Welcome to the second edition of ACTC Newsletters which will be a regular communication to keep you updated with info from around the Classic Trials scene.

Committee Matters

In readiness for taking up the Chairman position in September, Dave Haizelden has started preparations to help ensure he hits the ground running. One key objective is to better connect the ACTC to the competitors and an action to support this was to resurrect the Class Representatives across the car classes.

The aim of this is to have a process where ideas from Competitors have a channel through to the ACTC Committee. Their role is to provide specialist advice and guidance for matters specific to their class and work together on wider issues affecting Car Classes. All of the dialogue will take place via private discussion groups on Social Media, co-ordinated by Dave. There should be no need for these people to attend meetings.

Following various discussions the following people have agreed to support this.

Class 1             Ian Cundy

Class 2             Adrian Dommett

Class 3             Arnie Martin and Matt Facey

Class 4             John White

Class 5             Aaron Haizelden

Class 6             Mike Ellis

Class 7             Duncan Stephens

Class 8             Stewart Green

Further information about how competitors should engage with the Class Reps will be provided in the August Newsletter.

We are always looking for ways to improve our sport so urge you to voice any specific ideas through to Dave for consideration - this is your opportunity to influence the future of our sport.

Give Dave a bell on 07841 860121.

Testing Trial

Nick Farmer, Alan Selwood and team successfully held another MCC Testing Trial at Keinton Mandeville on the 30th of June. A strong entry of 20 bikes, 7 three wheelers and 35 cars faced a day against the clock and trying to avoid the cones, carrying their usual heavy penalty of 30 seconds each. Mike Warr in his ABS Freestyle was not only quick but consistent, emerging as overall winner ahead of Duncan Stephens in his Vauxhall Nova, who took 1st in class and best front-wheel drive. Russ Clarke in his Troll took 1st in the open car class and 3rd overall, less than 20 seconds behind Mike. He was followed by Dean Partington, who recovered from hitting some cones to finish 2nd in class with his usual flamboyant driving style. 3rd was Christopher Mill, driving Simon Oates' Triumph Torum and avoiding the penalties to beat Matt Johnston in the Dellow by just over 10 seconds.

David Robinson, 3rd overall last year, was second in class behind Duncan in the closed car class with his Hillman Imp. He beat fellow Windwhistle Motor Club competitor Brian Shore into 3rd, the supercharged 850 Reliant Kitten narrowly bettering Mike Tucker with his 2 litre Morris Minor by 1.5 seconds.   

Alan & Ben Wear aboard their CCM took the title of best 3 wheeler and 4th overall, beating Neil Browne and son Alexander into second and Steve Urell and Julie Williams into third.

Ian Fitzgerald won the solo class on the largest capacity bike entered, a 750 Honda VFR. He beat Gary Hobbs, on the smallest capacity bike, a Yamaha DT125, into second place, with Alan Rayner on his AJP Ultrapasser finishing third in class.

The day finished with a marshals raffle and prize giving, with Matthew Wills picking up the award for Youngest competitor on his Serow. MCC President Jonathan Laver gave his thanks to the organisers and marshals, along with presenting the awards. Plans are already in place for next year's event, which is set to run on Sunday the 5th of July 2020.

(Photo by Peter Browne)

Upcoming Events

Exmoor Clouds – Sunday 8th September 2019 (update & photo from Paul Merson)

The organising team have this year brought the date forward to avoid clashes with the Edinburgh Trial and have included four new Sections - two of them are Sections previously used on the Exmoor Trial and the other two are completely new.

The Trial will be starting from Wheddon Cross as per usual, and the first 3 or 4 sections are old familars. The route then goes across to Exford from Pinn Quarry up over stone down which is a now flattened out old Motorbike section to the top of Porlock Hill. From here it then drops down to Malmsmead over Robbers Bridge and up through the Doone Valley (of Lorna Doone fame) for two sections that are completely new. One of them looks to be a particularly good section with multiple rises.

Then it's on to Brendon to the old North Devon sections - Floyds Bank & Cross Lane. Then back down the scenic way down Porlock Hill to a similar route as last year. Going into the popular Heddon sections with a few changes this year, then following the route through Minehead to the finish.

Regs and entry forms will be available shortly so keep your eyes peeled!


Taw & Torridge – Sunday 15th September 2019 (update from Kirsty Andrew)

After several years of hard work by Jim Wood as Clerk of Course he has this year stepped aside and Brian Andrew has this year stepped up to the mark. We would like to thank Jim on behalf of the Trial Community for his sterling work over the years. While he’s not the top man this year he will be very much providing support to Brian and Kirsty to ensure every success.

As you will know Brian, together with Kirsty, are well experienced and proven at organising Trials up so this years Trial is in safe hands and is showing all signs of being a great event.

