Summer Trial Brings Out The Big Guns
The Summer Trial 2021 entry list is as broad as it is long with a glittering array of winners, achievers and aspiring newbies keen to measure themselves against their award winning peers. It is clear the big guns are coming out to play.
*Although a green coded event, four champions, gold medalists and P2P podium sitter are entered
*Novices, beginners and intermediates to measure themselves against sport’s top echelon
*Previously unused roads and test venues to provide fresh challenge
Amongst those embarking on their early rally steps in regularity rallying are the winners of A Novice Trial just two weeks ago, Alistair Leckie and Matt Outhwaite in their SAAB 900 Turbo, excited to see what they can do against the experienced entrants and mighty champs – they could just spring a surprise on the clocks even though they are in separate class to the Masters.
A glance at the entry list tells a story of achievement. At number one in a 1925 Bentley is Flying Scotsman winner and second place podium sitter in the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 2019, Bill Cleyndert. With him is 2018 Golden Roamer winning champion navigator Ian Canavan.
Drop your eyes a few centimeters on the list and there are Le Jog Gold Medal winners Stuart and Emily Anderson at two in their famous 1937 4.2 litre Bentley Derby. Gold Medal winners Stephen Owens and top navigator Nick Bloxham complete the trio of Masters in their Porsche 356B.
Guy Woodcock HERO-ERA Competition Director and Clerk of the Course for Summer Trial;
“Those three cars are all in the separate Masters Class. Bill and Stuart will provide the ‘Battle of the Bentleys’ with Stephen and Nick in with them, all enjoying their own fight. It’s good to have them with us, they will chat to the other crews offering help and advice. In fact the Masters won’t get their road books until half an hour before the event as we want to encourage them to mill about and help the novices with any queries. Of course that gives them the chance to get a sneak peek at the road book at the same time!
“There are also lots of experienced people, along with the novices, who just want to get back out there. Former HERO-ERA Cup winning champion Paul Bloxidge is continuing to give his grandson Ollie experience in the navigators seat, the pair already podium winners together last year. Then there are crews of the calibre of Michael Moss and James Ewing and Jo and Peter Johnson to name but a few.
“The event will run under the current Motorsport UK guidelines. After scrutineering on Friday and an early lunch we will head to the North Shropshire Plains for three tests and four Regularities which will help everyone get used to what they are doing over the four hours. We will keep it relatively simple but on the Summer Trial navigation does become trickier as it goes on, although still within the green category.
“Our competitors like to get up and at it, so an 8.00 am start for a full day of nine regularities and two tests lies ahead as we start to ramp up the level of competition. This is also the scenic day as we cross over the Long Mynd and Stiperstones, part of the of South Shropshire hills , a lovely mix of mountain roads with views and great driving routes.
“For the final morning in Shropshire we are in for some good tests at Rednal Kart Track. We are going to do something slightly different there, then a couple of more regularities before the final test blast leads to the finish back in Telford for 1.00pm.”
To continue browsing the list of 56 entrants we find Steve and Julia Robertson in their MG PB, Steve a previous winner of the Summer Trial when his son navigated for him. Gold medal winner Andy Lane returns, this time in the hot seat next to the experienced Noel Kelly and then at car 51, navigating Andy Simpson is Roger Bricknell in the Mini Clubman GT. Roger has won both the HERO-ERA Cup as a driver and the Golden Roamer as a navigator! Another big gun out to get his eye in but yet approachable enough to help any newbies requiring help. Rally history is also represented as Bron Burrell brings her famous 1969 Austin Maxi that she competed in on the 1970 World Cup Rally to Mexico called ‘Puff the Magic Wagon.’
Rally enthusiast Alan Pettit, car preparer and experienced navigator, is in the hot seat alongside Constant Burch in a 1969 Volvo Amazon.
A group who have made their way in the sport starting at novice level a few years ago, and now making great strides, are lead by Malcolm Dunderdale and Anita Wickins in their Mercedes 190 16V. John and Tracy King are back on the rally ladder in their Triumph Dolomite Sprint as are David and Sally Ward in their rorty red Ferrari Dino 308 GT4.
For many it is a family affair, the most prominent of which are the Hardwicks. Stephen is being navigated by his daughter Olivia who has previously rallied the families Volvo whilst son Henry returns, this time in the Datsun 240Z navigated by Thomas Fair.
Dick and Harry Baines epitomise the novices who are back for more. They finished seventh overall on A Novice Trial after some electrical issues with their Cooper S and some assertive direction calling on the tests by Harry. The Crofts, the Mills, Youngs, Gilmores, Garretts, Roberts and Shaws are amongst many family entries for this perfect introductory event to regularity rallying. Another family effort is at number 32, the 1973 Fulvia Sport of Barbara and Daniel Wiedermann.
HERO-ERA Arrive and Drive will be supplying two of their fleet on the Summer Trial. The Mini Cooper S will be driven by Owen and Jill Tyson after they took the A+D TR4 for A Novice Trial when their own car broke down. Julia Adams and Martin Farnworth are rallying one of the most beautiful cars on the fleet, the 1971 Alfa Romeo GTV.
There are cars spanning in age from 1925 to 1985 on the Summer Trial. A 1965 Fiat Bertone, X1/9 of Simon Brown and Martin Jackson and a 1983 Austin Maestro piloted by Pete Johnson and navigated by his wife Jo. The TVR Taimar of William and Simon Garrett is one of the cars expected to be quick on the tests after it made a rapid appearance last year.
Angus McQueen and Mike Cochrane have taken their standard 1982 BMW 323i to a podium before and despite a little off on the mud into the trees at the PAAI last December, this crew could be one of the dark horses for honours.
The fulsome entry list has a terrific mix of champions, intermediate crews on their way up and novices ready to learn more about their craft, but they all have one thing in common, they intend to have fun on the Summer Trial.