23 eager crews gathered on the eve of A Novice Trial in Oswestry late Friday afternoon at the Lion Quays Resort, keen to soak up information in a pre event training session before tackling the first HERO-ERA event post lockdown.
Crews new to the sport mixed with experienced teams brushing up on their rusty skills but all were equal in the eyes of the officials as they took the temperatures of everyone before they entered the conference room.
Once inside, experienced rallying sisters Seren and Elise Whyte took the masked audience through a basic training session covering navigation, time keeping, road book use including tulip diagrams and tricky triangles! In a very graphic session, drivers and navigators were given some idea of what to expect, including the odd trick!
After scrutineering on Saturday morning, crews will head out on the road to put into practice what they learned by running in regularities on the road. On Sunday morning the cars will head out on a competitive mini rally to put all their new found skills into practice.
The Novice Trial is specifically designed for newcomers to the sport to encourage them to take up the sport and continue on up the ladder. Seren explained to the group that experienced competitors wanted to help; “the majority of competitors are really nice people, they will help and advise, it’s all about learning. Everyone is up for helping each other, even on the bigger events such as Le Jog.”
Seren continued; “My advice tomorrow is to concentrate on the navigation, try to go the right way which is most important and don’t worry about timing. You will also have your own Time Record Card which is only for your benefit, you will keep it with you and note down the times as the marshals call them from safe distance with no card transfer. They will record the time on their own time sheet before calling it out to you.”
The team of Richard Walker and Faith Douglas are about to encounter their first ever classic car rally in preparation for the big daddy of all historic rallies, the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge in 2022.
Newbie navigator Faith Douglas was a bit perturbed after getting caught up in the centre of Oswestry in their Triumph TR6 making then a bit late for the teach in, suggesting that it didn’t bode well for the big one in two years! But as she was advised there will be plenty of mistakes along the way as it is part of the learning process. It is going to be a long but fascinating journey for Richard and Faith which we plan to follow.
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