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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!

Norman Perren Memorial Trial - 1st Jan 2015

ECMC had a great start to the new year with out Production Car Trial in the Seckford Hall field.  Following the recent cold snap it was lovely to enjoy the warmer temps, and the initial dampness on the hills soon burned off.  On the day 26 competitors battled it out in the 4 classes and the competition was as tight as always.  Overall honours went to Peter Hanman in the very capable Dellow.  A special mention should be given to Chloe Hewitt who was out on her very first PCT and turned in some very respectable scores, I'm sure she will be back.  Of the 3 junior drivers competing Thomas Pettitt took top honours double driving with Christopher Pettitt who won Class B.  Class A was won by Marcus Keeble, Class C was a battle of the Fiat 500 drivers and Matthew Lake triumphed there.  With Peter winning the event overall, son Tim double drove the Dellow to the Class D win.

Full scores and positions can be seen here

Some photos from the event can be viewed here, if you have any pictures or videos please let us know.

ECMC Woodbridge Autosolo - AAC Rd 3

Thankyou to everyone who came out to organise, marshal and compete on the ECMC Woodbridge Autosolo & Autotest.  A good day was had by all with some excellent drives from the newcomers.  Debbie and Sarah Dumbill and Jamie Manning took part in the Taster event and particularly impressed with their smooth style putting in some highly respectable times - we hope to see you back in the proper event soon. 

Download the test times and results:  Woodbridge Autosolo Results

Pictures of the event can be found here: Photos Link

New Year's Day Trial 2014

A huge thanks go out to the hardy marshals who withstood the lashing wind and rain and ensured the competitors had an excellent and safe days motorsport, these events do not run without you!  ...and to all those who stayed and ensured that everybody got out of the valley - the burger and results van both needing a 4x4 tow up the slope!

25 Competitors started the day, and there were fantastically close battles in all classes, often with no more that a point or two in it.  When the weather turned for the worse cutting the action short, it was Tim Hanman who took overall honours in the Dellow, leaving father Peter to have to settle for the Class D win.  At the end of the morning John Cooledge and Becky Rowles were very close, but Becky edged away in the afternoon to take class A honours.  Class B was hotly contested, John Peterson taking an early lead, but Christopher Pettitt was never far behind and it was Christopher who topped the table at the end of the day, with David Holmes just sneaking ahead of John P as the Mini struggled a bit with the wet conditions.  Finally just a single point separated Richard and Daniel Leggett in the little Fiat 500, with Daniel just taking the 'trophy'.

The test scores and class/overall results are available in the links below

Early ECMC action on YouTube

Following on Leigh Trevail's article in the August newsletter, he's tracked down some early ECMC video footage that has been uploaded to the YouTube website.  Take a look using the following links, and of course if you have any further information about the events Leigh would love to hear from you!

Footage taken by members of the Eastern Counties Motor Club of their events at Snetterton:

1954 & 1956 :

19th June 1960 :

18th June 1961 :

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