On Monday evening June 9th the Bath Motor Club Gymkhana was held at Kilima Farm, Naish Hill, the home of John and Liz Stratton who let us play with our motor cars on their nice smooth camping field.
This year there was a splendid entry of 17 cars who undertook the various devious driving tasks that had been set before us.
1. Peter Hine = 679 penalties
2.Ross Whittock =717.90
3.= Martin Moore = 722
5. Vic Wright =745
6. Simon Bush =810
7.Jerry Pennell =824
8. Donna Williams = 904
9. Peter Blackett = 930
10. Dave Whittock =981
11. Mike Burrows = 1007
12. Paul Simmons = 1011
13. Dave Williams = 1015.5
14. Duncan Stonier = 1033
15. Mark Dunkerley = 1040.5
16. Keith Wilson =1167
Rtd Carenza Ellery
Peter Hines in the Morgan was the winner and Donna Williams in the family MG Midget for the Best Lady. A bottle of plonk was presented to each. Well done both.
The evening was fine and balmy and proceedings started at 7 pm. The entry ranged from a smart Mini, two top of the range Porsche's, a lovely Morgan, a Mitsubishi Evo 8, two Mazda MX5,s, a Land Rover Discovery, a Ford Racing Puma and various family saloons.
Test 1 was a series of cones set in a clover leaf that had to be circulated in a clockwise fashion whilst holding in one hand a tennis racquet of very dubious vintage and balancing a tennis ball. The tennis ball, of course, was not to be dropped during these manouvres. This had to be attempted three times in all. Quickest at this test was Mike Burrows in the racing Puma on 54 seconds.
Test 2 was in an adjacent field that had a distinct slope. We were allowed to play a bit here and controlling wheel spin was not easy. Three rings were to be collected from the top of a cone and then delivered one at a time to three other cones set down the said slope. They then had to be collected and replaced back on the top of the original cone. Duncan Stonier's Porsche demonstrated that more power than grip is very common moist on long grass as well as terminal understeer when the brakes are applied in a hurry. Best here were Paul Simmons in the Mitsubishi Evo 8 (obviously in 4WD mode) and Peter Hine's Morgan on 84 seconds. This test was also attempted three times.
Mike Patton took charge of the parallel parking test which was Test 3, again attempted three times. You were confronted with a box designated by plastic water containers and you had to adjust the front and rear of the box to back your respective machine into the box without touching the cones. This to be done inside a minute.It would probably be better to draw a veil over this test as no less than 8 people failed either to get into the box or hit a marker. This writers first attempt drew a fail with a hit marker, the second attempt incurred a fail with not getting into the box but Mike Patton being the generous soul that he is, took pity and gave me 59 seconds! and sort of overlooked the fact that I had two wheels outside the box. At my last attempt Mike suggested I was parking a tank rather than a Ford Focus but I did manage it successfully at last!
The piece de resistance was Chris Stratton,s offering on Test 4. This test was attempted twice. You were confronted with a nice piece a smooth cut grass and the object was with the aid of a large or small polo/croquet mallet hit a polo ball up the said strip, through a hoop and back again to hit a cone with the polo ball at the finish. This writer obviously needs more practice in his croquet skills and also the need to engage brain and read the instructions and realise that in croquet the object is to hit the ball through the hoop rather than around it. I think that this test caused more amusement/frustration than any of them. The best at this test, by a country mile, was Mark Dunkerley on 44 seconds. But he did admit that he had had a dabble at some form of polo before.
We then retired to the barn for refreshments and hard luck stories of how it should have be done.
A great fun evening and many thanks to John, Liz and Chris for doing all the work in putting it on. Many thanks to Liz Stratton, Cathy Dyer, Dave and Doreen Richards for looking after the catering arrangements.
No it's not a horsey event and neither is it as extreme as a Ken Block drift video but the club gymnkhana is a great chance to get your first taste of club motorsport.
A gymnkhana is a series of challenges laid out around the fields of the Stratton's farm which sees you attempting challenges as diverse as grass slaloms, penalty shoot-outs and blindfold driving.
Non-damaging and suitable for all levels, just bring a sense of fun.