The Late Summer Slalom

I had heard a lot of good things about this event (a multi-venue autotest) run by Maidstone and Mid-Kent MC. Once it became part of Ian Mepham’s Stag-Do weekend an entry was duly dispatched.

In the lead up to the event I did wonder what it would all be about, the few videos I had seen showed some tight looking tests on tarmac but very little other detail or info. So I ensured the handbrake was as tight as it could be and with plenty of air in the rear tyres, some ‘testing’ in the local lanes proved it should just about work well enough.

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The event was split into two groups with all of us ‘stags’ in one group there was a great social side to the event, sharing tales of how the tests went throughout the day.

The first test we went to is known as the ‘prison test’ as it literally runs down the perimeter fence of a prison! This gravel track was great fun, though it did mean the car floor took a hammering… With this out of the way it was on to the tougher tarmac tests. There is no time to walk or practice the tests, you arrive have a quick look and then get on with it, with no navigator either. The tests although they looked on paper complicated, were in truth all very flowing and  easy enough to remember. Throughout the whole event I only got one wrong test, and this was on my second run and was down to brain fade rather than anything else.

The day was rather full on, with lots of driving between venues, and by the end of the day I was rather knackered. At the finish we had no real idea of how we were doing during the day as the results are all collated at the end of the event. So apart from a bit of comparing times with each other ,we all had no idea of the results. In the lead up to the event I suspected the nature of the event, and the lack of lock on the ZR would result in a poor result. However I was very pleased to finish up 5th overall and 2nd in class, just 10 seconds off the overall win. It was also very pleasing when reviewing the results to see I had taken two fastest test times during the day and was generally within the top 5 all day. Definitely an event to do again!

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