January 2005 - Part 2
Class Eight winner Ian
Davis reports on his Allen Trial
climbing Birch Hill in his VW Buggy. Ian won class eight despite arriving at
the finish with a broken diff.
I haven't done the Allen for five or six years and was
surprised at how much we enjoyed a trial with only 9 sections, where the first
class 8 car finished 14th overall! We drove down from Oxford on the day but as
things transpired this was not such a good idea.
I had never seen Birch Hill before, it was enjoyable at the
time but how much clay is there stuck to the car now? Not as much as to Paul's
Troll by all accounts, but still plenty.
We were travelling with Brian Partridge, Adrian Marfell and
Tony Young and watched Tony fail to trickle off the Guy's restart. We wondered
how we would get on, as I can't remember ever getting off it. We already knew
Paul Bartleman was the only one to get away, so the pressure was on for us to
pull something out of the bag. We just managed it, with much bouncing, a quick
change to second gear and lots of tyre smoke! In the end the two of us were
the only Class 8's to get off the restart and there was only one from classes
6 & 7, Gary Browning in the Type 4 engined Beetle.
On to the special tests which were well laid out. Long
enough to be worth doing, but not just a question of most power wins. The
second one, which went through a lake of smelly water, was great fun in an
open car as you can imagine! We managed Travers OK and went on to the lunch
stop where we watched Camel organiser Hans Viertal and Pete Barr effecting
some running repairs to Pete's 1300 Beetle which wasn't going too well as its
brand new twin carbs were out of synch.
Burledge was the first hill after the break. Brain Partridge
had retired with a broken diff by now, it must have happened on Travers as the
diff test was immediately before. No one had got up Burledge so a chance to
pull ahead of Paul who had grounded out (running at the front). Tony Young was
first car to get up followed by Adrian who stormed up in his 1300 and then us
in the Buggy, again with the use of second gear after the restart. We watched
a valiant effort from Dave Shaylor in the 1300 Beetle, but he stopped just
yards from the top. As did one of the Trojans which apparently got pushed out
the top, what a great effort!
Harvey Walters jammed the Escort's gears trying to change up
near the top of the section. The solution? Chisel through the floor of the
car, take the top of the gearbox off, un-jam the gears and complete the
event....obvious really when you think about it
A very slippery Nanny Hurns and on to Little Uplands.
Conflicting reports from the start marshals as to whether anyone had got off
the Class 8 restart. In the event no-one did although we tried long and hard
before finally having to give best to a cunningly placed restart line. Dave
Foreshaw unfortunately stopped on the Class 7 restart line which looked
somewhat easier. At the top of Little Uplands we were pretty down, having
failed the restart, as we knew Adrian Marfell in front of us was still clear
and we were trying for a top 10 finish for the Wheelspin points. Bizarrely
Adrian wanted to finish outside the top 10 but win his class as he wanted
Crackington points not Wheelspin points.
We went up John Walker too fast, smashed the car on the
ground (I don't remember it being so rocky), punctured a tyre and experienced
very strange steering on the road on the way back to the finish. Half a mile
away the diff broke and we coasted down to the pub to sign off. The real trial
for us then began, getting home courtesy of the RAC...but I'll save that story
for another day. I must remember to tow the car to events more often in the
Also seen on the day was the latest of the Jones family from
Bristol in a lovely old Lotus. He hill climbs and sprints it but tells me he's
going to maybe start trialling a Cannon next year. His elder brother Matthew
was a leading contender in the early 90's in the Dingo now owned by Pete Fear.
Dad has also competed - in a blown Dellow I think but more recently in a VW
That's it, must stop now and finish replacing the gearbox in
time for the Camel this Sunday.