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My First Retro Rally ( West Cork )

 
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My First Retro Rally ( West Cork )
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Patricia



Joined: 01 Feb 2009
Posts: 295
Location: Leopardstown

Post My First Retro Rally ( West Cork ) Reply with quote
It all started 3 weeks ago in Mondello when I heard ‘Miss Denning if I found you a navigator would you do the West Cork Retro Rally?’ Who was it only Eddie Fitzgerald with a very large grin on his face. ‘You must have some sort of car at home that would be suitable’. Phone calls were made and a navigator in the form of the very competent Jo McAllister was located.

The next job was to find a suitable car and I sheepishly asked Piers if I could borrow the Starlet he was going to build for multi venue events, ‘no problem at all’ was the reply, one more request however, ‘could you build it in 3 weeks’

I read up as to what exactly a retro Rally is and it appeared to be made up of a couple of different challenges including some Autotests and regularities. There was also a section called a Night Navigation, which seemed to involve driving at approx 30 mph! The thoughts of driving around West Cork in a 85 Starlet at night @ 30 MPH with no cd player or heater didn’t exactly send me into a flurry of excitement, however I had heard they were great fun so I thought I would give it a go. I believed that all you need to get started at retro rallying was a brantz unit and a good interior light for the navigator!

The next 2 weeks passed very quickly with numerous visits to various motor factors, Carroll & Kinsella etc etc. After endless discussions and phone calls about hydraulic handbrakes / tyres / brake pad compounds / spot lights etc the big day dawned and car was deemed ready to go and I set off in high spirits for a shake down in Sally Gap on Friday morning. The car seemed to be holding together very well. I didn’t hit anything and nothing fell off it so I felt this was a very good sign indeed. I did however receive some very odd looks from my neighbours as they are not accustomed to seeing me in an ‘85 Starlet with a roll cage and a set of harness’s. Well let’s be honest here, it’s hardly an object of beauty is it?

The event began on Friday evening in Clonakilty with a couple of autotests and then a night regularity, which involved going round small lanes and farmyards. It was then I began to realise that trying to drive at 30 mph was harder than I imagined, but the penny was starting to drop and I was beginning to appreciate why everyone had been telling me it was great fun. The eagle eyed Dermot Carnegie spotted a well beaten up Starlet in the yard at test 1 and suggested that we could use this to salvage a few panels should we have any close encounters with any trees or walls, thankfully we didn’t need to make any return visits for spare panels but I'll bear it in mind for next year.

Saturday morning started off with a test on the wet grass and I learnt that its very slippery, a couple more regularities and some nice tests on the loose which were great fun altogether and a break before the much anticipated Night Nav. I however had no idea as to what to expect but I was assured that it would be very enjoyable; I innocently presumed it would be something similar to the previous night. ………

Jo and I set off on the night Nav and I soon began to realise what all the commotion was about. We were in through farmyards, up narrow lanes, down dirt tracks, through streams, the list was endless, and we were even in a field with a herd of cattle as the spectators. Jo and I are both Dublin ladies and driving round fields in the dark is not the norm on a Saturday night ! The little Starlet was like an agile terrier up and down hills / lanes etc and it took whatever we threw at it in its stride with no complaints! We did however go through a water splash a bit quickly followed by the car starting to misfire and eventually coming to a stop for a short rest. However we get it going again. I didn’t realise the pace that the night nav was run at and full praise to Jo who gave me clear instructions, which in turn gave me great confidence to push on and up the pace, knowing what way the road ahead was veering. I can report that the sump guard was fully tested and has passed quality control with flying colours. The locals told me that this type of sump guard testing is called ‘Surfing the road’. Meanwhile Joe Doran decided the aerodynamics at the front of his Manta were not up to scratch so he cleared the front of his car of the lower front spoiler to aid airflow! He is not sure when or where he did this but I believe it gave him better top end speed.

Sunday Morning dawned and by this stage I was growing very fond of ‘My’ little Starlet and after a quick wash we were off again for more tests and regularities and again it never missed a beat. The whole weekend was just fantastic fun; the highlight for me by a long way was the night nav.
Congratulations to Eamonn Byrne and Paul Phelan who were first home followed closely by Robert Ganly and Paul Bosdet with Frank Lenehan and Cath Woodman taking the third spot. Eamonn’s mantelpiece must be creaking at the seams at this stage! Congratulations also to Owen Whelan and Joanna who drove a stormer all weekend to win our class.
Piers deserves a big thanks for building (my?) car in such a short time and also thanks to Jo for sitting with me. Thanks to Damien Phillips for helping out with the wiring and the headlights, which came in very useful at night! Also many thanks to the Rocket for the loan of his Brantz and his kind words of advice ‘Just drive it like you stole it‘.

I would also like to thank Cork Motor Club and all the marshals and timekeepers
for all their hard work and for putting on such a wonderful event.

One quick question ‘When is the next one?’
Wed May 20, 2009 8:35 pm View user's profile Send private message
Piers14
TDC Committee Member


Joined: 31 Jan 2009
Posts: 1856
Location: Leopardstown, Dublin

Post Reply with quote
Nice write up Trish... You'll miss that Starlet when I'm out in it for the IMRC Retro Smile
It looked like a really fun event.. I really liked the special tests, particularly the one in the quarry on Saturday afternoon.. Even Liam Cashman used the excuse of going out to the shop for a pint of milk to see that test!
Its a pity there aren't more Retro events and a better turnout.. If people realised how much fun and what good value for money these events are I think we would have a lot more entries..
Great praise and thanks has to go to the clubs and their members who put so much hard work and effort into these Retro events...

Roll on September to the IMRC event... Very Happy

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Wed May 20, 2009 9:01 pm View user's profile Send private message
Peespeed
TDC Committee Member


Joined: 01 Feb 2009
Posts: 483
Location: Carlow

Post Reply with quote
Nice write up Trish and a good result for your first Retro........looks like Piers will have to look for another Starlet for the IMRC event Razz

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Thu May 21, 2009 12:07 am View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Damien



Joined: 03 Feb 2009
Posts: 221

Post Reply with quote
Well done Patrica, great result. Im planning on doing the IMRC aswell, but unfortunatly my navi is a big a newbie as me, so we'll be glad just to finish id say Laughing
Thu May 21, 2009 12:07 pm View user's profile Send private message
Piers14
TDC Committee Member


Joined: 31 Jan 2009
Posts: 1856
Location: Leopardstown, Dublin

Post Reply with quote
Peespeed wrote:
looks like Piers will have to look for another Starlet for the IMRC event Razz


Cheeky... I was getting that a lot over the weekend...

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Thu May 21, 2009 1:16 pm View user's profile Send private message
Patricia



Joined: 01 Feb 2009
Posts: 295
Location: Leopardstown

Post Reply with quote
Thanks Peter and Damien.... I can't believe that I'm so fond of a 85 Starlet , there must be some sort of medication you can take to cure this!

If anyone knows of another 85 boxy Starlet please let Piers know as it would be an awful shame to have to move the seat in my one............LOL
Thu May 21, 2009 7:44 pm View user's profile Send private message
Piers14
TDC Committee Member


Joined: 31 Jan 2009
Posts: 1856
Location: Leopardstown, Dublin

Post Reply with quote
Ha.. Funny... Smile

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Fri May 22, 2009 8:49 am View user's profile Send private message
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