Opening the curtains on 9th September Saturday morning, the sun was shining – a good day for PCT! But, driving up the M2 past Glengormley to the venue near Parkgate, the heavens opened. The organising team met at the Paradise Walk PCT site around 11am and immediately cleared off for a fry-up at Steamers in Templepatrick to deliberate on whether the event should run rather than get drenched setting up tests. The seaweed on the wall was consulted around noon, the rain was starting to clear and we headed back to the site. Even getting through the gate was ‘hit and miss’. But by 12.30pm the sun was out again, we had the gazebo up and the 21 competitors were starting to sign on. We had two tests set up a short time later and a grass slalom mapped out at the very bottom of the field.
We were a bit ambitious with the setting of the tests as the wet grass overlying a very wet clay soil made for very slippery conditions so penalty scores were high. Once initial runs on the grass had broken the surface down to the muddy subsoil, there was little traction and even the FWD cars were having difficulties. This was a complete contrast to last year’s bone dry PCTs and clear runs were totally unachievable. A 5 was the lowest score on Test 1 and 3 on Test 2. After the 4 runs at the 2 PCTs, Harry Barr in his MX5 came out in 1st place closely followed by Dermot Johnston in his Healey Sprite jointly entered with son Patrick, who came a very creditable 3rd place.
On to the grass slalom – a typical hourglass shape around the cones. The total lack of grip made for slow times and the RWDs had tails out all the way round, opposite locking in slow motion! Bailie Thompson won the day pipping son Will into 2nd place by almost 5 seconds over the 2 counting runs. Junior competitor Johnny McNamee came in an excellent 3rd place only 0.1 seconds behind Will.
Thanks to all the competitors and marshals who persevered with the weather and helped extricate all the cars from the field at the end of the event.
Thanks to Stephen Dawson for this report. Stephen also took a number of photos that you can see on our gallery. Click on the ‘GALLERY’ tab above and then find the last file in the list. It is entitled “Paradise Walk PCT 9.9.17”