www.kerryandjane.com Last updated: Sat 19 Jun 2010
Minis: News

Land Rover
Other Stuff

 All words
 Any word


Sizewell Autotest (with video!) [Updated 25/10/02]
13 October 2002 by Kerry
minis Thanks to some encouragement from Matt at work, I decided to take a first step into motorsport by entering an autotest at Sizewell power station, organised by the Eastern Counties Motor Club. For those who don't know, an autotest basically involves trying to follow a set route through a load of cones in the fastest possible time. Usually there are added complications such as having to stop astride lines, drive into 'garages' marked out by cones, and drive some sections in reverse, but fortunately this event was all forwards.

As I discovered, the hardest part isn't getting round quickly, it's remembering where you're supposed to be going! There were four tests, each of which everyone got to drive three times (apart from the poor bloke who went off like a bat out of hell into his first run, spun through the first chicane, hit a kerb and broke his suspension). All twelve times are then added up, along with time penalties for hitting cones or going the wrong way.

I got completely confused on my first run, doing the first part twice and getting a maximum penalty, but managed to get it right on all the others, ending up with the seventh fastest overall time out of eleven, which wasn't bad considering that a lot of the others were driving Westfields, and/or had a lot more experience than me.

Despite it pouring down all the previous day, we managed to get the whole event done before the rain started, and there was only the one broken car, although both Matt and Shaun nearly got run off the road on the way home by two separate Sunday drivers. I had a great time throwing the Mini round like a lunatic, and no doubt I'll be back next time to try and improve on my position. And with an entry fee of only nine pounds for non members, you won't find many cheaper events!

As well as the pictures, there's also some video - Click here to watch it (3.3 MB, QuickTime required), and don't forget to turn the sound up!

Update: The offical results have come out, and apparently I was fifth, not seventh, with a total time of 757.8 seconds, compared to the winner's 685.0.

Click on the thumbnails for larger pictures and more information:

The tests Just arrived Between runs Course one Course two The finish line Between runs (again) Final test


© 2001-2005
Kerry Buckley
Jane Murray

Hosted by

Made on a Mac

Valid HTML 4.0

Valid RSS 1.0

RSS Feed