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Plum Pudding Trial – 30th December Buriton

Photos by  – Copy by Martin Halliday

Report on the 750 Motor Club’s Historic Plum Pudding Trial held on the 30th December 2017 at Head Down, Buriton, near Petersfield, Hampshire

46 competitors entered the last historic sporting trial of 2017, unfortunately illness and mechanical problems took their toll and there were a few non-starters. The club was exceedingly fortunate to have a dry generally cloudy day considering the very wet weather in the preceding week.

The event saw the debut of Stuart Roach’s beautifully restored Alexis. In their day the trials Alexis was very competitive and Stuart’s car makes a welcome change from all the Cannons.

Paul Faulkner laid out 6 hills using both sides of a forestry track which bisects the wooded downland site. Most of the sections were on leaf mould covering the underlying chalk soil, a tricky combination that generally requires good throttle control. The sections were wide with a choice of line and became progressively more difficult.  

On the first lap it was the steep gradient at the end of Section 1 which caused all the problems. Clean climbs were made by Steve Courts and Richard Rowe in the Post Historic class and but it was Oliver Busfield who drove brilliantly to achieve the only zero in the Historic class.

For lap 2 the sections were subtly changed and it was during this round the final award winners started to appear. In the Historic class Ian Veale and David Methley  both finished on 3 leaving the rest of the class well behind whilst in the Post Historics Steve Courts passengered by Peter Hore were still clean.

During the lunch break the sections were drastically altered and it required real concentration to navigate the correct route rather than just following the previous tyre marks and missing markers. The turn at the bottom of Hill 1 was tighten and it was here Steve Courts lost his only marks of the day. Hill 3 had tricky adverse camber which defeated most of the Historic class except Ian Wright, Ian Veale, David Methley, Steve Jones and Sandra Keen.  Hill 4, marshalled by driver Trevor Wood, finished with a difficult angled 1 gate which took marks from all the Historic entries.

In all an excellent event in which everyone had at least one clean climb but the leaders had to be very careful as the scoring was so close. Ian Veale, making a welcome return to historic sporting trials was the winner of the trial overall but he was only one mark ahead of David Methley who had a superb drive to finish on 9 well clear of the rest of the Historic class. In the Post Historics Steve Courts had a 3 mark advantage over Andy Gowan who was driving in his second historic sporting trial. The results team excelled themselves by providing printed results for everyone not only at the finish but at the lunch break as well.

It was a fitting end to the 2017 historic sporting trial season.

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