Report on the Southsea Motor Club’s Ron Faulkner Historic Sporting Trial near Petersfield, Hampshire, GU32 1DJ on Saturday 23rd March 2019 by Martyn Halliday
In previous years the Southsea Motor Club had restricted the number of competitors due to the limited car parking space in a small disused quarry. This year parking was in a field, albeit some distance from the observed sections but it did allow the club to accept 55 competitors for this popular event. The day was overcast but dry.
It was good to see the hugely experienced Fack twins bring along John’s newly restored Cannon. Unfortunately John had to leave the competing to Jerome as John is recovering from a recent eye operation. Particularly welcome were the members of the British Motorsport Marshals Club who turned out in force to act as observers. For many it was their first time at a trial but from the positive feedback and smiling faces it is hoped this is the start of them supporting historic sporting trials in the future.
The Clerk of the Course John Taylor had devised 7 long winding sections in the usual chalk valley beside the A272. In the dry conditions there was generally a reasonable amount of grip except where the sections were routed over loose chalk, leaf mound or tree roots.
At the end of the first lap there were 4 clear rounds in the Post Historic class, Mark Howse, Steve Courts, Andy Gowen and Grahame White while in the Historic class both Jerome Fack and Mark Busfield were on 1. The biggest surprise, and the most costly mistake of the day, was when the current Motor Sport UK Sporting Trials Champion, Ian Wright completely missed the 6 gate on Hill 4, a section that was cleaned by many other Historic class competitors.
The sections were changed for the second round but still the four leaders in the Post Historic class maintained their clean sheets. Dave Abbot, Frank Wilson and Tim Barrington also had clear rounds. In the Historic class Paul Faulkner and Ian Wright lost two each with Jerome Fack on 3 whilst Chris Atkinson and Nick Holder were having outstanding drives on 4 each.
After a relaxed lunch break it was time to ferry the marshals back to the sections. Again the sections were altered and this time the Clerk of the Course made sure nobody retained a clean sheet. It was the final climb over tree roots which formed part of Hill 3 which took marks from everyone, the best score being a 3.
In the end Jerome Fack won the Historic class in the Cannon on 10 marks from Paul Falkner on 13 and Ian wright on 14 whilst in the Post Historic class it was much closer with Mark Howse on 3, Steve Courts on 4, Andy Gowen on 5 and Grahame White on 6.
In summary one competitor said “the days sport was great fun, the welcome warm as always, the banter in the paddock witty and friendly, and everything was exactly as it should be”. What more can anyone ask?
Photos by Charlie Wooding