Fergusons Trial

28 November 2015

Ferguson's Trial, Stewartstown


The annual trip to Norman Fergusons Motorsport venue provided our 5th round of the club championship. 11 cars and crews turned up at the excellent parking facilities with a few notable absentees. Norman was on hand to welcome everyone and opened one of his workshops so the drivers briefing could be carried out in the shelter of the wind and rain.

Clerk of the course Harry Barr had set up 5 hills a few days earlier when it had been dry and surprisingly grippy underfoot. Conditions on the day however were very different and the prospect was for wind and rain throughout the day. Despite this, the COC decided on tyre pressures of 6, 5 and 4psi for the three classes.

The site basically consists of a hill stretching right across the field with slopes of varying length and gradient  but always leading to a ‘shelf' at the top hedge.


Hill 1 was in lush grass and finished with a long trickle and chicane near the finish. It caught out a few people but it was zeros for most and the lowest scoring hill for the 4 rounds.


Hill 2 had a diagonal climb to the shelf with a sharp turn along the hedge, then dropping down and then a weave back up to a finish at the hedge. Sadly not many experienced the 2nd half as only 4 drivers succeeded in negotiating the 9 gate!


Hill 3 used the 3 large trees with a tricky loop around the top tree and after dropping down again, good trickling skills were needed for the steep climb back up to the hedge.


Hills 4 and 5 were similar with diagonal climbs for the first part then after dropping down, a climb back up to a finish via a chicane. Despite the conditions, trickling was the order of the day and with a few exceptions, a heavy right foot got you nowhere.

At the end of round 1, Brian Edgar and Simon Gracey were on 11 with John McKinney closely behind on 13. Peter Frost with passenger Lawrence Knox was guesting in the COC's Crossle as his own car was still not ready after an altercation with a rock at the previous outing. Peter made a very ‘good fist' of driving a strange car and is now seems to be a Crossle convert! Amazingly, he was the only one to get past the 9 gate in this round but unfortunately with no other tracks to guide him, took a shortcut down the hill and missed the 8 gate!

On round 2, Brian was the only driver to crack hill 2 and his zero helped put him in a clear lead on 20 to Simon's 26. Andrew McKinney had a good round and slotted into 3rd on 27. In Class B, Michael McBratney continued his good form and led on 38 to Peter Frost's 49. In Class C, Alastair Booth was making a welcome return after a 2 year break and was giving Gerard Currid and Alan Mackey a run for their money. Sadly, fuel supply problems put an end to Alastair's day and he and Etan had to retire before completing round 3.

The COC tweaked most hills at the lunch break and the scoring improved for round 3. It certainly worked for Brian and passenger Peter Flack as they only dropped 1 point and extended their lead over the chasing pack. The weather turned out to be really kind as it stopped raining as the trial started and we even had sunshine and blue sky. Unfortunately heavy rain moved in before we got finished and the trickling definitely got harder. This could explain why Brian got an 8 at hill 2 to Simon and Andrew's zero. However, he had enough in hand and finished the winner on 29 to Andrew and passenger Chris Millar on 38 closely followed by Simon and son Samuel on 39.  Simon still retains his lead in the championship although Brian has closed the gap, closely followed by Andrew.

In Class B Michael Mc Bratney again displayed fine trickling skills with 6 zeros to his credit and won on 61 from Peter Frost on 80. Alan Mackey led Class C throughout the day and despite Gerard beating him on round 4, had a 10 point advantage at the end.

We all retired to Hanover House in Coagh and got warmed by the very welcome roaring fire while Andrew churned out the results.

Thanks again to Norman Ferguson for the use of his site and facilities.



 1st B Edgar/P Flack (A)  29

2nd A McKinney/C Millar (A) 38

3rd S Gracey/S Gracey (A) 39

4th J McKinney/R McKinney (A)  56

5th M McBratney/G Hill (B) 61

6th P Frost/L Knox (B)  80

7th D Webster/E Payton (A) 83

8th T McKinney/R Armstrong (A) 94

9th A Mackey/C McFarlane (C) 107

10th G Currid/G Doherty (C) 117

11th A Booth/E Hodgson (C) DNF



Harry Barr

Posted by PMcCollum on 3/12/2015; Last updated by PMcCollum on 3/12/2015