REGULAR hill-climb competitor Richard Walker has changed track to make his debut in the annual Clee Hill Trials.

Walker and and friend Richard Williams dusted off a specialist machine, which had been largely untouched for 20 years, to line up among 60 cars in the hills of the south Shropshire countryside.

Walker confirmed afterwards that the vehicle - The Bradbury Badger – would be returning to the slopes in the near future.

“The machine we used was called The Bradbury Badger, which dates from 1971, and has a Beetle engine and floorpan with a bespoke body attached,” said Walker, a hill-climb enthusiast.

“It had been in a barn untouched for more than 20 years and was recently rescued by a family member who then sold it to Richard Williams.

“We decided to enter the event to see how we’d get on and were amazed at how friendly all the other competitors were and with their genuine interest in the car.

“Several people recognised it and said how good a machine had been in the past, so the pressure was on for us as young trialling rookies.”

Organised by the Midland Automobile Club, the event attracted a diverse array of machines ranging from a Ford Model A, through VW Beetles and Suzuki X90s, to purpose-built specialist buggy style cars.

Cars must be road-legal and takes it in turns to negotiate short sections of narrow track within marker posts and with varying degrees of steepness and traction. Individual points are awarded for the longest distance managed on each section.

Walker said: “We had only done basic last-minute preparations to get it on the road for this event and I’m afraid this was patently obvious when we had several issues with the throttle linkage, ignition system, a misfire and a lost exhaust, which was thankfully retrieved by the marshals.

“However, after these small set-backs and with the brilliant support of fellow competitors, we had a fantastic day and actually did quite well on the afternoon sections, so we are now eagerly awaiting the official results.”

He added: “I can definitely confirm that The Bradbury Badger will be back out on the slippery slopes as soon as possible.”