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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.
After two years of winning class eight Jim Mountain made
it three times lucky and won overall in Peter's Mk1 Dellow.
Dean Partington came down from
Debyshire to run Jim very close and finish second, dropping nine marks to
Jim's six. Dean put up a fantastic performance in Binghams Wood and was
the only class 7 or 8 to get away from the "impossible restart" at Verduns
Bank on Beetle Drive. However, Dean had lost six at Brickhill, where
local knowledge certainly helps. The locals had better watch out if Dean
returns next year. Duncan Welch won the trial in the two previous years.
However, running at the back of the field Duncan was caught out by some
torrential rain that turned Edlesborough into a quagmire after most of the
other cars had completed the section while there was plenty of grip.
March Hare Winner
Jim Mountain edges over to the left to avoid the tree root as he
tackles the restart on Falcons Folly.
The Markyate Truck stop proved a great place to start
proceedings, with a nice, reasonably priced, breakfast available after
scruitineering by John and June Blakeley. Falcon had 47 entries which was
reduced to 43 after four non-starters, including Steve Heath who had his
Dutton Melos all ready to go but had the misfortune to have his passenger
fail to arrive.
John Bunyan's Chimney
Byway, a new section
discovered by Murray MacDonald who ran the section with his family
and friends. A long tree lined lane. Not much gradient but some mud
and ruts to warm things up
Hazel MacDonald about flag Ivan Sharrock away on the first hill.
Unfortunately Ivan had to retire in Binghams Wood
Competitors queue for
the start. To the best of our knowledge this is the first time the
lane has been used as a trials section.
section was a nice gentle lane, ideal to get several first timers into the
swing of Classic Trialing. There is some nice potential to spice things up
here in the future, but as this was the first time it had been used Murray
MacDonald wisely decided to keep things simple and everyone went clear.
Norton Street Lane
Byway, long straight climb on loose stones with
the left hand rut getting deeper towards the summit
where Simon Robson had organised a deviation for all and a restart
for the higher classes. Class 0 did not do this section.
PCT regular Chris
Smith was driving in his first Classic Trial (picture by Dave Cook).
Bounden didn't quite master Simon Robson's deviation and is seen
here recording a fail. Had it not been for this Jim would have won
class 7 (picture by Dave Cook)
Jonathan Elliot only
dropped 24 marks and was best novice in his BMW (picture by Dave
Dean Partington had no
problems with the early sections but was caught out on the twists
and turns of Brickhill (picture by Dave Cook)
This is one
of the tracks that changes from year to year according to the amount of
water that has run down it over the winter. This year it was very dry with
not very many loose stones. However, Simon Robson had spiced things up
with an artificial chicane towards the top with a restart for classes
seven and eight. John Rowland, driving Peter Thompson's Opel, was the only
non-restarter to fail. The restart caught out half a dozen of the higher
classes though, including a couple of Dellows and the Marlin of Jim
Bounden. This was a shame as Jim would have won class seven if he had gone
Byway - Another hill used for
the first time on the modern March Hare but perhaps used by Falcon in
the 50's. The section is a well surfaced track, approached by more
than two miles of green lanes! There was a gentle re-start for 7 and
Mark and Jack Endley in
one of four Liege's taking part. It would
have been six but Steve Kenny was taken poorly before the event
and Richard Irvine didn't start.
Nick Woollett returning
to the March Hare, where if memory serves me correctly he débuted his
re-built Dellow Mk1 a few years ago.
Another new hill, although it may have been used back in the 50's.
Everyone went clear but this section is as much about the wonderful two
miles of green laning before and half mile after the hill. Again there is
scope to spice this up now Falcon have measured the lie of the land.
Water Cress Lane
Byway - Mike Hayward had merged
Cress Beds and Water Tower into one long section, with a restart for
all classes on the step up to the road. The remainder of the section
has been rather spoilt by the County Council who have filled in the
Young coming up to the restart in his Dellow Mk2. This is the
ex-Stuart Turner car and runs in class seven (picture by Mike Hayward)
Don Stringer and Stella
Pearce ran their Austin 7 in Class 0, which missed out the two rougher
sections. (Picture by Mike Hayward)
This merged section gave Mike Hayward and Richard Tompkins the chance to
have a new re-start where the first part of the section (the old Cress
Beds) meets the public road. There is quite a step there and correct
positioning is vital. Most managed it but again it claimed half a dozen
Kensworth Special Test and
Special Test followed by a sub-divided section
laid out by Cliff Morrell on
Geoffrey Stone in his Suzuki XC90 crosses the line on the Kensworth
Paul Weston rounding one
of Cliff Morrell's tricky adverse camber corners on
his way to cleaning the section.
test was a nice simple affair, although the dash back to the line was on
wet grass so care had to be taken to keep traction.
section lay on the other bank of the valley, on damp grass, and laid out
by Cliff Morrell, there were off camber turns to catch the un-wary.
