Moffatt & Moran swap Autotest & Hillclimb for Sporting Trials…temporarily!
What do a six-time British Hillclimb champion and an eight-time British Autotest champion do in the off-season?
They team up and test themselves in a totally different discipline, of course!
While waiting for his 2023 season to officially begin, Autotest star Alastair Moffatt noticed that the second round of this year’s Motorsport UK British Sporting Trials Championship was fairly local to him – Hagley & District Light Car Club’s Geoff Taylor Trial.
Used to riding solo around an Autotest course, Moffatt knew he would have to enlist someone to accompany him as a passenger if he were to take on a Sporting Trial – and who better to choose than Hillclimb legend Scott Moran?
So both set off to their destination just outside Bridgenorth, Telford, for an afternoon of grassroots motorsport, albeit not their usual choice.
Moffatt entered in a borrowed car from Robin Jäger, his Kincraft car built in 1978 – coincidentally, the same year Moffatt was born.
With a combined total of 14 championships in one car, how would the two fare?
“Over the years, in both disciplines of Hillclimb and Autotest, competitors have met in the off-season in Sporting Trials – great names like Tony Marsh and Ken Wharton, for example,” explained Moffatt.
“I got in touch with Scott and said ‘it’s a local-ish event for us both, so let’s have a go.’
“Eight hills were set out over three rounds. We made a steady start despite the tricky conditions, with the day focusing on a technique called ‘trickling,’ which involves keeping the car driving on minimum revs.
“Out of a strong showing of 30+ competitors, we finished the day in 14th overall, having fallen from 4th earlier in the day – so maybe our pairing has potential!
“But I don’t think reigning Motorsport UK champion Thomas Bricknell would be too worried about us just yet.”
Moran added, “I’m not used to all the wheels not being on the ground at all times, but it’s amazing where the car will go.”
Well done to Richard & Joe Sharp, winners of the Geoff Taylor Sporting Trial, and best of luck to both Alastair and Scott in their respective ventures this season.
Find out more about the BTRDA/Motorsport UK championships in Sporting Trials and Autotests here, and check out the British Hillclimb Championship here.
Photos: Chris Ponsworth