At the end of the 1970 trials season Gordon Farley had ended the elevenyear reign of Sammy Miller in the British Trials championship. Miller had first won the series on the famous 500cc Ariel with the registration no: GOV 132 before he recorded the first win on a foreign machine with the Spanish Bultaco in 1965. The rivalry between Farley and Miller was very intense, as Farley rode for Montesa and Miller Bultaco. The meeting of the two riders at the Bristol Motorcycle Club’s Don Mountstevens Regional Restricted Trial on the 21st February was the first time they had ridden together in competition since Farley’s winning British Championship ride in December 1970 at the Knut Trial.
Based around the Chew Valley in Somerset this trial was a very traditional event taking in a 34 mile road-based single lap starting at Lamb’s Lair with eight groups of hazards at Middles, Stowey Steps, Old Tannery, Spring Farm, Town View, Dundry Lane and Strode Lane before returning to Lamb’s Lair containing 30 observed sections.
With an excellent entry of just over 60 solo riders starting the event promptly at 10.00am, the weather was very kind for the early part of the year with fine but cold conditions. The fast-flowing river with its large rocks at Stowey Steps witnessed excellent riding from Miller, Farley, Brian Shuttleworth and Lawrence Telling who parted with no marks. Derek Adsett had a single mark loss in the opening hazard as the previous day’s St David’s National Trial winner Jack Galloway parted with five marks on the Saracen for a stop in the second hazard, which effectively removed him from challenging for the victory. Next it was a visit to the mixture of mud and rocks at ‘Old Tannery’ where Telling parted with a loose mark as the other leading contenders parted with no marks to stay in contention for the win.
The early part of the event was surprisingly easy for the majority of the entry, with many remaining on very low scores as they approached the halfway point at Spring Farm. Miller was still un-penalised, with Farley close by on one mark lost and Telling on two. The four hazards at Spring Farm soon changed the severity of the hazards as the entire entry, apart from Miller and Galloway, were penalised on the slippery banks and climbs. Jack Galloway riding the 125cc Saracen was proving just how good the ‘Micro’ trials machines were against the ‘Spanish Armada’ of Bultaco, Montesa and Ossa. Having recorded his second national win of his career the day before, he rode out of his skin to try and close the gap on Miller’s lead of the event, watching his rival’s every move.
Miller’s the Man
Gordon Farley was starting to show his true form as the riders visited the six hazards at Town View. All the entry parted with marks on the climbs over loose rocks and mud steps but Montesa-mounted Farley only lost one with Miller parting with seven and Telling nine, bringing the marks of the leading riders close together as they approached the conclusion of the day’s action at Dundry Lane. With steep climbs and descents the order of the day Miller came into his own, adding a single mark to his score as Farley blew all his hard work from earlier in the day out of the door with a huge loss of fifteen, giving that man Miller the victory at the close of play. The rest of the year would witness a huge tussle for the top spot but Farley would add another title to his success, taking the 1971 British Trials Championship once again for Montesa.
Sammy Miller (252cc Bultaco) Gordon Farley (250cc Montesa): A foot goes down at Dundry Lane on the slippery rocks. Sammy Miller (252cc Bultaco): Showing 100% concentration; Miller on form was a very hard man to beat
Lawrence Telling (250cc Montesa): Riding the John Brise-supported Montesa for Montala Motors, the UK importers of the Spanish brand, Telling had some very good results. This Montesa Cota 247 sports the newly introduced smaller moped-type wheel hubs. Derek Adsett (175cc Greeves): The association of the Greeves manufactured Pathfinder trials model with the Steyr-Daimler-Puch two-stroke engine was not a successful one. Priced in 1971 at £259.00 in kit form, very few machines were sold. Gordon Farley (250cc Montesa): He blew all his hard work earlier in the day out of the door with a huge loss of fifteen marks lost at Dundry Lane. Derek Adsett (175cc Greeves): Adsett was one of few riders who won a National trial on the ‘Pathfinder’ model. Jack Galloway (125cc Saracen): The on-form Galloway on the ‘Micro’ Saracen was very hard to beat as he proved the small-capacity machine’s performance time after time.
Graham Lovelock (125cc Saracen): As with the majority of the ‘Micro’ machines the engine characteristics left them prone to stalling at very low engine revolutions. Jon Bliss (125cc Saracen): Saracen boss Ron Goodfellow was revelling in the success of his machines. At the previous day’s St David’s Trial Jack Galloway had taken the win with Bliss taking the award for the Best 125cc Class rider in 6th position. Jon Bliss (125cc Saracen): Powered by a Sachs engine with a five-speed gearbox the Saracens were very competitive in the right hands. Bliss not only rode them he also worked on the production line in the UK based factory assembling them. Pat Lamper (250cc Bultaco): With Sammy Miller leading the way the production Sherpa T trials model was a very popular choice for the buying public.