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Trial Reports 2015
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Cannon Trophy

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Ron Faulkner

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Isle of Wight

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Plashes Farm

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Kentish Border Car Club Cannon Trophy Trial

Report on the Kentish Border Car Club Cannon Trophy Trial – 10th January 2015 – Fairhurst Estate, Donnington, Berkshire

At last the Kentish Border Car Club has succeeded in organising a historic sporting trial in January. The previous two years’ events had to be cancelled due to waterlogged ground and the 2015 event was close to suffering the same fate following rain and strong winds on the night before the trial. The organisers arrived on site to find the access track a real challenge for the tow vehicles and trailers, the loos had blown over and water oozing out of the ground on the trials site. 31 drivers assembled to do battle with the elements and the 6 long hills which Ian Wright had set out on a new site near Newbury in Berkshire. Once a few cars had attempted the sections the surface deteriorated into mud and bog which left everyone struggling for grip. Sections were modified but this was a really tough trial which soon started to take its toll on the cars and drivers.

Three laps were completed without a break and it was then off to the pub at the entrance to the site for a well-earned meal and to unwind.

When the results were declared it showed just how hard the event had been with only 4 drivers keeping their scores below 100. Stephen Barnes, driving Martyn Halliday’s Cannon, was best in the Historic class winning the Cannon Trophy with 95 marks lost, just beating Monty Peters in the ex Chappell Cannon on 98. Best in the Post Historic class was Simon Durling in his Kincraft on 55 from Frank Wilson on 80.

Ron Faulkner Trial

Report of the Ron Faulkner Trial at Langrish, Petersfield Hampshire – 28th March 2015

The Southsea Motor Club achieved another superb entry with 33 drivers wanting to do battle in the chalk valley beside the main A272 near Petersfield. The weather was better than last year, this time it was overcast but with a spell of light drizzle towards the end of the morning.

On the day there were various non- starters for a number of reasons but it was the first trial for two newly restored Cannons and also the first event for Tim Kray and John Semengo Turner in Tim’s recently acquired Imhof. Both David Brand and Mark Howse had clearly been spending a lot of money and had many late evenings in preparing their Cannons to a the very high standard but it was also clear they had previous trials experience. James Page of Classic and Sports Car magazine was sharing the “Wright” Cannon with Ian’s son Kiel. Richard Rowe having had enough of modern trials brought a friend’s Concord to share with George Douglas in the Post Historic class.

Six long hills had been set out amongst the trees, some so long that a small number of well know people managed to miss vital marker posts which did absolutely nothing to help their scores. At the end of the first lap the new boys were doing rather well with Richard Rowe and Graham Wilson losing 1 mark each and a three way fight in the Historic class between David Brand and Frank Lyons on 4 and Mark Howse on 5. For the second lap a few changes were made to the hills and the scores started to mount up. Hill 6 was the big climb which suddenly became very slippery when the drizzle set in. Back at the tea wagon for lunch David Brand was leading the entire trial with 10 marks lost and Richard Rowe having a good morning on 11.

During the lunch break we had a MSA Scrutineer check the Historic class cars for compliance with the Regulations in respect of wheelbase, track and engine position. He commented the wheelbase on some cars varied from side to side by as much 30mm – that may explain something!

Further changes to the hills for the final lap led to more people missing markers but it was Frank Wilson who posted the lowest total on 4 from Monty Peters, Graham Wilson and Richard Rowe 6. After all the scores had been added up it was a fairy tale result for the new boys. David Brand won the trial overall on 19 marks lost from Mark Howse on 20. Not bad for two cars straight out of the box. To finish matters off the best Post Historic went to Richard Rowe. Congratulations to all of them, the competition is hotting up.

Our thanks go to all the officials and marshals from the Southsea Motor Club for another great trial. See and buy pictures of the event on Charlie Wooding’s website www.charliewooding.co.uk – trials galleries

1st Isle of Wight Trial

The Isle of wight trial was a great success with nothing but praise from competitors who enjoyed a great trial and fabulous hospitality. Everyone is looking forward to the next one in 2 years time!!

