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(Post Link) post #1 of 20 Old 19-12-03 Thread Starter
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Autotest - Blessington - Stephens Day

This isn't an Alfa event, but it will be worth advertising it here for the health of the nation.

If you fancy standing around watching some flash buses being driven around a complex quary circuit, while digesting your Xmas dinner, then this is the thing...

11am, START: the REAR ENTRANCE to Red Bog, Blessington, Co. Wicklow (by kind permission of Dermot Carnegie), at 11.30 am SHARP. Check-in from 11.00am. (approaching from Dublin, turn right 0.4 miles after Cross Chapel).
If you hit Blessington, you've passed it.

VERY IMPORTANT EVERYONE (COMPETITORS, OFFICIALS, SPECTATORS AND FAMILIES) MUST OBSERVE A STRICT 15 MPH SPEED LIMIT ON THE APPROACH ROAD TO THE EVENT TO AVOID PR PROBLEMS FROM THE RESIDENTS. ANY COMPETITOR WHO BREAKS THIS WILL BE INSTANTLY EXCLUDED FROM THE EVENT. ABSOLUTELY NO COWBOYING.
WE MUST ALLOW THE RESIDENTS TO ENJOY THEIR BANK HOLIDAY.

So get out and breate the fresh air after the excesses of Xmas...
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Did I hear you right? You did say buses?

-Nick
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(Post Link) post #3 of 20 Old 19-12-03 Thread Starter
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Flash buses... I mean to say standard road cars.
Never heard the phrase 'flash bus'???

Imagine an auto-test with buses!!
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Of course they do "auto-tests" with buses.

Sorry I don't have any good pictures, but the following comes from a Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) press release.

TORONTO, June 4 /CNW/ - Find out what it takes to drive a 40-foot bus around tight corners.

Toronto reporters are invited to get behind the wheel of a very big bus this Friday, June 6th, as a preview of the TTC's 32nd annual Bus and
Maintenance Roadeo. It's a great chance to tell a fun story and find out what it takes to drive one of those big buses every day.

Drive the course with an expert at your elbow. Do a three-point reverse turn - without knocking down any pylons. Pull into a bus stop around parked cars. And stay on schedule!

Compare your score with the best. Four time defending champion, TTC driver Bill White, will be among those on hand to help train you on the
intricacies of driving the bus and to tell the story of the Roadeo Championships.

The actual Bus Roadeo takes place Sunday over an obstacle course that is designed to challenge the most skilled urban bus driver. TTC drivers qualify during run-offs at the divisional level, and compete for top honours at the annual bus roadeo. The winner of the 2003 TTC Bus Roadeo will compete at the North American championships, to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah in late
September. A Maintenance competition also takes place. http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/a.../04/c9133.html

And for what it's worth, this is the type of competition I thought you were talking about too. It really is time you English learn your own language. wink laughing

Cheers,
Toronto
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(Post Link) post #5 of 20 Old 21-12-03 Thread Starter
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:<hr /><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Toronto Spider:
<strong> It really is time you English learn your own language. wink laughing
</strong><hr /></blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Tut Tut!!! How's your French???

Anyway, it is my intention to enter Toad's old 145 in this rally. It's just be moved it it's new home, (house looks like an Alfa dealership now) so should be able to get some good photos of it in action...
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Don't think you'll have it all your own way, Toad and I are debating whether to use his D******u or my 75, Finbarr and another friend are bringing our Rover 111.

Regarding buses, someone did it 2 years ago in a Merc 500 SEL.

This is all a bit of fun for St. Stephen's Day (@Toronto, note: NOT Boxing Day as it is known on the other island!!). For the great unwashed, autotesting is the only form of motorsport where you come to Ireland to meet the World Champions. I believe that the SCCA have something like it called "Solo 2" in the States, but with none of the difficulty involved in it. Here is a taster from the Trials Drivers Club of Ireland website:

What are Autotests?
Autotests are a form of Motorsport in which a car is driven on a set route around various obstacles against the clock (typically in a car park or Industrial Yard). Time Penalties are given for touching an obstacle (usually Pylons = Vertical Sticks) or not performing the manouvres correctly. Drivers are required to travel forwards or in reverse between manouvres, perform spin turns, stop in garages and on various lines, including the finish line. The Competitor with the lowest total time for the event is the winner.

There are generally between 8 and 12 tests per event and each test normally takes an expert between 30 and 60 seconds to complete, using first and reverse gears only. The entrants are divided up into various classes depending on their skill level and the car they are driving, and awards are presented to the best drivers of each. Points are also scored in any relevant championships.

When driven well a car travels smoothly around the test, without excessive wheelspin, stopping only on the required spot for an instant with the driving wheels already turning in the next direction, any other changes of direction being performed without stopping at perhaps 2Omph. Great satisfaction is derived by competitors from driving the tests skilfully.

There are classes in the National Championship (known as the Motorsport Ireland Hewison Autotest Championship) for various types of cars and one class for novice drivers, as follows:



a) All Mini saloons b) Front wheel drive Specials

c) Rear wheel drive Sports Cars and Specials d) All Saloons, other than Minis, up to 1300cc

e) All Saloons, other than Minis, over 1300cc

f) Novices (in the championship only, - Best novice in each class award given at events)

The TDC run several Autotests each year from the novelty handicap St. Stevens day event through a beginners championship and Hewison Championship round to the International Trophy Autotest where National teams from England, Northern Ireland, Wales and the Republic battle for honours.

