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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.

Idiosyncratic Ilkley

Dean Partington and Duncan Stephens drop 12 marks, but Best Overall awarded to a competitor in Class 0

The Ilkley continues to be an enjoyable and developing event, despite things being done very differently to the other championship rounds. A couple of the regular sections had to be cancelled because of the wet weather but this was more than compensated for by Stan Peels new find, a section called Coppy alongside Gouthwaite Reservoir although this proved damaging for some in Class 0.

With little regard for 4.1.11 Ilkley winner Mark Busfield  guns his special as he charges the rock pile at the top of Watergate 1. (Picture by Unknown)

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Tyres wet after fording the stream Julian Lack sets of through the gate on Hawpike 1

Stuart Bartlett in his new Cannon on the new Ellers Edge section.

David Jackson rounds the hairpin on Longside Wood. Unfortunately his FPS was damaged in a road accident on the way home.

Sam Holmes on Brimham Lodge on his way to winning Class 4.

Clerk of the Course Stan Peel had been very worried about the weather building up to the weekend as some of the roads on the route were flooded. Come the day the water had receded but it was still necessary to cancel a couple of sections, including the popular Incline on the outskirts of Pateley Bridge. To compensate a couple of familiar sections at Sword Point were drafted back into use.

The event attracted quite a good entry of 38 bikes, 14 cars in Class 0 and 33 in the main classes. Most of the events regulars were present, but noticeably only a handle of championship contenders. The main car classes had quite high pressure restrictions of 15psi for Seven and Eight and 12 psi for the others. Class 0 had neither pressure restrictions or restarts

Big Hole at Strid Wood

With the first Hawpike section being cancelled the picturesque Hawpike 2 was first on the agenda. Quite a few drivers were caught out by the steep bank at the start, including Paul Clay and Nigel Hilling with their 1172 sidevalves and Graham Redmayne in his Liege in Class 0. Graham didn't make many more errors and went on to an excellent second in Class 0.

The familiar sections at Strid Wood came next. The first wasn't too bad for the early cars in class 0, but soon developed a huge hole in the soft surface which only Dean Partington and Stuart Lambert of the later numbers could surmount. The second hill here had a very difficult 90 right onto a track which proved too much for most cars. The few that did get round were trapped by the tight PCT markers higher up and two was the best anyone could do. David Golightly had a good try in his wonderful Model A but got rather crossed up in the process and had a rather alarming unplanned descent through the undergrowth.

Suburb Green Laning across Pock Stones Moor

There was a new section called Ellers Edge on Pock Stones Moor. The section was fine but even better was mile after mile of green laning to get to the section and more afterwards, finally emerging at the Hey Slack Section. Ellers Edge was a slippery bank which stopped a surprising number of the entry including all the Lieges apart from Graham Redmayne in Class 0.

There were the usual two sections at a cold and windy Hey Slack, attempted according to Class. They were very wet at the bottom which prevented competitors attacking the short sharp banks. Nobody climbed the easier one and in 7 and 8 only Duncan Stephens in Class 7 and Dean Partington and Charlie Knifton in Class 8 came out the top.

The weather was better at the sheltered Peels Wood 1 where the routes were split, class 8 having to descend to the bottom before attacking a steep grassy bank. Only one competitor surmounted this bank and nobody will be surprised that was Dean Partington. The other classes had a much easier route and there were few marks lost.

Only the higher Classes tackle Wilson Wood

Wilsons Wood was only attempted by Classes 7 & 8 and didn't take too many scalps this year. The only two retirements occurred here. Steve Lister had problems with his blown Dellow and there was no Charlie Knifton as his Subaru powered Scorpion had stuck in gear leaving Peels Wood.

There was a lunch break in the farmyard before Brimham Lodge, with a much appreciated refreshment wagon and toilets. The Brimham Lodge section was in fine form. Cleanable, but it wasn't easy and about half the cars didn't succeed in getting up without a tow. David Golightly in the Model A was penalised 50 marks here, presumably for tyre pressures and this cost him a class win. Incidentally the tyre pressure check was at the top of the section, so no chance to adjust them if they didn't satisfy the marshals gauge. (1)

New Section at Coppy was Rough

With the Incline Sections cancelled due to the wet ground the route went through Pateley Bridge and alongside Gouthwaite Reservoir to a new section called Coppy. This had a relatively gentle gradient, the challenge was the ruts, rocks and mud. The majority of the Class 0's running at the front of the field had problems and had to back out. Before long pretty much the entire field were queued on the main road. Fortunately some of the senior competitors stepped in and marshalled the cars onto the adjoining grassy field otherwise there could have been a nasty accident.

