April 2000 - Part 1 (View full screen in a new window)
Originally published on The Classical Gas Site, moved here on 1st Feb 2002
Barrie Parker, in his Peugeot 104, dominated the event all day, once again, to make it four outright wins from his last five events. Some achievement, especially considering how competitive class A is currently. He even managed to drop less marks than David Alderson in his classic trials prepared Troll.
The day dawned freezing, and added to the rain that fell the previous afternoon there was not going to be a lot of hanging back on the hills as the ground thawed, at Falcoln's Great Brickhill site. The conditions continuously changed during the day, making careful consideration of how to attack the hills paramount. Depending upon where you were on this very challenging site, different approaches were needed depending on whether you were in sand, grass or mud.
In class A, for unmodified and unballasted front wheel drive cars, there were a great variety of entrants. There were numerous Mk I Golf GTi's, a Mini Cooper, and even a Vauxhall Cavalier. Right from the start it was Barrie Parker (Pug 104) and last year's winner Nick Pollitt (Golf GTi) who were battling for the class. Talk about extreme in power difference! Over the morning's hills there was not a great deal of trickling. Only hill one in the trees and the McDonald's hill on sand called for this technique, while the others were all out attack, foot to the boards and held there till you stopped! By the time the front wheel drive cars got into the grassy field there was not a great deal of grass left, so it was down hard with the power again, though some bits were tempting to try and trickle quickly, but once you lost momentum that was it.
Over the mornings hills it actually got wetter as the moisture came out of the ground, which when combined with the increased length of the hills meant that maximum attack was the approach for the second round. In particular, on hill 3 no one got past the seven, though Duncan Stephens was unlucky not too. Class A had problems with hill four too, as it called for a flat out attack right from the line, and hold on. The Golf's were just dropping it in second and generally were having fewer problems with it. Hill 5 had now become very muddy, and if your name is Barrie you can trickle all the way round the outside of the corner, partly on grass and get to the 6. However, not many have enough skill or the guts to attempt in this style!! Matt Clarke (first time out in his Golf) was one of few to climb it. He also did a demon climb on the first bit of hill 8, as only Matt and David Alderson got past the 10. How did they manage that?
At lunch it was Barrie on 58, Matt on 72 and Nick on 75. However the class for ballasted front wheel drives was a lot closer. Duncan Stephens (Nova) and Arnold Lane (Mini) were only separated by 12 marks. This after lots of different scores, due to Arnold being able to pull second and Duncan stuck in first. However, after the Weeks's (with there freshly fitted 1000cc engine) blew there gearbox up, it was only Duncan and Arnold left. Duncan was pleased to get up hill 9 on the first round after a big struggle having gone off the line and held it flat and just got up the first bit. Arnold then dropped it in second and got up it easily!
Malcolm Brown (Westfield) was dominating class C this year, as last year. He has got the car set up well and learnt to drive it well, and spent most of the morning in second. Wherever we were in the site we could always hear Stuart Cairney's Imp screaming away, making a lovely sound. He must have completely forgotten how to trickle anywhere, as this continued into the afternoon, once the conditions had dried significantly. Jack Williams in his Tempest was leading class D for kit cars. He was actually attacking hills hard, which is very rare for Jack as he normally trundles everywhere! Robin Howard was a bit demorilised as he had made a mistake, and Jack was leading. Class DD was being completely dominated by David Alderson in his Troll.
After lunch the hills had been eased, but this coincided with the sun drying out the hills considerably. At 1:30 the trialling began again, with running order within the classes reversed.
Barrie Parker absolutely dominated the afternoon dropping just another four marks. How on earth did he manage that? This was significantly less than anyone else, even David. However, the hills were front wheel drive friendly as you could attack the corners very early without the worry of understeer. It was still a major achievement though as one of the next lowest dropped was Duncan Stephens on 20.
There were now some hills that needed to be trickled, but others needed power and momentum still, particularly hill 5. If you did not get enough speed initially and then were too late on the power having lost speed you did not climb it. However it was a lot harder on the rear wheel drive cars as they had to wait infinitely longer to put the power down.
Barrie ended the event on 62 to David Alderson's 63. For some reason he was really happy about this! I wonder why!! Nick Pollitt was next up, finishing on 98. Matt dropping back a little in the afternoon, finishing on 110. There was a good battle between Simon Harris (Golf), Colin Read (Nova) and Andy Clarke, which Andy won by a mark on 139. Chris Smith in yet another Golf had to do the whole of the last round in second, as he had broken first, but it was going better in second! Some mention must be made of Chris Judge though, in his Mini Cooper he was leading Simon (past national champion) at lunch, but dropped back a little after lunch as it dried a bit.
Duncan Stephens was chased hard all day by Arnold Lane.
Stuart Cairney returned to PCT's in his well travelled Imp.
Duncan steadily pulled out an advantage over Arnold to finish on 109 and 22 up. However, he had his Dad continuously thinking that Arnold was going to get some back on certain hills, but Duncan was continuously proving him wrong!
Malcolm continued to pull out an advantage on the rest of the class. After thirty-six challenging hills he finished on 109, and next was Dave Smith in his Kitten on 155, after a better afternoon. Colin Valentine, all the way from Yorkshire, was next up in a shared Imp, just ahead of Stuart. Class D was won by Jack, who ended up 32 less than Robin, who in turn beat Peter Manning, whose Midget was not running too cleanly.
The awards were presented at 4:30, and Barrie had dominated the whole event, and deservedly won overall, and Malcolm Brown was second. Nick third, and Matt fourth, just ahead of Jack and Duncan. Class DD was not eligible for overall awards.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable day, with very challenging hills, most of which were directly into the sunlight, making another it another thing to take into consideration when looking at the hills. The conditions were ideal, as it was bright sun light all day, though some moisture was coming out of the ground by the last round
Return to the Homepage