Latest from the Golden Springs Trial...

RAIN and snow during the last month had decimated the local car trials season but a warm, sunny and spring-like day greeted competitors at the testing Woolminstone venue near Crewkerne for the Golden Springs Trial organised by the Woolbridge Motor Club.

Joining regular competitors from the host club, were contenders in three major trials championships which attracted drivers from afar a filed as North Wales, Yorkshire and Kent.

The event comprised of two divisions; one for the drivers contesting the two national championships and another, the ‘clubman’ category, to cater for the local clubmen. In the former Neil Mackay made a superb start at the wheel of his Citroen AX GT. The Nottingham driver motored through the first eight tests with apparent ease dropping just six penalty points. Five of those being claimed on one single section.

Another Citroen was very much in the battle just one point in arrears with Woolbridge member Shawn Franklin at the wheel. By the time the duo reached the lunch break the margin had increased to five points with the order remaining the same. Bradford’s Rupert North occupied third place in the front wheel drive division with 35 penalties co-driving a Citroen Saxo with Dave Hiscock.

The rear wheel drive category exhibited a similar pattern with nine time B.T.R.D.A. champion Barrie Parker conducting the Westfield SEi with his usual aplomb to lead the Liege S driven by Dick Glossop by one a single point after the first eight climbs. The Castle Eaton pilot prevailed during the second eight to ease out an advantage of three points.

Mackay displayed consistency during the afternoon runs dropping just one point whilst his nearest challenger, Franklin lost two. This gave Mackay the overall victory with the Bristolian taking the class honours ahead of North who finished runner-up in the front wheel drive class having dropped 20  points in the final two runs. Status quo was maintained in rear wheel drive group with Parker taking the win but Glossop clawed the deficit back to a single point by the close of play.

The Clubman’s event comprised of two classes both for front wheel drive machines with the differentiating factor being in one division the cars ran with ballast to improve the levels of grip on the slippery mud surface.

Dave and Doug Atkins led the way amongst those without ballast in their Citroen Saxo. Dave, from Evercreech, stormed into an early lead leading of just three points after the first run of eight tests and by a margin of nine at the lunch break. After taking refreshment Doug redoubled his challenge to go equal on the third run dropping 20  points but with the finish in sight Dave produced a final flourish to win by a 23-point margin.

Victory in the ballasted class went to Dave Hiscock aboard his Citroen Saxo in which Rupert North had scored success in the championship event. The Blandford Forum driver took a consummate victory finishing 43 points ahead of his nearest rival and Saxo driver Will Lawrence who in turn defeated fellow Weymouth resident Phil Gabe by just six points after the day-long battle across 32 tests.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.