AutoX’ing

It was back to another Bath MC event this year. This time it was a new event for the club, and a new venue. Based at Long Newnton airfield it was an ideal base for a AutoX (think of a sprint around a grass track, over 3 or 4 laps).

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The Micra was entered in the road rally class, where we had competition from the Watts family in their road rally MGZR.

The first day was very hot (in fact the hottest day of the year). After the practice runs the grass had soon gone and it was down to a hard well packed surface. We had three timed runs each day and the fastest time from each day counted. As the first day progressed I got faster on each run. Like in sprinting AutoX is good for making you think about what lines to take and how to make back small amounts of time. By the end of Saturday I had a small 0.6 second lead in the class.

Sunday came and the hot weather had gone, and the clouds looked threatening, the forecast was clear, rain was on its way. So we all knew the first runs would be very important. I worked hard on ensuring my first run was both fast, smooth and still enough in reserve that I didn’t spin out or go four wheels off. Chances could be taken later on if needed. By the end of the first runs I had again another 0.6 second lead in the class.

However by now the rain had started and at first it didn’t really make much of a difference but by the time I lined up to start my second timed run it had rained for quite a while and by the second corner I knew I wouldn’t be improving my times. Thankfully it was slippery enough that no-one else could improve either. So I did two final runs in the mud which was very slippery and good fun though very slow.

Thankfully my banker first run on Sunday morning was enough to hold on to the class win, which I took by 1.2 seconds in the end, and finished 13th overall out of 52 starters.

All in all a great weekends motorsport, though cleaning off all the mud took many many hours!

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