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Trial Reports 2012
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Long Compton

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Sun shines on inaugural HSTA Trial!

Long Compton, 12th May, saw a fantastic turnout of cars and spectators, even the sun put in a rare appearance! please visit Charlie Wooding's website for a terrific gallery of photographs that you can buy.

Photo courtesy of Paul Hardiman

Ian Wright with his father Barrie enjoying themselves in Barrie's car

Nigel Moss driving his car, Cannon 14, that used to be owned by Mike Cannon

Report courtesy of the Ford Sidevalve Club

Report on The Inaugural Historic Sporting Trial 12th May 2012 Long Compton, Oxfordshire

The latest branch of historic motor sport, historic sporting trials, was established with the Inaugural Historic Sporting Trial taking place on the 12th May 2012 at a superb site in the Cotswolds.

After the wettest April on record the sun shone for the first time in well over a month leaving the site is prime condition for the first event under the banner of the Historic Sporting Trial Association. The organisation of the event was in the hands of SportingTrials.com, a club that has its roots in the famous old trials club, Kentish Border Car Club.

The organisers asked participants to wear period dress and there were many tweed sports jackets and flat caps on display. In addition the event had been promoted as a reunion for ex trials drivers and they came in great numbers. Very quickly a gentle relaxed atmosphere came over the whole proceedings with people greeting old friends they had not seen for 20 years.

An excellent entry of 26 competitors had been received, driving 20 cars ranging from mainly Cannons and Dellows to an Austin 7 special. Of the 20 cars competing, 13 used 1172cc Ford engines, 16 of the cars entered should have been in the pre 1970 NTF classes and 50% of the cars had proper fiddle brakes.

Many of the cars were being driven for the first time since major or complete rebuilds whilst others have been regularly used in classic reliability trials.

Setting out the observed sections to cater for cars with fiddle brakes and those with out was a challenge for the organisers who had introduced deviations for the fiddle brake cars to attempt. The morning sections were made very wide but even so by lunch time only two cars still had clean sheets. After lunch the sections were altered to include muddy terrain with the result the scores rose accordingly. The organisers reintroduced the old method of marking in that a car failed a section when forward motion ceased, an interesting concept for those used to modern methods of marking a trial.

The premier award for best overall was the original Cannon Trophy which went to Mark Milne from Cumbria whilst second overall, Ian Moss won the original Duckhams Trophy.

When the event was over there was universal agreement that this was the start of historic sporting trials and the HSTA should do all it can to encourage other clubs to run similar types of events. The Association has already received offers from three well known trials clubs to host events. It was agreed that in the future the emphasis would be on providing trials that are primarily suited for the Ford 1172 or small BMC A series engined cars using period 18" wheels.

Report courtesy of Martyn Halliday

Cotswold Historic Sporting Trial 3rd November 2012

Stroud and District Motor Club held their first Historic Sporting Trial at Horsley in Gloucestershire and welcomed an excellent entry of 18 pre 1974 trials cars. In line with the inaugural trial in May the field was classified into 4 groups depending on the level of modification of the car. In an attempt to promote pre-1970 specification the main award would go to the winner of class A; those cars that were running 18 inch rear wheels , transverse leaf spring front suspension, fiddle brakes and 1172cc side valve engines. As it happened this was the largest class which was made up mainly of Cannons plus John Heppenstall in the Cotton Cannon that he last competed with in 1965 and Ian Veale in the IRH2.

Conditions were near perfect, crisp and clear but suitably damp underfoot. The 7 sections had been laid out with both this and the ability of the cars entering in mind. At the end of the first round (of five) there were some very respectable scores from all the classes. Leading overall was Neville Collett (Class A1) in his modified Cannon with a score of 0. Kiel Wright (Class B) driving one of the last Cannons ever to be built had dropped just a single point while Ian and Nigel Moss (Class B1) were tying on a score of 2. Ian Veale led Class A on 3.

With the passing of cars the sections became more and more slippery and with tyre pressures set at 10psi, power was not necessarily the order of the day. With some of the cars having not seen action for many years a few gremlins understandably started to appear. Martyn Halliday lost a bolt from his front suspension, Kiel and Bianca Wright´s engine kept running out of fuel and Richard Neale retired his Dellow after round 1. At lunch ( after three rounds) Neville Collett was still ahead with a score of 7 from Ian Veale on 10 and Ian Moss on 13; all the classes well represented on the leader board. Lunch was suitably leisurely with plenty of opportunity to look over the cars and chew the mechanical cud.

With sections tweaked for the afternoon runs and conditions becoming increasingly difficult scores started to rise. Hill 3, at the bottom of the site had a brand new start which was tricky enough in round 4 but became very difficult in the final round. Only 5 competitors managed the first turn, the penalty for failure being 9 or 10 points lost. Despite collecting an unwelcome 10 points here, Neville Collett managed to hang on to win Class A1 with a total of 28 points. Tim Barrington prevailed in Class B while Ian Moss secured Class B1 with only 36 points lost.

First in Class A and therefore overall winner was Ian Veale with a score of 23 points with his son Tristan as passenger. The winning car was built in 1964 by Ian Headon who drove it with much success during the sixties and early seventies including 3 outright wins in the London Lands End Trial, one of these with Ian Veale´s father as passenger. The fact that 3 generations of the same family can enjoy success in the same car almost fifty years apart sums up the fascination of the HSTA and the desire to bring these old cars out and competing again. Congratulations to Stroud and District Motor Club for providing the latest opportunity in this process.

John Heppenstall driving the car he last competed with in 1965!


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