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Scottish Land Rover Owners Club

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Trials Taster Sessions

SLROC will be at the Hopetoun House Town & Country Fair (which features the Hopetoun International Horse Trials) on the 27th & 28th July
Come along and see what the SLROC has to offer on Saturday and Sunday, next to the Outdoor Activities area. 
We offer a range of off road driving events throughout year including driving days, speed events, trials, gymkhanas, orienteering and green road runs. All Land Rover Owners with vehicles from 1949 onwards will be very welcome. 
At the Hopetoun Horse Trials we are offering the chance to be driven in a “tyro trial” section by one of our expert drivers using our own vehicles. 
Club membership costs £25 per year and events range from £15 to £50 per day depending on the type of discipline.
Land Rovers are also quite good for towing horse boxes!

SLROC driving day land Rover in the snow










The rules for Trials


A Trial is a competition based on precission driving skill and a good understanding of your vehicles abilities, or at least it highlights a distinct lack of either :)
A trial is the simplest of the events we offer, or at least, it is the simplest to understand. Tyros, RTVs & CCVs are three variations on the theme, where a Tyro is aimed at a beginner and a CCV is firmly for those who relish the more extreme challenge.
An event is essentially broken down into a number of "Sections", Some clubs run with 12 sections, however for the remainder of this article I shall stick with the SLROC's interpretation of the rules, and therefore for all intents and purposes, there are 10 sections per trial, or event.
For each "section" in the day you will be awarded a score for that secion, somewhere in the range of zero to twelve. The idea is to get as low a score as possible, zero (or clear) for the day is good, one hundred and twenty is not so good, I'm sure you can wortk out the rest ;)
A section is a short(ish) course accross a particular piece of terrain. The course is laid out by a series of gates, a gate being comprsited of two posts, one denoting the left hand of a gate, the other denoting the right. The purpose is to drive through all the gates, without hitting any of the posts (or canes)
As if this weren't easy enought, the canes are colour coded, red on the drivers side and blue on the passenger side, although other clubs use a variety of other notations, some only have one cane marked, others use a whole plethora of colour schemes...
Each "Gate" is assigned a number, starting at twelve and tending towards zero. Thus is defined the course, you start at the twelve gate and drive towards through thte remainder of the gates (in decending numerical order) untill you reach the zero gate. Simple isn't it?
For simplicity, and due to the fact that shapely canes are expensive, the SLROC tend to only use the even numbers ( 12, 10, 8 and so on)
However if you hit any of the gates, stop, drive over a marshal, break something or do anything else that is deemed innapropriate then you get the number written on the top of the last gate you hit.
For example, in this picture our competitor "Bob" is driving around the course and has successfully driven throught the "4" gate.
However, he has accidentily driven into the "2" Cane. Which, asside from being a pity, gets him the perfectly respectible score of "2" for this section.
Now I accept that there may be some confusion here, I know, I get confused. In the first example Bob drove through the four gate & stopped.... and got a two. In the second example he ran into the two gate, and also got a two. The complication comes in when you are approaching the clear: if you get through the two gate, your on a one; if you hit the clear gate, you get a one.... if you get through the clear gate, you get a zero!
Backend hits the 2 gate
On the next section, Bob does rather better as he manages to get his vehicle through the "2" Gate (and the "0" gate too) however he has hit the drivers side cane of the "2" cane with the back of the vehicle (curse that overhang) and therefore gets a "2" for this section as well, despite a rather valient effort.
As stated before the competitors must drive around the course, and through the gates, but get "what" exactly through the gates? In the above example Bob has driven around the course, but has decided that this gate is a little too tight for him and has jumped on the breaks. Bob therefore gets a "1" for this section, as he didn't hit the "2" gate, but didn't reach the zero gate either.
In answer to the "what" he got through question, the rulse stipulate a wheel hub (with wheel attachted, no modified hubs on sticks please)
There are a number of other nitpicky rules, which are explained below.
You are not allowed to drive outside the natural line of the course, In the above example bob has gotten through the "2" gate, however he now seems to be3 driving to bermuda rather than the "0" gate. Whilst this might seem a nitpicky point remember that the idea is to drive around the course, if you dissappear to the other side of glasgow to line yourself up for a gate then you are arguably not driging the course, your just taking a run up to a series of gates.
Similarly competitors are not allowed to cross their own tracks whilst manouvering between two gates., this makes the really big turning circle more complicated and kinda enforces the line of the course idea, as this is a lot less open to interpretation as to where the line of the course goes...
If the vehicle, or any part the vehicle (including the passengers elbow!) hits a cane, the competitor incurs a penalty to the value of the gate they hit, and must leave the course.
If the vehicle looses forward motion, the competitor incurs a penalty to the value of the gate they were approaching, and must leave the course.
The only exception to this is for long wheel based (LWB) vehicles. Long wheel-base vehicles (over 95") are allowed one "shunt" per section. A shunt must be declared before the vehicle stops and at least one wheel must remain within the boundary of the course. Non-standard vehicles are judged on an individual basis, as in the above example.
Touching a Boundary Marker (which are used to further clarify what the line of the course is) will not incur any penalties, however, knocking them down, driving over (or outside) them incurs a penalty as if the competitor had lost forward motion.
To even out the pros and cons of the running order, the first competitor away is rotated to the back of the list after each section. The competitor who was first in section one becomes the last away for section two -- and so on:
  1. The competitor with the lowest score at the end of the day is the winner.
  2. The competitor with the higest score at the end of the day is usually called Ian <grin>
As mentioned above there are a number of differences between the SLROC and other clubs that is our southern, sorry geographically challenged colleagues:
The cane-tops are different colours
They either use "White to the Right" or yellow on both sides, Yellow on the drivers side or similar. Rather than our "Red to the Right" policy.
The number of gates, and values of the gates are different, Some start at 10, count down in steps of one, or speak with squeeky voices.
We tend to hold our events on hills, to translate for some of those "other" clubs, a hill is kinda like a bigger version of the millenium dome, but made out of dirt
We use a slightly different classification for our RTV Championship, rather than the listing from the ARC handbook, we use the following classes:
  • Class A : All SWB Land Rovers; Petrol or Diesel, Leaf or Coil.
  • Class B : All LWB Land Rovers; Petrol or Diesel, Leaf or Coil.
  • Class C : All Range Rovers and Discoveries (Petrol or Diesel), plus 101s
  • Class Z : All Non road-going vehicles or vehicles towed to the event.

