Car Competitions and Judging

Hi all,

First of all may I say a big thank you to everyone involved with the organisation, administration, marshalling and judging of the car competitions. It must be quite a headache at times.

Having entered a few of these competitions now, I think the new judging format and criteria is a vast improvement on previous years and all but eliminates the ‘personal preference/favourite’ element that individual judges may have. I also got the feeling that all cars were being judged on a near equal footing. However, in my humble opinion there are still a couple of areas that need a second thought…

There is nothing wrong with the issue of a single trophy to the winner of each class, but many hours of preparation are put in to every car by their owners and some recognition of this I feel is a must for a club of this size standing, especially if you want to encourage owners to participate in these competitions. Perhaps the reinstatement of the 2nd and 3rd rosette would go a long way here?

Also, it would be nice to receive some proper feedback from the judges. After being told to return to the vehicle by the chap on the PA, I for one felt ignored and bewildered while the individual class winners (as it turned out to be) were told to drive into the arena. My wife then had to spend 15 minutes hunting down my individual score sheets so that we could see where I had lost marks and where improvements could be made, just in case there is a next time.

Finally, how far was I away from the class winner, one point, twenty points, a hundred points, who knows?  I do hope that the total marks achieved by each entrant are going to be published in the next STHT magazine…  Or how about a white board by the judge’s tent showing these marks? Simple things that go a long way…

Anyway, another good event overall, how you book the sunshine every year I just don’t know, but keep on doing it…

Best Regards


PS           I hate ‘White’ cars Wink

I totally agree with you. We had a brilliant day, great weather and even better, only about an hour from my front door.

However, as another competitor (in the lightly modified section) I agree that the decision to only have a 1st place award was a mistake.

A group of us only found out that there was no 3rd prize at 3:15pm and wondered why no one had called for the 2nd prize winner. There was a total lack of communication.

As for the points awarded it seems a complete mess. As far as I can work out the points awarded to the first 4 people of the lightly modified section were:

1st (and only) prize: 263 points

2nd place: 267 points

3rd place: 257 points

4th place: 259 points

How did that happen? I wish I knew!! I have sent a personal message to Iain asking for an explanation so am waiting for an answer.

I thought I’d better post this quick before this thread is locked like the other one from Bobby65 the other day.

Whilst I agree with most of what has already been said I do however feel there is no point to the different classes as all cars were judged on “fit, finish and cleanliness”. So if you like me are entered into the modified class you got no points what so ever for any modifications meaning a standard car could get the same points.

We have taken a step forward in the way the judging is carried out and two steps back in what is judged!

We are back to the cleanest car winning the modified class not the car with the best mods and presented well.

Also what happened to the mileage adjustment?

A lot of time and effort went into my car but only the cleaning was judged.

On a positive note I liked the way the judges worked and thanks goes to them for their time and effort.

Trust me on this one Drew I was looking at mods in the engine bay and just how well they were put together/workmanship, we do also judge in all this on condition and I judge all in the same frame of mind, I had no preference on whose it was, although I would have given extra points if I was judging the exterior of Tony’s for his gold stripes (which is a joke before you go deep Drew).

Alan was fine with the points deleted by me because it was honest.

I judge everyone the same and will carry on to in the future if needed to, I will be honest and realistic in how I judge, if anyone had any problems with my knock down on points please feel free to contact me, I even gave a judging sheet to Alan to judge my own that was there on the Autolink stand, he gave mine a score of about 3 out of 100 from one sheet, lol, although his model RS got a clear sheet of 100 points.

I was honest and so were the other two chaps with me, some of the ponits mentioned above have been highlighted in the right place to the right ears and I am sure will be all sorted for the next event, feed back is good to be able to put things right and move forward for everyone.

Oh, and Tony, it was good to put a face to a name buddy ;0), Drew if you would of asked I would have talked you through what I was judging and the deletion of points, I am not there to sleep with anyone put use my area of know how to judge an Mx/Roadster but I do get the impression that no matter what is done you will be never happy with anything regardless buddy.

I am always open for contact and a good chat from any Mx/Roadster owner as most of you have had a good chin wag with me.

Stick with it, we are on it and will get it right.


MM I had no problem with the marks (or should I say minus marks) on the sheets, my problem was that there where no fields that allowed the judges to give positive points for modifications carried out.

Also why does a car in the modified class need an empty glove box? I lost 5 points because I forgot to put that stuff (the judges words not mine) into the boot!

For the record MM the judge who marked the interior stated he could not give extra marks for mods, he was only interested in fit, finish and cleanliness.
To highlight this I scored a perfect 10 for my highly modified dashboard whilst a fellow competitor also scored a perfect 10 for a near standard dashboard, hence no recognition for that work. Even the other competitor said he should have got fewer points than me.

As I said before the judges did a very good good, it was not their work I question but the areas that are judged and how points are awarded or more correctly not awarded.


Drew I take this point on board and will be allowing for this in the review of modified class


As to the glovebox and boot both should be empty so they can be judged


As there was no announcement of 3rd and 4th place I have no idea where you got that idea from!!


