The Johnson trial by Steven Barnes
BTRDA and MSA championships
Peterborough Motor Club invited us to return to their site near Melton Mowbray. An open and varied site wholely grass covered, with some areas remaining dry suitable for trickling and others being soaking wet losing the top surface immediately and requiring high levels of wheel spin. The ten hills were laid over both types of surface, some in their usual positions and some new sections being found (always welcome). 28 competitors signed on, and each hill had at least one marshal.
Hill One in the gulley by the gate was presided over by Mr and Mrs Gibbs, weaved across from bank to bank two or three times was fairly tight. Clears were had by about half the entry. Hill Two next door, and lower in the gulley was greasy for a start but became easier quite quickly. Nearly everyone went clear. Hill Three over the stream with a long cross camber climb to the 9, slippery desent and two further climbs. The top drivers going clear, several ones and twos and even four tens, myself included. Hill Four was a new section in the middle of the field, a fairly short and tight affair with a ridge to get over at the five gate. This caught out the majority, with only the top five going on to get a clear. Hill Five was the first of the dry sections, an easy ramble to the final climb which had a kink half way up. Threes and fours were the norm here, but Duncan Stephens (Crossle) and Julian Fack (X-Factor) managed the only clears. Hill Six with Mike and Hazel Stephens in charge collected their only score on this round from their son, for a four. Hill Seven through the gate, past the SSSI, and under the imaginative eye of John Yates. A fairly straight forward section with a final climb through some trees to the top. Most went clear, a handfull of threes and some changes expected for later. Hills Eight, Nine and Ten were all in the furthest field on a gentle bank, where a challenging section was always going to be a struggle to lay out. The ground was basically dry, the poles very tight and so long as you kept moving you would drive out of the end. A few small scores were had on hill eight, but nine and ten were basically clears. At the end of the round John Fack (Crossle) was on 4, Steve Courts ( Facksimile) 6, Duncan Stephens 7, and Ian Wright (Kincraft) 8. Stuart Beare (Sherpa) was heading the Blue class on 10, and Anthony Lane and Bill Sherras sharing the Green class honours on 12.
The second round saw minor pole movement only by the C of C. This allowed Duncan a clear round, Stephen Barnes (Sherpa) 6, Ian Bell (Facksimile) 7, and Steve Courts 8. Ian Wright spoilt his day by collecting a 12 simply by missing the gate (and Monty wasn't even there!)
The lunch break saw some alterations being made. John Fack was the only clear on the reworked finish to Hill Three. Hill Four was moved to a new location nearby, with three short "ups", clears were possible but there were plenty of 6's and a smattering of others as the sun began to fall. JY caught seven unwary drivers and nearly many more for a very unforgiving 12 on Hill Seven, a rather unfortunate choice of gates for the beginning of the section. The remainder were easily driveable and cleared by most. John had the clear round this time, Duncan on 1 and Ian Rodman (Apex) on a very creditable 3. A gaggle of many others close behind meant there were some very close scores from 4th to 10th place.