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Classical Gas is an independent web site and is not affiliated 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.

Lee Peck won March Hare
 

Lee Peck won the March Hare Trail in his Kraken with the only clean sheet.

After a year off the March Hare returned for 2015 in ideal trialling weather. It had been wet in the week leading up to the event, but it was dry on the day and the rain would hold off until the journey home!

There were three non-starters so 32 cars lined up for the start near Redbourne. There was a nice mix of cars and crews with a fair sprinkling of comparative newcomers, with some about to enjoy their first Classic Trial.

March Hare winner Lee Peck looking at happy at Ivinghoe. At this stage a number of competitors were on zero but Lee had the only clean sheet, if not a clean car, at the Finish (Picture by Dave Cook)

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The Start

Cliff Morrell took a photo of some very clean cars at the start. That would change at Section One Alans Challenge

After a year off the March Hare returned for 2015 in ideal trialling weather. It had been wet in the week leading up to the event, but it was dry on the day and the rain would hold off until the journey home!

There were three non-starters so 32 cars lined up for the start near Redbourne. There was a nice mix of cars and crews with a fair sprinkling of comparative newcomers, with some about to enjoy their first Classic Trial.

Classic Sections

Richard Irvine restarts his Liege on Water Tour. Richard finished 9th overall after loosing eleven marks spread across three of the Ivinghoe sections (picture by Dave Cook)

After a successful restart on Water Tower John Cavendish passes photographer Don Stringer on Water Tower although this photo was taken  by Dave Cook

The early sections were centred about the BOAT's to the south east of Luton Airport. Some of these were very wet, but pretty straightforward, although there were quite a few penalties on Norton Street Lane after sliding into the restart boards. Barry Redmayne became the first of three retirements in his Class Eight Liege when the diff cried enough on the way to the first section.

Kensworth

After a special test came section seven. This started downhill, so competitors could build speed to traverse the mud at the bottom of the hill so they could reach the stony but slippery track. The leading contenders didn't have any problems, but around a third of the entry stopped, either on the turn onto the track or higher up on the track itself.

Section eight took its toll of all but seven of the clean sheets. There was a restart for 3 - 8 but many never got that far, spinning to a halt on the long left hand bend leading to the straight track. Those that stayed and watched the following competitor could see the problem was cutting the corner too tightly, where not only was the gradient at its steepest but there was a friendly tree root waiting for the unwary.

Having got to the R boards there was not only the challenge of restarting, but also to find grip on the higher reaches, where Richard Houlgate, Richard Irvine and David Jackson spun out. They were joined by John Plant and David Hunt in their Suzuki X90's with impressive climbs. The only cleans were a handful of 7's and 8's together with Emma Robilliard in her 1300 Beetle who made the section look very easy!

Ivinghoe

David Hunt is usually seen alongside Nigel Jones but drove his Suzuki X90 on The March Hare (Picture by Dave Cook) Nigel Jones looking happy as he finished  above David in the results (Picture by Dave Cook)
Veteran Reg Taylor in his Ford Ka at Ivinghoe (Picture by Julian Robinson) Julian Robinson pictures Nicholas Saddler just before his drive shaft let go.

There were four sections and a special test at Ivinghoe, not the same place the March Hare has used the last couple of years as there was a motorcycle event taking place there. So this year the hills were across the road at Falcons PCT venue. The leading contenders did well here but most had a problem on either hill 10 or hill 12, all except Lee Peck in his Kraken in Class Eight and Liege Owners Club Chairman Mark Endley in his Class Seven Liege who were now the only two remaining clean.

The two Rickman Rangers were having a problem run. Lee Sample had his diff let go on the last Ivinghoe Hill. Fortunately he had a spare and the crew set out to do the change with the help of Matt and Simon Robson in the other Ranger. This was Matt's first run in the ex-Verdun Webley car and they struggled to keep the car running on four cylinders throughout the event.

The Rangers weren't the only ones with mechanical problems at Ivinghoe, Nicholas Saddler had a Golf driveshaft break on the first section. This is an ex - Kevin Lindsay car, as was the Marlin driven by Nick Scott. Kevin was driving the Class Six Beetle that he acquired from Nick Cross who originally acquired it from Adrian Marfell. Nick himself was passengering for Reg Taylor!

Hawridge Lane

The water has had its effect on the councils resurfacing and the lane has deteriorated back to a nice trials hill. Falcon didn't risk a restart here for fear recovery would take too much time, so most of the entry went clean. It wasn't FWD or Suzuki X90 friendly though and a few needed a tow, including veterans Reg Taylor (Ford Ka) and Cliff Morrell (Peugeot 205).

Hill Farm

Past winner Jim Mountain dropped just one mark to finish second overall. If it wasn't for that one point he would have won as he was faster than Lee on the Special Tests (Picture by Dave Cook) David Jackson had a good trial in his Fiat engined FPS, dropping three marks to finish third overall. He is seen here getting away from the restart watched by Chief Official Peter Mountain (Picture by Dave Cook)
Emma Robilliard found the restart on Hill Farm was harder than it looked and watched by Simon Groves and her youngest couldn't get away (Picture by Mike Hayward) Martin Redmond was another who found the Hill Farm restart challenging in his rare NSU (Picture by Mike Hayward)

The final section was just across the road. Another BOAT that water erosion makes more competitive every year. Clerk of the Course Arnold Lane had drained some of the water the week before but there was still a fair amount flooding the first 50 yards of the track. Further up the hill Peter Mountain had a restart waiting. This was to decide the trial when Mark Endley failed to get away. That would give Lee Peck an overall win if he could succeed, he did and won the March Hare Trial in his self constructed Kraken.

Hill Farm certainly shattered a few dreams as Emma Robilliard and Peter Hanman were both on one but failed to get away from the restart. This gave Jim Mountain (Dellow) second place on the one mark he lost at Ivingoe and David Jackson third with the two marks lost at Kenilworth and one at Ivinghoe.

The Finish

The trial wasn't over for Cliff Morrell who had another puncture on Hill Farm. He tried to limp to the finish but it wasn't possible and had to get a lift back to the Markyate Truck Stop to get his trailer.

So it was a well earned victory for Lee Peck who has developed his Kraken with its largely Mazda running gear into an impressive trials car. If you like the look of the car Lee will be happy to build you one! For the large number of inexperienced crews in the field it proved a challenging  but non-damaging event and there were a lot of happy faces at the finish.

Class Driver/Car Marks
Overall Lee Peck (Kraken) 0
1 Reg Taylor (Ford Ka) 43
4 Emma Robilliard (VW Beetle) 7
5 John Plant (Suzuki X90) 25
6 Kevin Lindsay (VW Beetle) 22
7 Richard Houlgate (Marlin) 5
8 Jim Mountain (Dellow Mk1) 1

Added 10 March 2015

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