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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.

Problematic Edinburgh

Unfortunately a Memorable Event for Rough Sections, PR Issues and Delays.

Rain immediately before the event toughened up a route that had lost many of its traditional sections. This caused delays and some later numbers finished some four hours after scheduled time.

John White negotiating his way over the Putwell Rocks on his way to winning the only MCC Triple of 2012 (Picture by Dave Cook)

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It is becoming more and more problematical for the MCC to run a trial in Derbyshire. Haggside and Hucklow have been lost in recent years. Litton Slack is no more and there are doubts about other favourites. As a result the Edinburgh is a very different trial these days, with an increasing number of sections on private land.

Delays in the Night

Nick Farmer had Duncan Stephens in the passengers seat for his first trial in his newly built Fugitive (Pictured at Rileys Rise by John Salter)

Dick Bolt was one of three car drivers eligible for a Triple but failed to get away from the Calton Restart (Pictured on Rileys Rise by John Salter)

After a period of dry weather there was rain during Friday night, making some of the sections quite slippery. Car competitors faced immediate delays when an early number had to be extricated from Haven Hill. This caused a delay which built up and an hours worth of cars were soon backed up at Robin Barlows Carrsington Water Holding Control.

Cliff Quarry was next, new to the MCC but well known to VSCC aficionados. Everyone had to do a restart here, including Class 0. The rain had made this much harder than the organisers probably intended and with no recovery possible. The inevitable failures had a long, difficult, reverse back to the road to the head of the long queue that soon stretched back to the nearby village.

 Although it wasn't shown in the route card classes 7 & 8 had a tricky deviation, with a corner that stopped almost everyone, including eventual best in Class 7 Roger Bricknell, making a welcome return in his Vincent. It was possible though, as Nick Farmer proved on his first outing in his Red Top powered Fugitive. There was no deviation for Class 1 but Ian Cundy will remember this section as he lost his Triple here when the engine on his Golf fluffed.

Rileys Rise was a nice section, a bit rough, and maybe not the same track as has been used previously with that name. It was unfortunate that a PR problem developed towards the end when the local farmer arrived, objecting to the track being used as a section. Things were smoothed over by the Bristol club marshalling the hill and lets hope it doesn't prevent its use in the future.

Into the Quarry

It's still dark as Dave Cook captures Peter Mountains assault on Putwell A in his recently acquired ex Philip Mitchell, Carl Talbot blown BMW

Moving up to Putwell B Dave Cook pictures Steven Sims trying to negotiate the very rough rocks with his Reliant Scimitar SS.

The Quarry complex was uneventful, apart from those that got soaked in the water at the end of the Special test!

Putwell was just down the road and although not in the quarry it was certainly rough enough. After another long wait car drivers found that Putwell A was full of loose rocks and those with limited ground clearance really suffered This was merely the appetiser for the unbelievably rough Putwell B. Always a rough one it appears that water erosion has made the "valleys" deeper while 4WD drive traffic hasn't reduced the height of the mountains. While there were some that were OK with the section the majority of car drivers reckoned the section was past its sell by date.

Stuart Harrold was observing driving standards on the exit track and was delighted to report that everyone was behaving.

With all the delays breakfast at Bull I'th Thorn was most welcome, especially the generous portions and friendly service.

Litton wasn't the Traditional Section

Unfortunately the traditional Litton Slack isn't available as a section but one was run along the track at the top. With it being so wet the restart was cancelled but it was still necessary to use considerable throttle control in the mud.

Bamford on Form

The wet conditions made Bamfords infamous steps very slippery this year and there were numerous failures. It certainly wasn't very friendly to Class 5 where the Suzuki X90's all struggled for grip. Paul Clay was on form in his Ford 10 powered Austin Seven Special, clearing the section on his way to being best in Class 5. The inevitable Bamford delays were exasperated by non-competing traffic and Dudley Sterry received a baulk.

Tricky Restart at Calton

This is of those sections that looks so innocuous from the start line. Twenty years ago it was deep ruts that were the problem. Then they were filled in and it became an easy section for a while. Now everyone except Class 0 has a restart on polished stones and this year the damp made the limestone really slippery. Sadly this cost Dick Bolt his triple when the Cornishman couldn't stop the back wheels spinning. His only hope was for none of the class to go clean but unfortunately for Dick both Lester Keat in his Avenger and Edward Broom in his Escort got away. This left only John White on for a Triple this year.

Running late at Hollinsclough

Adrian Tucker Peake struggling on the Excelsior restart in his MGF, it was cancelled for later numbers (Picture by John Salter)

Martin Sansom in his Class 0 1600cc Dellow Mk1. Passenger Keith Gypps has recently acquired a Dellow (Picture by John Salter)

By now the delays had spread the field out and cars were arriving in dribs and drabs. This had one benefit as the parking field was out of use as it was too muddy and cars had to park on the limited space on the road.

Rakes Head was a few yards up the road. It isn't very long but this is a nice little section attempted by everyone apart from Class 0 with a restart for everyone. This took its toll of the lower classes but it also defeated Nick Farmer and Duncan Stephens in Nicks new Fugitive.

Excelsior came next, with a restart scheduled on the slippery cobbles. This proved very tricky and after numerous failures it was cancelled.

Cancelled Clough

Heading East towards Darley Dale there were two sections on the Routecard. One on private Land at Clough Mine and the traditional Clough Wood track.

The Clough Mine section was a very muddy, rutted track, quite long and straight. Ground clearance was the big problem. Classes 6, 7 and 8 had a restart as well. None of the 6's and 7's got away, nullifying things for them. It was pretty difficult for Class 8 as well, but it was possible. Local men Dean Partington and Liam Rafferty got away in their Dean constructed cars, joined by veterans Dudley Sterry and Eric Wall.

With a restart for all, delays soon built up on the nearby Clough Wood and Chief Official decided he had to cancel the section.

Quagmire at Dudwood.

The final action was scheduled at Dudwood Farm, with different sections for Class 0 and the main trial. Everything was very muddy and the special test had to be cancelled. The main trial had to tackle the quagmire at Dudwood 2. It looked impossible and it was, for all but one man, Dean Partington, who powered his way to the summit.

Fortunately for John White he was joined by everyone else in class 4 in not getting up this last hill, earning him the one and only Triple for 2012.

Published 14 November 2012


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