I organised 'The Cumbrian Navigation Rally' which took place in the Lake District and had a great turn out of enthusiastic owners club members. It started on the Saturday night when over 20 of us went for a curry and some beer - not too much though as we were driving at 9am the following morning! Then, on Sunday the rally took place through the mountain passes and along the lakes of Cumbria.
The competitive element!
12 cars arrived at the start and people were provided with maps and a list of clues to follow with points being awarded for keeping an eye out for clues and picking things up en-route (a piece of slate, some sheep wool, 1/2 pint of water and a jennings beer mat).
|We started in Tesco's car park... it's not often you see an FTO at every fuel pump!|
"Holy Hill-Climb Batman!!"
|Above is Richard's car after he smacked a rock beside the road, and to the right is the damage incurred to the alloys.|
|The rally ended at the Castle Inn...||...where we had a bite to eat while scores were totted up for the rally.|
|Some of the usual faces attended the rally. Chris Hayes was obviously relaxing after the drive...||...as were Mick and Karen Boyle who were part of the group to go to the local nightclub the previous night.|
The three winners were Richard Jenkins, Stuart and Donna, Richard and Dawn. As Richard got the most accurate 1/2 pint of water (in a Tango can which was commendable) and had a spate of bad luck the win was awarded to him.
|The weather threatened to break but didn't and gave us some spectacular skies.|
|Some people had large ICE installations - which may have explained some slow progress over Hardknott!|
|After the rally we visited The Cars of the Stars museum in Keswick where the owners have bought and displayed many famous cars that were used in TV & film.|
|James Bond's Aston Martin DB7 and Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang among others on display at The Cars of the Stars museum.|
Finally, a big thankyou to Scott at Camskill Motorsport for sorting Dave Hughes suspension and opening on a Sunday in order to get Richard Jenkins home on a loan wheel and two new tyres.
Cumbria was the venue of the most recent FTO Rally and despite the very long drive facing some drivers, the event produced one of the best ever turn-outs. Most people arrived on the Saturday afternoon but a couple decided to travel up earlier in the week to have some suspension tuning carried out by Camskill Motorsport and a rolling road session offered by another local garage. A curry and beer session was enjoyed on the Saturday evening but due to the early start the following morning, sobriety was the watchword!
Luckily, the weather at 9 am on Sunday morning was dry but cold and everyone assembled in a supermarket car park eager to set off on possibly one of the most testing routes so far. The objective was to complete the circuit from Whitehaven to Bassenthwaite Lake, via one of the Lakeland passes, answering as many set questions and picking up as many designated items as possible en route. Hardknott Pass with its ruined Roman Fort at the summit proved to be a real test for some of the drivers. The view from the top is breathtaking and the road both up from the coast and down towards the Lake District is frightening! At some points the decline is so steep, you simply lose sight of the car's' bonnet and worse, where the road goes! Richard Jenkins was unlucky enough to hit a rock which burst two of the car's tyres and damaged his expensive alloy wheels. Fortunately, Dave Hughes was closely following him, so Richard was able to limp the rest of the way using two space saver wheels - not something to be recommended as I can personally testify!
On arrival at the Castle Inn at Bassenthwaite, refreshments were served and rally scores taken. Three crews tied for the winning position - Richard Jenkins, Stuart & Donna and Richard & Dawn. One of the items drivers had to collect during the trip was a ½ pint of water and that brought back by Richard Jenkins was adjudged to be the most accurate (commendably collected in a Tango can!), he was awarded the top spot which bagged him a Canon personal organiser.
The drivers then had a quick run through to Keswick to see the Cars of the Stars museum which displays many famous vehicles from TV and the big screen. That concluded a very successful day which had been thoroughly enjoyed by everyone and has whetted the appetite of all for the forthcoming rallies (published in this issue). Our special thanks must go to Scott at Camskill for opening up on a Sunday to sort out Richard with a new wheel and a couple of tyres. And finally of course, I must thank everyone who was brave enough to venture into 'wild and windy' Cumbria but I think everyone agreed, it was well worth the effort. Pictures of this day and others can be obtained from my website at www.mivec.co.uk/fto (click RALLY INFO) or Richard Batty's at www.zentac.force9.co.uk (Richard would like to thank Chris Hayes for the Cumbria photos on his site).
Visit the Links section and look for the FTO Owners Club Resource to see some more rally photos