Here is a report on the event from your scribe Martyn Halliday!

An excellent entry of 27 drivers gathered at lunch time near the top of Cheveton Down on the Isle of Wight for the first day of the new Isle of Wight 2 day Historic Sporting Trial. 6 sections had been set out on the side of a grassy valley which included part of a downhill mountain bike course. During the morning it rained but by the time the event started the wind had blown the rain away leaving a pleasant afternoon but very wet grass and not much grip.

Sections 1 and 2 were under the trees and proved to be rather tricky taking marks from everyone. It was here that David Methley and Geoff Richardson started to show the form that was going to lead them to a podium finish at the end of the two days. With a combination of very gentle throttle control and just enough speed they were the only competitors to conquer a very slippery climb between the 9 and 8 markers.

Frank Lyons and Trevor Wood were driving Frank’s latest Cannon trials car but a number of shake down issues soon became apparent and some time was spent under the bonnet. David Brand who won the last trial outright had, by his standards, a poor start from which he did not recover until the following day.

Monty Peters was on sparkling form leading the first round on 9 followed on the second and third tours with 4 and 3 respectively. Ian Wright was his nearest challenger with scores of 10, 10 and 9.

Saturday’s proceedings concluded with an enjoyable noisy group evening meal in a hotel in Ryde. Each driver was presented with an excellent Isle of Wight pen holder as a memento

After early morning mist Sunday proved to be a lovely warm day. The hills had started to dry out with the result the scores dropped dramatically.

David Methley and Geoff Richardson suffered a steering arm breakage but found a friendly farmer to weld it together allowing them to re-join the trial. Mention must be made of the sporting generosity of Graham Wilson who was, at the time David’s steering broke, running strongly in second position in Post Historic. While David was having the steering fixed the trial moved on and David could not get back in time to complete all the sections under the eye of the observers. David and Geoff drove all the sections recording their own scores and to Graham’s credit he accepted these even though it cost him the class win. You would not hear of that happening in other branches of motorsport.

The trial was won overall by experienced trials man, Monty Peters from Ian Wright and Mark Howse. David Methley took the Best Post Historic class and Geoff Richardson came third in the same class. The racers are starting to master trials! See the pictures on Charlie Wooding’s website.

HSCC will be running the next historic sporting trial at Plashes Farm near Ware in Hertfordshire on the 22nd August. All are welcome. Details from Martyn Halliday on 07739 464170

Download Saturday's results

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HSCC 3rd Historic Sporting Trial held at Plashes Farm

Thanks to Rachel Arnold and her team for the following report:-

Nobody told me what fun it could be and what these gangly cars and I could achieve and improve on by the end of the day. Exhausting but nicely so - This sport requires finesse, intellect and above all - a sense of humour!

The 3rd 2015 HSCC Sporting Trial was held on 22nd August at Plashes Farm, Near Ware, Hertfordshire and the glorious weather meant ideal conditions for the event. It attracted entries from far and near with competitors ranging from the very experienced to complete first timers, a wide variety of ages, shapes and sizes of cars and people! Many family teams entered with Father son / daughter, husband and wife combinations.

After unloading the cars we were welcomed to the event by a catering van serving hot drinks and breakfast rolls. Paperwork duly signed and completed we took our place in the queue for scrutineering. Although this is a serious aspect carrying out safety and eligibility checks and ensuring the correct tyre pressures were in place (different rules for Historic and Post Historics), this was very relaxed and there was plenty of pre event banter, laughter and heckling already starting to take place. Cars were in all sorts of condition, from gleaming brand new to barn-find ones as if just recently dragged out of the sea after 50 years complete with barnacles... The latter were to show up the former by taking all in their stride. To show everyone up though was the road-going Dellow driven by Peter Hanman, arriving and returning home under its own steam. Looking a little like Noddy's car it was fun on wheels watching it and without doubt driving it too.

