We were promised glorious weather and a glorious new site for the 2019 Geoff Taylor trial. As it transpired we were greeted to Apley Estate by a cold thick fog which in turn made it a struggle to see the next set of gates on your hill let alone the full scope of this site.
A modest entry of 21 were to kick off the 2019 championship seasons. Pat Henson had worked tirelessly the previous days to set up 8 sections across the banks of this new venue to be completed three times.
Due to the damp conditions caused by the fog tyre pressures were set at 4psi and immediately we saw that the grip levels were surprisingly good and scores reflected that accordingly. After round one Paul Price led the way on six marks lost, closely followed by Simon Kingsley on seven with Andy Wilks and Boyd Webster chasing hard a further point back on eight.
Scores began to tumble in round two, as the ground dried and the sun began to sneak through the mist. At lunchtime Paul Price still led the way only adding another point to his score, slightly extending his lead to Simon Kingsley who now trailed by two points. Simon had been joined in joint 2nd by Andy Wilks with Ian Veale easing himself into the top five on 11 with Boyd Webster a point further back tied with Josh Veale on twelve.
Lunchtime saw the sun burn through completely and subsequently tyre pressures were put up and hills were tightened. The trickier afternoon was to have a major bearing on the results. The first to fall out of contention was Paul Price, slipping out of the leading position he had held all day after dropping 14 points in round three, finishing up in 6th position overall with a total of 21 points lost. Boyd Webster completed a good drive to finish in the top five on 20 marks lost missing out on a tie break to John Fack who had a solid day to finish 4th. Andy Wilks slipped away from the lead slightly dropping eight points in round three, to finish on the podium and top IRS Blue with 17 marks lost. This left the fight for top spot between Ian Veale and Simon Kingsley. Both drivers had a joint best third round of five with Simon Kingsley (14) ultimately taking the spoils finishing two points clear of Ian Veale (16) and taking home the Geoff Taylor trophy.
Ian Fullwood had an excellent day to take the Blue Live axle award finishing in a brilliant 8th overall mixing it up with the fancy IRS machinery. Darren Underwood added another Rookie award to his growing collection.
The New Venue
After the sun had burnt through we were treated to the full extent of this cracking new site. There is a mix of wide open grassy banks, thin bracken, thick bracken, some lightly wooded areas, with a mix of lumps and bumps which a huge variety of sections can be created on. The unseasonably dry conditions didn’t really give the venue a chance to show its true colors, and we only used a small section of the sites potential but it was still an enjoyable event and its clear this venue would make for fantastic sections in the wet (or even just moderately damp) at any time of the year. Access and parking are excellent and the club cannot be faulted for organisation. The entry was only modest this year, although we did miss a couple of competitors late on due to illness and injury but I would highly recommend anyone wondering for next year to put it straight in their calendar.
Full results to Follow
Regulations can now be downloaded for this event which will take place at new venue on the Apley Estate, on the A442 mid way between Bridgnorth and Telford.