ECMC Lamarsh Trial – Minnie’s Debut

16 hours after purchasing the new car, “Minnie,” it was time to head off east and to our first event, the Eastern Counties MC Lamarsh Trial.

A Car Trial was the first motor sport event I ever competed on back in 2007, but it had been a while since I had competed on a trial and a long time since I had been competing in them regularly (2010, when I did the ASEMC Car Trial Championship).

The MG was on the same wheels and tyres as purchased which were really too big and too wide for trialling, and the day got off to an interesting start when we were struggling to just get around the field let alone tackling hills. However, a strong wind and some sunshine helped dry things out and we managed to get further up the hills than expected.

Matt and I were in close competition with each other all day, but did not expect to be doing well in class. To find we were second and third in class early on was a pleasant surprise. The ECMC trial was different to those we have previously done in Kent, as on this event all attempts at all hills counted (rather than two attempts at each hill, with your lowest score to count, as we are used to from Kent events).

Going into the final round of four hills, having completed twenty, I had an extremely narrow one point lead over Matt. It was all to play for, and we both made mistakes on hills. One of my biggest mistakes was not walking a hill having not realised it had changed (again a mistake, we’re used to hills staying the same for all attempts but should have learnt by that point in the day that clubs do things differently – our bad). I came round the corner to find it had changed, I was all lined up wrong and only made it to the six. Going as the second driver on that hill, Matt could see my mistake and the new hill, and got to the one.

There were lots of bits and pieces I know I could have done better, and Matt and I could both see mistakes we had made and opportunities we both had to get lower scores. When it came down to the final results, Matt beat me by just one point but it meant we took home first and second in the class (of four) which was a pleasant surprise and we had a good competition debut in Minnie.

FullSizeRender 15.jpgThanks to Dan Pearson for the above photo.

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New car

With Muriel having originally been purchased as a £400 “eBay special” play car, and upgraded over the years, we recently came to the conclusion it would be nice to have another play car. Something less valuable and less precious than Muriel was desired, and an MG ZR 160 VVC happened to come up at the right time for the right price.

We had an MG ZR (albeit a 1400) in our household until last year when Matt got a company car, so driving one again felt a familiar experience, with just a lot more power than we were previously used to.

We bought the car at 1pm on Saturday, and by Saturday evening had entered and paid for a car trial so we could compete in the new car asap. Saturday afternoon was spent sorting out some little bits and pieces on the car, such as removing the skirts (an optional extra and too low for trialling) and a noisy rear offside brake (the wear indicator, with plenty left on the pads) as well as taping/identifying the earth leads, checking fluids and other basic prep work. The car was packed up on Saturday evening ready for our first event, which I’ll write about in a separate blog post.

We decided to let our three year old niece, Elouise, name the new car and “Minnie the MG” is now the new member of our household.

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