recovery truck to replace them. With help in the paddock (thanks Paul Dickens and Peter Carmichael) and moral support from the 'northerners' we rebuilt the wing with Tank tape and sorted the starting problem. The chassis appeared OK so car was sorted for second timed run and a disallowed third run which would have put me first overall in the L7GB contingent so had to settle for fourth.


Going to inspect car tonight and hopefully will not uncover anything too serious so will be able to effect some temporary repairs in time for Loton Park.



Tony Pickering


Edited by - Tony7 on 5 Jul 2004 17:15:32

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Well who brought that weather up 'ere then eh?


The swimming gala went quite well I thought. I hope the weather didn't put too many of you off!


Some good driving by many of you in the tricky conditions.


Great write up by Rob - hope the instructions were useful. Maybe Tony should have read them!! The tyre wall had to be fully rebuilt so that no one ended up in the 6 foot ditch at the other side - obviously worked for Tony.


Final top 5 results if anyone didn't stop long enough:


1st Peter Carmichael 66.61

2nd Ken Evans 67.37

3rd Tony Pickering 67.54 (car can't have been too bad)

4th Mad Malc McGovern 67.57

5th Andrew Dent 67.97


Me? A first class win of the season ... about time too - 64.38.


Hope to see you all again next year at Harewood along with some better weather.



P7DHC *wink*


Edited by - dalec on 6 Jul 2004 20:30:51


Edited by - dalec on 6 Jul 2004 20:31:43


Edited by - dalec on 6 Jul 2004 20:35:14

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Bl**dy hell!!! What six foot ditch? I did not notice that when I got out of the car!


Unfortunately I did hold up proceedings for about 15 minutes whilst they put the (tractor!) tyres back in place. I was staggered at how relatively little damage (all panel, no chassis damage) there was to my car. Says a lot for the strength of these cars.


I did read your notes and walk the course but think I need to go on their driving course as well.


I am at Loton Park this week-end but will be a little more cautious.






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Dale - we walked around the course with a copy of low flying and they where helpful, but to be honest I was just concentrating on not sliding off in the wet rathre than take and particularly good line 😳


good to see you at the end, If we get invited back again next year I will be there *thumbup*


rob *smile*

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