Avon Dassett trials

It looked likely at one stage that there would be no TYRO set up for Avon Dassett as Rob McCausland and I were both unavailable. As it happened I was able to reschedule what I had planned for the Saturday and make the longish trip up to the site. I arrived to find Gareth already there (on his own as Paul was representing the club at the ALRC AGM) already starting to set up the RTV. I hadn’t been there long when the familiar rumble of a V8 (with slightly dodgy exhaust) was heard and we were joined by Dave Collins in Big Red. We both grabbed armfuls of canes and headed off to different parts of the quarry to find suitable terrain.

Despite some heavy showers over the proceeding weeks the ground was mainly very dry and hard on the surface but there were some areas with slippery, sticky mud and gloop and some impressively deep water in some of the holes.

Between us we soon managed to knock up 7 good sections featuring hard ruts, a bit of water and a lickle teensy bit of mud.

Having finished our bit we went off to find Gareth and offer our services if he needed us. And oh boy yes he did! We found him sitting in the bottom of a deep waterlogged hole, engine roaring and impressive quantities of muddy water spraying everywhere. Unfortunately it was only spraying from his front wheels as he appeared to have lost drive to the back. Despite this he was making a valiant attempt to escape the clutches of the hole and was able to get far enough out of it for Dave to attach a rope and pull him up the last steep bank. He assured us he would be ok to drive home and would finish the setting up for the RTV so Dave and I abandoned him and headed home.

Sunday started chilly but bright and we had about 6 members already waiting at the gate before Paul arrived with the keys. Turn-out was (as expected) a bit disappointing for both TYRO and RTV but enough of us to make it interesting. Dave Collins hadn’t been able to fix his exhaust so had come up in his Range Rover, intending to marshal. I was there in my 90 and we were joined by Oliver Taylor in dad’s motor and Simon Atkinson in his Series SWB with his friend Rik who would double drive. With only the 4 of us to compete Dave decided he would drive in his Rangie too.

With only 5 of us driving we soon rattled through the first 3 dry sections (Dave’s bits) before heading to find some wetter stuff. I had set up the remaining sections and hadn’t anticipated too many problems but we all managed to make a mild hash of things in one way or another. Rik provided the best entertainment of the day when, despite warnings from me about staying clear of a muddy bit he decided he knew better and got both nearside wheels of the series into the sticky stuff. He was only able to go in one direction but, undeterred, he pushed on (in no danger) until the muck won the battle and he came to a standstill chassis deep. Thank you to Jordan Taylor for the winch extraction!

The final 2 sections were the most challenging of the day with a fair bit of mud and water (not too deep) to be negotiated. With the hard ground under the mud traction, or lack of it, proved to be the undoing of most of us here. Just for fun (and to fill in a bit of time) we decided to reverse the last section, with slight alteration to the start. I don’t think any of us avoided hitting the 7 gate, sometimes both sides!

By the time we had cleared up our sections the RTV mob were just finishing too. The results will be featured elsewhere so I wont bore you with them here (and save embarrassment).

In all it was a great day out for all. It may be a long drive for many but the Avon Dassett site does have a lot to offer for all levels of ability so its worth the effort to attend.

See you all at Bidfield in April. I will be setting up TYRO again but other help would be appreciated.


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