Wessex Motor Club Issue 3
WMC Magazine - Issue 3 December 2022

WMC Magazine

Issue 3 - December 2000

Online Version

Merry Christmas

Southampton University Karting Team Trials - Go-Karting For Fun, Gosport. 15th November 2000
Rally Round-Up 2000


Welcome to the Christmas edition of the WMC magazine. Since the last edition we have had two excellent championship rounds, an extremely enjoyable karting round and a fabulous Christmas Meal. The RUC crews are getting better and better all the time. Elly Pryce & David Coles now lead both championships! However they seem to have some stiff competition from Chris Thomas & Richard Sinden and John Thompson & Ben Paddick. The karting round was a great success. Everyone who attended enjoyed themselves very much. For more details on the karting see the article later in this edition. On the 7th of December John O'Neill organised a top notch Christmas Meal for the club at the Milburys Pub. Thanks very much John! Apart from the odd pepper bomb the meal was great. Lets hope next term can live up to the greatness of the first. Merry Christmas, Phil Kendall


  • Olly Smith was elected as the first RUC Representative. Olly was voted in by the RUC members of the club ahead of stiff competition from Elly Pryce and David Coles.
  • The skid pan course will now take place next term. Due to a busy November & December with the regular championship rounds, the karting and the Christmas meal we decided that there would be a bigger attendance to the course if it ran next term.
  • Cambridge University have agreed to host next years NSMSC (National Student Motor Sport Championship. More details will be announced as we get them.

Southampton University Karting Team Trials - Go-Karting For Fun, Gosport. 15th November 2000

The trials for Southampton University's Karting team to compete in the second full season of the Inter-Uni karting Championship took place at Gosport's Go-Karting For Fun circuit on the 15th November. After last years superb second place finish in the championship, there were no shortage of drivers ready and willing to join this years team. With two definite team places up for grabs, along with a possibility of extra places becoming available later in the season, there would be no doubt that the event would be extremely competitive. The days racing consisted of five, five lap races each, and each driver started from a different grid position in each of their heats, ranging from 1st to 5th. Each driver then got points from each race relating to their finishing position, with 10 for 1st, 8 for 2nd, going down to 2 points for 5th place. Then, after all the heats had taken place, the top 8 drivers with the most points went through to a final of 12 laps, and the top 3 from this race got to go on the podium. The heats progressed with no real problems at all, and with a few minor exceptions, the general standard of driving was excellent. However, only 8 drivers could go through to the final, so everyone were nervously waiting for the final points tallies at the end of heat 30. The final points were very close, but top of the board was Jem Barnard and Darren Tomes, with 3 wins and 2 2nd places each, but due to the fact that Jem had set a faster lap time he qualified on pole position for the final. In third place was Nick Henry, followed by Ashley Cromack, Andy Davis, Phil Kendall, Chris Nelson and Jeff Pilot. Only eight points separated these top eight drivers, and there were a number of other drivers who were extremely close to ending up in the final. The final turned into a bit of a dual between two of last years Karting team representatives Jem Barnard and Nick Henry. The two drivers gave their view of the race afterwards:

Jem's view

I got off to a good start, and gained myself a 20m lead and stayed there until a yellow light forced a slow down and a bunching of the field. From where on in it all went a bit pear shaped. With the pressure of leading the race from pole, and the thought of just how badly I could mess up, mistake followed mistake followed mistake, until I found myself in a one on one battle with Nick. I nearly lost the lead instantly when I entered the hairpin after the bridge too fast, outbraked myself, and allowed him some space to drag up the outside. Faced with utter humiliation, I did the only thing sensible, and slammed the door shut, nearly catching his toes in the process, and squeezed him out, inch by inch. The next attack came at the corner after the start finish hairpin, at which point I was going more slowly than Nick due to a poor stint through the slow infield. I found myself being batted out of the way, halfway through the fast right hander, but was allowed back in front, and continued to defend my line. The pressure was beginning to mount as we approached the backmarkers, or rather backmarker, Darren Tomes, who had had an accident in the opening laps and went from second on the grid, to last. I clipped the inside of the barrier at the start of my last lap in the lead, I think this gave the game away that I was flagging a tad. After a few laps of catching Darren, the time came to over take, but as Murray says "Catching is one thing, overtaking is quite another". I went for my first attempt at the end of the lap, and swung wide to cut up the inside on the start finish straight, at which point I see Nick pottering past on the inside! But then Murray also reckons that "F1 is IF backwards". With only a couple of laps left, there was no chance of getting the place back, and so I had to settle for second.

