Tricky hills don't stop veteran Hirst

Experience and precision win out

Last updated 05:00 12/11/2012
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All action at the Tarata Cup

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Experience and precision proved the winning formula when 16 teams battled steep hills to be this year's winner of the Tarata Cup.

Allan and Dot Enright's Tarata Rd farm was the venue for Saturday's fourth and final round of Taranaki's Sporting Trials but the big prize on offer was the Tarata Cup, now in its 16th year.

Inglewood's Sid Hirst, a sporting trials veteran of 34 years, took out this year's honours winning both the Tarata Cup and the best of four rounds.

Mr Hirst makes many of the cars used in sporting trials in New Zealand and it was his late mother, Tess Hirst, who donated the Tarata Cup.

Club committee member Mike Webber, who was also competing, said competitor numbers from outside of the region was low this year. "We've had a few come from Waikato in the past but they haven't arrived this year and we're always looking for new people to get involved," he said.

The object of the sport is to drive as far as possible through each course without stopping, running over pegs or going outside the section boundaries.

Sporting trials date back to the 1930s in England where it began as a low-cost motorsport.

Auckland's Chris McComb, the only competitor from outside Taranaki at Saturday's event, travelled down with his wife, Jane, to challenge for the cup.

The English couple have been living in New Zealand for seven years and say sporting trials have been revived in England in recent years.

"Chris is keen to get a club up and running in Auckland so he doesn't have to be travelling every time he competes," Mrs McComb said. "He initially found out about the sport online because he was looking for a way to get involved with motorsport that wasn't too expensive."

Teams had another day of action yesterday competing more socially in the Riverview teams challenge on Bryan Hocken's Tarata farm.

Rain slowed up the challenge and the teams decided to pull the pin at midday, Mr Webber said.

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- Taranaki Daily News


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