Welcome to the December edition of your newsletter which seems to be going from strength to strength. I have recently been musing about when I used to produce the newsletter for the club some 20 to 30 years ago, this was a particularly laborious affair. Once all the copy had been collected, then typed up (on a typewriter, thank you Viv) and put into a form where it made an even number of pages it was then photocopied, then collated into an actual newsletter, then Vivien and I would do all the stuffing of envelopes , then put all the stamps on ( that would be expensive now) and finally post. This is where I actually like modern technology, I can (and do as you are already aware of) type whatever, send it to Jonathan Kelly, he puts it into the electronic mailing system and it’s gone, bliss.
With the Tamar Trial all done and dusted apart from Brian Alexander’s excellent report it’s looking forward to the Ron Beer Sporting trial on the 27th of this month at Harrowbarrow near Callington, yes once again we need marshals so do phone Mike Wevill 01566 784451 and ease his load, and it will also help to clear the head after all those Christmas festivities.
Straight into the New year there is the MCC Exeter Trial. I have entered the Dellow and assuming it doesn’t throw another tantrum I hope to be competing , let’s face it two abandoned events in succession would be very embarrassing especially as passenger Phil journeys all the way from the Midlands down to Cornwall just to spend a soggy wet night in the car with me in the name of “motorsport”. Don’t feel too sorry for him , he’s a biker and the Dellow is as close to luxury as it gets.
Following on from our Chairman Warin Kelly’s article in the last newsletter there has been a positive move towards a number of people wanting to attend the special meeting to discuss the future of our club and motorsport in general, this obviously not only affects our club but all motor clubs. The date is set for February 28th , the venue will shortly be announced.
Don’t forget I need your contributions for this newsletter no matter how big or small, once I run out of things to say about the Dellow I shall start to talk about my other motoring passion, Scooters, Lammies RuleJ firstname.lastname@example.org
December 27th Ron Beer Sporting Trial
January (2019) 17th Committee Meeting
January 27th Spry Sporting Trial
February 10th Launceston Classic Trial
February 28th Special Meeting
March 29th Presentation of Awards evening.
January 4th/5th M.C.C. Exeter Trial.
Before I hand you over to Brian and his excellent Tamar report I would like on behalf of the committee to wish you all a Merry Christmas and happy , healthy New Year, hopefully sparing more than a thought for those who may not be enjoying the festive season as much as we hope to.
Launceston & North Cornwall Motor Club Tamar Trial
The increasing popularity of class 5 was again demonstrated in Launceston’s splendid Tamar Trial. 4 Suzuki X 90s were supplemented by 3 Reliant Scimitars, two Mazda MX5s and one each of MG, BMW, SAAB and Porsche (although John Cox’s 924 actually failed to make the start) With 12 of the 34 car entry in class 5 it also provided the top 3 overall positions, with remarkable performances by Dave & Aaron Haizelden and Steve Kingstone. Dave’s overall winning 2.5 litre Ford-powered white Scimitar SS dropping only 3 points all day, 6 less than Aarons 2 litre green example, with Steven’s beautifully prepared Blue MG Midget only a further 5 points behind.
Best of the Suzuki’s by a country mile, and surprisingly ahead of Ian Facey’s supercharged BMW (on 26), was Nick Deacon on 21 points which deservedly earned him the best Japanese car award, well ahead of the Mazda challengers.
The new Tresmeer start venue on the edge of Bodmin Moor proved an excellent choice, conveniently close to the finish venue at Wilsey down for trailers. The delicious all you can eat breakfast was a great improvement on bacon baps, and was superbly organised and cooked by the local villagers . Dawn saw a beautiful sunrise and the promise of a glorious day in lesser known parts of the Cornish countryside. Early morning mists soon developed in the valleys however and persisted well into the morning. Those like myself anticipating an easy trial due to the recent dry conditions were soon disillusioned, few sections were exactly a walk in the park, and the numerous restarts soon began to take their toll.
