Paul Merson wins Windwhistle MC’s Bovey Down Trial

Paul (in his Shopland Mk2) and Stewart Green (SG Gruffalo) were close all day. Stewart went into the lead when Paul dropped one mark on Clinton on the last round only to drop to second when he was penalised two on Hillary just before the end.

Nick Farmer Reports:-

This year’s Bovey Down Trial saw a few changes after several working parties consisting of the organising team and a small army of Windwhistle Motor Club members, not forgetting Terry Flay and his digger, which was mesmerising to watch at work! The result was 2 entirely new sections and a new, for 2016, section being extended, trebling in length and becoming a through section rather than having to reverse back down……hopefully. This meant the competitors were faced with the most varied sections to date at this venue, and with the dry weather the weeks leading up to the event, the rain forecast on the day was a welcome addition for the organisers.

Round 1 left only two sheets

Round 1 saw the entrants head off for 9 sections and 1 special test,this was to see the demise of all but 2 clean sheets, with class 8 pairing Stuart Green (SG Gruffalo) and Paul Merson (Shopland Mk2) yet to drop a point heading back to the tea/pie break with catering from the Sid Vale Carnival Club.

Jim Mountain (Dellow) and Justin Llewellen (Triumph Special) were well in contention both on 3 points with Anthony Andrew (VW Buggy) a further 3 behind. Class 5 was a very close affair with the top 4 covered by just 4 marks.

James Shallcross was running in Class 6 as he had an LSD fitted for the event. James is the ACTC Championship Moniter and Website Editor (Photo by Debbie Leach)

In class 6 James Shallcross (Peugeot 205), with LSD fitted for experimental purposes was joint leader with Graham Sweetland (Beetle). There was also a tie at the top of class 7 with Alex Reynolds (Marlin) keeping none other than Dudley Sterry (MG J2) honest with some very good driving.

One of last year’s new sections, Katie’s, was proving a little tricky at the 2nd stream crossing, with several getting stuck and requiring a tow from Terry Flay’s beautiful Ford County Tractor with Tris White on rope duty.

They included Katrina Selwood, who was still getting to grips with Nick Farmer’s Vauxhall powered Fugitive, but it wouldn’t take long! Honours for fastest time on the first Special Test went to Jim Mountain with the Dellow marginally faster than James Shallcross in the 205.

Rain on the 2nd Round

Katrina Selwood was having her first drive in Nick Farmers Fugitive (Photo by Debbie Leach)

The rain started to get a little heavier for the 2nd round and started to take effect underfoot. This didn’t deter marshal (and Torbay C of C) Dave Haizelden calling over the radio for some restart boards. Ably assisted by Mike and Mel Ellis from Stroud, it was deemed the new Hangman’s section required toughening up after round 1, especially for class 8.

With the restart now in place none of the restarting 8’s cleaned the hill but it did seperate the 2 on clean sheets, with Stuart Green gaining a solitary point over Paul Merson to take the lead of the event.

Alex Reynolds in the Marlin scoring best here with a 4 to keep Dudley Sterry in sight. Class 5 saw Matt Mills (X90) retire on this round giving Neal Vile a bit more breathing space at the head of the class after some great climbs also in an X90. James Shallcross had now opened up a 2 point lead over Graham Sweetland who was struggling with tyre issues (flat ones and bald ones) and Pete Daniels (Beetle) had started to reel the leading pair in slightly.

Class 8 had Triumph Special pilot, and regular working party member Justin Llewellen, unfortunately retire with a broken Panhard Rod, this along with a couple of failures for Jim Mountain, saw Katrina Selwood with son Norton alongside now the one challenging messrs Green and Merson. Paul stormed to fastest time on the 2nd Special Test by a mere 4 seconds in the Shopland mk2.

Dudley retires on the 3rd Round

Windwhistle Chair Garry Hobbs smoking his Escorts tyres (Photo by Debbie Leach)

The 3rd and final round saw competitors tackling 7 hills with no Special Test. Windwhistle Motor Club’s newly elected Chairman Gary Hobbs (Escort) was in a class of his own……literally, but after a few modifications to the car was keen to get car and crew to the finish with no major dramas. Class 5 remained unchanged on round 3 with Neal Vile and daughter Nettie taking a well deserved victory over Mike Brown (x90) .

James Shallcross held off Pete Daniels to claim class 6 honours despite breaking and replacing a CV joint on the 205.

Alex Reynolds was class 7 victor after Dudley Sterry retired when the spare wheel carrier fractured, the thought of driving the car back to Lyndhurst deemed carrying on a little too risky unfortunately.

In class 8 Stuart Green dropped 2 points on the Hilary restart on the 3rd round giving Paul Merson the overall win by just the 1 point. Stuart though was a very worthy winner of class 8 with the battle at the front a delight to watch all day. 2nd in class went to Katrina Selwood who ended up the only other class 8 in touching distance of the top 2, a superb first drive in the Fugitive. 3rd in class was Anthony Andrew who finished ahead of Tim and Anne Whellock in another Fugitive. Congratulations to Paul Merson on a great drive to fend off Stuart at the end.

Torrid Conditions

Huge thanks to all the competitors, and marshals from far and wide who stood out in sometimes horrid conditions all day, and to Terry Flay who did plenty of dragging in the Ford County, as did Liz Hobbs in the Isuzu Trooper who was last seen driving off with the front end of Graham Sweetland’s beetle attached! Thanks also to anyone that attended any of the working parties in Bovey Woods and set up on the Saturday. Finally thank you to Paul Brooks (secretary and results) and Anna Robinson(chief marshal) both of whom always do an outstanding job!

Comments, Corrections, Criticism & Concerns welcome :-