As to the 1st place yes a mistake was made in the rush to meet the deadline, but we are working to resolve this and put in safeguards for next time, not trying to hide anything.

Thanks for the response but I have an issue with the boot being empty, what if like me the competitor was traveling home after the competitions and has their luggage in there? Don’t forget it may rain and also all competitors will have clean stuff. 

I’m only reffering to the modified class when I say I think there is too high a focus on cleanliness and things like no creases in a leather seat when it is a modified daily driver, or may be I can enter the daily driver class?



My score sheet had “4th” written on the top of it. The total score written was 259 points.

I saw the score sheet that had “3rd” written at the top and it had 257 points. 

I was just trying to work out the points system as it didn’t seem to make any sense. If something doesn’t make sense surely it right to ask and find out? After spending quite a bit of my time getting the car ready, getting to the event early and spending most of the rally beside my car I was none the wiser where my car came.

To be honest I don’t want to start an arguement so I’m going to leave it, put it down to being a huge mistake and try to forget the whole thing. I feel like i’ve wasted my time.

Must say I have to agree with the majority of feedback given towards the judging thus far but thought I would add my bit.

In previous shows I seem to always remember 1st-3rd places being awarded. Maybe that changed at this years spring rally but I saw no notification that

only 1st & 2nd* would be awarded at Sandringham beforehand or when entering. I totally understand how to award 2nd & 3rd places in classes with only

1 or 2 entrants would be farcical but clearly more must be done to encourage entrants into all classes but not sure Sandringham will help with this!

*What did happen to 2nd places. No-one has come forward with a reason and Robbie and the Eastern Region organisers say the competition and decision

was totally out of their hands. A comment from the chairman explaining this would be welcome.

I also notice that there doesn’t appear to be any official record on the forum of results from previous events? Maybe it’s there somewhere but an official record

of competition results should surely be a good thing. At present new members can only find out this kind of information by reading it in peoples signatures.

As for the judging, the queries I have are: Losing 8 points on the interior marking but not knowing what for as no comments were written on the sheet.

Losing 1 mark for marks on the roof when 4 out of 6 cars in class had roofs down and tonnau covers on so roofs not inspected?

Losing marks because some fins on the radiator are marked on a 16 year old car with the original rad fitted, we’re not in the concours class!

And strangely when others are moaning about being judged on how clean or close to standard the car is being deducted 4 points for standard front and rear lights ?(actually not standard as cystal clear front lights and all remaining lights upgraded to LED’s) but then losing another point for having a modified ariel (MK3 rubber type).

Overall I thought the judges did a good job but we need to have consistancy in all areas.


On another note, I’m told the white MK2 RS recieved a perfect score? If this is so then why did it not win the best in show award? Instead that went to the concours red MK1 which didn’t win it’s own class? Surely a best in show has to win its own class but I assume that it is not right to have any car win more than one award.

Interestingly the judges I spoke to were not even aware of a best of show award so I can only assume that popped in by the same mystery person who cancelled the 2nd place awards!



As for my own grievances of not getting correctly awarded on the day, I thought I might have at least heard something from the Competitions Coordinator, Richard Nicol.Frown

As to to your own greivance I apologize for the administrative error that lead to this unfortunate position and the position it has left you in. You will receive the prize and trophy for your win in due course. If have any any other comments please do not hesitate to contact me directly on the email addresses you have for me from your entrant correspondence

Thank you Richard

MY mistake, having read your comments about the white RS model I see that I misread some earlier replies and PM’s and the fact they were talking about a scale model went totally over my headEmbarassed


Still no-one wants to comment on what happened to the 2nd place awards for classes with more than 3 entries. Seeing as all the first and second trophies were laid out in the marquee most of the day is this not being disrespectful to all the competition entrant’s and the time and effort put into prepping their cars ? 

The marking down on rads was me, if i coulud see that the engine side of the rad was full of dents etc from sockets, spanners what ever i did and will drop points,it was nothing to do with age, is it a mod that rad fins have been bashed??

The attension to detail stll needs to be carried out into the engine bays also regardless, i had a good crack with everyone i met and judged roadsters for, i am honest and they were all judged the same, how can i test a SC or turbo??? i can only look and judge on workmanship of the aftermarket item fitted.

Throw me the keys and i’ll test the boosted cars?i have no problem with that but they will not come back clean.

It was me also that had a bit of fun with Alan and the model car i thought that was what it was all about real owners ,real cars in a real world? it was also me  that gave Alan a judging sheet to go and have some fun with my own that was on the Autolink stand which will be in for judging in the next events when she is finished, the score sheet that came back was great and i am more than willing to show what he found,as it was just for a bit of fun and i laughed my t*ts off.

The only problem i personally hit was from someone that was showing a car and came across very rude/attacking, which i let go over my head because of what i had traveled all the way down there from 3am to do, which took 5 and a half hours to get back because of traffic in the end…10.30pm.

