It was wet, very wet.
15 entries but Craig Hodge was a non starter so 28 dripping people attending the briefing where it was hoped there would be 3 rounds of 6 sections in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. Tyre pressures had been set at 2psi and would remain so all day.
Sections 1- 4 were mostly in the open on thick grass, 5 and 6 in the trees.
After the first round Dave Hailes on 18 was 7 points ahead of his nearest rival.
Because of the rain, which although anticipated on the Friday when setting out, difficulties were experienced in the woods and there was considerable delay. It was decided to restrict the morning to 2 rounds.
The scores now showed Andy Wilkes stamping his authority on proceedings having dropped 35 with Pat Henson next up on 50 closely followed by David on 52 but still best semi-expert.
Mike Readings must have had something special to eat as he was the only one after lunch to return a score in single figures for the round. This had the effect of moving him up to 3rd overall.
The rain had eased by lunchtime and it was a pleasant afternoon.
Winners of the Bisley Trophy were John and Ann Cole and John’s normally wide smile was bigger than ever. 1st semi-expert driving very well all day was David Hailes and Andy Westmancote.
Overall winner, Andy Wilkes and Mark Smith collected two more glasses for their ever increasing collection.
Owing to too few entries an award could not be presented to Paul and David Brock first in the novice class.
The only retirement was the double entered car of Stephen and Glen Wicken who dislodged the sump which allowed oil to seep out until the engine cried enough.
My thanks as always go to Peter Gibbons who did all the paperwork and marshalled, Carol Greening who did all the scoring and bounced all day. All the other marshals including Jonathon and Francis Gibbs all the way from Rugby.
Photo shows John and Ann Cole receiving the 750MC Bisley Trophy.
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
The trial was held near Dorking at the Old Brickworks Quarry Trials Centre. Paul Cawsey (Secretary of the event) with assistance from Steve Avery and Kevin Judd set out 6 sections covered 4 times in what was likely to be wet conditions given the rain the day before and the forecast. An lower entry than recently of 15 set off with tyre pressures of 3, raised to 5 at lunchtime as conditions improved. The wet conditions had limited the scope of this sites use due to standing water, but sensible challenges were set. The promised rain held off until a heavy shower during presentations – luckily held under cover.
The 750 club is receiving increased entries this year with 3 new additions to the fold making a well-supported and competitive Novice class.
John & Anne Cole were setting the pace closely followed by Bob Bruce, Luke Little and Steve Wicken on Lap 1 [Steve again retired with recurring ignition issues]. Tim Mann was leading the Novices class on 10 after lap 1. At Lunch John Cole had established a good lead on 6 marks lost – having surprisingly lost a 5 on section 1. Steve Avery was having a poor day [although after lunch he showed his normal form losing only two more points]. Luke Little was leading the B Class on 21, and an excellent drive by Tim Mann put him well clear in the Novice Class.
After Lunch the Class leaders all continued to show good form with John Cole Leading home only losing a further 4 points. Luke Little topped the B class runners into second place overall having repeated his success from last year in this event at this venue. Steve Avery, despite doing serious internal damage to his engine finished second with an outstanding afternoon pipping Bob Bruce for the A class award. John Sleight, suffering from a dodgy right fiddle brake got runner up in B class with an improved afternoon losing only 3 marks on lap 4. Tim Mann [with father in law Frank Willard as passenger] lead home the Novices followed closely by Glen & Owen Wicken with a best lap of 7 marks lost. He drove his much improved Trialsmaster well, being encouraged by the marshalling Bill Hicks, who fondly recalls his successes in his former Trialsmaster . Frank Willard [doubling up with Tim] in B class splitting Tim and Glen in the results, has now got a challenge in the household having been beaten by the apprentice this time out.
Of the new competitors a mixed day was had with Phil Haines [Ex Dave Oliver car] again showing promise until arguing with a tree causing the loss of fiddle brakes and retirement. Ray Forward & Andrew Carey in the newly acquired Suzuki powered Concord showed promise. Doubling up with Andrew, he coming out 3rd overall in the Novice class.
Mrs Joe Gisby – who with both of Alan’s former bouncers was in attendance did the awards presentations – she spoke very highly of the event that she enjoyed and congratulated John and Anne Cole on their outstanding performance with a clear victory after a few weeks of mechanical problems.
With time and a bit of clearing this venue can offer much more and the Landowner keenly follows our events encouraging our return next year, certainly the sections this year were well thought out offering different tests to last year’s first event at this venue.
Ian Bell won the Walsingham trial in Hampshire by a massive margin from George Watson and Paul Price.
750 Motor Club had found a new venue near Petersfield that offered drivers a huge challenge within the woods with garlic making grip hard to find. Ian Bell took the early lead reading the ground well to hold a three point lead over John Fack, Paul Price and Roland Uglow after round one. Having worked so hard setting up the event Kevin Judd reacted to some drivers struggling and reduced tyre pressures for the second round, which saw Bell extend his lead dropping just four points with Uglow seven behind at lunch. Paul Price lead the intermediate class at lunch, and John Cole held a clear lead in the novice class, just ahead of ex multiple champion Ian Wright, who wasnt having a good day by his high standards.
Tyre pressures were increased again at lunch as sections improved, but a shower of rain made conditions very challenging for some and saw scores increase drastically. Bell had another fantastic round to finish twenty four points clear of Watson who didnt have a good round but just held onto second overall by a single point from Paul Price who had the third best round. Uglow also had a poor round dropping back to fourth ahead of Steve Courts and Julian Fack. Returnee Stuart Beare had the second best round dropping just sixteen points but a mistake in morning limited him to thirteenth overall. Price won the intermediate class from local driver Paul Faulkner who finished in seventh overall. John Cole won the novice class by a clear margin from Mike Baker in twelfth overall.
The clubman section, of eleven drivers was won by Steve Avery who would have finished sixteenth overall in the national section of eighteen competitors.
Ian Bell, Hamilton, 43points
George Watson, Hamilton, 67points
Paul Price, CAP, 68points
Roland Uglow, Crossle, 73points
Steve Courts, Facksimile, 81points
Julian Fack, Crossle, 83points
Paul Faulkner, Sherpa Indy, 85points
John Fack, MSR, 86points
Mike Readings, Sherpa Indy, 87points
Andy Wilks, RCAP, 91points
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.
Summary of the November Committee Meeting
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
- West Sussex
- East Sussex
Knowing what our members want is key to having great club trials. Please return an email to email@example.com 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.