Amongst the lower classes most cars spun to a stop on the upper reaches.
The exceptions were Steve Potter (Trojan), Simon Groves (Escort) and Keith
Pettit (AH Sprite). Around half the sevens and eights went clear, but
fancied runners Mike Pearson (Dellow Mk2 Rep) and winners for the last two
years Duncan and Georgina Welch (AH SS) were amongst those who dropped
Two sections on Private
Land, both sub divided.
Hunt helping Nigel Jones fix the drive shaft on their Skoda. It popped
out in exactly the same place as Aaron Homewood's did last year.
Bowler in the ex-Verdun Webley Marlin. Verdun was driving his recently
acquired Rickman Ranger.
Tompkins had laid out two long sections, incorporating all best bits of
this regular Falcon venue. Most of the early runners did quite well, with
the notable exception of Steve Potter who couldn't coax his Trojan over
the first bank. That was unfortunate as Steve was reckoned a contender for
an overall win after his performance last year. It was on for a Trojan
though as Richard Potter proved cleaning both Edelesborough sections in
his similar machine.
came for later runners when the skies opened just as the final cars
arrived, turning the sections into a slippery mess. Four or five cars
really suffered here, including Duncan Welch who dropped an 11 and a 5,
effectively putting him out of contention for a March Hare Hat Trick.
stage five clean sheets remained. Don Stringer (Austin 7), Simon Groves
(Escort), Stuart Highwood (Dutton Phaeton), Jim Mountain (Dellow Mk1) and
Dean Partington (DP Wasp), a great spread across the classes.
sub-divided sections on Private Land.
7 winner Stuart Highwood blasting up the gully. (Picture by Dave Cook)
May, supercharged Dellow Mk 2 (Picture by Julian Robinson)
Verdun Webley, in his Pinto Engined Rickman Ranger, broke his diff on
the last corner of the last section (Picture by Dave Cook)
Crawford still has a Triumph engine in his Marlin, but its a Spitfire
power plant rather than a six pot. (Picture by Dave Cook).
There was plenty of grip despite the damp conditions as the sandy surface
is very free draining. However, local knowledge is certainly advantageous
at Brickhill as the sections twist and turn and certainly the latter part
of the second section could have been marked better. This probably
accounts for Dean Partington dropping six. Don Stringer was another to
loose his clean sheet, his Austin 7 running out of grunt in the ruts of
Special test and a
Section on Private land.
The section had a rather fearsome deviation
for 7and 8 and a tricky re-start on an adverse camber for all at the
and Christina Dudley in their Marlin.
Clarke and Ian and Chris Lawson ran the restart.
finished with a tricky turn on an adverse camber. Don Stringer was the
only non re-starter to avoid understeering off course. It was even more
difficult for those that did have to restart, many not being able to reach
the restart line. It looked as if Don could be the only clean until the
class eights came along when most of them sized up the challenge and
managed it OK.
Groves loosing his clean sheet Jim Mountain was the only competitor still
on zero, followed by Geoff Hodge on the one point he had lost on the
second Edlesborough section.
County Road - Clean/Fail run the
opposite way round to last year. Ian Davis had organised a restart for
classes 3 to 8. Class 0 did not do this section.
Michael Leete's Beetle
queues behind Roger Dudley.
Class 7 winner Stuart
Highwood sets off up the section.
another section that had "suffered" from Council repairs! Consequently it
was run the other way round to last year, with a restart where the water
has washed away the centre of the track. All was pretty simple you
straddled this gully, but get the car titled over at a bit of an angle and
it was another story. Five competitors couldn't get away including
all three Suzuki's!
Sub Divided, with restart for 7
& 8. The first of four sections in woods on private land near Potten
Richard Potter driving John Wilton's Trojan.
