Ernest Owen Car Trial

The Ernest Owen Car Trial is our British and BTRDA championship car trial. Held on the hills of Catton Park, near Burton on Trent, the event regularly wins the best event of the year.

The event has pioneered some new ideas that, if popular, may become commonplace in future PCTs! These included

  • A few simple timed tests or hills
  • Stop and restarts on sections
  • Hills you are not be allowed to examine.
  • Time limits on hill examination
  • New hills and hill designs including easier routes or starts for non experts.

This was all in the interest of trying to put some verve, excitement and new interest back into PCTs.

The following is taken from the BTRDA website with permission from Nick Pollitt

A Car Trial (formally called  a Production Car Trial or PCT) can best be described as a sporting trial suitable for standard production cars, bringing to the sport a high degree of skill and commitment.

Cars are essentially unmodified but usually carry ballast to improve the grip of the standard road tyres. However, there is a new class (Class One) for production cars less than 12 years old which are carrying no ballast other than a sump guard. Class One cars have to be driven to the events.  For full details of the classes on BTRDA® events, see the championship regulations.

Competing on grassy surfaces, cars have to proceed with unassisted forward motion through sections set out on a hillside, placing a premium on the ability to place and drive the car skillfully and accurately whilst retaining grip on a slippery surface.  The further up the section you get, the better (lower) the score, and the lowest total score at the end of the event wins the class.  An event would typically consist of 32 hills – 4 rounds of 8 hills.

A passenger must be carried in the front of the car; known as the “bouncer” they can provide valuable weight to the driven wheels when called for by the driver.