Camel Trophy Owners’ Club, Solihull Society and the Home Nations trial at the LRO Show
This year saw the third run of the LRO MSA arena RTV trial, and for the first time we had great weather to set out four technical competition sections to challenge the drivers over the weekend.
For 2018, instead of individual clubs competing for the coveted LRO Peterborough RTV trophies, we invited competitors from the four UK nations to come and play. Competing in the vehicles in which they’d travelled to the show, three drivers each from Scotland, Northern Ireland and a combined England and Wales team took to the arena to do battle in front of a big crowd.
Vehicles ranged from a few standard 90s to Discos and even a P38, with an equally diverse selection of drivers from seasoned triallers to novices.
The Saturday turned out to be a a learning curve for the more farflung teams. The Scots are used to having just seven gates on each section to remember, not 12, and in Ulster you have to get the whole vehicle through a gate to clear it, not just the leading hub, like we do here on the mainland.
All competitors soon got into the swing of it and discovered that the massed spectators instantly ‘disappear’ the moment you drive through the start gate and your head is focused in the trialling zone. By the end of the day the Scots had a commanding lead with 20 penalty points between their three drivers – half that of the competition. But my chief setter-outer, Terry Brown from North Wales LRC, was determined to spice things up for the competition on Sunday.
To this end, course landscaper John Lawn was dragged in to open up some new routes with his digger, and the decision was made to take advantage of a log see-saw designed for the challenge trucks, for an entertaining finish. The see-saw did create the one drama of the trial, when novice driver Quintin Ward slipped sideways. But cool, calm and collected instruction from the marshals soon got him back on to terra firma.
The added spice had quite an impact on the scores, with Scotland more than trebling their penalty points at the end of four sections. The England and Wales team of Quintin Ward from Beds, Herts & Cambs LRC, Jimmy Selman from Anglian LRC and Mike Weigh from North Wales LRC went on to win with
57 penalty points. Mike had a particularly impressive event, picking up just six penalty points throughout the weekend with outstanding driving.
Next year we’re looking at the potential of a five-nations trial, so watch Lroshow.com for news.
A range of vehicles took on the four challenging sections
An England/wales lineup took overall honours