The Route will be similar to previous years with a few amendments. This will incorporate the odd “Chairmans” Section being introduced, a new Section in the Rat Run complex and a welcomed return to Langtree Common.

Reg and entry forms will be available in the next few weeks.


MCC Edinburgh Trial - 5th October 2019 (update from Mark Gregg)

Starting at Midnight on Friday night, this years Edinburgh will be familiar to those who’ve participated in the last half dozen years, although with some significant differences for some.

All the old favourites including Litton Slack and Corkscrew await main trial competitors. Sections will no longer have “dead ends” so successful climbers will have no reversing to do. Equally the rougher sections have had much work on them and been re routed to keep cars and bikes away from the deep ruts and dreaded roots of Dudwood.  There will be fewer restarts in a belief that the hills should be the challenge so restarts will only be for the more specialised classes, certainly none for classes 1 and 2.

A lot of work has been done to resolve the two points that cause most delays so that Cliff quarry has much less tape, the turns aren’t as tight and hopefully a third of competitors wont fail there this year. Also the changes made at Dudwood will significantly reduce waiting in the infamous farm yard.

The big changes are class O, instead of running at the back of the field they’ll now run immediately behind the main trial motorcycles meaning sections will be pristine for the class designed to give folks an easier run over many of the sections. Equally just like on the Lands End at Blue Hills Class 0 will have a choice when they get to Litton - the Old Litton Slack or the greasy cobbles of New Litton. Again there will be no restarts on sections for class O although there will be one hill start on tarmac and at least one special test on tarmac.

Class R will be a first for the MCC a 100% tarmac trial, featuring a brand-new route almost exclusive to this Class including restarts, passage controls and special tests. The challenge is 200 miles in 12 hours half in the dark. We have a huge pre breakfast loop on previously unused roads, very narrow rarely used over 6 miles with grass in the centre.

Again as it did in Edwardian era The Edinburgh leads the way with The Derbyshire Class. 100% in daylight and following the main trial from the breakfast halt at the Duke of York Pomeroy from about 9.30am. We hope this class will appeal to first timers and returners and so far that is very much the case with entries from the trail riding and pre 65 trials boys.

The Duke of York has been super enthusiastic about our return and the Friday night pre trial is a great opportunity to meet up and chat over a meal before leaving the van trailer etc. and making the 65 mile trip south to Tamworth for the start. Again the Edinburgh is unique here offering dedicated van/trailer parking at the finish so competitors can be off home smartly after the trial or stay overnight at the excellent modern caravan and camping facilities at the Duke.

Regs and entries are now open and will close on August 22nd although class R and the Derbyshire Class have entry limits due to their specialist nature.


1st Sept - ACTC AGM

A reminder that the following items are currently out with Clubs for discussion prior to Clubs being asked to vote. If you have specific views or comments or would like more information then please contact your Club Rep.

1. Separate Class for X-90's (Class 5X)

2. Move Mid-engine cars currently in Class 6 to Class 5

3. Replace Minimum Wheelbase Dimension of 1320mm for Solo Bikes with Minimum Seat Height of 700mm 

4. Relaxation of the compulsory Sidecar nose cone rule

Also, any requests for meeting agenda items must be taken through your Club Rep who must email relevant papers to the Secretary (Bill Bennett) by Sunday 21st July 2019 at the latest.

Suzuki X-90's: Class 5X?

As mentioned in the June newsletter, the proposal of a Suzuki X-90 class (Class 5X) has been put out to the Clubs for voting on at the September AGM, following discussion and general agreement by those present at the April ACTC Meeting.

The proposal is as follows. For approximately 10 years the Suzuki X-90 has been regarded as the cheapest and easiest route into the sport on 4 wheels. This has been reflected in our events, by Class 5 regularly being the best supported of the production classes.  A class solely for the Suzuki's may allow an accessible class for newcomers to develop, without having to compete against the rest of Class 5.

There could be regulations introduced to the new class to limit excessive modifications. It has been suggested that the low ratio gearbox could be allowed, due to their availability against the standard gearbox, but to not allow engine changes. Any cars not meeting the regulations could run in Class 5 as normal. None of this is by any means set in stone, this is still at the 'brainstorming' phase.  

So, what do you think? If you have any comments, criticisms or ideas then contact Norton Selwood on Facebook or at [email protected] and he will collate all feedback.

Marshals Database

Further to the ACTC's efforts to better connect with those 'out on the hills' we would like to start a marshals database. This will be a list of people who help out on our trials, with contact details so that the Championship Monitor can contact them asking for their help when extra assistance is needed on an event. This group can also be kept up to date with any rule changes, and will have a point of contact within the ACTC. If you marshal on ACTC events and would like to be included in this, or you know somebody who does, contact Norton Selwood on Facebook or at [email protected]  

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