A Classic trial sees cars compete are varying sections of hill across a wide variety of locations.

Car Trials can best be described as a sporting trial suitable for standard production cars, bringing to the sport a high degree of skill and commitment.

What you need

Your car: Road-legal (e.g. taxed, insured and MOT’d)
Tyres: Road tyres
Driving Licence required?: Yes
Competition Licence required?: National B
Double Entries allowed?: No
Passengers?: Required (Minimum 14 years old)
Surface: Public Road & Off Road Tracks
Minimum age: 17

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How it works

Firstly its important to note that classic trials are not just for classic cars although many do take part. Classic trials are for all sorts of cars and motorbikes. What’s classic about classic trials is the format of the event.

Today’s classic trials reflect the style that was prevalent in the 30’s where works teams from Ford, Austin, Singer, MG and others battled it out for advertising honours over long distances and the steep muddy slopes of the country. The route is used primarily to get from one slope to the next and the timing is used mainly to keep the whole event on some sort of schedule rather than as a way of penalising competitors. Many of the observed sections, which is the name given to the muddy slopes on which one’s performance is observed, are the same ones which were used at the time and are still as capable of challenging modern vehicles as they were then.

The average modern classic trial runs to about 70-100 miles on road in between the observed sections. There are usually 14-18 sections to each event with a variety of different surfaces to test your skills. The events are scored by makers by the side of the section, numbered from 12 at the bottom to 1 at the top. Marks are scored by getting the front wheels past the markers. At the end of the day the driver with the lowest score is the winner. Sometimes sections will include a stop and restart test. If you remember the trauma of the hill start when you were learning to drive, this gives you some idea of this test, but now you’re asked to do this on a 1 in 4 hill in thick mud or greasy rock, without the car rolling back as much as an inch. In addition there is usually a tie decision speed test to resolve competition between drivers who have scored the same number of penalties.

This is a great sport to both watch, marshal or compete in.