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LAYING OUT A TRIAL by Ian Wright
Having been in trials a long time now, starting off in a pushchair (only Tony Harrison will remember that) progressing to helping my father set out KBCC's trials, moving on to passengering him, building and driving my own cars and others and running my business !around trials cars and finally setting out the last two best trials of the year for ST.com it was felt that I had a modicum of ability to judge on a good section. To that end I have been badgered by all and sundry to write about the skill.
1. The trial should not be won or lost in the first round
2. It does not matter if most of the field go clear in the first round
3. Drivers will mess up what appear to be easy sections
4. It?s rare to get a tie
5. The biggest bone of contention is competitors getting away with hitting a marker pole, so with hills increasingly being marshaled by only one person make them WIDE. The worst mistake the marshal can then make is whether the front hub is past the pole or not - the difference of one point only, and very different from getting away with hitting (say) the eleven.
6. The wider a section is the less chance of ruts appearing. If cars are sliding or moving across a wider area then ruts do not appear therefore grip remains similar from 1st car to last. Ruts ALWAYS = Grip
7. Narrow sections do not allow a choice of line - a fundamental blue book rule.
8. A skilful driver will find a different line. Sheep follow tracks !!
9. Use gentle cambers to encourage skilful use of fiddle brakes put them on the outside
10. Make the one gate in a position to facilitate an easy exit.
11. Novices often make more mistakes coming back off the hill (this is dangerous)
12. Have a roving Clerk
13. Do not put poles on the inside of trees, of the Course
14. Allow competitors to alter sections if they fear they are dangerous or that conditions have made changes necessary
15. Spread the sections out as much as possib.
16. Be imaginative. Think ?out of the box?. Some trials are a joke - all the regulars could draw a map of how the sections will look and where they are on the site
17. A saw and clippers will create an alternative to many traditional routes.
18. Clerks should set out sections because they are good at it not because they were volunteered or they like doing
19. Do not be frightened to change tyre pressures at lunch. It's not a problem.
20. The less choice of line there is and the more pole missing comes to the fore the closer the scores become because every driver can steer - not all can trickle, blast, drift, anticipate, use momentum, etc. etc.
21. Avoid going in to water
22. Avoid lots of tree roots
23. Always send a gaggle of drivers to look at the sections before the event starts and LISTEN to them
24. Mix up red, blue and green drivers on the hills
25. Lots of sections have to go up down up down up. Try to use the vast majority of poles on the ups only - anybody can drive down hill, gravity is powerful stuff. However, if conditions change downhills become a skating rink and trials drivers can't skate.
26. Use the natural contours and hard landscape to dictate the sections. The poles should only show the outline of the route and enable score to be decided at the point the car stopped.
27. Give marshals more power. A count of one and two and three. this dictates a stop.
28. Four wheels out rule is a pain to marshal. Make the section user friendly to marshal. No driver will smash their car against a tree or rock or fall off a ledge to go four wheels out. It should only apply where a benefit can be gained by doing so. Use common sense. All drivers like competent, no nonsense, cant get away with it type of marshals. STRICT.
29. Clerks of Course should be current or recent trials drivers or assisted and advised by the same.
30. The number of trials competitors is increasing but everybody's time is valuable - poor trials should be weeded out.
31. Tyre pressures should be checked. No exceptions.
32. If conditions of the site suggest tyre pressure control be dictated by the majority of the hills not just the one or two wet ones. If the one or two wet ones make you think not to dictate pressures then make them easier to even them all up.
33. You will not get all the hills right all of the time, try to get most of them right all of the time.
34. To make a wide section tighter you only need to pull in one or two crucial poles.