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Trial Reports 2016
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Ron Faulkner Trial

Report on the Southsea Motor Club’s Ron Faulkner Trophy Trial 2016

On Saturday the 2nd of April competitors assembled in a chalk valley at Langrish near Petersfield in Hampshire to compete in the annual Southsea Motor Club’s historic sporting trial for the Ron Faulkner Trophy. This year the weather was kind with the sun shining leading to a very relaxed atmosphere in the somewhat congested paddock.

Among the 23 Historic and 14 Post Historic drivers there were three “first timers” to historic sporting trials, but all of them had previous trials experience, either on 2 or 4 wheels, which showed at the end of the day. It was good to see Martin Grindrod, who organises the HSTA website, out after a long absence due to a health issue.

6 long hills had been laid out between the trees; all the sections had straight forward starts and became more challenging the further the competitor progressed. At the end of the first round three drivers were still on zero, Mark Howse, Steve Courts and Grahame White hotly followed by David Brand, Peter Hore and Mark Busfield on 1 mark lost.

For the second lap the sections were subtly changed. Section 1 gave competitors a choice of routes, either a tight fit between two large trees and then a straight climb up the rest of the hill or a slippery adverse camber and then turning up the hill. Most of the leaders managed cleans but many lost 5 or 6 marks. The climbing right hand bend on Section 4 was tightened leading to terminal understeer if an over enthusiastic approach was adopted but everybody enjoyed the blast up the big hill which formed Section 5.

Back at the burger van for lunch it was announced there was a three way battle for the lead in the Post Historic class with Grahame White, Mark Howse and Steve Courts all still on zero and in the Historic class David Brand and Monty Peters were slugging it out on 2 and 4 respectively. During the leisurely break the sections underwent further changes for the final lap.

Section 1 still had the choice of line but the only clean in the Historic class was Mark Busfield while in the Post Historic both Westie Mitchell and Richard Rowe reached the top. The turn on hill 4 was still taking its toll with only 7 clears the most notable being newcomer James Forsyth in his very early Ibex. Perennial winner Monty Peters had a senior moment on the relatively easy last hill by going the wrong side of the 11 marker, a mistake which cost him dearly.

When all the scores were added up the Ron Faulkner Trophy went, for the second year running, to David Brand who lost 14 and best Post Historic trophy was won by Mark Howse on zero.

In all a most enjoyable trial and our thanks go to Paul and Paula Faulkner for all their hard work.







HSTA 5th ANNIVERSARY TRIAL – 7th May 2016 Report by Monty Peters

Who would have imagined that within five years of the founding of the HSTA entries would reach fifty seven? Even in modern sporting trials it is many a long year since entries reached these numbers. Once again much praise must be bestowed on Martyn Halliday who works tirelessly to promote the sport.

What better venue to hold the Anniversary Trial than the beautiful rolling countryside around Long Compton in the Cotswolds? The venue is set deep within sheep filled farmland and offers spectacular views of the surrounding area. The site is huge and offers a tremendous choice of sections on the lush grassland banks. Saturday dawned bright and dry with the possibility of rain later in the day.

In addition to all the regulars a few new names appeared all driving historic Cannons. Dean Tromans and John Beale were sharing theirs whilst Grant Tromans had restoration guru Paul Lanzante sharing another. Nigel Bennett from the Isle of Wight was christening his newly built car. It was good to see a contingent from the Stroud club comprising Ian Moss/Ryan Eamer, Nigel Moss in Post Historic Cannons and father and son Eric and Dave Wall in their historic Canhi. Making guest appearances were BTRDA Sporting Trials Champion, Ian Veale sharing the ex Rex Chappell Cannon with Monty Peters whilst Historic racer and motoring scribe Mark Hales was having his second outing sharing the Post Historic Cannon of Geoff Richardson.

The HSTA team had laid out 10 long sections which were to be attempted 3 times during the day. As the competition began it became apparent that the damp grass was catching out many. The secret to driving on wet grass is to create pace without inducing wheelspin and when the driving wheels start to spin back off the accelerator and ‘trickle’. Easier said than done as the natural reaction is to accelerate. Giving a masterclass in ‘pace and trickle’ was Ian Wright (Historic) who completed the first round in single figures. Not far behind were Steve Courts and Mark Howse (Post Historics) renewing their battle for the lead from the previous event. Frank & Graham Wilson became the first retirements with fuel problems but managed fix for the second round. Also in trouble with fuel pump failure were Tim Barrington and Grahame White who managed just eight hills before retirement. Roy and Tom Sleeman were also in trouble with their supercharged Sleeman with engine problems as was Mike Bletsoe Brown. Phil Cooper was also struggling with cooling issues but effected a solution in time for the second round. Meanwhile Paul Lanzante on his first outing in a trials car made a name for himself on hill one by achieving the best climb of the day. David Brand (Historic) was not achieving the success of the Ron Faulkner Trial as oversized footwear were hampering his throttle movements! Mark Hales was acclimatising himself in Geoff Richardson’s car and was not far behind Geoff after ten hills. However, a recurring back problem forced him to retire from the second round.

