The British Trial and Rally Drivers Association hosted the inaugural Car Trial at the prestigious Prescott Hill climb, which was also the first MS UK sanctioned Car trial since motorsport restarted whereby a near capacity entry saw no less than seven ex national champions competing over the six sections.
Three classes saw the post 1998 standard front wheel drive cars, modified front wheel drive cars, and a rear wheel drive class encompassing kit cars.
Having not competed since October most competitors were extremely nervous of the long wet grass following overnight rain.
The first section saw local driver Trevor Moffatt drive out of the section at the seven post, which he soon clawed back overly the following five sections of the first round to lead the class from the veteran John Wadsworth who had come down from Yorkshire, which he expertly extended to thirteen points during the second round.
In the front wheel drive class James Nicholls debuted his Nova, normally used for Autosolo’s. Young Nicholls finished second overall on last years RAC Clubman rally, following in his father, Stuart, Astra challenge winning footsteps whom returned to motorsport after 35years shared the family Nova. James led the class after the first round, but 2017 British champion Rupert North managed to take a couple of points back to lead Nicholls by a point at lunch, with Simon Harris and his LEJOG Gold winning Golf GTI another point back.
Multiple British champion Barrie Parker debuted his little Reliant Robin powered Liege kit car, and tied with Dick Glossop in his similar car engined with a super charged Suzuki, both taking advantage of a different line on one hill to take nine points of the others. Lunch saw Parker take the lead despite uneven steering lock. Eighty year old Steve Courts in his re-engined Imp was snapping at reigning British champion Mark Hoppe’s spare wheels.
During a swift lunch break a new hill was introduced and others tweaked and running order reduced within classes. The overnight rain rapidly dried in the sunshine and competitors were soon remembering how to drive.
Moffatt had a superb afternoon dropping less than half of his class competitors during the afternoon to take an emphatic class win over John Wadsworth and David Allman. Dave Walker excelled on the first hill being the only climb but could only manage fourth in class at the end.
A stunning afternoon by multiple British Autotest champion Alastair Moffatt in his 1litre classic mini saw him jump from fourth to first in class during the second round showing his skill in knowledge of the exact dimensions of the car, dropping just twelve points to three others in the class dropping twenty three. Moffatt’s son William enjoying his first motorsport event in the car, aged 5. One mistake on the final round nearly saw the lead handed back to North, but a class win by four points surprised many established trailers. Stuart Nicholls showed the old flare too taking third class ahead of Harris who has won the last two BTRDA championship finals overall.
Mark Hoppe mastered all hills on the third round in his Melos to snatch the class from Parker who locked himself out on a tree, having done the same section before lunch. Dick Glossop also slipped up on a little short steep bank dropping seven. The final round saw Hoppe drop a catastrophic eight in the third hill, which Glossop cleaned taking the class lead, which Hoppe then took back on the next hill to win the class by a point, with Parker another ten behind.
The overall winner is calculated by a system of the competitors score against the class average, which saw Trevor Moffatt winning The Prescott Car trial, going down in Bugatti Owners Club history books. Moffatt narrowly beating younger brother Alastair and Mark Hoppe.
Trevor Moffatt, Vauxhall Corsa, 81.9%
Alastair Moffatt, Rover Mini, 89.2%
Mark Hoppe, Dutton Melos, 90.6%
Dick Glossop, Liege SS, 94.5%
Rupert North, Rover Mini, 96.7%
Stuart Nicholls, Vauxhall Nova, 111.5%
Simon Harris, VW Golf GTI, 113.4%
James Nicholls, Vauxhall Nova, 122.7%
Garry Preston, Fiat 127, 133.8%
Barrie Parker, Liege R, 133.9%
Report and Video Footage by Duncan Stephens