ACU Sammy Miller Products Trials 18th March 2012

ACU Sammy Miller Products Trials Series

Sunday 18th March 2012

Round 1 - Vic Ashford Trial

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ACU Sammy Miller Products Trial Series Round 1 - Report- by Mike Naish

A sunny but chilly day in the heart of the Dartmoor National Park saw the first of the Sammy Miller Products sponsored series kick off with the West of England Motor Clubs Vic Ashford Trial, with 75 solos and 9 sidecars spread throughout the seven classes allowed in the championship. Ian Hannam and Deborah Smith were the first sidecar crew away from the Hound Tor car park at 10.01 for the 18 mile loop around the Moor.

First up were the sections at ‘Hedge Barton’ a wooded hillside littered with Granite boulders that had rolled down from the Tor. The twisting turning climbs around the trees and over the boulders were not too severe and gave all competitors confidence to tackle the next group at ‘Pitton’ a few miles further on. ‘Pitton’ is a vast hillside of granite rocks, some which roll and some larger embedded boulders which the organisers had put 5 separate sections which climb up and turn through the young trees. There were two routes for the solos with classes 5 and 6 running with the more difficult route. The best of the rigid class was Mike Holloway 400 AJS from Horsmonden and Graham Howes 405 Gold Star from Didcot who both lost 2 single ones amongst the rockery. Mike went on to trash the rest of the rigid class to finish on a mere 9 marks from Grahams 19 and claim maximum points in the series. There were many cleans amongst the hard route riders but Mick Whitehouse 212 Fantic from Barnstaple looked particularly in control and in fact went on to take class 3 with a total of 4 marks lost
Across the road at ‘Decoker’ there was some peaty mud with turns and climbs to test the balance and control of competitors. Here again the leading contenders found little problem
Skirting the hamlet of Widecombe –in-the-Moor riders took a run through the centre of the Moor and down on the slopes and wooded streams of ‘The Grove’ which incorporates a site of medieval iron ore mine workings. Some of the tighter turns around the trees caught many for a dab and the slippery streams caused some problems for earlier numbers. Only Jon Bliss, Mike Holloway and Mick Whitehouse cleaned all sections on the easy route whilst Colin Dommett 172 BSA was the only rider who remained clean in class 5 on the hard route. There were half a dozen cleans in class 6 hard route including Ian Cobb 212 Fantic and Mark Stokes 350 Ossa both of who remained clean throughout the event to end up sharing the points in joint first place
Down the road to ‘Millwood’ did not cause too many problems and then a run back on to the Moor to the ‘Hound Tor’ group of 6 sections of rocky streams; although the water levels were reasonably low due to the recent dry weather. This was the first time used this year since the winter storms which always wash down a few new boulders. Most of the marks in the event were lost here but there were just four cleans for solo riders throughout this group all on the hard route. They included Gary Baker 199 Triumph who took the overall Class 5 honours with a total for the day of 2 marks lost. Dave Dawson 280 SWM also cleaned this group to finish in 3rd position to Cobb and Stokes with just 1 mark lost
Best of the sidecar pairings by far were Peter Pesterfield and James Osborne 500 Ariel who cleaned up and finished on zero marks to runners up Paul Fishlock and Debbie Merrell 500 Ariel on 5 marks

The penultimate section for the white route was easy enough but the harder red route had a sting in the tail and a good ride was seen from Jim Ashford as he picked his route on the 350 BSA in and out of the muddy stream with tree route ready to trap the unwary.
Back at the finish where riders gathered at the Burger Van to collect their free meal the talk was of a cracking trial that was set just right and would encourage riders to continue in the championship series. As the final riders came up from the last sections, the heavens opened chasing away the bright sunshine that had prevailed all day.
Many thanks to all who assisted and spent their Mothering Sundays outing observing at this thoroughly enjoyable event

Class 1 Pre-Unit Rigid – Pre 65 Easy Route
1.Mike Holloway 400 AJS 9 Marks lost, 2.Graham Howes 405 BSA 19, 3.Peter Collins 350 AJS 54.

Class 2 British Pre 70 Pre-Unit/Unit/2 Stroke Twinshocks-Easy Route
1.Jon Bliss 250 BSA 10 Marks Lost, 2Godfrey Hannam 500 Ariel 18, 3. John Jacka 410 AJS 19.

Class 3 Machines with twinshock rear suspension & drum brakes as at the time of manufacture which are not eligible for class 2.-Easy Route
1.Mick Whitehouse 212 Fantic 4 Marks Lost, 2. Paul Hodder 200 Honda 9, 3. Duncan Trickett 212 Fantic 19

Class 4 Sidecar Machines eligible for classes 1, 2 & 3-Easy Route
1.Peter Pesterfield/James Osborne 500 Ariel 0 Marks Lost
2. Paul Fishlock/Debbie Merrell 500 Ariel 5 Marks lost
3 Mark Kemp/Bob Chapman 500 Ariel 6 Marks lost

Class 5 British Pre 70 Pre – Unit/Unit/2 Stroke Twinshocks- Hard Route
1.Gary Baker 199 Triumph 2 Marks lost, 2.Barry Burton 10 (25 Cleans)
3. Peter Salt 246 Francis Barnett 10 (24 Cleans)

Class 6 Machines with twinshock rear suspension and drum brakes as at the time of manufacture which are not eligible for class 5.-Hard Route.
1= Ian Cobb 212 Fantic 0 Marks lost, 1= Mark stokes 350 Ossa 0 Marks lost, 3.Ian Baker 200 Fantic 1 mark lost.

Class 7 Air Cooled Mono + invited riders ( non championship ) Easy Route
1.David Bell 230 Honda 33 Marks lost, 2 Mike Naish 125 Gas Gas 85

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West of England MC, Design by Darren Smith South Devon IT