Report by Martyn Halliday, Photos by Charlie Wooding www.charliewooding.co.uk
Report on the 750MC Historic Plum Pudding Trial on Saturday 29th December 2018 at Head Down,Old Barn Lane, Buriton,near Petersfield, Hampshire.
The 750 Motor Club held their joint “modern” and historic sporting trial in ideal dry conditions at their excellent chalky wooded downland site near Petersfield.
Due to limitations on parking the entries for the historic sporting trial were restricted to 50 but the event was over subscribed and 6 reserves were accepted. Finally 51 competitors started. With 20 cars competing in the separate modern trial the first challenge of the day was to find somewhere to park, the second, joining the line for scrutineering which was behind the two signing on tents. One of the attractions of this event is the slightly chaotic scene of activity in the fairly small area which contains signing on tents and the catering van.
It was good to see so many from the racing world coming to spectate. There were enough Formula Junior racers in the paddock to have provided a decent grid at a race meeting. Duncan Rabagliati was passengering for Stuart Roach while Hans Ciers, who has just bought a trials car, was sitting beside Westie Mitchell. Roy Gillingham and Brian Arculus were having their first outing in Roy’s newly acquired Post Historic Mudsport.
On the previous day Paul Faulkner and Pete Luff had set out 6 long very twisty sections. The sections were fairly close together and it took considerable concentration to follow the marker poles for the section being attempted and not be distracted by the poles for an adjoining hill. Some experienced competitors went astray which immediately took them out of contention for any awards.
It was a very low scoring day so the top drivers could not relax for a minute nor afford to lose a single mark. The tension was greatest in the Post Historic class with four drivers, Andy Gowen, Ian Wright, Steve Courts and Richard Rowe achieving a clear first round whilst in the Historic class Nigel Bennett was on 2, Mitch Wood and Jim Chapman on 3, Dave Methley, Chris Atkinson and a flying Sandra Keen on 4.
On the second lap the pressure increased with 14 clear rounds in Post Historic class but only two in the Historic class. After lunch the sections were altered for the third lap but in the gathering gloom the scores amongst the leaders were still very low.
In the end Andy Gowen and Ian Wright had perfect drives not losing a single mark all day and taking joint first place in the Post Historic class. The Historic class was dominated by Mitch Wood who, driving Andy Wolfe’s Cannon came out on top for the third time this year losing only 5 marks to David Methley’s score of 7. Jim Chapman was third on 19.
It was a good event to finish off a successful historic sporting trial year.