Dean Partington in typical relaxed mode as he successfully restarts on the last section to gain a clean sheet and win the March Hare Trial.
The Chequers, Redbourn. A few miles from Junction 9 on the M1.
Mike Pearson being interviewed by the Mobil 1 The Grid Crew (Picture by Mike Hayward) - see the video here
Scruitineer John Blakeley discussing technicalities with David Jackson (Picture by Mike Hayward)
With entries on most trials down, the March Hare organisers were delighted to have an over-subscribed entry for their route through Herts, Beds and Bucks.
Byway - A long straight climb on loose stones. A straight run-through this time.
With no restart or diversion this year this stony lane was a nice ease in to the day and there were no failures.
Byway - Another hill used for the first time on last years modern March Hare but perhaps used by Falcon in the 50's. The section is a well surfaced track, approached by more than two miles of green lanes! Chief Official Murray MacDonald had organised a muddy deviation for class 8
After a couple of miles of green laning to get to the section the lower classes enjoyed a run straight up the lane, and even the restart didn't claim any victims.
Byway - never trialled before. The section was mainly a rutted track that would have been very muddy had it been wet!
George Diffy in his beautiful Austin Seven (Picture by Dave Cook)
Sam Holmes on his way to win Class 4 with a clean sheet (Picture by Dave Cook)
This was a new hill this year, and to the best of our knowledge has never been trialled. Its a wide muddy lane with lots of ruts.
Byway - Cress Beds and Water Tower into one long section, with a restart for all classes on the step up to the road. The remainder of the section has been rather spoilt by the County Council who have filled in the ruts!
The final public byway section in the Hitchin area featured the familiar restart by the Watercrees beds. The week before the trial the step onto the road looked so fearsome that Clerk of the Course Arnold Lane made a visit with a van load of concrete to make it easier. In consequence it was pretty easy to pull away and nobody troubled the scorer.
Special Test and two sections on Private Land
John Plant has former owner Adrian Tucker-Peake alongside in his Peugeot 205 on the first Copt Hall section
Chris Maries, in one of the seven Suzuki X90's in Class 5, climbing onto the trackbed of the old Hatfield to Dunstable railway.
The first visit to private land had two sections and a special test at a new Falcon location right alongside the Luton Airport runway. The special test was a nice simple affair on broken tarmac where Dean Partington set the standard, a second and a half faster than Tim Foster in his Eskimo special.
Woodland section finishing up a steep bank with a restart for Seven & Eight
David Jackson spins to a stop on Beetle Drive, as did most of the entry
The first visit to the Woodland near Hemel Hempstead further reduced the clean sheets. Beetle Drive ends on a rutted bank with a restart for 7 & 8 and the Mobil 1 The Grid film crew in attendance.
Second section in Binghams Wood with a Class Eight only restart
Mark Ensoll in his Dutton Phaeton (picture by Mike Hayward)
Class Seven winner Harry Bounden in his Marlin (Picture by Mike Hayward)
The second woodland section was mild in comparison. There was a class 8 only restart and although half of them failed it didn't affect any of the clean sheets. Unfortunately Roger Dudleys Marlin developed engine problems and he had to retire here.
Three sections on Private Land
Brian Alexander came up from Cornwall but dropped out of contention when he failed the second Copt Hall section (Picture by Dave Cook)
Geoff Simpson rounding the Barn hairpin on Kensworth 3
There were three sections at this familiar Falcon venue. The first two were typical PCT affairs. The third utilised the rutted track around the barn and had a re-start that would had been tricky had it not been for the dry conditions.
Special Test and Two sub-divided sections on Private Land
Simon Diffy has plenty of help in his Humber Nine Twenty (Picture by Julian Robinson)
Steve Lister in his Blown Dellow with an Elva Overheard inlet valve conversion (Picture by Julian Robinson)
Brickhill was marshalled by The Herts VW Club. Check out their web site at http://www.hertsvwclub.org/
After a longish road run there was a special test and two observed sections in the familiar setting of Brickhill that has been trialled for the best part of 50 years. Dean Partington was fastest again in the sandy ST with Tim Foster second again, this time by only a tenth of a section.
County Road - Clean/Fail
With no restart this year this county road wasn't too problematical.
Rachel Zamorski fell into Simon Robsons hole and failed the restart. (Picture by Dave Cook)
John Wilton in his magnificent Trojan (Picture by Dave Cook)
Despite the dry conditions Hill Farm always catches the unwary. Apart from 1 & 2 all the classes had to restart. This was definitely not Suzuki friendly and again Howard Blackwell was the only Japanese machine to go clear.
Back in the woods 6,7 & 8 had a restart on tree roots
The event finale was back in woodland for the final two sections. The Falcons Folly restart wasn't as difficult as usual this year with only a couple of failures
The final section ends with a tricky hairpin with a restart for Class 8
John Bell had a good run in his MG TD and was just one mark behind the class winner
John Rowland was driving Peter Thompson's familiar Opel while Peter drove his Chummy
The last section has decided the outcome of The March Hare for many years. Its all about a rutted hairpin bend, with a restart for class eight only. It was no problem for class 1 & 2 who all went clear. Not so for Class 4 as both John White and Michael Leete failed. Sam Holmes got though to retain his clean sheet and win the class, one year after his Classic trial debut.
Despite the dry conditions the organisers were pleased to get only six clean sheets and the fact they were spread amongst the classes proved the restarts used to handicap some of the classes worked.
First published 10th March 2011 on Classical Gas
Results are available here
Many more pictures of the 2011 event are available by clicking on the photographers name below:
And of course the video collection is here - potential competitors well worth watching!