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2020 LROC Night Trial

07 March 2020 - Pieter Greyling
The 2020 trials calendar has officially kicked off and we are excited about what will be on offer this year under the new Leadership of Frik Cilliers. Frik has had extensive experience with off-roading events and is sure to have a few surprises up his sleeve.

As for the first trial of the year we started off with perhaps the most daunting trial event for newcomers and experienced trial drivers alike. This of course can only be the night trial. This trial category has proven to be one of the trial events that provides valuable experience and always adds a bit of humble pie to the mix. A relatively timid obstacle by day becomes a nerve-wracking affair once sight is impaired. There are numerous small things that one notices during the day, that you have to look out for at night to allow you to read an obstacle or line proficiently. These small variances in terrain and depth perception take the difficulty and skill into another realm of off-roading. The course walk beforehand was to be the key to success.

Some more astute participants would have also noticed that lots of focused light is very rarely the solution when traversing an off-road obstacle at night. A softer more spread light, enables a more in depth read on the terrain without the blinding glare and dicey depth perception that goes with it. A combination of dims, park lights, main beams, spotlights, work lights and the ever brighter light bars made for some interesting comparisons. Each had their place and it was fun to see how different lights go about illuminating their surroundings.  The odd bumps and bruises obtained by one or two vehicles was purely from the lack of light and not over technical obstacles. A sober reminder that things should be taken that little bit slower in the dark. The marshals had an interesting time adjudicating the proceedings themselves with one or two falls, facing light bars straight on and just not being able to see what was going on. All in all a learning experience for everyone involved.

The sounds and smells of the various Landy’s in the cool night air added to the sense of occasion to the events already exciting atmosphere. From the burble of the classic range rover V8, to familiar td5’s and eerily quiet yet superbly capable Discovery’s 3&4’s... there was certainly no shortage of entertainment. As tail lights disappeared over hills and headlights seemed to reappear around every corner the night was slowly creeping to an end. The mood around the campfire was jolly as scores where tallied up. The points system may have been misleading as to the victor of the evening, as anybody who participated had surely gained some more experience and confidence when driving off-road at night and that can only be described as a win-win.

Thank you to all who attended the night trial and made the event the success that it should be. We look forward to seeing some big turnouts as Frik takes us into what will surly be a new era for trials.



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