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Beginners Guide to Car Trials

So you have seen the pictures and you fancy a go!

1. What is a PCT?

Its proper title is a Car Trial (CT) – which us nerds shorten to PCT, they used to be called Production Car Trials.

2. What is the aim of the event?

Its pretty much what it says on the tin, the aim is to get your car as far up the hill course as possible whilst driving between marker poles. You get penalty points for stopping on the hill or hitting a pole and the person with the lowest scores wins!

3. What car do I need to compete?

ANY normal road car is eligible to complete in a PCT, as you can see from the Facebook page  The most common are small front wheel drive hatchbacks, but anything is usable (Nissan Micra, VW Polo, Ford Fiesta, Citron Saxo, but even Mazda MX5s are used ). The car does not need any modification although the tests are on hilly fields so a ‘slammed’ golf is not an ideal car.

4. Will I damage my car?

The tests are designed to reward gentle smooth driving without damaging the car (though if you don’t drive with the right level of care you may catch front spoiler)

5. On the web page there are specialist trial cars competing, how can I compete against those?

The days competitors are divided into a number of classes by car type and each type of car has its own class ie:

- 1. Two wheel drive production cars first registered on or after 1st January 1998, taxed, carrying no ballast, driven to venue, no modifications

- 2a. Front wheel drive production cars up to 1400cc not eligible for class 1

- 2b. Front wheel drive production cars over 1400cc not eligible for class 1

- 3. Rear wheel drive production cars not eligible for class 1

- 4. Modified production cars, kit cars, sports cars and specials

This way so you only complete against similar cars (note:-  4wd cars are not permitted)

As you can see the specialist trial cars are in a separate class, so you are not competing against them.

6. How do I prepare my car?

Take all the loose stuff and rubbish out - weight is a problem in ALL motor sports,.

Drive it to the event – it will be checked but the scrutineering is a simple once over to make sure things like the battery is secure and the wheels are bolted on its not a repeat of the MOT  - if the car is road legal it is very likely to be OK. At the event they will check you tyre pressures (each class has an allowed pressure – so bring a tyre pump)

7. How do I enter?

There are a number of PCTs held in this area by the local Car clubs, the 2014/5 Eastern Trials Challenge consists of the following rounds:

- 19th October      Kensworth Trial (Falcon MC)
- 2nd November    Guy Fawkes Trial (Falcon MC)
- 16th November   Lyng Garage Trial (SCCoN)
- 30th November   Wattisfield Trial (West Suffolk MC)
- 1st January         Seckford Trial (Eastern Counties MC)
- 18th January       Roger Holmes Memorial Trial (Cambridge CC)
- 22nd February     Holbecks Trial (West Suffolk MC)
- 15th March         Wattisfield Trial (West Suffolk MC)
- 19th April            Ivinghoe Trial (Falcon MC)

(more details on the organizing clubs web sites)

To take part you need:-

- 1. A car and a passenger (though you can often borrow someone else's passenger on the day if you don’t have your own)
- 2. You join one of the clubs (about £10 for a year)
- 3. Fill in an entry form and pay your entry fee – one entry per driver (most clubs will allow you to join and enter on the day of the event)

It is quite common for both the driver and passenger to enter using the same car (one drives and the other passengers and then they swap over and do the test again……..husband/wife and father/sibling teams teams are very common.

If you need any more detail each club has a Competitions Secretary who will be happy to talk you through it or you can turn-up to an event and watch and chat to other competitors or marshal for a day – you will pick up a lot watching others!

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