I’ve copied a post from Tim on The Classic Rover forum….
The event started on Friday evening with a couple of te sts right “out of the box”, I was rusty and probably a tad nervous so on the very first test I went the wrong way!!!! The night Nav that followed went better, night nav is what Gav and I cut our teeth on so it was nice to see it flow together again. This part of the event felt short to us but we know others don’t enjoy it so much so the organiser’s tend to keep it short and sharp.
Saturday saw the event start in earnest with a fairly relentless series of tests and regularity sections, open loose tests suit the car and driver as they require grip and a little finesse, they also happen a little slower which helps my rusty old head keep up!!!! The grippy fast tests require a higher level of brutality and commitment so when your rusty and slower of thought than you’d like these don’t tend to go as well So we set some good times and some not so good ones, practice would help reduce the number of not good tests but now and again things just flow and you find yourself going wow that was good As some have noticed we are without wind screen in some of the pics…… long story short but basically I was way too close to a fellow competitor during a regularity section where I wanted him to go faster or let me passed, the inevitable happened a stone from his wheel broke the screen. If you haven’t had a toughened screen break on you it’s hard to explain the noise and suddenness of what happens, it’s like a gun going off and then you can’t see!!!! After a fair few mins of cleaning and calming down we continued, much to the amusement of the marshals etc…. It’s remarkably OK driving without a screen, as long as you keep the windows up very little wind actually comes in, the same can’t however be said for the flys, leafs, apples (don’t ask) and one poor wee bird. The tests during the day went well enough considering, we had a little off in a test and needed a wee pull from a tractor but no real damage done and we did suffer another broken front damper, must sort that!!! Thanks to a donation from fellow competitor Clifford Auld we fitted another screen on Saturday night
Car fixed and all ship shape for the Sunday start, no further mishaps on Sunday……. The trend of some good and some bad test continued our regularity sections where better than in the past which was keeping us in the game. I guess by the last few hours of the event we started to think a little about class place, overall position etc….. Without going into too much detail about how the penalty system works but basically you are compared with the fastest time in your class, we had the eventual winner, Dermot Carnegie, and seasoned Auto tester and retro rally main stay Frank Lenehan in our class so things where never going to be easy against others who had less competition in their class. That said we finished largely where we feel we should be so that’s got to be a result.
Car is competitive, when the test suits, which is a credit to Gav’s ingenuity and engineering prowess and the improvement since the 2010 event are clear to see on the stop watch.
Retro rallying in Ireland is struggling, there are many and varied reasons for that but none relate to a lack of effort by organiser’s, as always the UAC produced an event that was a true gem, unfortunately with dwindling entries the viability becomes questionable. If “the retro” goes the way of other great events in Ireland it will be a tragic loss to the motorsport calendar.