Flush with success after my first production car trial, last weekend I joined members of The Bristol Pegasus Motor Club and took part in an Auto Gymkhana for the first time at Sheepcot Farm not far from Chepstow.
(Ben in his Mitsubishi Colt finished 6th Overall)
There were 12 entries 11 of which stayed for the full 24 stages of the competition which centred on variations of 4 basic tests.
(Nick and Andy shared Andy’s Marlin, Andy finished 2nd and Nick 8th)
The first group of tests focused on parking skills in forward and reverse alongside a plank of wood. Not such a difficult task but when done competitively in one manoeuvre surprisingly difficult to get the wheels as close to the plank as possible without touching the plank. The competitor who parked with the front wheel closest to the plank won. There were further parking tests to see who could park closest to a cone.
(Kia Picante in which I came 10th)
Next came a timed slalom first time round I got the gates a bit mixed up at the end which meant I somehow contrived to travel a longer distance than necessary. Driving my landladies mothers Kia Picante I was woeful on this test deciding that discretion was the better part of valour I aimed to improve my times through each timed run and tried to avoid scratching the car by running too close to the markers.
(Daihatsu Curore shared by Chris and Coralie who finished 3rd and 4th.
I did much better when it came to driving round the slalom holding a pint of water in my own time spilling less water than most I finished in the top 3 each on each of the 3 occasions this test was run.
(Ken in the Mercedes C220 CDi with the amazing turning circle finished 11th)
The hillclimb proved relatively simple for everyone except for Ken in his Mercedes C220 CDi which could handle the turns but had no weight over the rear axle to afford the necessary traction over the final incline which got progressively more slippery.
(Nick soon came to the conclusion that his Mazda 626 did not have a good enough turning circle)
Finally there was an autotest which involved driving round a course of tight circles parking in garages and some reversing. Nick dropped his Mazda 626 out of the competition immediately when it became apparent his car simply did not have anything like enough steering lock to compete. He ended up sharing Andy’s Marlin instead.
(Alan brought his Hawk HF3000 in 9th.)
Alan driving a Hawk HF 3000 Lancia Stratos replica powered by a 3 litre ALFA Romeo V6 needed a co-driver on the autotest in order to open the passenger door and make calls on the positions of the cones when reversing ! I jumped in to help Alan on a couple of occasions and was struck by the heat coming off the radiator in front of the footwell and the engine mounted directly behind the seats. A fabulous car to sit in for the slalom though.
(Mal in his all conquering MG Midget Mk3 )
Clear winner of the event was Mal in his MG Midget Mk3 which he bought for just £250 many years ago.
My thanks to Martin and team of marshals who ran a wonderful days competition, to Tim who kept score of the days activities to Alan for the the ride in the HF 3000 and congratulations to Mal.
Hope you have enjoyed today’s Auto Gymkhana edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres, and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !