The motorsport virgin
You’re keen, you’ve always wanted to do something interesting, and you like what you’ve seen so far. You’ve watched Ewan MacGregor in Long Way Down, thought you’d like a similar adventure one day, but realise you still have a family, a mortgage, and a career to deal with… you might not have a suitable vehicle yet. You’re really not sure where to start.
Come and spectate on one of our major trials. Maybe you saw the Fifth Gear programme, but that doesn’t compare to seeing it in the flesh. You’ll get some idea of the sort of vehicle that might suit you, you’ll see the different ways they’ve been prepared, and how they perform. There will almost certainly be some experienced competitors in the crowd who’ll be only too willing to chat to you. See the dates of our events and where to spectate too.
Get a suitable vehicle, prepare it, join the MCC, and enter one of our three major trials in Class 0. Class 0 has a slightly less daunting route and sections than the other classes but is a real enough challenge if you’ve never done any motorsport before. Can you get up all the sections and claim a Tin award at your first attempt?
Alternatively, if the timing is right, enter the Testing Trial. This is non-damaging, social as well as competitive, and will give you a chance to fling your new machine around in a safe off-road environment. You’ll get invaluable experience of how your vehicle handles off-road and how simple things like adjusting tyre pressures affect your vehicle’s performance. You’ll get an even closer look at other people’s vehicles and you get to chat to them about mods, technique, etc.
OK, you might not actually belong to a club but you’ve got a vehicle you could probably use, although you might not want to make it a full-on trials machine just yet. You’ve maybe done something like riding a quadbike on a stag-do, done a track day, had a corporate day or gift experience. Maybe you do belong to a club and have done some autotests or gymkhanas but now you fancy having a go at a classic trial. If you’re a biker you might have done some trail riding, or an enduro, but now you fancy a classic trial with proper observed sections.
Join the MCC and enter one of our three major trials in Class 0. Or maybe consider entering the Testing Trial. This is non-damaging, social as well as competitive, and will give you a chance to fling your new machine around in a safe off-road environment. You’ll get invaluable experience of how your vehicle handles off-road and how simple things like adjusting tyre pressures affect your vehicle’s performance. You’ll get an even closer look at other people’s vehicles and you get to chat to them about mods, technique, etc.
Use your MCC membership to enter Class 0 in one of the trials organised by our friends in the other ACTC clubs. You’ll get additional experience and you’ll be able to tweak your car between MCC events. Details of Class 0 events, to which MCC members are generally invited, can be found on the Events Calendar page of the ACTC website and are normally advertised in the MCC’s weekly enewsletter News of the Week.
If you’ve done one event in Class 0, and enjoyed yourself, it’s time to make that big decision before entering the next one. Will you stay in Class 0 and try for that Tin Award again, or enter in one of the other classes and have a go at some of the most famous sections such as Simms, Blue Hills Mine, or Bamford Clough? The choice is yours.
The Natural-born Triallist
You’ve probably got a vehicle, you’ve probably done some club-level motorsport before or maybe some trail riding or enduros. You know this is for you and you can’t wait to get started. You would have done it years ago if only you’d known.
Join the MCC and enter one of our three major trials. But are you going to dip-your-trialling-toe-in-the-water in Class 0 or jump-straight-in-at-the-deep-end have a go at some of the most famous sections such as Simms, Blue Hills Mine, or Bamford Clough? The choice is yours.
Get your MSA licence and use this, with your MCC membership, to enter some of the ACTC one day trials. You could enter in Class 0 or, if you think you got your eye in on your first MCC trial, go straight into one of the main classes. More details are available on the ACTC website.
If you’ve done one event in Class 0, and enjoyed yourself, it’s time to make that big decision before entering the next one. Will you stay in Class 0 and try for that Tin Award again, or maybe even a Tri0, or enter in one of the other classes. The choice is yours.
Q. Where can I see an MCC trial?
A. Anywhere on the route!
A simple answer to a simple question and, indeed, by standing at the roadside anywhere along the route you will see a competitor passing every minute for up to six hours. But all the real action takes place on the observed sections and that is where most people choose to watch an MCC trial. On the pages below you will find information on the main spectator sections for each of the three major trials, complete with OS grid references, driving directions, and parking information.
- Exeter Trial – where to spectate
- Lands End Trial – where to spectate
- Edinburgh Trial – where to spectate
In just the same way that rally enthusiasts find their way to the middle of a Welsh wood in the middle of the night, many hardened trials enthusiasts can be found standing alongside a muddy country track in the small hours of a bitterly cold January morning, such is their devotion to the sport. But, in order to maintain good relations with the landowners and householders along the route, we do not encourage spectators at every observed section. If you want to spectate at sections other than those listed above, please offer to marshal!
Note – 5 December 2013
The three pages linked above have recently been updated and re-published in a new format. The small maps have been replaced with links to two online mapping sites (Google Maps and Streetmap): to enable easier updating when we change our recommendations; and to allow links to the Directions facility in Google Maps. The new format is also “mobile-friendly”, so those viewing on smartphones will see a different version, restyled to read better on the smaller screen of most phones.
Google Maps – a warning!
The links to Google Maps come with two warnings:
If you use the Directions facility (desktop version only), be warned that some of the recommended routes will take you down unsurfaced lanes which are often also the trial route! This is because many of our sections are on unsurfaced public roads and, as we all know, most sat nav systems (including Google Maps) ignore whether a public road is actually passable by a normal car. There’s nothing we can do about it, so please use the Directions facility intelligently.
The Directions facility will not work on smartphones – we haven’t yet worked out a way to link our map marks to the Google Maps app. But maybe that’s not such a bad thing if you’ve read the paragraph directly above.
Marshals are essential to the smooth running of all motorsport events but marshalling on a MCC trial is a unique experience, especially for those more used to speed events where marshals and competitors rarely meet, let alone indulge in cheery conversation and good-natured banter. The MCC is also unusual in needing a very large number of marshals to make the events run smoothly and the club counts itself extremely fortunate that there are so many individuals, not all of whom are members of the club, who turn out in all weathers to help.
So what can you expect from marshalling on one of the three major MCC trials? All MCC sections are drive-through so you will see every competitor, whether powering up the hill to a ‘clean’, attached to the end of a tow rope, or even being assisted by yourself and the other willing helpers! You will see a competitor passing every minute, on average, for between five and six hours – our trials normally attract between 300 and 350 entrants on two, three, and four wheels. And you will experience the unique atmosphere and camaraderie of an MCC trial – once experienced, never forgotten.
If you’ve never seen an MCC trial, or maybe you’ve been a spectator and would like to get more involved without going to the effort and expense of preparing a car for competition, then why not give marshalling a try? You’ll be assured of a warm welcome, whatever the time of day … or night! With several hundred marshals needed for our main events we’re always looking for new recruits and the club has produced a booklet – Marshalling Arts – to explain about marshalling on our events in more detail than we could possibly go into on this website.
So, how do you become a marshal on one of our events? Go to the events regulations page and download the Supplementary Regulations and Entry Form ‘pack’ when it is available. Although intended mainly for competitors, the entry paperwork always includes the name, address, telephone number, and email of the Chief Marshal – who will be delighted to hear from you.