On Sunday, April 7, the Machars Car Club held a forward only autotest at Craig Farm, Whithorn, by kind permission of the Vance family.
The event was held in a stubble field, with weather conditions being more than favourable; the ground conditions of the normally wet field were perfect for a good day’s racing.
Twelve competitors signed on for this forward only autotest. Clerk of the course Freddie Cannon opened the event by taking the competitors on a parade lap to familiarise the competitors with where they were going.
First off the starting block was David Cannon. He was not far into the course when it looked like he had forgotten where he was going. A quick change of direction and the custom-built Suzuki jeep turning into two-wheel-drive for a brief moment. He managed to get back on track without much damage!
With no major incidents and lap times getting quicker, the first car to suffer was the team “No Smoke No Poke” Vauxhall Corsa driven by Stewart McNabney and Jack Ritchie. It was evident on one of Jack’s runs that no matter how many times the engine bounced off the limiter, he was not going to burn-off the excessive over-oiling of the engine. With a cloud of blue smoke filling the car, Jack limped over the line with the driver’s door open and a head hanging out!
Jack Parker Jnr, double driving with his father in the Parker-built special. The Vauxhall Redtop powered, rear engine Fiesta was putting in some very quick times. However, a burst radiator managed to give Jack Jnr his first of two DNF laps.
After five laps of the course each, the track was altered slightly to stop the course rutting too badly and the competitors set off again. Times were getting faster and a close battle between the two McCornick boys double driving a Ford Ka, against Ross Milven, also driving a Ford Ka. Each time these young competitors appear on a course they never fail to disappoint with their performances and are proving they can handle a car well.
Another competitor from the club bringing home good times is Dougie McVittie, with his very tidy Vauxhall Nova. After an engine swap over the winter the car was tested for the first time this season. His 1.4sri was setting blisteringly quick times.
In the four-wheel-drive section, a close battle was upheld by Robin Vance in his Suzuki SJ 413 special and David Cannon with a Suzuki SJ410 special. As usual, Robin was very neat and tidy and was producing good times with David struggling to match these.
Hitting a cone and getting a 10-second penalty and stopping mid-course with a fuelling issue, it was evident Robin was going to come out the victor between the two. Nevertheless, David never stopped pushing the jeep hard all day. With times verified and the prizes were handed out, thanks must go to Freddie Cannon, clerk of the course; Machars Car Club marshals Roger Anderson, Steven Broll and Colin Vance; Peter Vance, the landowner; and, lastly, Max Vance for handing out the prizes.
Results were – 4x4 Class: 1. Robin Vance, 2. David Cannon; Specials Class: 1. Jack Parker Snr, 2. Jack Parker Jnr; Open Car Class: 1. Robbie McCornick, 2. Dougie McVittie, 3. Mark McCornick.
For more information on the car club, events or membership, check the website www.macharscarclub.co.uk or Facebook page, Machars Car Club.