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.
Thanks to Dan Pearson for the above photo.