Mud or glory in the Kent countryside near Maidstone! Sporting Trials are not about speed – instead you use your skill and timing to manoeuvre the specially-built trials car over rugged hilly and often muddy terrain. Most things are allowed just don’t hit the markers defining the route!
This is very much a competitive and fun sport where you aim to get as far as possible up each hill of the course before getting bogged down. To help the driver there is a passenger in the two-wheel drive car charged with moving their weight around to get the best possible grip on each wheel.
The discipline sometimes known as ‘mud plugging’ is one of the oldest recognised motor sports in the UK dating back to enthusiasts in the 1940s. Even then the idea was to get the car up a steep and muddy slope negotiating tight turns and bumpy terrain whilst making sure that the car does not stop going forward at any point.
The thing to remember here is that the main ingredient is judgement and co-ordination. With a little help from the unusual design of the car and from the instructor sitting beside you you will soon conquer even the most impossible-looking climb.
These cars have a very high power to weight ratio in fact a great excess of power over grip. With around 100bhp on tap in a car that weighs next to nothing delicate use of the throttle is essential! A unique aspect of these sporting cars is the ‘fiddle’ brake which allows the braking power on each rear wheel to be adjusted from the cockpit as you race. This gives the cars the unique ability to turn within their own length making them the most unusual and agile vehicles you are ever likely to drive.
The course is at a driving centre in the South East near Maidstine with over 200 acres of orchards woodland and open fields. Spectators are welcome to watch the action although the competitors may vanish over the horizon!