Preparing a vehicle

You do know what the rules for Trials are.. don't you? There is no point in trying to enter a competition when you don't know the rules.

Make sure you know what's happening. Go and watch a couple of events.. Marshal at a few too. As different ground producing different styles of Sections, make sure you see two or three before diving in.

Whilst you're there, watch what the Scrutineers check on the competing vehicles. Read the ARC regulations, and get a copy of the local club ASRs (Additional Supplementary Regulations.. AKA the "What-we-do-different Rules")

In essence, for an FVT or RTV you need to make sure of several things:

Is your battery securely held down?
The last thing you want to do is go over a wee bounce, and throw your battery up such that the terminals contact with metal...
Big Bang, No Go, Possible Flames...
Not Good.
Do you have anything lose in the vehicle?
When you throw the vehicle around, the contents will follow Newton's Laws. This means that when the vehicle stops suddenly, that heavy lump-hammer in the back won't stop, and it may well clout you on the back of the head.
Do you have seat-belts?
In the same way the Lump-Hammer can hit you in the head, you could be thrown out of your seat - possibly clout your head and probably lose control of the vehicle.
Not Good.
Have you fitted an extra return spring to the throttle-arm of the Carburettor or injector pump?
Apart from being an ARC requirement, you don't want the throttle to jam, and not return to an idle position, leaving you to wrestle with a speeding vehicle (speeding, in a relative sense..)
Have you checked that Low-Range works; that the central Differential works; that the hand-brake works; that the steering linkages are all in good condition; and that the seat-belts are undamaged?
Do you have some form of tow-point on the rear of the vehicle?
At some point you will become stuck, and someone will need to pull out out of stuck.
What about the front?
As you move from FVT, through RTV, to CCVT, then the chances of needing a pull become higher, and the necessity for a pull from the front become greater.
If you are entering a CCVT, do you have a tagged roll-cage (and a logbook to go with it?), plus a valid Fire-extinguisher?

