SCOR are a competitive off road club based in the south of England. We run Comp Safaris and Trials.
What is a Comp Safari? Well the full title is Competitive Safari. Competitive Safari's are the UK's off road motorsport equivalent of a multi-use (or single venue) stage rally.
A course is set out of between 4 and 12 miles and then the competitors are given a set number of laps to achieve within a certain time frame. Each of the laps is timed and the lowest aggregate time at the end of the day wins. The competition is split up into 4 classes to enable different vehicles and budgets to compete against each other.
Comp Safari is not just about out and out speed. It's a test of reliability, of engineering skill, of ingenuity and above all team sprit. It is not just about one or two competitors in a racer; it's about a whole team. Whole families or groups of mates get involved in making sure their racer makes to the finish line. Whether holding the steering wheel or holding the spanners, everyone plays their part.
Make no mistake, it can be a hard day, but you just have to witness the intense staring at the timings board after each lap to know that hidden just beneath the feverish activity in the pits there is a grin, not just like the Cheshire cats, but the size of Cheshire!
SCOR hold a whole host of Comp Safaris all across the south on varying sites that will test both man and machine, but leave them coming back for more. Such is the attraction of 'just that little bit faster'...
So if you fancy yourself as the next big name in off road racing, or just want a challenge like no other then come along and see what SCOR have to offer. You'll be made more than welcome; as long as you don't disturb a pit crew in the midst of red mist fuelled remedial repair work!
Like many of the most popular games or sports, trialing has only a handful of rules that can be explained in about 5 minutes but hide such subtlety that it draws competitors back time and time again.
I've also heard trialing called "the art of counting backwards while driving" and that pretty much sums it up while keeping with the 'handful of rules' idea.
Each section is set out with a series of gates that are marked with numbered canes. The start of the section is gate 10 and the end of the section is gate 1. Each driver drives between those gates in order 10 down to 1 without stopping (or more likely getting stuck!). If you do stop then you are awarded the score that corresponds to the next gate number, or if you hit a cane then your score is the number on that gate. For instance, stop between gate 4 and 3 and you will get a 3. If you hit gate 4 the then you get a 4. Drive through all the gates and you get a score of zero, or a clear.
The competition is split into 2 classes and the driver with the lowest score in each class at the end of the day is the winner.
You see, there really are only a handful of rules; but here's the subtle bit. The gates are not in a straight line and they are not laid out on a bowling green!
There are a couple of 'tweaks' to the basic concept. On some sections there will be 'crossed canes' arrange in an X form. These denote the edge of a section and you are not allowed to drive outside of the boundary. Also long wheel base vehicles are allowed a shunt.
Within SCOR a long wheel base vehicle is defined as one with a 100 inch or greater wheelbase. A shunt is one reverse maneuver per section allowing you to line up for the next gate, but at least one wheel must remain inside the area of the section.
Unlike other forms of off-road motor sport, trialing can be a family orientated past time. Due to the nature of the competition the whole event takes place in a fairly small area, which also allows everyone to see the entire section from one point. Obviously you will need to move from section to section during the day, but you need never miss any of the action. While one competitor is on the section the rest are gathered around to give the benefit of their advice and how they wouldn't have got stuck there!... but unlike other forms of off-roading everyone will eventually have prove their metal!
So as you can see with trialing there is time to chat and time to drive but the whole thing has a competitive edge where you will have to show your true prowess as an off-road 'Driving God'!