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Monday 25 November 2013

Johnston Victorious on VSCC 2013 Cotswold Trial

For eight years, the VSCC Cotswold Trial has served as an excellent conclusion to the VSCC Trialing year, the last chance to exercise Trials cars and score points towards the all-important Trials Trophies and enjoy the mud before the Christmas and New Year break.
Saturday’s event was no different, again attracting a capacity entry to the Prescott Hill Climb venue to tackle eight sections in the locality, and four within the Prescott estate.  19 competitors entered the ‘Novice’ Class, unique to this Trial.  Highly experienced racer and hill climber, Jo Blakeney-Edwards is usually in the ‘bouncing’ seat for her husband Simon, in their Austin 7 Ulster, but she was given the prime seat and was partnered by one of her arch rivals on-track, Morgan racer and great friend, Sue Darbyshire, who was having her first taste of a VSCC Trial.  The duo proved to be a formidable pairing with Jo winning the ‘Cotswold Cup’ for Novices by 26 points to her nearest rival, Emma Wall in another Austin 7.  This score would have also seen her bag a first class award in the class for more experienced drivers. 
Charles Knill-Jones topped Class 1a for Short Wheelbase Standard Cars in his Bugatti T13 ‘Brescia’ for a fourth time with 283 points, whilst fellow Brescia driver, Charles Gillett made the long journey from Beverley in East Yorkshire worthwhile with a 2nd class award in the same class on 266 points.  Brandon Smith-Hilliard drove his historic MG PB Team Car ‘Cream Cracker’ to take a 3rd class award on 250 points to complete the class award winners.
Class 1b competitor (Short Wheelbase Cars), Matt Johnston has been niggling away at the top spot for several Trials events of late, and finally came through with success on Saturday winning the Harold Powell Cup (for the overall winner) and Inderwick Cup (for the best Vintage Car) after an impressive performance where he only dropped 2 points all day to complete with 333 points in his 1928 Austin 7 Special. 1st class awards in this class were also awarded to Keith Jones (1936 Riley 12/4 Special), 317 points, Lakeland Trial winner, Louise Bunting (1919, GN Touring, 315 points), Simon Price (1930, Ford Model A Special, 307 points) and Donald Skelton (1930, Austin 7 Sports), 307 points.
Dennis Bingham was successful in his 1930 Model A Ford in Class 2a for Long Wheelbase Standard Cars on 244 points with Marcus Creaser in the awards again taking a 2nd class award for a 235 point performance.  Jonathan Rose kept warm in his Model A Ford saloon and drove to a 3rd class award on 222 points.
Graham White took the Class 2b (Long Wheelbase) honours and a 1st class award in his 1929 Lea-Francis 12/40, 3 points ahead of Paul Jeavons in his 1924 Vauxhall 30-98 Tourer (1st class award).  Welsh Trial organiser, Paul Tebbett was pleased to be behind the wheel of his 1932 Riley 9 Gamecock and was successful with a 2nd class award.  Four 3rd class awards were awarded to James Collins, (1930 Lea Francis Tourer), John Chilman (1929 Chrysler 65), Tim Dutton (1930 Model A Ford) and David Saxl (1934 Riley 12/4 Special).
The Club would like to extend its thanks to the land owners who allowed sections to be run on their beautiful estates within the vicinity of Winchcombe, and the team at the Bugatti Owners’ Club for allowing the use of the Prescott estate.  Great thanks is also offered to the marshals who stood out in the chill all day to run the many sections.
Final Trials Trophy points will be available later this week, and competitors are reminded that entries are open for the first Trial of 2014, the Exmoor Fringe Trial on 15 February.
It’s not too late to enter the final event of 2013, The Winter Driving Tests on Saturday 7 December at St George’s Barracks near Bicester.  Entries close at midnight tonight....click here for further information.
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