Names from the murky past were Cannons (driven by some HSCC names such as Tim Barrington, Grahame White ably passengered by Breda, former Marcos and now F. Junior hotshoe David Methley sharing with super-engine builder Geoff Richardson, Guards entrant George Douglas with Historic Formula Ford driver Andrew Mansell, F.5000 entrant and his Dad; Chris & Ken Atkinson from the I.O.Wight), the Hanman boys driving the only Dellow entrant, former historic Lotus driver Neil Davies in a Cranford - itself the only one in existance we are told and in period a Lotus-beater against the early Lotus creator Colin Chapman first attempts and must have been influenced by their designs to pen his Grand Prix cars in a lower, less gangly but just as beautiful format. Dad & son Westie & Ben Mitchell, no slouches in Junior & FF cars, piloted something called a 'Wrightone' on its first trial Trial outing. More obscure TMS's, FRS's and CWB Tridents also filled the bill to show a field of weird and wonderful apparatus that were made for the 'Bomb-holes', 'Devils Dykes' and 'Deers Leaps' they were about to do battle with. Merlyn Formula Ford drivers Rachel and her Dad Roger Arnold's entitled little wonder, 'Mudplugger' said it all really.

Organisers Martyn Halliday and Ian Wrights welcome and briefing kicked the day off officially. We were told when and how to score cards and make sure they are handed in, (some wag said he'd already filled his in), what not to try to knock over and the strange aspect of only one vehicle on the track at any time, with a lot of people used to busy circuits it made a nice change to have it all to yourself!

The competitors were split into groups of mixed ability and experience so that mentoring and knowledge sharing could take place and then we all set off onto our pre allocated starting stage of which there were 6 set out within the Plashes Farm grounds - all 500 acres of it!. Upon arrival at the various sections mild expletives could be heard from the first timers as they were confronted with what first appeared to be an impossible section but after first walking the course on foot and taking advice off the more experienced competitors about how to approach each element they were soon replaced by huge grins as the course was attempted and conquered. It was very different walking the course to actually being in the car where questions appeared in your head like "Am I going up or down this hill, left or right of this post, tree, enormous hole, ditch etc?". Tree hugging takes on a whole new meaning in this sport.

Cornering is a little different too, the spindly spoked front wheels tend to oversteer and the realisation of the 'fiddle' rear individual brakes took on a more important reason just to get round some easy bends let alone the more important climbs, turns, leaps, slides and jumps at a faster rate than one can think (if you are a newbie). Working out how you failed or succeeded afterwards was quite an achievement too...

Although thin on the ground we were lucky enough to have some volunteer observers and score keepers on some stages. Their help was greatly appreciated and they did a great job to keep things moving efficiently and ensuring competitors scores were noted correctly for each section. Some spectators soon found themselves with a clip board and score card in hand for the section they had initially come to watch and turned involvement into a fun and relaxed event. Advice abounded from all areas and boy, was it easy if you were a spectator!

Two rounds of each of the six stages were completed during the morning. There was a great pleasure to be gained from simple things like doing one part of the course better than your mate or that sense of achievement as you progressed further through the section than on your previous round. Of course you were competing against others but you are also competing against yourself to improve on your previous attempts.

The front runners took it very seriously and did very well. They embraced the challenges and made it look effortless but were always happy to share their experiences and give good advice. However, hearing the whoops and cheers and celebrations from the less experienced but very vocal competitors brought a smile to everyones faces as their celebrations were announced and shared with those nearby and could be heard on the next section.

Travelling between the sections gave drivers and passengers time to admire the beautiful scenery. Rolling fields, views across valleys of the sunny Hertfordshire countryside at commanding high points with a view to the 25 miles over London and Cambridge and through shaded, almost medieval 'Olde England' glades and woods. We disturbed a deer and sent it running through the trees, this was time to enjoy a calmer ride and analyse what we did well or badly and plan what we were going to differently next time round.

