After a long break Autotests are back once again, the 1st event of 2015 was held at the Powell's farm near Newbridge on Wye on the 7th of June. There was a good entry of 14 drivers to start the day in a very dusty yard. Joint leaders after the 1st test were Ceri Davies in his Nissan Micra and Craig Golder in his Peugeot 205; many crews struggled with the 1st test and 7 crews picked up a costly wrong test and 2 others picking up cone penalties.
Gary Powell won the day by 17 seconds in his Citroen Saxo despite picking up a 10 second cone penalty midway through the day; Ceri Davies came home with 2nd in his Micra with a clean run all day.
Craig Golder managed 3rd despite a cone penalty and dust issues hampering his morning and then much of the afternoon was spent trying to fix the handbrake in his 205!; with all this 1st in the Standard Production class was good going.
Anthony Deans had a slow start with a wrong test on the 1st test however he set good times throughout the day to finish 4th in his Puma. Jamie Pickup had initially wanted to use his Peugeot 306 but after arriving he changed to Ceri's Micra fearing the 6 speed 306 would run out of lock too often; this proved to be a wise decision, a wrong test on test 1 along with a puncture slowed his start but made gains through the day however he was consistently around 5 seconds behind Ceri's times on each test, thank god Ceri doesn't drive the navscatters any more eh Jamie?!
Rosie Stephens had an excellent drive in Craig's 205 despite issues with the handbrake and the occasional engine gremlins she still put in some great times - good enough to put Craig off driving?? She finished 6th and won 1st Novice driver.
Ben Gwillym had 2 Wrong Tests and despite good time in the 206 finished 7th, John Hopkins finished 8th again another to fall foul of a wrong 1st test. Phil Gadsby in the Clio did a good effort to try and dent every panel during the day and picked up a puncture with some enthusiastic driving and finished 9th.
Jamie “Dipstick” Humphreys was another to put on a good show in his Fiesta, Another to pick up a wrong test on test 1 although I think the 10.30am start was still a bit too early for him! 10th was his result.
Jamie Arnold was the entertainer of the day in a BMW that shouldn't have made the startline let alone the finishline! The head gasket had gone before the start and the engine was cooking with no working fan, yet still it was revving flat out all day, okay it needed bump starting sometimes and ran rough if it wasn't flat out and probably drank half the farms water supply during the day but he finished 11th O/A and 1st Rwd without a dent on the car and a lot of gravel and dust thrown around!
Ian Morgan in his Ford Ka drove very well and was quick enough but was perhaps pushing too hard as he picked up 40 seconds of cone penalties AND 2 wrong tests, this dropped him down to 12th.
Jon Hawkins swapped from his usual co-drivers seat to try his hand at driving, although he considering double driving with someone he instead decided to use his daily drive BMW 523 estate! Certainly the largest car of the day and both BMW crews kicked up a lot of gravel and dust with enthusiastic driving, he didn't dent the car (thankfully!) but did get stuck on the last test, putting on a show with a few moments including reversing over the stop line after a spin! He rounded off the finishers in 13th Place
Morian Peters in his high revving Civic was trying from the word go but perhaps too much power and grip caused dust issues in the morning and then he hit a gatepost in the afternoon, badly denting the rear quarter and putting a rear wheel out of line. That was his day over whilst running 3rd O/A.
Thanks to Brian Jones for putting on the event and the Powell's for the use of the farm a great venue.
1st - Gary Powell - Citroen Saxo - 772
2nd - Ceri Davies - Nissan Micra - 789
3rd - Craig Golder - Peugeot 205 - 820
4th - Anthony Deans - Ford Puma - 872
5th - Jamie Pickup - Nissan Micra - 892
6th - Rosie Stephens - Peugeot 205 - 919
7th - Ben Gwillym - Peugeot 206 - 920
8th - John Hopkins - Volkswagen Polo - 928
9th - Phil Gadsby - Renault Clio - 939
10th - Jamie Humphries - Ford Fiesta - 962
11th - Jamie Arnold - BMW 328ish - 1013
12th - Ian Morgan - Ford Ka - 1020
13th - Jon Hawkins - BMW 523i- 1080
14th - Morian Peters - Honda Civic - DNF
1st O/A - Gary Powell
1st Standard Production - Craig Golder
1st Novice - Rosie Stephens
1st RWD - Jamie Arnold