Sample Test Diagram

http://www.tdcireland.org/testdia6.jpg

MHFTI!
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(Post Link) post #7 of 20 Old 22-12-03 Thread Starter
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Merc 500 SEL eh? I might know who that is...!

We had a small problem trying to get the ABS disabled.
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(Post Link) post #8 of 20 Old 22-12-03 Thread Starter
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:<hr /><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by AlfaKev:
<strong>...are debating whether to use his D******u or my 75, Finbarr and another friend are bringing our Rover 111.</strong><hr /></blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Do you fancy having any of the back end of the 75 left after the event? They seem very tail-happy to me. But I suppose if the 500 SEL came out unscathed, the 75 will too!
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Now I know where I saw you lot before - the Merc sounded like a NASCAR by the time you were finished with it!

Funniest car I've ever seen it done with was a couple of rally heads that turned up with a Reliant Robin! They went on their side at least once on each test, "bouncing" the driver's seat to get it back on three again. A couple of their friends set an ambush from behind a water tank, they shoved a plank under the car when it went on its side. The driver couldn't get it down again, much to everyone's hilarity!!! Think I have pictures of it somewhere..........
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(Post Link) post #10 of 20 Old 23-12-03 Thread Starter
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Think I met you in Phoenix park... you had the 75 (??) with the spoked wheels that I thought were from a Lancia!
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P.S. Don't forget a camera!!
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(Post Link) post #12 of 20 Old 23-12-03 Thread Starter
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Damn right!
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Met you in the Park alright, but have been wondering since where I had met you lot before that. As I said, all revealed now.....

I think the wheels were on my 155 V6, and as I remember it may possibly have needed tyres at the time........

I took the thermostat out of my 75 this morning for Toad's car, oil in the water I'm afraid. Dead car.
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(Post Link) post #14 of 20 Old 23-12-03 Thread Starter
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What alloys are on the 75? Any black ones for sale? I possibly have a taker...
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Will talk to you Friday about them.

It's got steelies, but I have a set of 5 spokes from another one. Lined up for someone already though, but I may know where there are a set of black ones.........
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McGuin,

My French is passable, but even though it's an official language, it is really only a secondary language, given to a defeated people as an olive branch by their English conquerors. wink

Seriously though guys, that really looks like quite a test. And Kev, you're right. That is much more complicated than a Solo course (I can never remember if autocross/slalom is Solo I or Solo II), which only involves going forward quickly around a twisty pylon course.

Good luck to both of you, and remember we want to see pictures and read the race reports. I can't wait to see if all three reports will mesh, or if we will see a demonstration of writer's bias. wink
--Toronto
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Mcguinn the 75 has 5 hole wheels so they won't fit.

Diahatsu will be readied tomorrow, I.e oil water fuel.... WHEELNUT'S.. Don't want a wheel to fall off again!!!

Looking forward to this now ..Mcgiunn fancy swapping cars halfway through the day ??? I'd like one last fling in me old baby. Plus the charade is faster.
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(Post Link) post #18 of 20 Old 24-12-03 Thread Starter
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5 hole wheels? Sure that's grand. I only have 16 wheel nuts anyway...
I'll have to see about letting you operate such a piece of machinery. It's been significantly modified since it left your house... I now have a working handbrake... I retained one part of the drum brakes just for you.... It was the cause of a whole lot of trouble, and you'll laugh when you see it...!

I'll be entering the novice section, I still have to perfect my hand-brake turns! They are more akin to manovering a beached whale at the moment!

As we say.... "FOOT IN!!!!"
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@ Toronto,

As far as I remember Solo II is the slalom competition - I spent a few months in Minneapolis and got in contact with the Land O' Lakes branch of the SCCA. If I was another week there I would have been instructing at their rallycross school, but I also managed to miss out on the ice rallycross by a couple of weeks. Shame that, I had a Pontiac Grand Am V6 hire car, which had a proper handbrake!! Must admit to figuring out how to use those foot-operated GM parkbrakes, although there were some pretty hilarious efforts before I got it right. Best bit was a week-long family trip to Quebec for my brother's wedding - my family emerged from a speed skate track to find me doing reverse throws in a Chrysler Grand Voyager!!

@ McGuinn and Toad,

Friday should be fun, and remember it's not that serious - until we start!!

Merry Christmas everyone!!
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Hello Alfa Kev,

I am the Lad who resurrected the 500sel from Kinsella's Scrap Yard for 200 Punts (Opposite Red cow) 2 years ago.
It took some time to drain all the expired Petrol from the Tank. We fitted an Audi Fuel Pump to it and emptied two cans of ether down the Throttle body to get it to start.

You're right it did sound like a NASCAR, GLORIOUS!!

The rear box came off with a bang as we entered the Quarry. All it needed was a good Thrashing and it certainly got that. The drive back over Sally Gap on the way home on a Friend's Trade Plates was very enjoyable!! We spent half the time looking out the Passenger Window!

I'm the lad who would like to find a set of Black 155 5-spoke Speedlines for my 146.

Hopefully I'll talk to you at the trial, if not PM me about the Alloys you know of which maybe available.

By the time you read this you will probably have done the Autotest. Hope you enjoyed yourself!

I deeply regret not doing it but I have to work Thru to 7AM St. Stevens Morning and I've got the Flu!!

Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year,
 
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