A new section, Tanks Terror certainly lived up to its name. This fiercely steep climb out of a river bank defeated all but Dan Keat’s Fugitive and Dave Haizelden’s Reliant. Here we encountered the only significant hold up in the trial but this was due to competitors being allowed to reccy the section, greatly appreciated as the sinuous route along the river bed would have otherwise confused most.
The notorious Angel Steps were as formidable as ever, stopping most of the entry. The exceptions were Dan Keat and Paul Merson in class 8, Peter Hart in class 7 and the Class 5 cars of Dave and Aaron Haizelden and the redoubtable Steve Kingston , the class not actually benefitting that much from not having to restart. The amazingly competitive X90 of Nick Deacon also looked as if it was going to make it but suddenly came to a halt after bouncing into the air on the vicious step after the restart. Apparently this was caused by the air cleaner falling off. This upset the management system which shut the engine down! Sometimes modern technology can be a minus. (maybe often in fact.)
Having lost the ability to change gear after attempting Lew Wood 1 due to a clutch which now refused to disengage, my navigator Tim Edwards wisely persuaded me to retire the X90 and proceed to the lunch stop, having found that progress was still feasible providing one stopped the engine to engage a gear! On our way we encountered the irrepressible and ever cheerful Simon Oates by the roadside with a broken diff. in his much campaigned Triumph based Torum. Thus we didn’t witness the conditions on most of the later sections but Trehole apparently stopped everybody and the restarts on Park Impossible , New Langleys and the last section Trevilla all defeated the whole of class 8. The all classes restart on the favourite Lands End section at Crackington, was responsible for destroying my diff on last years Tamar (and I suspect may have been the reason for the 3rd and last retirement of the day, that of Nick Symons in the green MX5) and was cleared by only 14 cars.
Class 7 and 8 were set some very difficult restarts, successfully intended to offset the expected dry conditions. Top of class 8, and 4th overall, was the UVA Fugitive of Dan Keat on 19, 5 points ahead of Paul Merson in the ex Charlie Shropland Special with Simon Woodall’s VW buggy in 3rd place.
Peter Hart put up an impressive performance in the Marlin to head class 7 on 22 points ahead of a very close battle between the revived ex Simon Riddle Arkley now campaigned by the promoting club’s Adrian Booth (32) and the very well sorted Liege of Ray and Hannah Ferguson (33) from Wantage.
Class 3 saw a very closely fought battle between Matt Facey’s BMW 318 and Phil Parkers Mk 1 Escort with Matt on 43 points eventually edging it by 1 point, mainly by virtue of his excellent climb on Angel steps. 3rd in class was the valiant Anglia estate driven by Paul Gillo.
The era of the all conquering VW Beetles seems to be on the decline these days, class 4 fielded just two 1300 examples although Craig Allen’s winning score of 34 was good enough for 13th position overall, while the only big-engined example was the sole class 6 entry, that of Mike Smith who had travelled down from Birmingham. 22nd overall on 53 points.
In class 1 James Shallcross, dominant in the awesome Peugeot 205 ever since Dave Haizelden moved to class 5, was 15th overall on 36 his only opposition coming from the venerable SAAB 96 of Nigel Martin Oakley adding historic interest to the entry.
Even more venerable was the single class 2 entry, the ever competitive green MG J2 of Bill & Liz Bennett (to say nothing of the crew) who, on 28 points, finished a meritorious 9th overall, earning them the Club Cup.
Our journey home was successfully accomplished sans clutch, the Suzuki quite happy in 3rd gear all the way. All in all a highly enjoyable day in the Cornish countryside at its best. Full marks and many thanks to the organising team and all the marshals for another challenging and splendidly organised trial which certainly sorted the men from the boys.
(Since writing this I have discovered that our problem was that the clutch pressure plate had actually snapped in half, so not surprising that it would not free, not an original Suzuki part I should add)