If you missed today’s British Autotest Championship round at Heathhall in Dumfries but you happen to be free tomorrow, then it’s well worth a look. Don’t confuse this event with a club ‘forward-only’ autotest, this is better than ‘Fast & Furious’ and ‘Tokyo Drift’. It’s real. It’s also noisy and smelly, so if you wince at the sound of tyres squealing or turn up your nose at the smell of burning rubber, stand well back!
These guys represent the top autotesters in the UK and they way they change direction from forwards to reverse in full blooded j-turns into and out of ‘gates’ with absolute precision defies belief. And don’t think the FWD drive boys have it all their own way, the RWD lot are every bit as skilful, entertaining and impressive.
Gordon Clendinning and South of Scotland CC have gone to a huge effort to create this spectacle and bring the nation’s top autotesting competition back to Scotland for the first time in over 15 years. Three separate tests have been laid out and competitors tackled them 6 times today. They’ll do it all again tomorrow but the tests will be altered overnight.
There were quite a few spectators coming and going during the course of the day today, but I did spot two local workies in well-worn overalls. They were working in a factory nearby (I won’t say which) and were attracted by the tyre squeal. They weren’t motor sports fans, but they stayed till it finished at 4pm – and then went back to the factory. No doubt there will be a factory boss somewhere who will open up his factory doors on Monday morning and wonder why nothing was done on Saturday – I hope he doesn’t read this! It all kicks off again on Sunday at 11.00am.