Baker wins at Wiscombe Park, but it was a desperately close affair
MINEHEAD scaffolder Nick Baker won the Otter Vale Club's first ever trial to be staged in Wiscombe Park, near Southleigh in east Devon on Sunday, which is used in the summer months for hill climb events.
A total of 80 took part in a three lap, 12-section event in which Baker lost only single marks in the fifth, eighth and tenth sections on different laps on climbs over flint and slates.
The Wilts Border Club had to resort to several tie-breakers to find the winner of their Wessex Centre Trial at Stanton St Quinton, near Chippenham.
Rob Scott and Kurt Brain both completed the four-lap, ten-section event in Smith's Piggeries with a loss of three marks. Scott lost all his marks in the eighth section, which featured a descent followed by a U-turn and a climb.
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Brain lost two of his in the same section, but he also shed a mark in the third, which gave Scott the advantage.
Sidecar crews John Young and John Hind, from Shepton Mallet, Ian Burton and Gary O'Shaugnessy, from the Taunton area, and Simon and Debbie Eddy, from Wadebridge in Cornwall, all claimed first class awards in the Motorcycling Clubs of Great Britain's annual Exeter Trial, which terminated in Babbacombe, near Torquay, on Saturday afternoon.
The event got under way on Friday night from three venues at Sourton Cross, near Okehampton in Devon, Cirencester and Popham Airfield, near Basingstoke.
More than 100 solos and sidecars and around 400 cars converged on the Haynes Motor Museum at midnight for a supper stop before setting out to tackle eight hills in the dark.
After a breakfast stop at Crealy Adventure Park, they faced a further eight sections in daylight.
With some of the mildest conditions experienced for several years, many of the hills offered plenty of wheel grip, but there was a sting in the tail with riders having to take on climbs at Tipley Steep and Roccombe in the latter stages.
Results: Otter Vale MCC Trial at Southleigh, Devon – expert class awards: N Baker (Sherco) 3 marks lost, T Bushin (Beta) 6, G Pollard (Beta) 18. Clubman expert: K Bushin (Gas Gas) 9, R Smith (Gas Gas) 11, T Ashford (Beta) 12. Clubman: T Fry (Gas Gas) 8, G Harding (Gas Gas) 11, A Strang (Gas Gas) 11. Novice: I Gill (Montesa) 15, R Dobbs (Montesa) 24, S Dobson (Sherco) 24. Twin Shocks: G Atkins (Honda) 36, A Morgan (Honda) 37, R Cant (Fantic) 57. Pre 1965: N Hammersley (Triumph) 15, R Morgan (Ariel) 15, T Wall (Cotton) 16. Over 50 years: A March (Gas Gas) 5, M Strang (Gas Gas) 5, D Fry (Gas Gas) 7. Pastmasters: H Ashford (Montesa) 3, I Baker (Montesa) 5, M Champion (Gas Gas) 5. Youth A class: T Hooper (Sherco) 11; B class: R Rendell (Beta) 11, J Knight (Gas Gas) 33. Wilts Border Trial at Stanton St Quinton, Chippenham – expert class awards: R Scott (Gas Gas) 3 marks lost, K Brain (Gas Gas) 3, G Talbot (Sherco) 10. Over 40 years of age award: M Talbot (Beta) 14. Alternative route award: C Mawlam (Majesty) 12, v Moran (Beta) 19. Taunton MCC Trial at Churchinford, Somerset – expert class awards: T Hooper (Sherco) 17 marks lost, M Champion (Gas Gas) 30, R Fry (Sherco) 30, I Baker (Montesa) 35. Novice awards: N Higgs (Beta) 15, B Male (Sherco) 17, P Wilkins (Gas Gas) 23. Over 50 years: M Strang (Gas Gas) 19, K Ring (Beta) 23, M Hann (Beta) 26. Pre 1965: C Dommett (BSA) 37, N Hammersley (Triumph) 40, N Smith (Triumph) 43. Twin Shocks: T Heard (Yamaha) 22, D Fisher (Suzuki) 26, S Eastick (Fantic) 30. Blackmore Vale MCC Trial at Gurney Slade, Somerset – Green route – super experts: R Wiggins no marks lost, K Brain 12, B Skinner 23. Alternative route: O Humphris 15, J Glover 17, T Kellett 42. White route – intermediates: H Pym 10, J Atwell 14, M Harvey 17. Youth experts: T Kellett 14, G Marshman 20, H Bean 68. Blue route – clubmen: S Martin 14, J Glover 18, P King 34. Over 40 years: S Dean 9, J Roberts 11, T Knott 19. Red route – novice awards: G Moore 0, J Ricketts 2, A Green 3. Over 50 years: N Pike 0, B Phelps 9, B Wyles 17. Youth: J Sherlock 9, S Green 12, P King 16. Twin shock: A Dudley 2, M Palfrey 3, C Hiscock 6. Adult beginners: B Ayres 0. Youth beginner: B Higgs 5.