Cumbria Rally, August 24/25 2002
See below for pictures...
The second Cumbrian Rally this August was a departure from the normal meet up and drive, as a VW Golf, a Motorbike and an EVO6 joined the normal gaggle of FTOs for a packed weekend of activities.
The group set off from town on a planned route through the Lake District, including the more remote areas of Caldbeck and the Cumbrian John Peel countryside. Everyone was issued with a map and an itinerary and members were given the option of detaching from the main group and taking their own time to look at the impressive scenery while the front of the convoy pressed on over the fells. Although the weather was initially overcast, the low, heavy clouds added a dramatic feature to the stunning mountain views. Conditions in the Lake District are notoriously changeable and true to form, the cloud and rain eventually gave way to gloriously, hot and sunny weather. After a short photo opportunity stop, we proceeded to the Castle Inn at Bassenthwaite where we had a brief break but regrettably not long enough for a proper bite to eat. Next on the agenda was our first non-FTO event of the weekend - indoor Karting!
The kart track at Maryport on the West Cumbrian Coast is a 520m indoor circuit with some tricky sections and fast straights. We had a grand-prix session organised with the Joker enabled (the Joker is a short cut, reducing a lap time by 5 seconds which makes the racing more tactical as it can only be used once during a race). There were 11 drivers in a total of 11 races, each of 6 laps and the drivers with the highest points after the heats went through to a final race with random grid positions. The final positions were: 6th Lee Caller; 5th Richard Batty; 4th Stewart Mutch; 3rd Patt Torr; 2nd Viv Bassani and 1st Dave Wilson. The application of what I had learned from my recent 1st Lotus Training Day, particularly of working the tyres properly to gain faster lap times, obviously paid off!
On the Saturday evening, we all met up for a pint at a local pub, which was followed by a most enjoyable curry at the acclaimed Ali Taj Indian Restaurant in Whitehaven. Some members went clubbing afterwards and the following day, there was a rumour of copious quantities of alcohol being consumed in a guesthouse until the early hours!
Maybe the delayed start the following morning was due to the after effects of the night before and which necessitated a more-than-sedate drive to the clay pigeon shooting at Rookin House Farm, near Troutbeck, where we were issued with ammunition in belts and shotguns, a Ten-Gallon hat being the only missing accessory! Patt and I were first go for simple shots which progressively got harder as we got used to handling the gun. Everyone had around 18 shells for clays that appeared overhead or alternatively from right to left. Patt being the shooting veteran, hit all of the hardest clays coming across from right to left whereas everyone else missed at least one in this round. Some appeared to be complete naturals at the sport, even though they had never handled a shotgun before (should we be worried?). Juley and Maureen did exceptionally well despite the bruise on Maureen's shoulder which I saw via email! The final 6 results and scores were: 6th Howard Turner (106); 5th Stewart Mutch (107); 4th Keith Ball (139); 3rd Chris Hayes (159); 2nd Patt Torr (176) and dare I mention it, 1st Dave Wilson (179).
Quad Biking was our final event and this took place on the Greystoke Estate, near Penrith. Legend has it that the family of Tarzan of the Apes lived here but I doubt if anyone believes that! Although Greystoke was selected as the venue for a number of reasons, it was principally because the Quads are run over their private 3000 acre estate with stunning scenery and views all around. After a safety briefing, an explanation of the Quads and simple manoeuvring exercises, we were off. For normal firm ground, 2-wheel drive is selected but once 4-wheel mode is engaged, I was overawed with the sheer brute traction they have (provided you can stay on the thing!). They can go over and up anything and with only something like 3psi in the tyres, they soak up and grip the rough undulating ground like it wasn't there! With all the fun of the steep climbs and descents, the fast flat and downhill runs, the exhilaration is truly complete when observing the spectacular countryside flashing by. The feeling of freedom amongst it made a truly a memorable event.
I have been threatening to run this second Cumbrian rally for the past year and a half and thanks to all that attended you all made it happen. A huge thank-you then all round.
For more pictures please visit www.mitsubishi-fto.net
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