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Whickham and District Motor Club Limited

Fastlane Show Production Car Autotest
Albemarle Airfield 22nd May 2016

Go Motorsport WDMC

The format was simple – set out one test layout on the Panhandle part of the airfield and put as many cars through it as possible in the 5 hours the show was open. After a short delay whilst the organisers got the last of the show cars into the venue, the gates could be closed and the test area securely sealed. The drivers were then given the opportunity of an untimed sighting run of the test to give them an idea where they were going. This resulted in a wide variety of interpretations of the route to be taken, some more accurate than others!

2016 Fast Lane Show Start

WDMC ran this event on behalf of Go Motorsport within the Fastlane Car Show to show the visitors how accessible entry level motorsport could be, by offering free passenger rides in the competing cars. Peter Metcalfe had put together an invited entry of 11 cars and 16 drivers from the local clubs, with Durham, Hartlepool, Hexham and WDMC amongst those represented.

2016 Fast Lane Show TC

A long queue of signed on passengers had already built up and with the cars split into two batches, one batch driving whilst the other drivers marshalled, the rides commenced in earnest and continued non-stop for the next 4 hours. Whilst the drivers and passengers were loving it, the event was taking its toll on the cars, the warm weather not helping with several cars suffering from overheating and others from delaminating tyres. Ronnie posted the first formal retirement when the Mini split its exhaust, although a couple of further runs were completed before it was deemed the noise was not conducive to good neighbourly relations and the car was withdrawn. At one point it looked like we might not have enough cars to finish the day but with some shuffling of the batches we kept 5 or 6 cars running all the time and by the end had put around 230 passengers through the test.


2016 Fast Lane Show KK

There was also a competitive element to the event, with a bottle of finest Go Motorsport branded ale on offer to the driver setting fastest time of the day. Gary set the initial pace in his Puma, the first driver to set a sub 50 second time and was soon joined by Andrew in the Mini and Sean Young (MX5). Sean was the first into the 48s, then Jimmy found a tyre set up to his liking and soon joined Sean on 48 seconds. Andrew was unable to improve on his 49s best after the Mini’s exhaust broke with Ronnie at the wheel. Undeterred he brought his Golf road car out for the rest of the day and set a best time of 50 seconds, to show you don’t need a specially prepared car to do well at these events.

2016 Fast Lane Show JK

It was obvious that Gary was up for this and with a change of rubber he set a 47 second time. Sean couldn’t do better than improving to 48s but Phil in the shared Puma was getting faster all the time, as was Karl in the Nova. Jimmy then improved to join Gary on 47s, Phil set a 48 but couldn’t quite match Gary and Jimmy and Karl set a creditable best of 49 seconds but needs a stronger handbrake lever. So Gary and Jimmy were joint winners – good job Peter actually had 2 bottles with him!

2016 Fast Lane Show GL

A big thanks to all that helped to marshal, the timekeepers and the passenger loaders and also to the other club members that manned the club stand. I’ve no idea what happened with the rest of the show as we were flat out with the autotest for 5 hours but it was a good day for the club that should hopefully have sparked an interest for some people and may gain us some new members.

Guy Wickham

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