It was decided to have a lunch break after the first round and because of the threat of rain later in the day it was decided to run just two rounds. The lunchtime scores showed that Ian Wright (Historic) was leading the event with Steve Courts and Mark Howse (Post Historics) not far behind. Aside the experienced trialers, both Dave Methley (Historic) and Geoff Richardson (Post Historic) were showing that they are learning the ‘black art’ and getting closer to the front with each outing. Looking through the morning scores it was interesting to note that the father and son pairings of Kary and Mitchell were quite close but in each case Father just held the advantage. Not so, Eric & Dave Wall who were tying.

A leisurely lunch was enjoyed and there appeared to be many smiling faces as testament to an enjoyable mornings sport. Martin Grindrod with his pretty Cotton – RPD 4 decided against doing a second round as he as well as Trevor Wood were off to Yorkshire to compete in a classic trial the following day.

The second round got under way and it was soon apparent that the ground had dried out and generally the hills became easier but still tricky enough to catch out the unwary. Unfortunately, Ken and Chris Atkinson failed to make the restart but as ever were seen to be smiling despite their engine problems. Frank and Graham Wilson finally got their car running and enjoyed a good round. Another to go well was James Forsyth in his Ibex in only his second trial for a score of nine. Ian Wright continued his dominant performance in the Historic Class whilst it was a close run contest between Steve Courts and Mark Howse in the Post Historic Class and at the end they were separated by one point in Mark’s favour. These two were well clear of third placed Neville Collett as was Wright in the Historic’s who was 13 ahead of Monty Peters. Third in Historic’s went to Kiel Wright whilst there was a three way tie for fourth place between Paul Faulkner, Mark Busfield and Dave Methley. Mark took fourth place over Faulkner and Methley on the tie decider. Of the Father and son combo’s Tim Kary and Eric Wall upheld the honour of the seniors whilst Sam Mitchell pipped his dad by three!

Thus ended a superb days trialling and the rain held off until minutes after the awards presentation, perfect timing. Martyn, you could not have organised it any better if you had tried, well done.

HSCC Historic Sporting Trial – 20th August 2016 – Plashes Farm, near Ware, Hertfordshire

After last year’s scorching heat this year’s trial was threatened with a deep area of low pressure giving gale force winds and heavy showers. Fortunately the showers were limited to a very heavy downpour just before competition started but it was very windy.

It was decided to use the whole 350 acres of Plashes Farm so Frank Lyons had set out a 3 mile route on his land allowing Clerk of the Course Ian Wright scope to devise sections in five new areas. Some of these sections were very challenging as the final scores showed. With such a long course, much through beautiful woodland with consequently dodgy mobile phone reception, the organisers had concerns the drivers may stray off the marked route and become lost so they issued each driver with an Acme Thunderer whistle to use in an emergency.

Scrutineering was under the eagle eye of Dick Dixon and then, after a drivers’ briefing which included a minutes silence in respect of Monty Peters who died recently, the 37 drivers departed in various directions to find their start section, a feat some found not quite as easy as it sounds

When the sections had been set out the ground was bone dry but the shower before the start changed matters particularly for hills which included any form of grass, ferns or other vegetation. Most of the 9 hills were cleaned on the first lap, one of exceptions being Hill 5 which had a long adverse camber leading to a right hand uphill turn on ferns which took marks from the entire field, the best being Mark Howse reaching 4. The other exception was Hill 7 with a final sharp climb on grass where the best score was a 1. The exceedingly steep exit from Hill 4 required a very determined approach for a clean and only Mark Howse, Westie Mitchell, Grahame White and Frank Lyons mastered the gradient.

Back at the catering van for lunch Mark Howse was leading the Post Historic class on 6 from Steve Courts with 15 but the Historic class was much closer with Mark Busfield on 30, David Methley 31 and David Brand on 33.

Sections were altered for the second round and scores dropped. Hill 5 still managed to catch the entire field but unfortunately Mark Busfield had to retire with two broken engine mountings. David Methley was on a charge dropping only another 9 marks leaving him well ahead in the Historic class. Steve Courts equalled Mark Howse’s score of 4 but the star was James Alexander in JABS2 who went round on 6.

We had a number of first timers, the youngest being Zak Kary who at 16 was sharing the Imhof with his dad Tim. Also joining us was Mike Harris and Mike Storrar, all the way from Cheshire in their Post Historic RenFord 16. Mike Harris has done production car trials while Mike Storrar is involved in classic stage rallies. Judging by their scores these are a pair to watch, they won the Spirit of the Event award.

In historic sporting trials the best driver in the Historic class wins the Best Overall award so the main trophy went justifiably to David Methley. David dropped 40 marks, 12 fewer than second man David Brand. Mark Howse won the Post Historic on 10 from Steve Courts on 19.

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