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Autotesting - it could be you

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  • 3 weeks later...

Having fun

Some interesting cars

Northern monkey on song

Mx5 flipping everywhere

Certainly shows up the shortcomings of the car. Suspension is shagged - needs coilovers and probably bushes.

PAS is boiling over - need to find a way to improve that - already have a plan. e31deb380f0655d2b94c96952adec122.jpg8c9d5616cb574fb61bceffe39f2b9e80.jpg

Otherwise Lymm is an ace course. Quite hard to get lost or hit cones. Next event is5 weeks

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Interesting day overall. The mx5 shocks are kanckered leading to the left rear tyre bouncing up and down under power.

A big field with range of cars including a Smart for four Brabus, 68 plate Mini cooper and supercharged mini.
Massive difference to Blackburn services, the fwd cars didn't have that much disadvantage overall, especially if you have got an LSD.

Waiting for prize giving

The red fun bus and it's mate

Next one is in 5 weeks at Lymm. I am going to get it booked in the next week or so.

Got to fix some mx5 bits first.

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  • 3 months later...
48 minutes ago, snagglepuss said:

Next autotesting is 15th September at Darwen Services on M65.

I am going to go and may have some spare drivers places if anyone else fancies coming along.

Do actually quite fancy doing this in the Vitesse, as it's right around the corner. Just a bit worried about the 4 mismatched tyres and resulting shite handling. What do I need/what do I need to pay etc?

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Do actually quite fancy doing this in the Vitesse, as it's right around the corner. Just a bit worried about the 4 mismatched tyres and resulting shite handling. What do I need/what do I need to pay etc?
Don't worry about any of that - it's always interesting. It's £30 for the day plus membership of £5 for the year. I think they are doing half price entry for your first competition.

You go here and enter.
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  • 5 months later...
8 hours ago, snagglepuss said:

There are spare drivers seats if anyone fanices trying but not in their car. It will either a Mx5 turbo or a Nissan Micra.

I would bloody love a shot of that MX5 but sadly already working this weekend :( Are there any pre-requisites to bring your own car to these? How did the yellow Impreza get on, the one in some of the pics further up?

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You just need a car to drive - your own or others.

Dollywobbler did it in his 2cv, Spartacus in his golf.

I am definitely taking the Micra next weekend. It's £30 for the day but half price for your first one. You need to be member but you can join for the year for £5.

Format of the day is roughly arrive 9:30 for scrutineering. You walk the course plus a driver's briefing. Then cars start at 10. The group is split into 3 -drivers, Marshall's and rest. You go through each of the group.

Course is set out and it is quickest total time over all runs around the course. A cone hit costs 5 seconds, going the wrong way gets allocated maximum time.

Day finishes at 3:30 ISH when you then take the course apart.


I have got 2 spare drivers places for Sunday if anyone does fancy it .

Impreza didn't do that well. It doesn't come to M65 but goes to lymm as longer course. It is too big for small courses.

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Tedious anecdote;

I did auto testing in about 2002 with my brother (who was a complete fucking liability as you'll see). Back in those days Health and Safety was considerably more lax than it is today, so my local sand and gravel extraction works let motor clubs organise events there, including auto testing. 

There were two main disciplines to master, driving around a series of cones in as quick a time as possible and a timed lap around the quarry roads, rallying essentially. Guess which bit everyone had turned up to do?

Despite being organised by a motor club, none of us were members. We paid an entry fee, something like a tenner on the day and we could take part. The cars were all fucked old MoT failures bought for a few quid from a local scrapyard and driven completely illegally to and (if still mobile) from the event. My entry was a 1400cc Renault 11 in Titane (silver) acquired from a friend after it became surplus to requirements.

We race prepared the car by professionally lightening it, removing the door cards and rear seats. This probably would have improved our lap times had we actually removed these bits from the car, instead of piling them into the boot, from where, thanks to the lack of rear seats they frequently returned hitting the driver and co-driver in the back of their un-helmeted heads, during a stage.  I also sprayed a white rectangle onto each door and the bonnet for race stickers which was utterly unnecessary but felt more rallyish.

