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Scottish Land Rover Owners Club

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.
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