The main classes were not without their problems, but even those that cleared the section had a struggle with the hairy drop into the stream on the exit track.

After Coppy the route continued to follow the reservoir road to Longside Wood, introduced for last years event. Stan Peel had taken pity on the lower classes and allowed them to start after the tight hairpin at the bottom. The section is a magnificent long blast up a track through a Bluebell Wood, finishing with some tight corners. These were the downfall of the few competitors who got that far, all except Mike Chatwin who was the only clear in his DP Wasp.

On the Moors above Pateley Bridge

Watergate lay back down the reservoir road, through Pateley Bridge and up onto the moors. Watergate 1 is one of the jewels of the Ilkley Trial, a real classic section in a picturesque setting, such a shame about the car damaging unnecessary artificial bit at the top. There were no restarts for the lower classes but even so it the section claimed scalps on the lower reaches.

Watergate 2 was a dive into and out of a quarry, cleaned by all but one competitor.

The Cock Hill Mine section was higher on the moor. Bleak and exposed it was a new variation for most classes, marked PCT style and routed over some big rocks before a tight 90 left onto the exit track. This was quite tricky but competitors in most of the classes managed a clean, including three in Class 2, John Bell (MG TB) and Richard Parker and Sebastian Welch in their Austin Seven's. David Child did some damage to his Pop here and he missed the remaining sections.

Back to Peels Wood

There was a second run at Peels Wood on the way back to Otley, with a relatively straightforward restart for those who didn't have to deviate. The Class 8's had their deviation again and once again it was only cleaned by a DP Wasp, but it was Mike Chatwin this time. Dean dropped seven, loosing the overall win in the process.

Two familiar sections at Sword Point weren't included originally but were drafted in a few days before to replace those lost to the wet ground. The first one had a more attainable route through the trees before the step up to the track. Very few in the lower classes could surmount that so well done to Sam Holmes (beetle), David Golighltly (Ford Model A) and Paul Clay (Ford 10 powered A7) who crested the summit.

Sword Point 2 was another weave though the trees with a tricky restart on some soft peat thrown in for good measure. This proved a real challenge and only John Bell and Sam Holmes got away. The higher classes didn't fare much better, most of them failing to get away.

Finish and Reflections

With so many sections and some substantial delays, later numbers were still trickling into the finish for their supper past 6pm, which was shame for those who had a long journey home followed by work on Monday morning. For those that had the time to enjoy it there was a nice supper, included in the entry fee.

On reflection the trial was much rougher than usual in places and Class 0 had no respite from these sections on this event. The overall winner came from this class but considering they had no restarts, free tyre pressures and were in a road going Sporting Trials car this attracted quite a bit of comment.

Having made these comments The Ilkley has never fitted into the mould of the other championship events. Those who come back each year know what to expect and enjoy the event for what it offers. Just a shame it was rough for those who choose Class 0 to avoid damage to their cars.

Class Driver/Car Marks
Overall Mark Busfield (CWB Trident Ford Special) 11
0 Graham Redmayne (Liege) 35
1 James Shallcross (Peugeot 205) 32
2 John Bell (MG TB) 34
3 Nigel Hilling (Ford Anglia) 71
4 Sam Holmes (VW Beetle) 23
5 Kraig Mycock (Riley Nine) 62
6 No Starters
7 Duncan Stephens (Dutton Melos) 12
8 Dean Partington (DP Wasp) 12

(1) Since publishing this report Simon Woodall has explained more about David Golightly's tyre pressure penalty, One of his tyres was checked by a marshal after the section end and was at 10.5 lbs At Davidís request he checked the other side tyre and found that to be 1/2 lb above the 12psi limit which was how he had been running all day. Again at Davidís request he rechecked the low pressured tyre and found it to be even lower. David said it was obviously losing air, probably due to a puncture (it turned out to be dirt on the valve seat) and he said he accepted my explanation.

David and Carla thought no more of it, completed the event and went home. The following evening David found out about the penalty and sought advice but felt that as he trials for the competition not the prizes he would let it drop. David continues - "Next Stan Peel rang and said it was wrong what had happened and I should appeal, but I decided I didn't want to cause extra work and delay the results so I said I would just let it pass."

Added 6 June 2012, Tyre Pressure footnote added 8 June 2012

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