Britain’s oldest sporting motor club is celebrating its 120th anniversary with a three-day motorsport trial across a 53-mile course in the South West.
The Motor Cycling Club (MCC) will be running the event from 24-26 June in which around 100 trialists will be testing classic motorcycles and cars on technical off-road trials sections.
The event is set to attract unusual and old vehicles such as a Trojan, various pre-war MGs and Rileys, and motorbikes including BSA and Triumphs as well as sidecars and all manner of home made machinery. It will test competitors’ riding and driving skills as they negotiate difficult uphill sections and technical restarts. Classic trials such as this event are the original form of car trials, and attract vehicles dating from as early as the 1920s.
Chairman of the MCC, Phil Tucker, said: “After a delay due to Covid, it’s thrilling to be able to run this three-day anniversary event which will be a fitting tribute to our previous 120 years of innovation in grassroots motorsport.
“Our events are landmarks in the trials calendar and present an enjoyable challenge for cars and bikes alike. We welcome any new motorsport enthusiasts to join us on this or any other of our future events – our friendly community is still rooted in the love of the sport that created the MCC more than a century ago.”
The anniversary event is named the MCC 120th Anniversary Dick Peachey Three Day Trial in tribute to the former chairman of the club, Dick Peachey, from Tonbridge, Kent who died earlier this year.
The event begins with a ‘grand depart’ at 7am on Friday 24 June in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire. Trialists will attempt technical sections such as the famed Ladder, Ham Mill and Meerhay, before going on to Exeter.
On day two, sections such as Simms and Tillerton are en route as the trial crosses Dartmoor to Launceston, before the competitors circle back to Exeter for a celebration evening marking the 120th anniversary.
On the final day, the trialists navigate through Exmoor towards Minehead tackling Edbrooke Lane and Slade Lane, before heading back to Nailsworth via sections such as Ubley Drove and Burledge.
This year the organisers have made it more of an inclusive event than ever, offering Class O a selection of hills judged less damaging, and Classic Road Trial, which remains on tarmac for those with machines that are now a little fragile for the off-road sections, but has some extra deviations with route check codes, and additional hill restarts on some of the steepest roads in the South West.
MCC trials are special as competitors are competing against the club rather than against each other. Their performance is measured by the ability to climb Observed Sections non-stop. Competitors who successfully climb every ‘Observed Section’ in the main trial and complete the observed tests without penalty receive a gold medal. One failure earns a silver medal and two failures earns a bronze medal. For many however, to complete the course and earn a finishers certificate is in itself an achievement.
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