7th August 2021
Having watched the weather forecast all week, it looked like it was going to be a wet meeting, at least for some of the time. The journey to Harewood on Friday was horrendous for the majority of us. Stop-start most of the way. Staycations!
The motor homers gathered in the field adjoining the track and set up home. Stephen P did three laps of the field before settling into position. We joined Stephen and Helen for supper and were later joined by the Thorne’s and David G. We left at 9.30, followed shortly by Sarah. Two hours later she went back to drag Malcolm and David away to let everyone get some sleep! Dave and Marion, Steve and Jane, Tony and Lyn and Pete all gathered at a local hostelry which, by all accounts was excellent food and value for money.
We awoke on Saturday to a lovely sunny morning with fingers crossed that it would last. Those who had them put up their gazebos as the forecast was for rain coming in later. Dick arrived at the meeting in his blue Elan with the explanation that he set out in the yellow one, got to Scotch Corner, developed a vibration and decided to turn back and change cars. A total of 570 miles just to get there. The Proclaimers ‘500 Miles’ comes to mind! It all adds to the mileage history, Dick!
There were a few last minute cancellations – Karen and Clive had to pull out due to Karen’s father falling ill (thankfully he is recovering and we wish him well) and Tony Wallen has an inner ear infection which we hope will clear up soon.
As had been the case for the past two or three years, we were the first batch off at 9am and most of us got round without any major problems. One or two had ‘moments’ but nothing damaging (except for pulse rates!). Harewood is well-run and even with a couple of minor hold ups the second practice came round fairly quickly so we were lining up at the start again at 10.30. Then someone at the end of the first practice came off, apparently due to sheep wandering onto the track, and we sat in our cars for half an hour whilst the car was recovered and the track cleared. It had been hoped by both organizers and competitors that the first timed run would happen before the lunch break but another hold up put paid to that and we broke for lunch at 12.15 with the request that we be ready to run again at 1.00.
The rain clouds were amassing so we were all ready and waiting in our cars to be called at 1.00 in the hope we could all get at least one dry timed run. For some reason, we weren’t called until 1.15 and it began spitting with rain. Sarah had a big wiggle as did Pete B. Dave H also found it a bit slippy and Stephen P retained his “Flappy Paddle King” title by having a moment and demolishing a couple on his way to the top! However, all but the second dual drivers (Geoff, Jane and Briony) had a virtually dry run, which explains their much slower times and is very frustrating. Paul is struggling at the moment getting second gear so he thought he would try leaving the start in second. Don’t think he’ll do it again as he bogged down losing valuable seconds. Back to the drawing board Mr M!
It then rained heavily so we had an ice cream whilst contemplating whether or not to take our second runs. Twelve of us didn’t and the other eight, for their own reasons, did run again. I love Briony’s enthusiasm when asked if she was taking her last run said of course she was, it makes it more fun! It was her first visit to Harewood and I think she was keen to get as many runs in as possible. Dick and Pete had their usual battle (over who’s turn it was to but the ice creams!).
The whole class was randomly chosen to be scrutinised and it is a testament to all of us that there were no problems with any car bar the odd superfluous thing that has to be found!
Congratulations to Keith Wilford who won on handicap. He historically does well at Harewood and he likes the track. Iain was second which has now confirmed his win for this year’s handicap and scratch. Tony S did a respectable time to finish in third.
Iain has driven amazingly and given us all a masterclass in how to hill climb and sprint. Geoff has taught him well and both he and Alison have been generous in their support. Hats off to you all. The remainder of us battle for positions at our final meeting of our 30th year at Shelsley in September.