Fourty three crews arrived at an unseasonably dry Frocester site to contest the 2018 Gold and Silver Star final. Ten long sections were laid out across the deceptively dry site and with the threat of rain looking slim it looked like a low scoring day was in store.
Roland Uglow and John Fack runnng two cars apart set the early pace in round one of the 2018 Gold Star, with Roland’s two marks dropped closely followed by John’s three. Richard Sharp matched John’s score to sit in a tie for second with Bryan Walker a point further back on four with Ian Veale completing the top five on five.
The trial then became a serious test or nerve with all hills clearable but with still enough tricky spots to catch out the unwary. Five drivers in the Gold Star kept a clean score card through round two and critically Roland was one of these retaining his spot on top of the leaderboard at lunch time. John Fack fell foul of the tricky finish on hill 10 to record a further two marks and slipped a little further away from Roland but retained a share of second position. Ian Veale was now the man who had moved into that tie for second courtesy of a clear round with Richard Sharp and Bryan Walker dropping back slightly after scoring five and three respectivly.
Tyre pressures were put up at lunch time and sections tweaked in an effort to get scores tumbling but the levels of grip didnt reduce as desired and no less than nine drivers in the Gold star recorded a clear round and critically that included the top three at lunch time which meant that Roland becomes the 2018 Gold Star champion with John Fack finishing second on countback from Ian Veale.
The 2018 Silver Star championship gave a us a ferosiously competitive event with the final battle for first and second being seperated by only two points after the 30 section. The early running was made by John Cole who finished the first round as the only Silver Star driver to be in single figures with a superb round of eight. Hot on John’s tail was Alan Baker and Ross Bruce with 10 and 11 marks dropped respectivly with Mark Howse a further point back on 12 also well in the race for the title.
Round two saw John Cole continue to drive well only dropping one point to head to his pheasant sandwich at lunch with only nine points dropped. Ross Bruce moved one point closer to John courtesy of a superb clear round with Alan Baker dropping back into third spot after dropping five to leave him five points behind Ross and seven off the Silver Star lead. Mark Howse continue to drive steadily and matched Alan’s lunch time score after only dropping three.
However, all was to change as we moved through the tricky third round. John had a disappointing round of twelve to drop himself out of the race for the title and finish up in third position overall. Mark Howse added a further seven points to his score and ended the day in an excellent fourth position. Alan Baker produced a superb clear round when it mattered to finish the day on fifteen but was ultimately pipped to the post by a superb drive by Ross Bruce who managed to only drop two points in the final round and finish on thirteen marks overall and 2018 Silver Star champion.
Congratulations to Roland and Ross on their respective victories both first time winners of their awards. A huge thanks also must go to all the officials and marshalls who helped produce an excellent days sport.
Full results to follow.
The always keenly anticipated 2018 Gold & Silver Star Final is due to take place at the superb Gloster site near Frocester. Set in a fantastic hillside bowl with sweeping views across Gloucestershire this site represents a superb trials venue and a favorite site for many. With the right conditions this site has the potential to deliver a final to remember. We will be supported by the fantastic Bristol Motor Club this year and so look forward to excellent organisation and a huge army of marshals.