Piccadilly Trial Report

750 sporting car trial syde 8.2.14 349

Picadilly Trial – 8 February 2014
Competitors thought it was too wet to run the Trial. However, apart from the underpass close to Winstone being full of water causing people coming from the north to travel another half mile on the A417 to the next junction no problems were experienced and the site was always going to be suitable for a trial.
An excellent entry of 22 was received although two non started. Peter Fenson because Liz was double booked for the day so Peter kindly marshalled, and Craig Bazley.
Once at Harcombe Farm parking was crowded but everyone was very co-operative and only John Sleight was delayed getting away because of a young groom’s car.
CofC, Roger Anderson, with the help of Paul Price and Peter Fenson both with their cars, Mike Readings and Bill Cole laid out 6 sections on a lovely sunny Friday. Sections 1-3 were in the woods with 4, 5 and 6 on the open banks beyond.
Saturday again dawned bright but the doom mongers said it would be wet all day the forecast I heard said it would rain at 3.00 o’clock. 20 minutes out as it transpired. But by the time the squalls arrived everyone was back at the farm and presentations could be made under cover and energy levels greatly improved by the marvellous bacon rolls provided by Ann Cole. Many thanks Ann.
Andy Wilks and Mark Smith carried on where they left off last year and were in the lead at lunch time. Lunch was taken early as a nod to possible bad weather and only 2 rounds were held before hand. Mike Readings was the next up followed by Steve Courts with Jon Moore getting in some practise after a lay-off with Paul Price 5th and David Rance 6th.
Apart from an exchange of positions between Paul and Jon that’s how they finished. There were 2 retirements that of Stephen Wicken and David Brock double entered with Ed Wells. Jon Cole had a drive shaft part company with 2 sections to go and took two 12’s.
Thanks to all officials especially Peter Gibbons who had more telephone calls and emails to field and paperwork to send out than usual.
We hope to see everyone at the Bisley Trial.
Bill Cole

December News

Summary of the November Committee Meeting

Late Entries

It was suggested that event late entry penalties should be reintroduced as it was felt that the competitors should have some incentive to get entries in early and so help with the financial viability side of the event. This was agreed and future event regulations will include this.

Axle Rollers

Axle rollers are almost finished and should be available at scrutineering shortly.


New Gazebos have been purchased and are being waterproofed.


A list of dates and venues for 2014 was discussed and a couple of variations suggested. It was agreed that the Gabriels Wharf venue needs to be ‘sorted’ but that we do not have enough time to do it before the January date and that there could be a possible access problem if the weather gets nasty. Therefore it was suggested that a swap with Tullecombe Woods be made and the Gabriels Wharf site be used in May. The QE2 site near Petersfield has now been confirmed for the Walsingham Trial in March.

Driver Rankings

The drivers rankings were discussed and a number of drivers were moved up to the next level. A couple of drivers have come off as they have not competed for some time. No drivers were downgraded.


It was agreed that the use of a roll bar would be strongly recommended (spec to be 685mm from uncompressed seat cushion, 38mm steel tubing, 10g or 3mm wall thickness). It was also agreed that competitors should consider the use of some form of head protection(canoe/ climbing/ cycling helmets etc) as these forms of head protection have been approved by the MSA for use in events where head protection is not mandatory.

Following on from the rollover incident at the Alec King, Kevin Judd gave a brief run through of the documentation required to run an event and explained the provisos. At small club events we need to be careful as some officials have to wear many hats at the same time so thought needs to be given to who does what.

This then followed into the question of should we provide some form of summoning help to a hill in the event of an incident as many hills tend to be self marshalling and some competitors have a habit of rushing on to the next hill, possibly leaving somebody stranded. The answer is whistles, which have now been provided and can be found in the bag at each start gate.

There was some discussion over the suitability of drivers modifying hills. It was decided that hills can only be used after they have either been checked/modified by the event CoC or one of a group of drivers delegated to this task by the CoC.

It was suggested that as we have a seat on the MSA trials committee that we seek to influence any possible/probable decision re roll bars and our existing standards.


It was suggested that we contact Pete Harding to see if he can supply any 750 marshals for the Walsingham Trial, they are mainly Midlands based but some may be willing to travel. It was also suggested that the Goodwood marshals are contacted as they like to help out at the Plum Pudding and the Walsingham will be equally local for them.


It was suggested that the scrutineering cards (for each car) be held centrally and brought to events by the event organiser to save Ross Bruce having to add the cards to the list of things to be taken with him. It was pointed out that scrutineering duties does impose quite a load on Ross, whilst also having to get his own car together at the same time. Please bear this in mind when presenting cars for inspection. Hopefully as general car prep standards improve then scrutineering will become easier and considerably quicker.


Any other business

Kevin Judd mentioned that he was trying to put together a list of bouncers in the hope of helping drivers out when they are in need.

