The ‘Perfect Trial’?

Day 6 of Michael Leete’s research project, over on the Classic Trials Facebook Group and available from this link, has caused to me think, once again, about the formula for a ‘Perfect Trial’, as discussed many times in the past but maybe unknown to recent newcomers to the sport.

Tony Branson once referred to this as the Toulmin/Brown Formula, but I know it’s been chewed-over by many others, including Pete Hart, so I make no claim for originality. There is, of course, no such thing as a ‘perfect trial’ (except maybe the one that you win) but the intention was to define a trial that would be enjoyed by the maximum number of average competitors – “to please most of the people most of the time”.

The Formula states that the ‘Perfect Trial’ has:

  • 1/3 of the sections climbed by every competitor, unless they make a stupid mistake. These sections might include the ‘Classic Lanes’ which Michael refers to in his Day 6 question.
  • 1/3 of the sections climbed by most competitors, but presenting a challenge to the less expert, or those in less-developed cars.
  • 1/3 of the sections are where the trial is decided, and can be as challenging as the organisers wish (to get a result on the hills and without resorting to special test times). These sections would probably include the forests and private land which Michael refers to in his Day 6 question.

It would be a boring world if every trial worked to this formula, and no one wants to change events like the Camel Classic (traditionally won with ‘cricket scores’), but I still think it’s not a bad re-starting point for events which may be struggling in their current format.

Someday I’ll get-around to analysing recent trials to see which are a best-fit with this formula, but don’t hold your breath.