Monday, 18 April 2011

Beginners Luck - Cross Trophy Car Trial

Yesterday marked my return to competitive driving, after a 21 year gap, as a rookie in the discipline of Production Car Trials, a low cost discipline that was just as unlikely as my first attempt at competition in a series for Citroen 2 CV's and in a vehicle with an equally unlikely competition history.

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The Cross Trophy Car Trial was held in a field belonging to fellow competitor Duncan seen here at the wheel of his magnificent 1921 GN with his daughter just visible in the passenger seat.

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A car trial is an event in which competitors are required to drive up a variety of 'off road courses' of varying difficulty, none of which on this event was more than a hundred yards long several of which were considerably shorter. The courses were marked out by Clerk of the Course Mal.

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The aim of the competition is to see who can get the furthest up each hill with points being awarded on the number of markers cleared by the front wheels. Here the Westfield Ford of Malcom & Ann from Kidderminster can be seen scoring a perfect zero having cleared the last marker of a hill. The competitor with the lowest number of points wins his or her class.

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I was running in the production front wheel drive class for vehicles which included this Citroen AX.

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The 3 other classes included Front engine open sports cars, like this Scimitar SS1 1600 crewed by Dave and Chris from Yeovil who were running this car in for the much longer Lands End Trial next week,

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front engine rear wheel drive saloon cars like this Ford Escort RS 1600 being driven by Nigel and his daughter Alice seen at the wheel here celebrating her 16th birthday,

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and finally rear engine rear wheel drive cars like this Joyner being driven by fellow rookies to the discipline Ian & Tanya.

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I had been unable to find a passenger for this event but fortunately 12 year old Laura seen here stepped in on the day and bravely sat alongside me in the 20 year old VW Passat as I struggled to find traction with clearly the largest car in the competition.

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During scruitineering the battery and ballast security was checked, Malcom & Ann were carrying 280 lbs / 127 kgs of steel over the rear wheels of their Westfield, I had no ballast in the Passat. Tyre pressures for which a minimum permissible 14 psi was highly recommended were also checked during scruitineering.

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Laura found my Passat considerably more comfortable than her Dad Andy's Marlin in which she was also a passenger and by the end of the day Andy, Laura and I had all swapped passenger roles, going up a slope in a light rear wheel drive vehicle seemed considerably easier than a heavy front wheel drive car like the Passat.

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After a total of four attempts on each of the five hills the Bristol Pegasus MC's secretary Tim Murray, seen in the background here, added up the scores of all competitors and unbelievably yours truly was announced as winner of the front engine front wheel drive class, call it beginners luck or the versatility of the large and in charge Passat, I was thrilled to bits.

My thanks to Duncan, Laura, Andy, Mal, Tim, to my fellow competitors and everyone from the Bristol Pegasus MC who made this a memorable day out.

I hope you have enjoyed today's, Car Trial edition of 'Gettin' a lil' psycho on tyres' and that you'll join me again tomorrow. Don't forget to come back now !

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