Again, these are in the Regulations, but are also a damn good idea. CCVTs are fairly extreme: there is always the possibility of rolling over (an idea not entertained in FVTs and RTVs). Engines that are run at more than 90-degrees from their designed orientation often get unhappy, and petrol dripping onto a hot exhaust can catch fire very easily.

Now, before you actually enter an event, ask one of the club scrutinisers to check your vehicle - there is nothing worse than getting all psyched up for competition, only to discover there's something you've forgotten - and you can't fix it there-and-then.

What does the club do?

To the outside world, Cross Country Motorsports is just another branch of mucking about with cars ... perhaps grubbier and madder than most, but a singular branch non-the-less.

In fact, Cross Country Motorsports is a wide and vibrant sub-culture, that reflects many of the "normal" branches of motorsport.... but with a twist, reflecting the nature of our environment.

  • Cross Country does Rallying... Multi-Venue rallies are called Hill Rallies and single-venue rallies are called Competitive Safaris.
  • Cross Country does Trials... we even call them Trials.
  • Cross Country does Orienteering or Navigation events... they can be simple orienteering events, Treasure hunts, Point-to-Point events, or Winch Challenge events.

Cross Country also provides other, non-competitive, events for the discerning enthusiast:

  • Green Road Runs are a bit like a Sunday Drive, but without the tarmac, and with friends.
  • Driving Days are organised drives across country.


(by Darren Taylor)

CCV? RTV? Tyro? What is this, the battle of the Acronyms?

Yes, and no. In, what is not an entirely unusual situation, the acronym has in many ways superseded it's meaning, to the extent that just about no-one can quite remember what they stand for.


RTV is supposedly a "Road Tax Vehicle Trial", although sometimes referred to as a "Road Trim Vehicle Trial" the basic principle is the same. An event slated for RTV purposes is designed and layed out in such a way as to be non-damaging. Whilst the exact meaning of "non-damaging" is open to interpretation the idea behind an RTV is that by and large your vehicle will complete the event the same shape as it was when you started.


Tyros (from the Latin for novice or beginner) were an attempt to temper the RTV. A Tyro has fancier rules regarding how roughly we are allowed to treat a vehicle (and it's driver ;). The maximum angle of hills; minimum width of gates; minimum radius for turns, etc.. It's supposed to be safer, or at least less damaging. Because of this, Tyros are a lot more relaxed with respect to who is allowed to do what, for example an Tyro is the only situation which allows passengers in the back seats, all though quite why anyone would want to be thrown around in this manner is beyond me... (Well.. perhaps in a Discovery of something... I used to do it in the back of the Series III and enjoyed it immensely, although the thought of having the rear body of a Land-Rover forcibly inserted into certain 'sensitive' parts of my anatomy doesn't seem quite as appealing as it used to... One for the kids perhaps ;)  )


CCVT, technically stands for "Cross Country Vehicle Trial", although choose between "trial", "CCV" or a whole host of others. Again, the rules are open to interpretation, however the principle is that a CCV can be damaging to both the vehicle (and it's occupants), simply by crossing more aggressive terrain. To this extent the specifications of the participating vehicles are also more involved, often requiring more strenuous safety standards (roll cages and so on).

However, now we have dispensed with the technicalities we can get onto the basic methods by which we play (sorry compete ;). As kind of explained above all of these events follow a similar pattern some are simply tougher (rougher?) than others, mainly as a result of the terrain they traverse.

A trial (any trial...) consists of several sections. Exactly how many sections depends upon the club, and most Scottish clubs do 10 sections.

A section consists of a sequence of gates numbered from 12 tending towards zero. The idea is to navigate around the course without stopping, hitting the gates, going "significantly outside the natural line of the course", rolling (which is just a more extreme version of stopping), killing pedestrians/other competitors (only joking!), swearing, breaking anything that isn't yours, or generally doing any of a whole host of other unpleasant things.

