Balmy day for Northern Trial

Kathy Martin Dominates Motorcycles

Matt Facey powers his BMW out of the hole on Sandale, the Northern Trials feature section. Photo by Dave Cook.

Fellside Auto Club arranged for the sun to shine on and around  Wigton and Bassenthwaite Lake for their Northern Trial. Kathy Martin travelled up from the South West to dominate and win the Motorcycle category with the only clean sheet.

In the cars Dean Partington and Stuart Bartlett had a day long Class Eight battle and maintained their clean sheets all day, the overall win going to Dean on test times.

James Smith reports on his Northern Trial in the Class 6 Beetle:-

James and Mark Smith on Darling Howe. Photo by Dave Cook

The Northern Trial is one of our favourite trials of the year with its good variety of sections, great views in a part of the country you don’t often visit on other events, which is why once again we have chosen to travel over 200 miles to participate.

The trial once again started from Hopes Auction market in Wigton. It’s the perfect start venue with plenty of room, hot food available and trailer parking. We were running as the last car of the day which always proves as an additional challenge.

Problems with the Tyre Rack

The day started well, with the first section (Carlislegate Lane) created no problems despite the large ditch on the left side. The second and third sections were new to the trial. We attempted Allhallows first, which caught out most of the entry including us, causing us to drop 9 points. Only a handful of competitors cleared the sharp left-hand bend.

After Allhallows, was Humpty Dumpty which caused us no problems, except for the weld breaking on the tyre rack. After we created a quick solution to hold the tyres in place, we continued through to forestry commission land where, after completing the special test, attempted Watch Hill. Watch Hill was very dry this year compared to last year, which gave us no problems, despite the difficult deviation for classes 6 – 8.

In Car with James and Mark Smith

No Black Hole this Year

Next was Telf’s Challenge, which was a good, quick, short section up a steep incline to start which then levelled out. Last year, it proved near impossible due to the wet conditions, but this year was climbable.  Black hole was cancelled so we moved onto Darling How. This was an easy straight climb up a grassy track, which despite the restart, proved no issue for any competitor with everyone climbing the hill.

Sheepfold was next which apart from the slippy start line proved no problems for us. After, was Cheshire Cat’s Smile which gave us our second fail of the day. The slippy incline had no grip for us causing to drop 6 points. Next was Long crag, which once again we didn’t clear due to the restart. Grotto was the next section which was very short but slippy. The start proved no issue, but near the end was a very slippy steep incline which we almost climbed but dropped 1.


Following on from Long Crag, was Ladyside. We just didn’t quite get to the restart line, with the front wheel getting caught against a rock, causing us to stop. Next was Solway view. This section was the escape road, from section one, and caused us no problems as it was very dry. Then, finally, was Sandale. Last year, Sandale gave us no issues, even with the restart. But this year, we failed just after the restart line and fell back into the deep ruts, causing us to stop.

Overall, we really enjoyed our day, and thought that the trial was very well organised by Fell Side Auto Club, with a good route card, a wide range of sections, and an excellent start/finish venue, and therefore will definitely be participating again next year.

Comments, Corrections, Criticism & Concerns are all welcome. Click on the Header to this post and page down to Leave a Reply and that’s also the place to tell us about your trial.

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