After yesterday’s single day Belgium GP the 2016 FIM Trial World Championship moves quickly on and returns to the normal two-day format in Great Britain with a brand new venue at Tong in the heart of Yorkshire this coming weekend.
Tong will also host the opening round of the 2016 FIM Women’s Trial World Championship, the first time that Great Britain has hosted a World female event, and a real boost for reigning champion Emma Bristow as she begins her title defence.
The northern county of Yorkshire is the accepted homeland of Trial in Great Britain and this year’s event has been promoted as ‘Trial is coming home’ as amazingly it is twenty-three years since the region last hosted a Trial GP. The same region where the revered Lampkin family has lived for several decades.
Great Britain has a fantastic record of hosting FIM Trial World Championship events and in the series’ forty-two year history has only missed promoting a round in five of those years.
From 1975, when the first British Trial Grand Prix event was staged at Congresbury, near Bristol, in Somerset and won by Dave Thorpe, the UK leg of the series has been staged over the length and breadth of the British Isles.
Geographically Trial GP in Britain has visited extremities such as Bovey Tracey in Devon in the far south west to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands, more famously known as the base for the Internationally renowned Scottish Six Days Trial, to the centrally situated and equally famous Hawkstone Park, England’s most famous motocross venue. The British Trial GP has also been staged in the Isle of Man, home of the TT races, and in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.
In Yorkshire, the dales village of Bainbridge hosted the trial in 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1989 while the market town of Pateley Bridge was the venue in 1986 and 1993 – which was the last time the series visited the county.
The British Trial Grand Prix has been promoted in the stone quarry venue at Nord Vue, Cumbria for the last four years and nine times World Champion Toni Bou – Repsol Honda has been unbeatable at the venue as he has racked-up a total of twelve wins in Britain, one more than Dougie Lampkin who claimed eleven victories at his home GP. Japanese veteran Takahisa Fujinami has scored an impressive three hundred and twenty-two points in the twenty years he has been competing at the British GP, more than any other rider.
The British round at Tong promises a return to traditional Trial, as there will be a majority of ‘natural’ sections with an array of man-made rocky hazards complimenting the climbs and steep gullies this coming weekend.
British GP – Key Facts
- First British Trial Grand Prix held in 1975 – Winner Dave Thorpe
- Last British Trial Grand Prix held in 2015 – Winner Toni Bou
- 36 x British Trial Grand Prix events in total
- 10 x Consecutive British Trial Grand Prix victories – Dougie Lampkin 1996 to 2005
- 322 – Most points scored at British Trial Grand Prix – Takahisa Fujinami 1996 to 2015
- 1993 – Last British Trial Grand Prix held in Yorkshire – Pateley Bridge
Photo – FIM/G2F Media