Points are awarded depending at which point you mess things up*. Drive into the 12 gate ( <cough> Ian <cough> ) and you get "12", stop somewhere between the 3 gate and the four gate, and you get a 3 and so on. Should you navigate around the entire course ( <cough> Ian <cough> ) without hitting any of the gates, you get "0" or "clear". Evidently the entire idea is to complete all the sections with the lowest score possible.

Got that? Good, not too difficult really, in fact it's pretty simple.

Go and watch a couple of events to get the idea, then join in... we'll even class you as a "Novice" for the first year too!

[*] The Highland Club has a wonderfully different way of scoring, where you are allowed three attempts at an obstacle, and even permitted to miss out gates all together... very confusing the first time you meet it.

Competitive Safaris

(by Ian Stuart)

A Competitive Safari is a speed event for modified off-road vehicles, where competitors are timed against the clock around a course of challenging terrain. Vehicles are timed from a standing start to a flying finish. The route, between one and nine miles long, is generally designed such that competitors should average no more than 25-30mph - using twists & turns, climbs & drops, and simply the very nature of the ground to challenge (and thus slow) the competitors.

There is no penalty, other than the time taken, for stopping.

Courses should not be designed to actively break vehicles, however drivers to have a tendency to "tunnel vision" when competing, and fail to slow down for trees, rocks, or ditches unless forcibly reminded.

The only time limits are when the course "opens" for competitors, when it "closes", and a target of [normally] ten laps to complete in that time-frame.

The winner at the end of the event is the one with the lowest cumulative time to complete all laps.

The Scottish Cross Country Championship is a series of seven such events, run at seven different sites, hopefully each with a unique flavour and driving experience.

The winner of the championship is the driver who was the best across the whole year.

Hill Rallies

(by Ian Stuart)

A Hill Rally is a "Multi Venue Stage Rally"... a "multi-stage" version of a Competitive Safari. In essence, this means that the competitors drive a number of different stages, in a defined order, with set times to cover the non-competitive sections (the drive between the stages, and service)

A Hill Rally, like any other Special Stage Rally, is made up of three types of "event" for the competitors:

  • Special Stages are the actual competition: the bit where you drive as fast as you can, the bit where the drivers skill is paramount
  • Road Sections are the bits of road/track/route that you are guided along to travel from one Special Stage to the next
  • Service is when you can fix the car, and service time is limited... so don't go damaging things too much!

At the end of the day, the competitor who manages to complete all the Special Stages in the fastest time wins the event.

Hill Rally stages are run to a higher "safety specification" than most Competitive Safaris, meaning that the average speeds can be higher.... up to an average speed of 50mph.

There are currently only one Hill Rally run in the UK, run by the Scottish Hill Rally Club.

The "Borders" Hill Rally is a multi-stage, single-venue rally run in November, and is mostly on forest tracks. It is designed to be an opportunity for new competitors to experience the difference between Competitive Safari events and Hill Rallies.

The "Perthshire" Hill Rally was the last true cross country event in the UK: Vehicles need to be road legal, yet capable of performing competitively off-road. Combining aspects of Rally Raid, Competitive Safari, and classic Stage Rallying, the Perthshire is an event where competitors need the precision to drive Forest Stages, the flair to drive the open hillsides, and the patience to drive on the public highway.

"You can't win a Hill Rally on your own, but you can lose it for your team."


There are a number of variations to the "find things" concept. Like everything in Cross Country, there's more than one way to do it: events can break down into "guided" or "unguided"; and into various levels of  "difficulty".

Treasure Hunts & Orienteering

Treasure Hunts & Orienteering tend to be simple events, suited to everyday cars. Orienteering tends to mean "looking for punches" whereas Treasure Hunts imply that there are a series of clues to solve, which lead you to find "treasures"

Winch Challenge

Winch Challenge events are most definitely NOT for your everyday car (well, not unless you are a die-hard Cross Country fan!). Winch Challenge events are difficult, and hard work. They require the vehicle to have a winch, to get into (or out of) some place where a nasty person has put the "punch". Winch Challenge events can range from the relatively tame to the downright dirty, extreme, challenging, & frustrating.

Non Competitive events

Driving days

Green Road Runs

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