After a short break for lunch, refreshments and use of all the facilities on site we all set off for our third round. However, the beautifully planned course had had changes made for the final round so this meant more challenges and re learning new sections.

There were a few mechanical casualties as the day progressed. A failed clutch, flat batteries, broken suspension and a few bruised bodies but at the presentation at the end of the day once score cards were handed in and duly counted up these were forgotten. We were a jovial crowd with huge smiles on our faces exchanging stories and sharing our celebrations and disappointments. At the Prize-giving, trophies were handed out with a special "spirit of the event" being awarded to racer Grant Tromans who had flown in from Monaco to take part. He described this as "The best event this year because of the competitiveness with fun" and added this was "the best bangs for bucks"

This really had been a day of good family entertainment and it was evident everyone had thoroughly enjoyed the day. Charlie Wooding took photos throughout the day and if you visit his website he really has captured the spirit of the event and the pictures say it all.

Special thanks must go to Historic F1 & F5000 racer Frank Lyons for use of his land and for setting up with Ian Wright of the sections. Also to Dick Dixon for scrutineering, Martyn Halliday and Ian for all their time and efforts put into organising this brilliant event.

If anyone is interested in helping out at future events please contact Martyn or Ian (contact details at bottom of page). I am sure you will find it very rewarding as well as enjoyable to be part of such a fun, relaxed and enjoyable event.

And thanks to Martyn Halliday for his sixpenny worth!

The HSCC Historic sporting trial took place on one of the hottest days of the year. With the temperature over 30 degrees and high humidity everyone was very glad they did not have to don racing suites and helmets for the days sport at Frank Lyons’ Plashes Farm

We had a great entry of 36 drivers but unfortunately Mark and Paul Howse were non-starters due to a trailer wheel bearing failure on the M25 and the recovery taking hours. Among the 34 starters were a number of “first timers” including Colin Cheffey and HSCC racer Grant Tromans whilst Andrew Mansell and Dick Dixon were having their first serious drives in borrowed cars. Westie and Ben Mitchell came out in Ian Wright’s first car while Michael Lyons and moto-crosser Tom Pearmain shared one of Frank’s Cannons

6 hills had been laid out; fortunately most were in the relative cool of the woods. However it was left to Frank to mark out the inter section route which resulted in a very pleasant 3 mile trip around his woods and farm.

The first two laps were completed at a leisurely pace. Steve Courts, out in his very early Post Historic Facksmile with Chris Craft as his passenger, led the field with no marks lost from Stephen Barnes in Martyn Halliday’s Historic Cannon on 1. Senior HSCC management were locked in battle with Chairman Frank Lyons on 8 and CEO Grahame White on 5 while Formula Ford racer Roger Arnold was going well on 9. Westie and Ben Mitchell suffered a fractured Panhard rod which caused their retirement whilst David Methley and Geoff Richardson did not find the form they had shown in the Isle of Wight Trial. Chris Atkinson shared his car with his dad while the rest of the family acted as marshals or helped the Secretary of the meeting. Andrew Mansell and George Douglas had to retire due to clutch slip but Dick Dixon finished his first trial in style.

Lunch was not rushed as the section were being altered and tightened for the final lap. Whether it was the heat or too much lunch which affected the drivers in the afternoon but the scores certainly climbed, apart from Tim Barrington who proceeded to clear every section with ease. Michael Lyons’ score dropped as he started to get the hang of driving slowly for once. David Brand, who was on 3 at lunch time, definitely had an afternoon to forget!

In all a successful event which was enjoyed by those taking part. Stephen Barnes was Best Overall on 3 marks lost and Steve Courts won Best Post Historic on 5.

Grant Tromans won the “Spirit of the Event” for flying into Heathrow at 8.30am, driving in a trial for the first time and then flying home again in the evening.

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Rachel showing how it is done!

