Whickham and District Motor Club meet every Wednesday evening from around 8:00pm at the Kibblesworth Workmens Club, a local village venue offering a friendly welcome and extremely reasonable prices...........................................................................................
 
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Whickham and District Motor Club Limited

The Berwick Classic 2011

As usual May kicked off with one of the highlights of the North East’s motorsport calendar , The Berwick Classic. This year the ‘Berwick’ was running on one day only with all of the competition on special tests. Whickham and District Motor Club were not as well represented as usual with only one crew taking part, Peter Metcalfe and Guy Wickham in their 1966 mini. The car had had some work done since its debut on the Rallye177 in February and Peter was much happier with the car’s handling.

2011 Berwick Classic PM-GW 1


The event started at Berwick football ground and the first test was up the road at Shoreswood farm. Peter and Guy were quickly reminded how hard it is to navigate around some of these farmyard tests when they nearly went wrong near the start but no penalties were incurred and they managed to avoid hitting anything, which was better than some!

Test two, Sunwick went much better and they were feeling confident again. On the long road section to test 3 Peter started struggling with selecting gears and suspected a problem with the gear linkage. Before the test he checked it over and everything seemed fine. Test 3 was a long uphill test with a requirement to ‘stop astride’ a line near the finish. Stopping was no problem but Peter couldn’t engage any gear at all and over 90 seconds were lost with Guy eventually having to push the car to the finish. Tests 4 and 5 were completed in second gear to avoid any gear changes and it started to become clear that it was the clutch that lay at the route of the problem.

Waiting at the start of test 6 fellow Mini driver, tot Dixon helped Peter and Guy out and showed them how to bleed the clutch which made a huge difference. Test 7 was Scoughall, a real classic and Peter and Guy had a good go at the test without any problems. At lunchtime it was obvious that Peter and Guy had lost about two and a half minutes with their clutch problems but with a bottle of clutch fluid borrowed from a friend things looked better for the second half.

 

The Second Half

The second half of the rally was a real mix of tests. Peter and Guy bled the clutch before every other test and were getting the hang of navigating round the tests. Test 10 was a concrete road around a forest that saw the Mini’s new sumpguard thoroughly tested. On tests 11 and 12 Peter was now starting throw the car around a bit as he got used to the car and the times were within the top 15. Test 13 was ideally suited to Minis, very tight around a smooth concrete yard. Peter and Guy managed a top 10 time and were now really enjoying themselves. The last test was at South Belton farm and was a long gravelly farm type test. Peter had a good go at the test with the middle half mile seeming like one continuous skid, great fun!

2011 Berwick Classic PM-GW 2


At the finish the results showed Peter and Guy had finished 22nd overall out of the 40 starters and they were pleased with the result given the amount of time they lost in the morning. The event had been a really enjoyable, competitive and sociable day with good weather and great food.
A typical Berwick Classic in fact!

To see Peter and Guy in action look for ‘Berwick Classic Minis’ on youtube.

 
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