It’s current trials folklore that Bristol Motor Club’s Allen Trial is always won on Special Test times because every year a number of competitors finish with a ‘clean sheet’. During last Sunday’s Kyrle Trial Dave Haizelden reminded me that there had been 30 ‘cleans’ on the 2021 Allen, and Pete Hart said that he thought the record was 31 ‘cleans’ on the 1993 Allen, so I decided to see if the folklore was supported by the actual results.
The Allen has run 27 times between (and including) 1993 and 2021. It did not run in 2001 due to Foot & Mouth Disease, nor in 2020 due to Covid-19. Over those 27 years, the Allen has averaged 7.8 Cleans per year, so the folklore obviously has some basis in fact. But is the Allen always won with a ‘clean sheet’ and the quickest times on the Special Tests?
Well … the short answer is “No”: in 2011 and 2012 Dean Partington in the Wasp won with the only ‘clean sheet’ on the day; in 2008 and 2015 there were no ‘clean sheets’ but it was won on the hills – in 2008 by Dean Partington in the Wasp and in 2015 by Nick Farmer in the Fugitive; in 201o there were no ‘clean sheets’ but it was won on Special Test times – Nick Cleal in his Peugeot 205 beating Bill Bennett in his MG J2. And for the other 22 years … it was won with a ‘clean sheet’ AND the quickest time on the Special Tests.