Worksop Motor Club Grass Autosolo
Yesterday evening I was invited to attend a small gathering of members from Worksop Motor Club… In a field… With some cones, to do some skids… Well actually, that’s not quite accurate. I was invited along to compete in their – non competitive – driving test. I first attended one of the WMC events last month, tipped off by Clive, local business owner at Autotronix Developments, so it seemed apt to head over to Autotronix and go from there in mini convoy…
The club hold their grass driving test on various dates across the calendar. Their next grass event is Tuesday 26th July, but there are many other events before and after, including Scatter Rallies, Treasure hunts, Indoor/outdoor Go-Karting, socials, pub quiz’s, Marshaling and actual rallying too. For more info, you can email Jon at email@example.com for a copy of their calendar, or visit their website or facebook page 🙂
If you’ve never been to a grass Autosolo before, it is the same as a regular Autosolo, only on grass… An obstacle course comprising of cones is laid out with a set route to take between them. This particular club are committed enough that they have invested in fancy running gear in shape of computer and beam set up. Two sensors (laser beams) are used, the first will start the timer and the second will end when the beam is broken. The idea is to get round the cones from start to finish in the shortest time possible, using driver skills and throttle/ braking techniques… Or so I’ve heard. Penalties in form of 10 seconds are administered for any cone contact, and the penalty for going the wrong way at any point throughout the course is the slowest lap as your time… So try not to set a bad one!
(They have 4 different layouts, including some kind of Maltese Cross type layout.. I participated in T1 and T2, the seemingly easiest of the two…)
After facing long, fast and twisty country roads, the odd tractor, lumpy paths, and what I presume was horse manure used to created a makeshift crossing where the two fields joined, we arrived in a mass convoy of 5, ready to tackle, I mean, skillfully maneuver around some strategically placed cones. Having aided one of the Mini drivers in forms of counter balance and traction at my previous attendance, I had picked up some tips and was armed with some great knowledge of an experienced autosoloer… The first being, not to go out until I was confident of the route. So I let the boys play first whilst I tried to memorize the layout…
Joe in the Chilli Orange NB8 was dubious of the uneven ground at first (his MX is impeccably tidy), but found he wasn’t quite “Stance Queen” low and made it round just fine, doing some impressive long and smooth slides. Clive claims to be terrified by cones, his excuse to always taking them out on track days, so he sat this one out. Dave decided his MK1 was just too cool for skids and Nick, his Dad and Yeti had no problems in getting down and dirty… 180’s, 360’s and dead cones kinda dirty. Yeti even lost his number plate at one point. Not quite sure if cone… or nose dive into the grass…
All in all, a great evening was had. Alongside banter, the scorching heat, good company and good fun, there were also some interesting rides to enjoy, both participating drivers and just observers. The Austin was most enjoyable to watch, bringing in some of the best times with their ‘passenger produced gravity’ and traction. The RWD Transit van also put out some impressive times for what it was and was also quite comical to watch, if not impressive at some points. From Pumas to Supras, there was a bit of everything as well as some of the bits in-between.
Before I leave you with this video compilation from the short time I was out of the drivers seat, I must say a huge thank you to Jon and all the guys at Worksop Motor Club, for having us, welcoming us and encouraging us with their wealth of knowledge and expertise. For anyone looking to join an active Rally, Test and Marshaling club, get in touch with these welcoming and laid back guys, they have a Facebook group as well as a Facebook page, links to follow.
Thank you for reading, over and out.
>>VIDEO COMING SOON<<