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What are Classic Retrospective Trials

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What are Classic Retrospective Trials
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TDC Committee Member

Joined: 31 Jan 2009
Posts: 1871
Location: Leopardstown, Dublin

Post What are Classic Retrospective Trials Reply with quote
Retrospective Trials, as they are now officially known, have evolved from the Ulster Automobile Club’s endeavours, in the 1980s and subsequently, to recreate the Circuit of Ireland as it was run in the really good old days. As currently organised, the events have two main elements – autotests and regularities. There is usually also a night navigation section, which is sometimes run as a regularity, other times to a more traditional format.

The autotests tend to be less complicated and less tight than regular autotesters would be used to. Nonetheless, if your car is rear-wheel drive, a hydraulic handbrake is virtually a must. Whatever about improving one’s times, it makes the whole experience considerably more enjoyable. I would suggest that a limited-slip differential falls into the same category. A variation on the autotest is what is referred to as a special test which is usually run blind, is longer, more straightforward and requires both crew members to be in the car.

The regularities require the navigator

1. To follow the required route – details of this can be anything from straightforward tulips, grid references to spot height/clockface trickery and can be supplied in advance or, more usually, at the start of the section.

2. To keep on time - the average speeds can vary from 15 to 30 mph and can change on a regular basis so this requires some attention. It can also distract one from going the specified way – not good.

There are variations, such as jogularities which are best dealt with as they arise.

Most of the navigators tend to be helpful – they cross-check each other’s routes - and they don’t mind being approached for advice. Some drivers can find the regularities a bit tedious, depending on the speed/terrain. This will pretty well always be the case, given that safety and PR are paramount. It can, however, get a bit more exciting if you are trying to recover after being baulked or a navigator malfunction.

The cars must be 1977 or older to qualify for the main awards. Newer cars, up to 1985, are welcome – Starlets are popular – and they have a class of their own.

There are basically four events each year: TDC & IMRC, out of Dublin, Cork MC out of, usually, West Cork and UAC starting never far from Belfast but capable of going anywhere.

Depending on where you live, two hotel nights will usually be required. This, allied to an entry fee of circa €400, means that each event is not particularly cheap but then, there are only four of them.

Noel Devlin of IMRC co-ordinated the Retro Challenge Championship introduced in 2008 which gave potential entrants an added incentive to participate.

To date the penalty structure has tended to be somewhat biased in favour of competent autotesters. However, some fresh thinking in this regard should hopefully see the performances on regularities and, particularly, the night navigation section, being more influential.

As with all motorsport disciplines the best way to familiarise yourself with what is involved is to marshal. Fortuitously, an opportunity to do this is imminent. The Irish Classic Retrospective Trial, to give it its full title, will run from Friday 3rd April to Sunday 5th April 2009. If you would like to commit yourself to helping out on this event, even at this early stage, please contact Ian McCulloch (086 3738781).

Mazda MX-5 MK1 MVAT/Targa car
Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:04 pm View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 03 Feb 2009
Posts: 336
Location: Dublin

Post Re: What are Classic Retrospective Trials Reply with quote
Piers14 wrote:

The cars must be 1977 or older to qualify for the main awards. Newer cars, up to 1985, are welcome – Starlets are popular – and they have a class of their own.

Are these years fixed forever or is there a rolling age the same as for classic tax i.e. 30yrs?

It'd useful to know for car shopping Laughing


Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:34 pm View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 04 Feb 2009
Posts: 17
Location: Co.Down

Post Reply with quote

One thing to watch is that the dates are different in UK land, where the cut off is for cars registered Pre 75, and then there is a class for Pre 82, which is only elegible for Class awards.

So if you wanted to go outside Eire just take note

More info can be found here



Michael Beattie
Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:53 pm View user's profile Send private message
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