Nick's view

I knew that with Jem starting on pole and me third, that I had to get into second place as soon as possible so that he didn't get too much off a lead. Fortunately, after a fairly processional first lap, I managed to get into second at the beginning of lap 2, by which time Jem had already built up a large lead. It was now that I started driving the wheels off my kart (not quite literally) in an attempt to reel Jem in. Within a couple of laps I could see that Jem was starting to struggle a little, and so I knew that, if I could catch him, I may be in with a chance of overtaking him aswell. Going into the hairpin after the bridge on one lap I thought about trying to outbrake him, but I think Jem nearly outbraked himself, giving me a chance of getting a better run than him down the next straight. Unfortunately, whilst the gap was there to start with, it slowly became smaller and smaller (can't think why - perhaps the tyres marking the track weren't straight!), and so I had to back off and fall back into second again. By now I was beginning to get a little impatient. Jem was quicker than me in the first half of the lap, but I closed the gap again through the twistier second half. With the laps fast running out, I decided that I really needed to make a go for the lead, and so lunged down the inside of Jem at turn 1. Whilst expecting Jem to make way for me and let me through (perhaps a little optimistic), he didn't, and so instead of gracefully overtaking him, I torpedoed into the side of him, thus giving Jem extra unwanted assistance towards the unyielding looking wall on the outside of the corner. Although this would have fulfilled the 'getting past Jem and into the lead' job quite nicely, it wasn't really the most sporting of manoeuvres, and so we carried on as before. The laps went on with the two of us nose to tail. It seemed as if the race was nearly finished, when we came up to lap Darren. Earlier that lap Jem had clipped the inside of a corner, and I could tell he was getting tired, so I thought I might be able to take advantage of this. As it neared the end of that lap, we were right up behind Darren, when Jem took an unusually wide line into a corner and somehow, I'm not exactly sure how, I managed to squeeze into the gap he'd left to take the lead. It all seemed, dare I say it, a bit easier than I'd expected, but still, it would do very nicely, thank-you very much! Nick Henry & Jem Barnard