Steve Potter in the other Trojan was the only car to clean this
"stopper" section. (Picture by Dave
Duncan and Georgina
Welch failed to make it a March Hare Hat Trick when, along with some
others at the back of the field, they were caught out by the rain at
Falcon had hoped to run Hill Farm as a section but
Mike Hayward and Dave Maitland thought the ruts were too deep. So it was into
the woods at Binghams for the final four sections. Falcon are delighted to
have the use of this facility for the March Hare. The land owner is a
great enthusiast and was actually taking part as a passenger.
scheme of things Beetle Drive is planned as a stopper. "Verduns Bank" at
the end being very tricky, spiced up by a restart for seven and eight to
stop them getting a run at it. To emphasise its "stopper" role it was
sub-divided for the first time.
was that some of the saloons and sports cars had problems in the lower
reaches. The club use two versions of the bottom half of the hill. A dry
route and a wet route, which was used last year. The dry route was in use
this time, incorporating a hairpin that stops cars taking a run at the
muddy bit leading to the cross track. This caused real problems for quire
a few of the lower classes and getting the cars out of the section took up
quite a bit of time, causing a queue to build up.
was cleanable though. Steve Potter coaxing his Trojan over the summit.
Keith Pettit (AH Frogeye Sprite) and Simon Groves (Escort) were the only
other cars who came close to a clean, both scoring one.
restart did its job in handicapping the yellows and reds and Dean
Partington was the only driver to make any progress up the bank and even
he stopped at the three. With Jim Mountain loosing his clean sheet the top
four, with three sections to go, were - Jim Mountain (Dellow Mk1) 6,
Simon Groves (Escort) 7, Geoff Hodge (RDT) 7, Dean Partington (DP Wasp) 9
Clean/Fail - A new section, discovered on a
working party by Verdun Webley. Restart for class 8 only.
Overall winners Jim and Peter Mountain made short work of the class
eight restart on the new section.
Lights blazing, Mark Worsfold storming his way to second in class
eight in his Liege.
section started at the bottom of the cross track itself, turning sharp
left before the gradient increased, with a class eight restart where
Mike Pearson had cut through a fallen tree that had blocked the track
for many years.
Most of the
entry went clean but both the left hander at the beginning and the muddy
area at the summit claimed their scalps. The mud at the top was a
particular problem as it was un-expected and caught out drivers who had
relaxed after scaling the bank.
with a restart for classes 7 & 8.
Pearson and Doug Masters on the lower reaches of the section. (picture by
Manning and Paul Duncan didn't have to restart on the infamous tree
root! (picture by Dave Cook)
This was the
fourth year Falcon's Folly has been used. Much of the track has a hard
bottom under the mud but the restart straddling the well known tree root
is there to catch out the un-wary in class 7 and 8. With the exception of
Falcon treasurer Geoff Hodge in the RDT all the reds made it but around
half the class sevens didn't get it right.
non re-starters this was another section that wasn't Suzuki friendly and
they all failed. They were however, enjoying their own private battle, and
were within a few marks of each other.
Clean/Fail with a restart for Class 8 only
Norman carefully approaches the cross track on the final section in
his Skoda Favorit (picture Dave Cook)
So the trial came to its last section. The lower
reaches are pretty easy, the sting in the tail comes with the left hander
just before the fence, with a class eight restart right on the bend
Only three of the lower classes could get around the
corner, even without a restart. We have come to expect this of Steve
Potter who has now cleaned this tricky section three years in a row and
will one day win the March Hare Trial with this car.
It was nice to see Classic Trial debutant Chris Smith
go clean in his Golf GTi. David Manning (MG Midget) was the only other
blue or yellow to go clear, all the others floundering on the corner,
including Keith Pettit who still won the well supported class five.
The class sevens didn't have to restart either but it
still proved a problem for them. It was on though, as Pete Crawford proved
in his venerable LWB Triumph based Marlin, a bit lighter now it has a
Spitfire engine instead of a six cylinder lump.
Keith Oakes (Dutton Phaeton) and Jim Bounden (Marlin)
both went clear, leaving them on 19 for the event. Stuart Highwood didn't
make it with his Dutton Phaeton, dropping six but still winning the class
on 18. Mark Endley also finished with 19 and Best Falcon
In class eight Jim Mountain got away from the restart
to go clean and win The March Hare Trial. Dean Partington went clear to
finish second and take the class eight award. Mark Worsfold went well in
Binghams Wood to come second in class eight with 19 marks lost, the same
score as Geoff Hodge who lost 18 here.
Jim Mountain being
presented with his trophy by Secretary of the Meeting David Jackson
(picture by Dave Cook)
With Dad engaged
elsewhere Simon Droves drove his Escort to a class three win.
There was a nice meal available at
the Bull in Redbourn while the results were calculated. Mixed emotions at
the result. Happy for Jim Mountain at his success after coming so close in
previous years. Sad that Duncan Welch didn't make it a hat trick.