HERO Summer Trial
HERO’s Summer Trial (20 – 23 July) is shaping up to be a colourful and exciting event that steps beyond the usual classic car trial and tour format to embrace other ‘classic’ passions; in this case the majestic classic yachts of the prestigious Panerai British Classic Week held at Cowes.
HERO (the Historic Endurance and Rallying Organisation) has arranged for the classic cars and their crews to spend their pre-event day on the Isle of Wight, where scrutineering will take place in the company of this impressive regatta, finishing off the evening with a dinner hosted by the exclusive Royal Yacht Squadron.
Day one will see the start of the driving, with crews contending with tests and regularity sections on the island before moving back to the mainland to continue the rally in the New Forest. This will include a special visit to the Beaulieu National Motoring Museum, pre-opening hours (where a test is likely to be located), and then a gentle journey to Sussex, before coming to rest at the Goodwood Hotel, and finishing in style with a formal prize-giving dinner at the Spread Eagle Hotel in Midhurst.
Judging by the entry list so far, the Summer Trial will see a broad field of cars, with a good selection of pre-War classics: Lagonda, Alfa Romeo and Lea-Francis, through 60s E-types and Healeys and on to 70s Triumph TRs and Porsche 911s. There’s even a MkI Range Rover in there somewhere. (It’s open to cars made before 1 January 1984.) Whatever you bring, chances are you’ll fit right in.
Like all HERO’s events, the Trial allows you to decide your level of driving commitment, with entrants able to choose between the precision-timed regularities and track-based sprint/slalom tests of the ‘trial’, or, if you don’t fancy throwing your Bentley Continental convertible around the cones, you can simply take the less convoluted tour, stopping at whatever lookout points and places of interest take your fancy. All crews share the same lunch and evening stops, and are supported by comprehensive map books (plus ‘tulip’ road books for trial competitors). The HERO course cars keep a watchful eye on the pack, while the organisation’s resourceful ‘HERO Assist’ maintenance and breakdown crews are always on hand to keep the cars going. You’ll never feel left out or alone.
For those new to classic car events, the Summer Trial is a good one to choose, offering all the ingredients of the long-distance endurance regularities such as the London to Lisbon, while never letting crews feel swamped or intimidated. And there are the treats of luxury restaurants and hotels to be sampled, too. If you’re fairly competition-minded – don’t worry, the Trial loses none of the bite of the other HERO treks. This one will get you warmed up for the rest of the season, and it counts towards the coveted HERO Cup.
If you’re a HERO ‘Premier Member’, you’ll get a 10% discount on the £2106 entry fee. And if you’re not, you might want to consider joining… it should repay itself immediately, and promises a ‘whole world of classic car benefits’ that go beyond this tour.
Text: Rob Scorah
ClassicInside - The Classic Driver Newsletter