Countdown to Spadeadam’s top navigation rally
Last updated at 14:14, Friday, 03 August 2012
Organisers of Spadeadam Motor Club’s Countdown Navigation Rally believe the changes to this year’s event will help attract over 45 competitors from across the north of England.
The Countdown is one of Spadeadam’s flagship events and this year’s rally will start from the Howard Arms Hotel in Brampton and feature 120 miles of challenging north Cumbria roads on September 8 to 9.
Navigational rallies are seen by many as the easiest way for members of the public to get involved in competitive motorsport and have been the proving ground for many successful international British co-drivers. The events are a mix of skilful and speedy map reading from the navigator, mixed with careful and observant driving from the driver.
Organisers provide crews with just enough information to get to the next time control but it takes the form of a series of instructions which demand careful interpretation and consideration to work out the correct route. They have to stick to a low average speed but the use of small roads and narrow lanes tends to slow things down.
And to make sure there’s no short cuts and everyone is on the correct route, a series of coded route boards are placed on the roadside with crews required to note the codes in order as they traverse the route.
This year new clerk of the course John Ross has made a few changes to ensure competitors will enjoy the popular event even more.
“We’ve made the navigation a little easier this year and will make sure the roads provide a real challenge,” said Ross. “The event will be around 120 miles long and the aim is to use as many tight roads as possible with a few whites thrown in for good measure.
“We want to make sure it’s not too tough but still remains a challenge for both driver and navigator.” Most of all we want people to enjoy themselves. It would be great if we got around 45 entries for the main event and anyone who isn’t planning to take part is always welcome to come along and marshal.“Because we’re making the navigation easier, we will tighten it up by throwing in a few short sections so we need quite a few marshals to make sure all the controls are manned. Crews will need to be on the ball to keep on top of it all.“I’m also hoping the start in Brampton will help to showcase navigation rallying to the public. This is one of the easiest ways of getting into motorsport and, at Spadeadam, we are always trying to encourage people into motorsport by showing them just how easy it is to get started by taking part in their club’s local events.”
The Countdown Rally is opening to crews with competition licences but they are able to take part in pretty much standard cars. However, an event aimed specifically at novice competitors is running alongside the main event.
The Launchpad 12 Car Rally will use exactly the same route as the Countdown but is open to anyone with a valid club membership card and is a great way to get some experience of the navigation instructions and roads that the experts use.
“The Launchpad will use the full 120-mile route and it’s an ideal way for novices to get some fantastic experience,” added Ross. “We want everyone to enjoy themselves and try the other events that Spadeadam offers during the year.”
Both events will start from the centre of Brampton with the Countdown kicking off around 10.30pm and running through the night of Saturday, September 8. More information, including regulations, is available at www.spadeadammotorclub.co.uk.
Staying with rallying and Richard Barnard was stopped in his tracks last weekend after blowing the head-gasket on his Subaru Impreza’s engine at the Harry Flatters Rally on Epynt’s military ranges. Barnard had climbed to 27th place before retiring on stage 10.
Meanwhile this weekend sees the M-Sport-run Ford World Rally Team line up at Rally Finland for one of the FIA World Rally Championship’s top events.
Famed for its ultra-fast gravel roads with tree-lined roads and rollercoaster jumps, Rally Finland is loved by both spectators and competitors.
Ford’s Jari-Matti Latvala will be chasing success on home soil after finishing on the podium on the last three seasons but team boss Malcolm Wilson will be hoping the his other driver Petter Solberg will push for a podium place as well.
Rally Finland is one of the shortest events in this year’s calendar but competitors face the 33km Ouninpohja stage tomorrow. The test is considered to be one of the best stages in the WRC and will see crews blast through at speeds over 180kph.
First published at 14:10, Friday, 03 August 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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