Head - Dean Partington wins Allen Trial with the only Clean Sheet. It was a DP Wasp one-two as Dean's sister car was 2nd in the hands of Mike Chatwin. Mike only failed the muddy Ubley Woods Three which claimed most of the experienced drivers and potent cars.
Sub Head - As well as the Field Trial sections at Ubley Woods Big Uplands was also on form, ensuring that the all the classes were decided on the hills and not on Special Test Times.
It is testament to the reputation of The Allen Trial, and its organisers that it attracted 63 entries at a time when entries are significantly lower. Not just in Classic Trialling but in all forms of Motorsport. The Allen was known for being run exclusively on classic lanes. In recent years some of these have been lost and this year five of the twelve sections were at private venues.
The weather was ideal, wet overnight, with a bright sunny day for the event itself. The opening section at Tog Hill, only a few hundred yards from the start, didn't cause any problems. Not so at Bitton Lane where the restart claimed the scalps of all four of the Suzuki X90's in class five. There were only a couple of other failures, but these included the Escort of eventual Class Three winner Dick Bolt, who would need all the horsepower of this mega machine to blast through the mud on the later sections to claw back this loss.
Big Uplands on Form
Classes 1 to 6 had their visit to Big Uplands in the morning, while 7 & 8 went straight to Guys Hill. This arrangement is to save time for the the long reverse after the inevitable long list of failures towards the top. This year didn't disappoint and big names like David Haizelden and Dick Bolt weren't in the select half dozen who cleaned Big Uplands. Special mention to Peter Jones who came so near in his Suzuki X90. Also too Steve Potter and John Wilton went clear in their marvellous Trojans. Class six was to be decided here as Dean Vowden got out in his Type 3 Notchback while Claire Rippon stopped at the five.
Incident at Guys
Over at Guys Hill the organisers had to help the police and local farmer to sort out a road traffic accident on the exit road. Fortunately all was well when the cars came along. There were a few who might have preferred the section was cancelled as the tree roots were on form, making life particularly difficult for the re-starters in 6, 7 & 8.
The route headed west of Chew Valley lake for the historic Travers section where 6, 7 and 8 had another battle with a tree rooty restart, which eliminated all but Dean and Claire for Class six honours and failed many in Class Seven.
The Ubley Woods complex lay just up the track, where three sections and a special test were laid out on the top of the hill with magnificent views of the Bristol Channel in the fine weather. The observed sections were very muddy and only Dean Partington retained his clean sheet. Simon Woodall was the only other driver to clean the three Ubley's but had failed at Guys Hill earlier in the day. Simon was to drop further from contention when he failed the restart at Burledge. He wasn't the only one and the section is returning to competitiveness after many years following its resurfacing.
Problems at Lakeside
Pete Hart and his team had put a lot of work into the lakeside sections since last year. Unfortunately everything didn't go too plan, with Mullholland Bank having to be cancelled after PR problems. Then Chimney had to be abandoned for 7 & 8 for safety reasons after a couple of incidents with rear engined cars becoming too light on the front end. Fortunately this didn't affect the overall result as Dean Partington had gone clean before the closure.
Magnificent John Walker
Seven and Eight had their attempt at Big Uplands on the way to the events finale at John Walker which was as magnificent as ever. Well perhaps not so magnificent for Nick Farmer who dropped six after a puncture resulting in a tyre come off the rim.
Another Classic Allen
So ended another classic Allen Trial. Charlie Kifton was delighted to win Class 1, a rare defeat for Dave Haizelden in this class. Sam Holmes won an event long battle with Hans Viertel and Ryan Tonkin emerging class four winner with his performance on the Ubley sections. In Class 7 Mal Allen won the battle of three Marlins followed by Kevin Barnes in his newly rebuilt supercharged Liege.
Comments welcome - Either on this blog, Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org - Michael