Rally Round-Up 2000

Wessex members have been out and about competing various rallies across the country. As well as 12 car rallies run by local clubs such as Basingstoke MC and Hart MC, we have also been participating in Stage Rallies and Road Rallies further afield.
A Stage Rally is a rally where the competitive element takes place on private land, for example the RAC Rally is a stage rally. A Road Rally takes place on the public road and is essentially a scaled up 12 car rally (with more cars, a longer route, more time controls, shorter sections and is hence a more intense competition). With one exception, the following are Road Rallies.
In February, Bob Wisniewski and Adrian Weeks entered the Kent Rally (in Kent!). Unfortunately they did not get very far, understeering off on some ice on the first section.
James Coyne and I took a trip to north Wales in his 205 to have a go at the Rali Bro Ddyfi (Dovey Valley Rally). Despite the entire route being pre-plotted (so no navigation to solve against the clock), we still managed to be OTL at the halfway halt thanks to the rather 'interesting' nature of the roads, including a few forest tracks which would have been more familiar to competitors on the RAC Rally. Since the route was so entertaining, we decided to continue rather than cut and get back on schedule.
At the end of March, we sent a team to the National Student Motor Sport Championship, which comprised a table?top rally, an autotest and a road rally, hosted by Edinburgh University. Our team was Takashi & Zip, Phil Kendall & Steve Azzopardi and Pip Clode & Diccon Du Pre. Unfortunately Pip & Diccon broke down the far side of Newbury so only two crews made it to the start. To quote Phil, "The roads were very windy, and very up and downy. One section went up the side of a big hill (mountain). Big drop on one side of us, big hill on the other. TC at the top, and then back down the other side. Great fun."
Just before Easter, another outing to Kent, this time the Powerush Rally. Phil and Steve were competing together again as were Dave Eastham and Bob and me with my mate Chin, from Sevenoaks. Phil and Steve achieved 5th overall and 1st Semi?Expert. This was only Phil's third road rally, so an excellent result for them. Dave and Bob managed 5th Novice. Chin and I achieved 2nd overall, matching our best ever result.
Next came the Swan run by Windsor CC, many of whom are ex-WMC members. Phil & Bob and Chin & I were out again. They and we struggled with the navigation which was not set to the highest standard and thus did not achieve very good results. However, it was nice to be doing a road rally on local maps (185/186).
I don't think any of us competed on June's Wessex Rally in Berkshire. However, we sent a few marshals, Matt Hall, Bob and some others.
July saw the debut of Paul Swindells' Dolomite, navigated by Chris Moore on the Kune Tune Stages. This was a multi-venue stage rally (competitive sections on private land with link sections on the public road). They enjoyed themselves immensely on Paul's first stage rally, supported by Zip, Dick Howatt and me as service crew. They were doing quite well but, having sustained a puncture on the penultimate stage, they were severely handicapped due to a substandard spare tyre. Still they managed to finish, which was more than some did, and a good time was had by all (even if Muppet did refuse to buy a round the night before).
Also in July I was supposed to navigate Chin on the Drystone Rally in Derbyshire. However, he succumbed to flu but very kindly allowed me to drive his car with James navigating (effectively swapping seats since I had navved him on this event in 1999). The long trip up north was rewarded by an enjoyable rally on some great roads, including some very interesting, if rough, white roads. We didn't get much of a result but we had a good time on my first drive in a road rally for some years.
Oxford MC's Bullnose Rally in September was a rather a short event, at only just over 100 miles and with a finish at 0300. Bob and Paul Lettington were out, enjoying many roads local to Bob's parents.
From one extreme to the other, the Pleasant Phucker rally, in October, was 180 miles. Using maps 185, 186 and 196, the route took in many lanes which are familiar to WMC competitors. Bob and a friend from Oxford, Rehan Ali, were out again as were Chin and I. Also Matt Hall and Steve Hills came out to support the event by marshalling (thanks for the lift to the start Matt J). Chin and I only managed about 70 miles of the route before understeering off into a tree on a very muddy bend. Bob and Rehan got a few miles further before drowning in a very deep ford. Neither car continued, which was a shame since the route was excellent.
The 061 Rally, starting in Buxton, a couple of weeks later was the Inter?Association Road Rally. Three of the six people in the Association of South Eastern Motor Clubs' team had WMC links. The team of Martin Smith & PRAR(ex?WMC), Doug Kingsley(ex?WMC) & Ben Greenfield and Chin & me(WMC) managed to make ASEMC 4th Association, behind three local teams from the north and north west. Also out were former WMC members Andy Juniper on the ACSMC (Central Southern) team and Iain Tullie on the ANCC (Northern) team. Andy and Iain both failed to finish due to an indiscretion with a telegraph pole and a broken driveshaft respectively.
Takashi and Zip went off into darkest Wales to compete on the Cilwendeg in November. Dick and Jeremy Organ went too as marshals. They had a great time but unfortunately car trouble forced them to retire.
Chin and I ventured up north, yet again, to the Cossack Rally in Lincs. A rally renowned for its many white roads, again rough in places. The car stayed in one piece, thanks to Chin's extra strengthening and we managed 13th overall in a field of over 40.
Closer to home again on the Nightwatchman, maps 197 and 198. Bob and Rehan were out in Bob's new rally car, a MkII Escort purchased that same day, due to the Nova having lunched its engine. Chin and I were there again. Once again we failed to finish, this time thanks to the clutch seizing. Bob too retired after getting very wet on a white road.
December saw the Preston Rally in East Anglia. This quite extraordinary event is remarkable for its very high proportion of white roads (most of them rough). In fact all the competitive mileage is on whites and surfaced roads are used only as links. James and Zip went up in the 205, suitably prepared courtesy of Takashi's sporty bits. Unfortunately they had a problem with the fuel hose becoming dislodged and had to retire before halfway (put the fuel line inside the car for next year!).
Bob and I did the Harvest Rally down in Devon. This was quite a laugh, with very narrow, twisty, muddy lanes. Given such a route, the navigation was particularly simple (though not pre?plot as in Wales). We had a fairly good time and Bob finally managed to finish a road rally as a driver (hooray).
Lastly, Phil & Steve and Chin & I went to the Ilfracombe Rally (Devon again). Once again, excellent roads. However Chin and I drowned in a flood and then went of home in a sulk about the crap organisation of the whole event. At time of writing, I've not heard from Phil and Steve, but I hope they had a better time than we.
In closing, some rallies in the SECS (South Eastern / Central Southern) road rally championship did not take place, the Barum, the Cross Border and theTorbay. In part this was due to lack of entries. If the above has whet your appetite, then why not come along and see what it is all about? The many rallyists in the club would be very happy to advise you if you have any questions.
Apologies for anyone I've forgotten to mention and for any inaccuracies herein. Andy Coshan