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to any of the clubs or organisers of the events featured. Words and Pictures
by Michael unless attributed otherwise. Michael is a proud member of the MCC,
ACTC, Dellow Register and Falcon amongst others, but does not represent their
views nor the views of any other organisers or clubs.
James Shallcross was best overall,
dropping 11 marks in his Class 1 Peugeot 205 on an excellent, but poorly
supported, Northern Trial
Despite the wet conditions there was plenty of grip on most of the
sections. Fell Side had got their class Handicaps pretty much right, with
only two marks separating the first three overall, representing three
different classes. Michael Leete made a rare visit to the award winners
circle and was second overall, dropping 12 in his familiar Beetle,
followed by Nick farmer on 13 in his Cannon Alfa.
In car Video by Class 1 Winner James Shallcross, Video Blog from Michael Leete
and some other stuff
James Shallcross had a perfect drive to overall victory (Picture by
Dean Partington battling with the Sandale restart (Picture by
Michael Leete made an rare visit to the awards
(picture by Dave Cook)
Nick Cross sticking his nose in the mud on Sandale (Picture by Dave
The organisers must have been
very disappointed to receive only 19 entries in the main car classes,
reduced to 17 starters when the field left The Stocksman in Wigton.
The action commenced with
Jonathan and Pat Toulmin in charge of the first special test. This was on
some wasteland at a venue used for a section called Oblivian on the first
Northern Trial. This was immediately followed by a muddy section named A
Bolivian. There were no re-starts but the higher classes had a deviation,
costing Nick Farmer a valuable mark which would be significant later.
Into The Forest
Section 2 saw the first of many
forestry sections, the hallmark of The Northern Trial. Despite the
apparent mud on Black Hole there was quite a lot of grip and like many of
the sections the ruts were not as deep as in previous years. Steve Kenny
was having issues with his Liege and dropped nine before retiring a few
sections later with a broken A arm and cracked axle case.
After a seven mile road run the
trial entered Whinlater Forest for a concentrated batch of sections,
starting with Sheepfold, which saw some high scores. John and June
Blakeley were in charge here with John conducting a noise test for good
measure. Roger Goldthorpe was best of the Lieges on 11 with both Julian
Lack, and the shortly retiring Steve Kenny, loosing a full 12. The hill
didn't seem to suit lower powered cars as although there was plenty of
grip there wasn't a lot of run in to the initial steep slope.
Snow on the Hills
Climbing through the extensive
forest, some of the overnight snow remained when cars got to Ullister
Hill, to get their picture taken by Dave Cook. There was plenty of grip
lower down the stoney track but the section continued when this gave out
and it was muddy at the top. Only Dean Partington went clear to be the
only car remaining with a clean sheet.
There were some superb views
down to Bassenthwaite Lake on the way round the sections in this part of
the forest, before the route retraced its steps, going back on the road
for a short distance before entering Hobcarton Plantation. Everyone lost
marks here but it wasn't until Ladyside B that Dean Partington lost his
Dean didn't loose any more
marks until the penultimate forest section at Routens Romp, where fell
Side had introduced a deviation into the trees for all, preceded by a
restart for the higher classes. This was to decide the trial. Like most of
the 7's and 8's Dean dropped nine here, while the leading (and
non-restarting) lower class competitors went clear. As difficult as this
section was for the higher classes Nick Farmer proved it was possible and
this put him into the overall lead of the trial.
Sandale Decides the Winner
It was fitting that the final
section at Sandale decided the winner of The Northern Trial. The higher
classes had their usual restart in the mud. None of them could get away,
costing Nick 3 marks and dropping him into third place behind James
Shallcross and Michael Leete, who had made good consistent climbs all day.
All in all an excellent trial
with good sections and plenty of marshals. Lets hope it will be better
supported in the future.