15th March 2020

Stone Trough Sporting Trial

Event Report

Day two of the Cumbrian weekend saw most of the previous days entrants plus a few extras, some local and one or two who had travelled a little further. There were a few running repairs to attend to, following the previous days effort; newcomer Ian Blease-Dudley had lost his crankshaft pulley and whilst showing Josh Veale which bolt had come loose discovered Josh had no bolt either. Fortunately Mark Milne came out to the hotel the previous evening with a box of bits and some early spanner work saw them both ready to run.

Clerk Martin Grimwood had been busy following the Stuart Butterfield event modifying some of those hills and creating some new ones. With the travellers in mind, he settled on 8 hills (there had been 10 the previous day) and a 10a.m start. Quite how he managed to organise the weather will remain a mystery because what is notoriously a “grippy” site needs a good dose of rain; which as luck would have it started at the conclusion of day ones trial and stopped early Sunday morning. The conditions were therefore pretty much perfect.

Josh Veale was out of the blocks early with a very precise first round of 6 marks lost, matched by the old man, Ian, who, as they were sharing the same passenger all weekend, was following this time. Next up was John Fack on 10 and brother Jerome on 12. The previous days winner Richard Sharp was not having such a good time of it, clipping a tree and breaking a front wheel at a rather expensive 9 marker; which sort of set the tone for his day. Otherwise there were plenty of scores in the mid teens, including Andy Wilks, Mike Salton and Barry Hogg to name a few.

With a few tracks appearing grip was easier for the second round with several single figure scores being recorded. Both John Fack and Bryan Walker lost just 1, Mike Salton 2 and Jeff Armistead a very tidy round of 8. Ian Veale cracked under the pressure of following son, and clipped a 5 marker to record a total of 6, whilst Josh merrily cruised to the top of every section, for a clear round to consolidate his lead.

Josh Veale blasts his way to his second win of the year.

The talking point of the second round was undoubtedly the demise of poor old Stuart Beare. Whilst the modifications that have been done to the Sherpa Indy seem to be working well, once again a rear driveshaft UJ failed. Unfortunately the breakdown happened at the bottom of the site so a three-car train was assembled to pull him out. Whilst coming up through the trees the tow cars inadvertently pulled Stuart into a tree with enough force to completely shatter the front end of the car, breaking the front axle into three parts and damaging most of the front suspension. In addition the back end of David Webster’s Crossle (the third of the train of three tow cars) was stretched at impact, bending the backend outwards. Now faced with a bigger problem, the second recovery attempt was almost worse. With only 2 wheels available the Sherpa was lifted up onto the back of George Watsons Hamilton with Sam Beare towing him. As they set off up the hill the weight of the Sherpa lifted Georges car up on end which in turn lifted the back of Sam’s car completely off the ground. Fearing the worse, Stuart dived for cover; whist poor Victoria fell out the Hamilton. Luckily Sam and passenger jumped out and grabbed the front of the Hamilton and managed to pull it back to earth. Eventually the car/s were recovered to the paddock and a rather dejected Stuart set off on the long Journey home.

After a brief lunch, and with rather less drama, the third round got under way. A new hill 5 had been established which had a fiendishly tight turn at the 11 marker which unfortunately caught out more than half the field and had quite an effect on the results as those that made it managed to go on and get a clear. Otherwise all the hills, with the exception of hill 6 where a 1 was the best, were on.

And so at the final reckoning Josh hung on to his lead to win the event with a miserly total of just 7 marks lost. John Fack and Ian Veale held station to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively to complete the podium. Mike Salton took the Red class live axle award, whilst blue class winners were Geoff McKay in the independent and Michael McBratney in the live axle. Ian Blease-Dudley was best rookie.

As we headed home we reflected on a great weekend of trialling, two good trials and a couple of enjoyable evenings with friends from near and far. What we didn’t know was that would be the last trial for a while. Here’s hoping we can get back to the hills in the not too distant future; in the meantime, isolate yourselves in the workshop and do all those little jobs to the car that you know need doing, but more importantly take care.

Report by Ian Veale

Event Details

What more can you want than a weekend of trialing in one of the finest areas in the country. The two day weekend, will take place at the sprawling Edenhall site. The site is pretty much weather proof so baring conditions of a biblical nature the event should run. The site encompasses, bracken, woodland with a whole variety of sections possible this is a weekend to put in the calendar. Always a warm welcome received from the NPTCC, get your entries in for this one.

As an added edge our Irish friends are coming across to enjoy this one to take on the English in an Ireland v England match. Fingers crossed for some fun and friendly competition.

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