2017 Exeter Class 0

Sorry not a lot of video/photos so just one one of mine – Michael

It was a wet night as Class 0 signed on at Haynes where there was no Special test this year.

After a special test and restart at Windwhistle Hill it was a long road section to Emmetts Lane, just after the Musbury Garage Control, as Redscrip was cancelled after officials decided the exit track would be a problem.

Emmetts Lane is usually pretty straight forward, but not this year. The local farmer and his dog was there to watch the fun and explained the problem was wet mud over frozen soil. This caught out around 25% of the entry and those stopping took a while to back down. This caused a long queue to build up, causing a problem for the failures to squeeze by until the farmer explained they should go straight on, turn left and they would end up back at the Musbury Control. One to add to the road book for next year!

The rest of the night wasn’t to dramatic until Playford. Richard Turner was running at the front of the field in his Toyota MR2 and slipped off the entry track and damaging the clutch as he tried to get out. With the car firmly stuck in car and immovable a queue started to build up. Travelling Marshall Roger Bibings went back to the road on his Serrow and held the rest of the field back while those stuck behind the Toyota tried to help. In the end someone produced a long rope and with more than a dozen people pulling out came the car. The MR2 was still stuck in gear blocking the track but with a lot of pushing the rescuers bump started it in gear and off it went. All this took the best part of an hour and fearing more cars would slide off the car competitors went back down the entry track and bypassed the hill which was later cancelled.

After breakfast at Crealey Park there were a few failures on Hitchcombe but it was Donkey Trot just outside Ilsington that decimated the awards. The hill is short and steep with a sharp left hander on the steepest part towards the top. The hill isn’t at all rough but there was some slushy mud over a solid surface. It didn’t prove to problematical for the motorcycles but it was a different proposition for the cars and there was failure after failure. Michael Leete tackled the hill at full speed and not slowing down at the corner where most of the other failures had occurred. This strategy worked and the Beetle was the only car to go clean.

There was only Frenches left now and this wasn’t to problematical provided due care was taken over the rough bits. The new finish venue at the Palace Hotel worked well although the evening became rather subdued when the sad news from the main trial became known.