Wallowing in the slime at Allhallows Colliery
The rain was pouring down as
the early numbers left the start at the "Stocksman", clearing as they
reached the first section and special test at Allhallows Colliery. This
was an artificial affair, up and down some very slimy spoil heaps, with
some tight corners thrown in. The right right hander after the start was
to catch out the majority of the field, who understeered off for a ten.
There were only six clears, Bill Bennett joining in with a select group of
7 & 8's . Nigel Jones had problems when the rivets holding his sumpguard
in place sheared and he needed to raid Colin Perryman and Michael Leete's
spares to find some replacement bolts.
Delays at The Black Hole
There was a 15 mile run to The
Black Hole, the first of many forestry sections. This is a lovely hill,
pretty much straight up, muddy on the lower reaches with some serious ruts
where the gradient steepens in the 7 & 8 restart area. The only problem
with the section is that even the cleans have to back down, with the
inevitable delays. Around half the entry failed this one, mainly in the
restart area. Colin Perryman's trial came to an end hear when his BMW
transmission went clunk and had quite a struggle to get recovered back to
Snow in Whinlatter Forest
The sections came thick and
fast when the event entered Whinlatter Forest. "I'm Back Darling" was a
wonderful long hill. The first part was loose stones, the second loose
rock! This was the end of Nigel Jones Trial as the MGF's sump guard got
pushed up onto the gearbox linkage. Nigel managed to get it going but
retired after the next hill.
After Sheepfold there was a
long drive through the forest. The track climbed and climbed, with
magnificent views over Bassenthwaite Lake before it started snowing!
Lord's Seat was a grassy forest track with a sting in the tail, a very
sharp left hand hairpin, preceded by a restart for 7 & 8. This really
sorted out the higher classes, only the DP Wasps, Charles Knifton in his
recently acquired, Subaru 1800 Turbo powered, VW Scorpion and Duncan
Stephens in his Melos going clear.
The snow had stopped coming
down out of the clouds to Ullister Hill where it was replaced by hail!
This was cleanable but the final bit was a bit artificial and it was
difficult to get past the one marker. Quite a few did, but not Mike
Chatwin and the one mark he lost was to give the overall trial win to car
builder Dean Partington.
Across the road to Hobcarton
There were two sections in the
adjacent forest. Long Crag was a straight blast which didn't trouble the
leading contenders. Ladyside was a very different hill, not much gradient
but some fearsome mud and ruts after the track came out between the trees.
There was only one way to go clear here and that's to drive a DP Wasp,
consequently Dean Partington and Mike Chatwin were the only two to
experience the exit track.
Problems in Wythop Woods
There should have been five
sections in Wythop Woods but there were problems at Routen Romp. The plan
was for this to be one of the events stoppers but there was chaos when a
lot of cars couldn't get to the start line. The problem was that the long
entrance track was blocked by cars so everyone had to be towed up. The
entire field was soon blocking the track and the section had to be
cancelled. To get out those in the queue had a half mile reverse before
they could turn and go to the next section. In the confusion most of class
0 and one or two of the main trial missed some or all of the sections in
Wythop Woods which was a shame.
Falcons Crest and Browns
Challenge were both mud baths at the bottom, almost every one floundering
for an 11 and 12. Not if you were in a DP Wasp of course and Dean and Mike
both blasted through for clears, as did Duncan Stephens on Browns
Little Cockup has a real sting
in the tail, exiting up a really steep bank. About half those that
attempted it went clear though and Myke Pocock in particular was
delighted. Chris Maries nearly made it in the heavy Suzuki for a two but
this was good enough for him to win Class 5 after Stuart Bartlett was
penalised on both special tests and Jonathan Toulmin missedx sections in
the woods. Michael Leete choose a really bad line, stopped at the five and
reversed into the same tree that he hit a a few years ago!
Louthwaite Side was the final
forestry section and Dave Cook was there to take photos on the spectacular
rocky hairpin. Fortunately almost everyone was able to go clear and enjoy
the long exit track to the tarmac road.
Sandale, What a Hill
It was around 12 miles to
Sandale, the best known section on the Northern Trial and what a hill it
is. Not that steep but the mud, ruts and spectators make up for it. A
northern Crackington if you know what I mean. There is a restart for 7 &
8, right at the muddiest bit where there is a sort of chicane. For the non
re-starters the technique is to build your speed on the lower slopes so
you are flat out by the time you get to the restart chicane. You will most
likely bottom out but with luck you will have enough momentum to slide
over the mud on the cars belly and pop out the top like a cork from a
Thats the theory but its not
that easy and even the experienced Bill Bennett failed, perhaps aided by
the fact the track of his MG is so narrow it doesn't fit in the ruts!
Perhaps Bill needs DAF as the results show Derek Reynolds cleared the
section and that would have raised a cheer! For the restarts it was a
question of power, something a Liege doesn't have that much of, but
despite picking up a three here Kevin Barnes was able to win the Class 7
A new section at
John & June Blakley and Alex
were here and had a long day as the field was well spread out by the time
they got here. There were only a couple of failures on this long muddy
track but its a very nice addition to the route as it had a different
character to the many forest sections.
Nice Meal at the Finish
There was a super autocross
style Special Test on the way back to the finish where a super meal was
available. There were many tales to tell but the consensus was that it had
been a cracking trial, despite the problems and delays.