Dave Top Mechanic
It was a Class 1 victory on The Mechanics Trial. Dave Haizelden was the overall winner, dropping 11 marks, compared to Mike Workman on 14, although in fairness he had a lot more restarts in Class Eight.
It was quite dry in the Cotswolds so the results were determined by some fearsome restarts, especially for the higher classes, and the tricky Catswood sections with deviations off the tracks into the trees. All but 1 & 2 also had to run with very high tyre pressures, which must have contributed to the result. Stroud & DMC also ran a Clubmans event, mostly using the same sections but without the restarts. This was won by Ian Moss in his 1937 Ford Model Y who only dropped six marks, all on the impossible Don't Blink section in Catswood.
Stroud had just over 40 starters for their non-championship trial, run in the same area as their Cotswold Clouds but with different sections. The second section "Alf's Delight" was not so delightful, with many of the fancied runners failing its fearsome restart. In Class eight Mike Workman was the only one to get away in his Golden Valley Special. This was bettered by Class Seven where both Mal Allen and Julian Archbold were successful, delighting Julian in his newly acquired Marlin.
After some sections on delightful old roads came three sections in Catswood. OS 7, called Sapseds Big Surprise, saw Dave Haizelden loose his first marks of the day, dropping five after the section deviated off into the trees. Without having to restart Dave also cleaned the next section, Mini Hoskin, the only competitor in the main trail to do so. This showed just how good this driver/car combination is as none of the other non-restarters in 1-6 got less than a six.
Dave dropped six marks on Don't Blink, the final Catswood section, the last he was to loose for the rest of the day. Tony Underhill retired here, his Triumph Special making horrible noises, later diagnosed as a loose flywheel on his newly rebuilt engine.
Coming out of the woods came a a section at King Charles Lane before a restart at Bulls Cross, situated right on a nasty rock step. This claimed a few victims, including the experienced Pete Hart (Marlin) and Eric Wall (Dellow mk1). Eric was having a bad day on the restarts having failed the Grassy Wood Lane earlier in the day.
This year there wasn't a section on Greenway Lane itself, as the track was approached from the top. Anyone wondering why soon found out as it was very, very rough after considerable water erosion and it must have been very difficult for the lower slung cars to get to the sections. They were both grassy and didn't impact on the results although Stuart Deacon broke the diff on his Escort, changing it to finish the trial. Luke Baber wasn't so lucky with his Peugeot, coming down Greenway Lane on a rope behind mark Hobbs Land Rover, although shown as a finisher.
The trial finished on Viaduct as usual, the ruts not proving a challenge in the dry conditions. The event seemed to go down well with competitors. The clubmans section was well received and it was nice to see Ian and Josh Moss take that category in their Model Y.