Craig Bazley mentioned an issue at a trial where a competitor had hit a gate from earlier in the hill whilst traversing to a later part of the hill and had subsequently been given the much higher score. Technically this has been deemed to be correct by the MSA, however the current rules have not taken into account that sections can and do cross over the routes due to space restrictions. It was agreed that CoC’s should try to avoid this if at all possible, however if paths need to be crossed the as much space as possible needs to be given. It was also agreed that for marking purposes within 750MC events any gate that has been passed by the entire length of the competing car becomes dead and does not count should a competitor inadvertently hit it.

November News


For those seeking to improve their engine silencing, there are many options out there including many ‘universal fitting’ bike boxes. Demon Tweeks supply the Viper Round Race Can in polished ally and in a number of other finishes.  The DT price with the Pole position Discount Card is £89.68 on the doorstep next day. Search for:BIKEXC101

You can also buy a mute to go in the end which reduces the noise further and helps to increase back pressure which then brings the torque curve down the rpm scale and makes the car easier to drive – bit of a win win.  The baffle is best bought on e-bay at about £13 + carriage.

October 2013 News Update



There have been a few test runs at BTRDA events using 185/65 x 15 tyres, to see if there are acceptable alternatives to the present preferred tyres. The test criteria are to experience a little less grip, whilst having a wider choice of budget priced tyres that are widely available.

The 185/65 x 15 tyre was chosen as it is a very popular size for modern car production and has a similar diameter to the 165/80 x 15 we currently use.

Initial test results have revealed a number of unfavourable aspects including loading clearances in vans and trailers, unsafe performance on cross cambers with existing wheel rims and a slightly lower ground clearance. Further tests using these tyres have stopped and an alternative solution to the grip issue has been put forward.

The MSA trials committee have put forward a recommendation that a minimum tyre pressure of 5 psi should be introduced. This rule is intended to introduce less grip from the existing permitted/approved tyres.

Concerns regarding the supply and availability of preferred tyres are no longer an issue.


The MSA committee are planning to introduce a log book system for each car attending national events. The system would require each competitor to produce the log book with the car at Scrutineering any issues would be recorded and consequently visible for checking at the next event attended.

Your committee did not wish to burden each entrant with another record to carry, so the club will hold centrally a Scrutineering record card for each car entered. At each event the Scrutineer will have the cards to check and record issues.

The committee are very pleased to advise that Ross Bruce has agreed to be the Club’s Scrutineer and will progress the log card system.

Roll Bars

With view to improving safety Roll bars are being considered as a future inclusion into the Blue Book specification. So far no design or specification has been published for consideration.

Silencers – something we all need to check.

Quieter Sporting Trials?

Over the years we have lost some good trials venues due to excessively noisy cars and there is no real need for this to happen. This year following complaints to the land owner we have been advised that the Steep Marsh venue is no longer available for Sporting Trials.

In predominantly dry and sticky conditions cars are successfully trickling the stages at low engine revs and all is well with the world. As soon as it rains full power and high revs are used to blast and suddenly we have a potential noise problem.

Our cars have limited room for silencers and a need for good ground clearance, so it is vital that the silencer that is fitted is effective. It is possible to keep noise levels under control, silencing your engine by an additional 3 decibels over its operating range will halve the noise produced.

Some trials cars successfully operate in all conditions remarkably quietly, even some of the most powerful, and its time we all followed their example.

It is a fact of life that motor sports are not the most popular with a large proportion of the public particularly those seeking peace in the countryside we cannot afford to offer them free ammunition to use against us.

Trials Venues

With the loss of some venues in Kent the committee have been working hard to find new alternatives. As the second half of the season commences competitors will be able to experience “Kingsdell” at Froxfield for the Autumn Cup Trial.

Other venues are under consideration including a new location for The Walsingham Trial where we have the opportunity to compete alongside entrants in the BTRDA national championship.

One final item on venues is a question “How far are you able to travel to a club trial event?” How many of these counties would be within your reach for a good days trialling?

  • Hampshire
  • West Sussex
  • East Sussex
  • Surrey
  • Berkshire
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Middlesex
  • Hertfordshire
  • Oxfordshire
  • Gloucestershire
  • Worcestershire
  • Bedfordshire

Knowing what our members want is key to having great club trials. Please return an email to jim@d4davidson.co.uk with your preferences.

Incidentally to keep your costs down the Club membership fee has been substantially reduced and we are looking to share sites with the Austin Seven Trials centre to keep event costs to a minimum.

We Need Help

Thanks to Bill and Craig for all their organising over the years, however as they are getting older and releasing the reins we need more people to volunteer as helpers etc. Should you wish to volunteer to manage a trial there is the reward of a maximum 20 Championship points in recognition of your efforts. I think we should also recognise that the folks currently setting up our venues have a day job and are still finding the time to make our trials a success. If you can on occasion offer to help with the set-up please let us know your support will be most welcome.