Keeping with our plan of doing more in our new car, we heard about the Bedford Car Club gravel autotest. At £10 for a full day of competition, and just over an hour from home, it seemed too good to miss given we were available.
We had managed to buy some 15″wheels after the car trial (the eBay auction finished the night of the car trial, so a little late for that event…) and these were fitted to Minnie for the autotest. The club ran classes as Beginner, Novice and Expert with the definition of Beginner being “any Competitor who has taken part in less then 3 previous Autotests or PCAs in the last 3 years.” I had competed on two, the Oxford MC grass autotest in July 2013, and the West Suffolk MC tarmac autotest in April 2014, so it was back to the Beginner class for me.
Having not competed on an autotest for a while, and having not done any “memory” motor sport events (i.e. remembering the course), I was hoping it would all come back to me. Matt and I decided to enter the Production Car Autotest (PCA), meaning a passenger could be carried. Neither of us had done a PCA before but I thought sitting alongside Matt could benefit my driving, and him sitting alongside me could also provide me with some valuable feedback. We agreed we would not speak to each other unless the other person asked for help and was about to go wrong, but it was good to have that security alongside.
Bedford Car Club ran eight tests, with one which included reversing. Whilst there were two simple sections of reversing, it was still a bit of added pressure!
The day felt like it was going well, with no wrong tests or cones hit on my part. The MG’s handbrake is a bit unpredictable but when it did work it worked well, and competing on loose was really enjoyable. By the end of the day, I finished 1st in class and 9th overall, as well as Best Lady, which is a result I would happily have taken at the end of the day; my first ever autotest class win. With Matt finishing 3rd in class and 4th overall, it was a successful, but most importantly enjoyable, day out in the Endean household.
Onboard videos are available on YouTube.