Sam Dougan in his first motorsport event.

Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention and necessity it was that inspired us to look for a suitable venue for our June evening autotest. We felt that we were temporarily unable to use TTS for the event and were looking for an alternative. It then occurred that we had used Carlisle’s Fuel for our Derek Walker Trial in recent times and had always intended to run an evening event there. This was our moment.

We were able to put together 3 tests in the space of the yard. Test 1 was a wide open two lap blast round the large shed with a figure of eight in the loading bay and a wiggle woggle on the long straight to slow down our feisty customers. This still allowed a turn of speed through the final corner that competitors certainly enjoyed, if the width of the grins was an accurate measurement of the entertainment. As I was competing, I only got to see my own batch of cars and, I apologise, could not take photos or, alas, comment much on the other two groups. However, I do have abiding memories of Angus Johnson ‘full of the rack’ on his way to the finish line. Great stuff Angus. I wouldn’t have thought that a Frogeye Sprite on wire wheels would have been capable of such things. Similarly, Matthew Walker in a MX5 used the full width of the road in fine drifting style.

Test 2 was a lovely combination of fast flowing sweeps of the pylons combined with several quick tail throws and a nose throw. The result was a fun test concluding with a couple of ever decreasing circles leading to the finish.

Finally, Test 3 was the technical test. It was more complex and limited in space to carry off the required manoeuvres. This test ‘separated the men from the boys’ as it was tight and technical but amply demonstrated by some competitors  as ‘do-able’ in the right hands. The three tail throws, two of which were into a box, required full commitment. Any wavering in the mind of the driver was going to end in a car pointing at right angles to the lines instead of reversing through them. However, watching Mark Francis in the larger MX5 showed what could be done with good strategy and that essential commitment.

Congratulations to Richard Earney for winning overall in his Mini saloon in convincing style, from Gordon Buckley (Midget) and Andrew Earney (Yaris). Mark Francis came in a creditable 4th.

Great job too by Redmond McNamee and Sam Dougan, the latter being his first competitive event. We wish you both every success in motorsport.

Class winners were as follows:

Class 4 – Gordon Buckley

Class 5 – Andrew Earney (Richard forfeiting the class win)

Class 6 – Mark Francis

Class 7 – Crawford Ewing

Class 9 – Redmond McNamee

We are indebted to William Carlisle for letting us use this superb yard and to his staff for being so helpful in moving pallets, lorries etc. around to make room for us.

Many thanks also to our marshals, Alan McClelland, Andy & Jenny Frater (Test 1), Ian Regan and John Clarke (Test 2), and Trevor Reid and Tom McConnell (Test 3) and to our COC, Stephen Dawson. Thanks, as always, to Carol for taking our entries and doing results.

Finally, well done everyone for behaving so well and keeping it on the track.

Full results are available via this link:  Carlisle Results 22 June 2017

As indicated, I was busy competing (and was rightly given a wigging  by John Clarke for taking photos when I should have been starting a test). So, alas, I only have a few photos of the cars in my own batch and I apologise for that. The photographs I have are on our Gallery. Just click on the tab above and find the final file entitled “Carlisles Autotest 22.6.2017”

Leslie McMullan attended the event and I have now added a number of first class photos from Leslie’s post on Facebook. Thank you Leslie, we are indebted to you for these.

If you have any good pictures or videos of your own, please let me know or send them to me and I will be delighted to put them up in our gallery.