Duo are boosted by retirements

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CAR TRIAL

Eastern Counties MC got the 2014 sporting programme under way with their traditional New Year’s Day car trial, held at Seckford Hall.

The Norman Perren trial is also a day when we remember one of the club’s best known trial competitors.

For the Hanman family, it could not have been a better start to the new year, as Tim took the MKI Dellow to overall victory and class D honours, with father Peter in second spot.

Their cause was helped by the fact that all others in this class retired.

Ross Nuten’s Dellow suffered brake failure while the MC Midget of Nick Barrett also pulled out.

A feature of the event was the number of lady drivers.

In class A, Becky Rowles took her VW Lupo to the top spot. Laura Cocksedge took third in a Fiesta she shared with her second-placed father John.

Class A saw the continued good form of Ousden’s Christopher Pettitt.

His Citroen Saxo VTS was only two points away from overall victory, as he took another class win.

David Holmes was next in the Fiat Seicento, with John Peterson’s Mini third.

There followed a whole host of local drivers, with Paul Ellis (Citroen AX) fourth, Andy Mount took fifth in the AX GT formerly used by Robin Howard.

Howard was sixth, as he got to grips with more power and also powered steering on his new Saxo VTS.

Ben Cutting’s Nissan Micra finished seventh, just ahead of newcomer Dan Pearson in a Fiat Punto.

It was quite a day for the Hessett-based family.

Dan’s father Andrew was marshalling while his sister Emma made her debut in the little Fiat.

Emma was among three girls who completed the class A field, alongside Susanne Cutting and Hannah Ellis.

Class C, for the rear-engined cars, was dominated by the Fiat 500 of Daniel and Richard Leggett, who took first and second respectively.

The next round of the East Anglian Challenge will be held on January 19.

SHORT CIRCUIT

There was a very wet welcome to the New Year, when drivers contested the first oval meeting of 2014 at Wimbledon.

Of our three local competitors in the Superstox formula, Stanton’s Matt Carberry came away with the best results.

When he won the opening heat, it began to look like another benefit day for Jason Cooper, as he resisted pressure from second-placed Carberry, with Sarah Cooper back in eighth.

However, this was to be the only podium for Jason, as he finished fifth in heat two while Sarah retired.

Carberry retained his form to secure another second, with Shaun Brooker taking victory.

The final was a tough battleground, with a number of incidents, one causing a stoppage. From the restart, Brooker proved unbeatable, but Carberry secured his third podium, this time in third spot. Sarah finished ninth, but Jason retired.

MOTOR RACING

As we battle against the weather, spare a thought for Frank Pettitt, who today (Friday) and tomorrow will be faced with the heat of Dubai.

The Great Barton driver will be part of a four-driver team contesting the Dubai 24-hours in a Seat Leon Supercopa, a car he has prepared himself for the Grove & Dean Motorsport team.

DIARY DATES

Rallying. MGJ Engineering Stages, Brands Hatch, Sunday.

Organised by Chelmsford MC, it is the opening round of the 2014 Ward Construction/AEMC Championship.

Short Circuit. Wimbledon, Sunday, 5.30pm.

Stock Rods; Rookie Rods; 2.0 Stock Cars; Bangers.

COMING SOON

Short Circuit, Wimbledon, January 19-26; Mildenhall, January 19.

Car Trial, Harlton, January 19.