Week 60

It was Lancs County’s round of the ACU Traditional Trials Championship that took the bulk of my attention over the past few weeks, for there was quite a lot of administration to do prior to and post the event which was last weekend.

Following the ACU’s requirements, we headlined the sponsorship of the series by Normandale on our regs and programme, but it struck me at the time that I had absolutely no idea who or what Normandale were, which I see as a failing of the ACU, for whilst I’m not saying the sponsor hasn’t been publicised in the past, if it has, then it had passed me by.

So I took it upon myself to speak with Phil Ducker, a regular rider in the series, whose company is Normandale. Based at Daventry, Northants, Normandale is a long established motorsport paint finishing company, with over 25 employees engaged in the high quality job of painting F1, F3, BTCC, WRC cars as well as MotoGP bikes and many other racing cars from the various championships in Britain and around the world.

Take a look at their website (normandaleproducts.com) and you’ll see that painting a F1 car is not just a case of squirting a rattle can and hoping for the best! As Phil explained when we spoke at the Bootle round, car parts arrive at his paint sop and when they leave must weigh no more than an agreed extra percentage of the original part when it was delivered. It’s that critical!

It’s obviously a high quality company, providing a high quality product, not just painting vehicles as they also carry out other race preparation work, but it’s a company that has little or virtually no connection with the world of trials except for Phil’s interest in the series – which immediately goes to explain why his and Simon Levett’s Montesas are always smartly painted in very different colour schemes from standard.

So now you know, and on behalf of the ten clubs that are benefitting from Normandale’s sponsorship, many thanks.

It has certainly been a busy week as only six days following on from Lancs County’s Traditional round, came Good Friday, and that’s a day we always run and a day when we generally get a very good entry. Everybody was on a high following the national as, though I say it myself on behalf of the club, we did a pretty good job. There were no complaints (apart from a few riders who considered their scores were wrong), and we were on the bubble.

Then came Good Friday, and our club trial proved to be way over the top, far too hard, which resulted in a lot of moans, loads of retirements and to some extent I feel that after the high of the National, we lost a few friends on Good Friday.

But as the saying goes, the bloke who never made a mistake, never made anything, so whilst we accept that there were some over zealous sections on Good Friday – and the three riders who marked it out all held up their hands and admitted they got it wrong, There are few clubs and organisers who haven’t made mistakes in the past. We all agreed, we’ll admit we were wrong – and it’s a collective responsibility – then move on, learning from our mistakes.

Mistakes were certainly to the fore over the last week, as following a steady ride at the Lancs County trial, Bootle proved to be an absolute disaster for me. Elsewhere on this website, my high dive, face first, from slippery rocks into deep water without pike has been gleefully noted, and all I can say is that I’m glad I managed to entertain these zealots who like to enjoy my misfortunes. But could I care, not one bit of it?

It happened five sections from the end of lap one, and I have to admit that back at the van, totally drenched, including a soaking nappy and shirt, it did briefly cross my mind to call it a day and go home. But that’s not the way I’m brought up and despite having the worst ride possible, with no hope of salvation, I went out again and completed another hopeless lap.

I want no praise or thanks (not that I’m expecting any!), it’s just a pity that not everybody is prepared to knuckle down and carry on when the going gets tough. As I say to many people when the need arises, no matter what’s happening on Sunday at the trial, come the following Wednesday, good weekends will have become brilliant, and Bootle style disasters will have been consigned to the back burner with the desire to improve dramatically next week.

As this is now Saturday evening, I hope tomorrow is better!