Liege wins Allen

Ray Ferguson won The Allen Trial with one of two clean sheets. His Liege was faster than Tim Naylers BMW Z3 on the Special Tests. Once again the Allen was very popular with the competitors who enjoyed the many Classic  Lanes on the well thought out route with a mix of restarts that gave competitors in every class a chance of doing well.


Ray and Hannah Ferguson had no time to enjoy the view of the lake as they clean one of the sections at Ubley Woods on their way to a clean sheet and a win on the Allen Trial in their Liege. Photo by Calvin Samuel. Click here for more of Calvins work.

The Allen is a popular event with experienced organisers, attracting a near full entry of 71 cars. The most popular car was the ubiquitous Suzuki X90 with 11 entered in Class five. Then came the VW Beetle with 10 entered between Classes four and six. There were no Escorts taking part this year, class three being an all BMW affair. There were 6 Lieges entered but Peter Tudors was deemed ineligible for Class 7 because of its Toyota Aygo engine. Last years winner Aaron  Haizelden was a non starter after hurting his ankle playing football the day before.

Perhaps the most welcome site at the Bull at Hinton start was the two Trojans of John Wilton and Phil Potter, the first time out since the terrible Exeter accident on the A303.

Polished Stones on Bitton Lane

After a nice gentle introduction at Tog Hill came Bitton Lane with a restart for the White and Yellow category on polished stones. This caught out a lot of drivers with more than half failing to get away. Perhaps the most notable was eventual Class four winner Sam Holmes. Without that he would have had a clean sheet and with his Test times would have won the Allen Trial.

Tough Restart at Guys Hill

David Price bounces hard but Dudley Sterry can’t get his familiar J2 away from the Guys restart. This was Dudleys only failure of the day. Photo by Duncan Stephens. Click Here for more of Duncans work. 

The approach to Uplands was as wet as ever but the hill itself, with no tyre pressure limits or restarts, didn’t claim any failures.

The infamous Guys Hill was a different story of course. Gone are the days when the route went straight on at the top but the hill is as tough as ever.

The lower classes had a straight climb but never less the polished stones and tree roots stopped around half the cars. Nick Deacon was particularly unfortunate, his X90 spinning out at the two. This was to be his only failure and without it would have won the Allen Trial!

Duncan Stephens was on the Guys restart Click here for more of Duncans Videos

The Red and Yellow categories had a restart on the upper reaches and this was tough. None of the Beetles in Class Six could get away.

In Class Seven only Ray Ferguson was successful and this was key to his success on the event.

Unsurprisingly the Class Eights did better but never less only five saw the summit.

Delays at Travers

Rory Pope captures the action on Travers Click here for more of Rory’s Videos

Travers has got rougher over the years with exposed rock and the occasional tree root to make the section difficult, especially for the Yellow and Red categories who had separate restarts.

It wasn’t to bad for the reds but around 50% of the yellow category came to grief on their slippery restart.

Rory Pope captures the muddy slopes on the Ubley sections Click here for more of Rory’s Videos

There were quite a few failures among the non restarts as well. This caused problems as with the Ubley sections at the top its necessary to recover all the failures to the top of the hill.

After the rocks of Travers the two sub-divided Ubley sections presented a different challenge, namely mud.

The first one took its toll and left only five competitors with clean sheets. Tim Nayler (BMW Z3) in Class Five, Ray Ferguson (Liege) in Class Seven and three of the big boys in Class Eight Charlie Knifton (Scorpion), Neal Vile (Fugitive) and Dean Partington (DP Wasp).

Dean failed the Class Eight restart on Ubley 2 leaving only four clean sheets at the lunch break.

A new variation at Burledge

Tim Nayler eases away from the lower restart on Burledge in his BMW Z3 on his way to second overall.

The historic Burledge section was first used before WW2 and has been through several reincarnations in the last dozen years. It used to be about deep ruts but was tamed when the council filled them in and surfaced the hill. (Simon Woodall has kindly contacted me to explain more about the pre war section).

“The track we use as Burledge, is not the pre-war section. The pre-war Burledge is the track to the left of the main one, veering off by this years lower restart and marked by a “No Motor Vehicles” sign.”

The action then turned to a special test on the lower reaches and a simple section with restart on the upper reaches.

The special test was dropped this year and the lane used as one long observed section with two separate restarts, one for the reds and another for everyone else.

With the usual running water absent this year there were only a handful of failures.

Frys Bottom

Pete Hart and his team are still feeling their way in using these wooded sections. There were three sections and a special test in the complex.

The third observed section had a restart for Class Eight. It was tough and none of them went clean, leaving only Tim Naylers BMW Z3 and Ray Fergusons Liege on zeros.

Tim was three seconds faster than Ray on the special test but it wasn’t enough to claw back Rays 10 second advantage at Ubley Wood.

Both were to clean the final John Walker section so it was Ray and Hannah Ferguson that won the Allen Trial. Their first win on an ACTC event and the first for a Liege as well.

John Walker

Perhaps the most heartwarming site on the trial, the Allen Trial welcomed back John Wilton and Steve Potter in their Trojan, captured here on the Ford at the foot of John Walker by Calvin Samuel. Click here for more of Calvins work

This long section has a Ford at the bottom and finishes with a a long, muddy, rutted lane.

As long as you didn’t ground out it wasn’t to problematical and there were very few failures, one of whom was Dean Partington. Keith Sanders was marshalling there and to report

“Deans offside front wheel hit a rut, front wheels bounced out of the track and he drove up the hedge! He was so far up the hedge that he had to reverse back down to the track – I couldn’t believe what I was seeing!”

So ended another successful Allen Trial, providing a challenge to the top competitors but with the opportunity for the less experienced to enjoy the sections.

Comments, Corrections, Criticism & Concerns welcome:-