My son Owen and I (both Novices) turned up at the Hook Woods Trials Centre, a new venue for this years Bluebell Trial. I had been busily refurbishing our front end with the aid of a welding torch and so we had high hopes of doing well in our old Trials Master! We have also had previous experience of this site, having both ridden cycle trials here back in 2006/7 and so knew the ground, or so we thought.
The event was well laid out with some hard tight sections, covering Bluebells, soft damp mud and moist stony banks. Due to the sweltering sunny weekend weather and what appeared to be fairly dry ground the tyre pressures were set to 5PSI.
We started out nervously as it is always interesting to see how the car will perform after modifying/improving(hopefully) something with the general aim of improving the old Trials Master each meeting. We started on section 5 and all went well, the nerves soon went and the car was running sweetly! Unfortunately we were lulled into a false sense of security and on the next section disaster struck as the front right steering folded in on itself.
Fortunately we managed to overcome the bent steering arm by attaching the steering on to the disc brake mount, which just happened to be in the right place! This enabled us to continue, as finishing the trial is half the battle when you are in your first year of competing.
The sections were a mix of dry areas with moist patches that became more like wet bog as the cars passed through them, these boggy areas were at the bottom of the hills, so making it more challenging to get the power down to attack the slopes. This made it more fun for myself as it was interesting to see the more experienced drivers finding it hard not to get bogged down if they got it wrong! It also turned what was going to be a ‘clean dry day’ into a ‘plastered in mud day’ as we had to manhandle the cars that just got stuck!
After the 2 morning rounds we stopped for lunch, as it was a glorious day and the car was running well we were able to kick the shoes off on the nice lawn like grass and relax for a while. A number of cars were suffering from the heat as their cooling systems are more designed for the usual cold weather of trialling, however the lunch break allowed them to cool down and they all got running again for the afternoon rounds, even if they were not running at 100%.
The 3rd round dragged a bit as I think everyone had had a touch of the sun and so were on a go slow, with a lot of gentle bickering over the sections and a running order that had gone a little awry. During this round there was a minor disaster when a novice went over coming off section 5, just a few cars in front of us. We all rushed over to give assistance but thankfully no one was hurt and the guys were laughing it off – hopefully they will be a little more prudent when going backwards next time!
Our group then moved on to that section and Ross Bruce comfortably cleaned it without any problem. We had our attempt, only to find our fiddle brake levers coming off in my hands, so it was game over for us. We limped back to the car park and then returned to watch round 4 but unfortunately due to time restraints the trial was stopped after 3 rounds.
After all the tidying up results were declared as follows
1st Overall, winning the Bluebell Trophy Steve Wicken
1st Class A – Expert Drivers Ken Davies
1st Class B – Semi Expert Drivers Luke Little
1st Novice Phil Haines
It was then off home for cold Beer on a very warm enjoyable day!!!
Thanks to the 750 Motor Club Sporting Trials Centre for a great day.
Glen and Owen Wicken