The Pinford Trial 2005 (the Peter Fear Trial)

Elaine Fear and the team at Ross and District Motor Sports totally excelled themselves with the Pinford Trial. The organisation was superb, scrutineering was efficient, the sections challenging and the event was enjoyed by all who competed. To achieve this is not an easy task, but to achieve this with the recent loss of Peter is a credit to Elaine and the entire club. Peter would be very proud.

The day started with a tricky cross camber descent into the paddock area, some drivers did better than others and some red faces told the story! Memories of recent Pinford trials were of awkward climbs, where a wise head and gentle throttle foot prevailed, but these memories were of course in September at the end of the summer break. This was now December and the conditions for most of the sections required a less subtle driving style. My Sherpa has had outings this season in the hands of both Ian Wright and Monty Peters, and it was now great for me to sit behind the wheel once again. With Monty and I double driving the car I knew that it was going to be an eventful day ………….. it was!!

The first round is often where a trial is won, and this was not to be the exception. The conditions were tricky and some very experienced drivers were being made to look very ordinary. Hill 1 (Phil's) saw 3 of the red class drivers fall foul at the 8, with a third of the field going on to clear. Hill 2 (Big Tree Root) saw six of the drivers caught on the root for a 9, myself and Duncan Stephens included, whilst Dave Oliver in the green class triumphantly cleared. Hill 3 (Awkward 3 gate) had a spread of scores from 11's down to two clears; Ian Wright found his form here. Hill 4 (Frances') saw again a complete mixture with nobody clearing a very hard finish. The round was seeing just one driver stamping his authority - Julian Fack. With cleans on Hill 5 (Mike's) and Hill 7 (The stream) proving very valuable. Hill 6 (John's) was the hardest of the sections, with most drivers not seeing the end of the section all day. Hill 8 (Tony's) had a very tight finish, notable cleans were achieved by Kim Warwick and Kevin Rivers. By the end of the round the top three places were filled by a trio of Facks, with Paul Price a very close 4th.

The second round continued to see most drivers make silly mistakes, with all the hills causing problems for some. Green driver Paul Bartleman's day ended on hill 7 with a broken stub axle. John Yates's hill 6 was still proving the most difficult with 15 drivers not reaching the top of the first climb for an 11. Those that did manage it quickly came unstuck at the next climb for a 6 or 7. For my attempt I had a cunning plan: having negotiated the first climb, I lined the car up for the second, a slippery cross camber. We came to a halt for a 7, I glanced across at Monty in the passenger seat and said “What happened”, he grinned and simply said “you ran out of talent!!”. Julian Fack, John Fack, Ian Wright and Kim Warwick didn't “run out of talent”, they all managed to make a superb climb for a 1. The last round was eventful for some, Kevin Rivers diff stopped being a diff and his day ended. Our day was also almost over, a very determined climb by myself on hill 7 for a clear had been hard work on a car that was already suffering from the double drive ……… we were on fire! The top of hill 7 is a bit isolated and we were still on fire nearly 2 minutes later ….. as bemused onlookers watched me use my trusty cap to carry much needed water from the nearby stream to eventually quell the flames. (On a serious note - should fire extinguishers be fitted to all trials cars?) The trial was effectively won in the first round, Julian dominated the event from the start and finished on just 16 points. Brother John Fack battled with Ian Wright all day and excellent final round climbs on Hill 6 (John's) by both drivers saw them finish on 31 points each. John took 2nd on clears, Ian was 3rd and Paul Price finished 4th on 38. Congratulations to all at Ross & District Motor Sports for an excellent event.