Dun­can Stephens takes a look at the lead­ing con­tenders

Motor Sport News - - Sporting Scene -

The cov­eted BTRDA Sport­ing Tri­als Gold Star will be de­cided for the 68th time at King­ton on the Welsh Bor­ders this Satur­day, with nearly 40 crews en­tered.

A year ago Josh Veale took a sur­prise win at the snow short­ened fi­nal in Cum­bria in his old live axle Sherpa and will be try­ing hard to de­fend his ti­tle. How­ever, the favourite will be the new Bri­tish cham­pion Roland Uglow, who won nine tri­als dur­ing the sea­son and never fin­ished out­side the top four, with reg­u­lar pas­sen­ger Laura Wilks.

Ian Veale, Josh’s father, has im­proved his car dur­ing the year sub­stan­tially and won the two events Uglow hasn’t won since the sum­mer and should fea­ture highly.

John Fack failed to win an event last year, hav­ing won the Bri­tish cham­pi­onship the year be­fore, so could spring a sur­prise this time with son Jor­dan as pas­sen­ger, while brother Ju­lian al­ways seems to star at the fi­nal.

North­ern cham­pion and new BTRDA Cham­pi­onship chair­man Si­mon Kings­ley will need to fo­cus hard to push the lead­ers, but is ca­pa­ble on his day. The event also has five driv­ers in­vited from North­ern Ire­land, al­though they haven’t chal­lenged the top step for the last six years. Si­mon Gracey and dou­ble cham­pion Brian Edgar will be hop­ing to, hav­ing bro­ken a drive­shaft early last year.

The Sil­ver Star is the se­cond tier of qual­i­fiers with Jerome Fack favourite fol­low­ing a year of mod­i­fy­ing and de­vel­op­ing his MSR in line with twin brother John’s car, al­though he has suf­fered re­li­a­bil­ity is­sues.

Josh Veale took a sur­prise win last year

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