Photos by Charlie Wooding – Report by Martin Halliday (For higher resolution images contact Charlie here
Ron Faulkner Historic Sporting Trial at Langrish, near Petersfield Hampshire – 24th March 2018
Southsea Motor Club had an oversubscribed entry of 42 competitors for their annual historic sporting trial which took place in a wooded chalk valley near Petersfield. There had been logging on site, so the club had to go to great lengths to clear the small quarry in order it could be used as the car park. Unfortunately it rained heavily the night before the trial leaving the carpark and most of the hills very muddy.
The formalities of signing on etc were swiftly completed and the trial started on time. The club is very fortunate in that they have a large number of helpers and every hill had at least three marshals.
The first lap was tough going. Even Mark Howes dropped 19 to lead the Post Historic while Paul Faulkner was in front of the Historic class on 28. Both cleaned Hill 3 while the rest of the competitors lost either 9 or 10 on a very slippery climb to a tight turn around a tree. Hill 1, which twisted along the side of the hill, included a series of holes leading to a difficult turn which caught out most of the entry; the best score 7. Hill 6 required considerable road speed to scale a very challenging climb for the 10 marker; the difference between success and failure was very small as a number of drivers found out. During the round Frank Lyons and Trevor Wood broke the rear suspension on Frank’s Cannon and Andy Gowen retired after his Ibex refused to run properly.
For the second round the hills were modified and scores started to drop. Even so only Hills 2 and 3 were cleaned; the adverse camber which followed the big climb at Hill 5 was still taking marks from everyone with the most successful being a 6 each for Frank and Graham Wilson. Chris Atkinson pioneered a new line to avoid the holes on Hill 1 and was rewarded with the best score of 5 which was only matched by the Paul Faulkner and Eric Wall.
Back in the paddock for lunch Paul Faulkner was leading Stephen Barnes by 6 marks in the Historic class whilst Mark Howes had a 21 mark advantage over Simon Durling, Frank Wilson, Richard Rowe and Graham Wilson who were all on 57.
By the time the final lap started the hills were drying out a little and scores dropped accordingly. However, only Hills 2, 3 and 6 were cleaned. Before lunch Neil Davis had problems with the starter on his Cranford but this was fixed and he had a super clean on Hill 3 in the afternoon. Stephen Barnes managed to claw back 2 marks from Paul Faulkner while Tim Kary in the Imhof was on great form with a final round of only 9. Simon Durling had the best lap of anyone losing just 6 while Mark Howse uncharacteristically lost a 9 in the holes of Hill 1.
An enjoyable but very difficult trial as the final scores testify; some well know competitors had a day they would rather forget. Relative newcomers James and Lizzie Duke had their first outing in the ex-Adrian Moss Cannon and did very well to survive the day showing potential with some great climbs.
Mark Howse maintained his 21 mark advantage over Simon Durling, who was only one mark ahead of Frank Wilson, to win the Post Historic trophy.
In the Historic class Paul Faulkner had a super drive to win the overall trophy which commemorates his father. He was 4 marks ahead of previous winner Stephen Barnes who had double driven with Martyn Halliday in his Cannon and beat him by 14 marks.
After the event some competitors congregated in the nearby pub to chew over the day’s proceedings and consider what might have been.