Chappell Historic Sporting Trial

Chappell Historic Sporting Trial – 12th December 2015

The Kentish Border Car Club ran the Chappell Historic Sporting Trial at Ashtree Farm, West Malling, Kent on Saturday the 12th December

A good entry of 30 drivers met in the convivial surroundings of Ian Wright’s off road business allowing us the rare luxury of having the signing on, lunch and results in a warm dry room with a log fire as well as a workshop to fettle the cars. Joining us for the first time were historic racers Neil Glover and Mark Dwyer who were sharing historic Cannons with Frank Lyons and Chris Atkinson respectively. Both drove exceedingly well showing excellent throttle control on the greasy surface. 6 hills had been laid out, 2 on grassy slopes and the remainder in a woody valley.

The sections were altered for each of the 3 laps but none were so tough as to take marks from all competitors.

At the end of the first round there were two clean sheets in the Historic class, Ian Wright and Mark Busfield, who was having the drive of his life, while in Post Historic Colin Mitchem was also on clean in JABS2. Changes to the sections for the second lap extracted I point from Mark leaving only Ian and Colin on clean overall. Five competitors went clear on this lap but with such close scoring there was no room for making even a single error.

Relaxing over lunch obviously took its toll. At the end of the final tour only Ian Wright had the perfect score of zero but it was still tight at the top as the results show. Mark Busfield was best Historic losing marks on only two sections beating Sandy Veale by 3 marks at the end of the day. The Post Historic class was only resolved by counting who went farthest without losing a mark, Richard Rowe lost his only mark on his first hill and Frank Wilson lost his only mark on the fifth hill. The trial only just finished in daylight, at the end the light under the trees was so poor that some wag suggested all the cars should be fitted with lights.

An enjoyable event and one we hope to repeat next year at this site.

Historic Plum Pudding Trial

Report on the 750 Motor Club “Historic Plum Pudding Trial” – 28th December 2015

On the 28th December the 750 Motor Club organised one of the largest sporting trials to take place for a long time at Head Down, near Buriton, Hampshire. In fact there were two trials taking place at the same time, the Plum Pudding Trial for modern trials cars and the Historic Plum Pudding Trial for cars complying with the MSA historic sporting trials formula. In all there were 51 competitors packed into the site.

Originally 33 drivers entered the historic sporting trial but a few non-starters reduced this to 27 on the day. This is a respectable entry considering a number of regulars were in foreign parts, or with relatives, and had sent their apologies. 6 sections had been set out on the side of a hill in forestry ground which forms part of the South Downs. The underlying surface is chalk covered with a generous layer of soil and leaf mould requiring very delicate throttle control to maintain progress. It was good to see Stuart and Clive Tizzard out in Stuart’s Cannon and John Elliott with his newly restored Cannon. John had a few teething troubles but it is hoped these will be sorted out in time for the next trial.

On the first lap Hill 6 proved the most difficult with only Steve Courts in his original Facksimile showing it was possible to achieve a clean climb. At the end of the lap Historic class drivers Monty Peters and Ian Wright were on 3 with David Methley in his new Cannon on 4 and Oliver Busfield on 5.

Some hills were changed for lap 2 but Mark Howse drove beautifully in his newly acquired old Facksimile to achieve the only clear round in the Post Historic category while in the Historic class Ian Wright dropped 1. At lunch time Steve Courts was leading the Post Historic class on 1, Mark Howse on 2 and rapidly improving Geoff Richardson on 6. The Historic class duel was between Monty Peters and Ian Wright both on 4 with David Methley completing the top three on 8. An enjoyable lunch hour was spent swopping yarns in the winter sunshine gathered around the burger van; meanwhile the hills were undergoing subtle alterations.

On the final lap scores rose but in the end Mark Howse and Steve Courts tied in the Post Historic class on 5 each but Mark took the trophy having had 15 cleans to Steve’s 14. In the Historic class battle Ian Wright prevailed over Monty Peters by 1 mark. Nobody can say it is not close in historic sporting trials.

A good days sport on a great site and blessed with mild sunny weather. What more could we want to finish off 2015?


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