We practiced for the event in a 2 acre orchard behind my mum and dads house. For some reason we decided that motorcross skills would be relevant to our upcoming challenge and drove the little Renault at some speed off a pile of soil in one corner achieving impressive air and slightly bananaed chassis. This resulted in a nasty backache for me for several days and severe difficulty in opening any of the car doors thereafter. 

On the big day, we sneaked our car across to the gravel pit and received our course notes ( which comprised a single piece of yellow paper). We were first up for the first cones challenge. I then discovered my brother had a potentially life threatening inability to read pace notes in such a way that they'd be of any benefit in driving at speed around a timed course. A tendency to mumble, clam up at crucial moments or rely on hand signals instead of verbal instructions as well as saying helpful things like 'No left!' resulted in the course marshal shaking his head in disbelief at our shitness. Luckily pretty much every else was equally crap. Everyone else was about twenty five other cars, headed by two teams who'd acquired actual sporting models for the day, an old XR2 and an XR3i, and a lad who was an actual rally driver in a Beemer 525 with Dulux racing stripes. We egged each other on by taking the piss when someone stalled or broke down or driving into the car in front whilst queuing to 'race'.

We progressed after a few starter tests to a fast lap around the block yard, where building blocks and concrete were stored. I'd had enough of my brother's shit navigation by this stage and had swapped seats to do the notes. My brother subsequently revealed a previously undiscovered talent for driving really really badly. He managed to hit several stillages of concrete blocks on his way round, and a 45 gallon oil drum half full of water and then the bucket for a quarry loader doing a hand brake turn over the line. This earned us a bollocking for damaging the blocks and got my brother moved back into the passenger seat, with instructions to shut the fuck up and let me drive from memory. 

The final stage of the day which was the only thing most of us were interested in was a long timed lap around the perimeter road of the quarry. This was fairly safe, apart from the thirty second intervals we set off at, complete lack of marshals on the stage itself and the huge nearly sheer drop about 40m into the base of the quarry. We go two goes, my turn passed quite uneventfully, my brother desperate to surpass my time drove like an absolute twat, hitting another oil drum and only just avoiding a collision with the XR2 which had rolled ahead of us and was still on its side as we passed it. 

Having finished the day we took an executive decision to retire our victorious Renault (we didn't actually win, or even find out who had won) and drove it to the adjacent scrapyard. As I recall this was in the good old days when scrapyards accepted anything you brought in with no paperwork to fill in and no questions asked. 

Happy days.

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Will, I really fancy having a crack at this, could you please put my name down for one of your drivers' places? I don't expect to be competitive, but it looks like a laugh, just what I need to boost my mojo. 
I'm just back from winter in Thailand, so it'll be great to have a catch-up too.

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Not a problem Joe - what better way to get over Thai sunshine than a dreary day at Blackburn Services!

You need to enter by tomorrow evening

Car is Nissan Micra 1.0 and you will be sharing it with me - William Shepherd.

Reg is p220loa

Class you will be entering is Autosolo Class A.

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Another days autotesting with Krujoe.

Steed of choice

Hairnet was seen in the vicinity. 13f5c813b77d3b68160743545accd144.jpg

Drivers briefing

Most of the entries were Micra shaped

Waiting for Joe to set his times

We had a really interesting day including trying to solve the fuel starvation when enthusiastically cornering.

Best if all Joe brought cake and gave me some to take home. Missus snagglepuss says I can have more friends like Joe!

The Micra acquired itself perfectly - it perhaps would have benefitted from PAS.

Can't wait till next time.

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Home and fed, what a great day!

I'm glad you took loads of pictures, Will, coz I didn't. I took a couple of shit videos but I can't get them to play on the laptop, so bollox to 'em.

Snagglepuss: Offering his car to internet randomers for a day's  racing? - What a legend! Thank you so much Will. I'd love to do it again given the chance, and repaying the favour by using a car of mine next time.

And everyone there were helpful and welcoming, the organisers, the competitors, and all the other helpers, so I highly recommend any other newbies to come along too next time. I can't think of a cheaper way to have so much fun!


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