Yeah there is teething problems, there will always be some kind of problem with events that big, anyone that tells you different is full of it regardless of it being a OC evnet, M’G event what ever,but they will all get sorted , because without feed back whichever it is, good or bad is needed to move forward and make things better, and it will be done you can count on it,remember we do this because we are onwers to, and we care and we have a passion, otherwise we would not be invovled full stop.

Your problem in all this is well on the way to being corrected and sorted asap.

I thought we were all there to to have some fun and enjoy a rally for once for a open top sports with the sun bouncing down.

Sorry but i had to say my piece


Dear Mazda Mender

Please dont take my comments as an attack of you or the other judges. I’m just trying to add my comments to the whole debate of show judging. My comment about the radiators is that outside of pure concours classes surely some degree of wear and tear on 15+ year old cars should surely be exceptable. My radiator works fine and it is just not finacebly viable for me to change it just because I choose to enter a competition? Light age damage to fins is normally clearly noticeable against a poorly cared for and dented one. Anyhow, moving on…If it was yourself judging the MK1’s then you marked me down on several areas but I have no complaint about that as my engine bay is a clean example but no where near a full on show example. In fact you may remember I asked at one point what you comparing in my bay against the standard red example.

My comments about consistancy was aimed at having 2 scorecards with comments on marks dropped and 1 without, frustrating! Also that where others were commenting on being judged against how clean/original the car is that I lost marks for having apparently standard looking lights and a replacement ariel? I realise it is not easy to be a judge in these events and that it is meant to be fun, for everyone. My wife did say why don’t I help with the judging but I didn’t feel qualified as I only have experience of MK1’s and as my car was entered into that class clearly I couldn’t judge others.

I look forward to recieving a trophy in the near futureSmile


At last a happy face Cool


Edit:- i do not see why not that you cannot help out in the judging side of things, but you will not be able to judge your section, plus we are all here to help if you get stuck on specs etc.


Seeing as all the first and second trophies were laid out in the marquee most of the day is this not being disrespectful to all the competition entrant’s and the time and effort put into prepping their cars ? 


Robert, might it also be an assumption that 2 sets of trophies in different sizes and colours were there in the capacity of first and second prizes? Should they even have been set out in this way? for all anyone knows this may have been an error in set up, a big box of cups may have been for more than one purpose or event - and in fact exactly which set was to be used for any purpose was not decided at the time of set up, the only cup on the table with a purpose was that of a concourse trophy, this was thanks to the Club’s relationship with Footman James and a need to fulfill the arrangements with them.??

There is no disrespect shown to any competitors entirely the opposite there is utmost respect for all who take the time and effort to prepare and enter their vehicles, and we are trying hard to get this in shape, but competitions happens twice a year, so practice for all aspects of it is a little difficult to come by and no consideration from competitors is given to that - it has to be right and it has to perfect for me… ?The Club is striving to see competitions as an important and growing part of the National events - and taking time to pull together a robust judging platform now ensures that competitors can establish the way in which their vehicle scored and retain their information to help them to improve their vehicle. This all came about to improve and answer the prior criticism of not having any clue about scoring or being left with any hints about how your car was marked (appreciate you might not have had some comments on minor score deductions, but at the very least you know in what part of the car and area they were and not left with a total score).??

So is it not also perhaps disrespectful to all the people (and there are a lot), who have taken all the time to put this in place, gather all the resources and input that could put trophies on a table regardless of (shape and size), who get up in the middle of the night to spend hours travelling and give their whole day at the event judging - all to help to put prizes into the hands of a very small number of Club members at what is perceived ( by other areas of the Club) to be a great imbalance of appreciated budget for the people who, when they do win - never seem to be happy about it?

It is impossible to ever think that we will have an event go off with 100% satisfaction.?I think that competitions will always generate high degree of emotion because it takes an investment of time, energy and money by all who enter and I don’t think that there will ever be a way to thank everyone who enters a car in a way that would meet everyone’s needs, there will always be someone who will not be content with the actions we take in this area. Some want trophies, some want rosettes and some certificates and we can’t do it all, what is done is the best that can be on the day and I respect the decisions made by all the judging team to their best ability on the day.

What I will say in this case is that small and simple mistake in calculating or reading lines on a spreadsheet under a tight deadline to get things completed on the programme schedule in the ring has caused a big headache - and for me the past couple of days in getting this rectified after a few days of wash up - has slightly tarnished weeks of work in getting together one of the best Rallies we have done - and has caused undue level of work to get resolution in place in place - this could not be foreseen, planning can only extend so far when we try our best to factor in the human element of making a mistake.

Personally am I sorry this has happened? absolutely.  I wanted the competitions to be a shining light this time round to encourage people to participate next year in the 20th Anniversary Rally. As part of the preparation I went away and brought in Sponsors, Prizes, and shiny cups all ready to give  - and I naturally feel a little let down with what has happened in the execution of the awards, but I take away from it all the progress that has been made, better scoring, better parking, better signage, better understanding from competitors on classes and a harder look at the issues that arose here. And a list as long as you like to make sure that this never happens again.

However for me the biggest issue is that we do not have enough people volunteering to help to judge the field - all of the judges have come forward with thoughts following the event, but the area of common discussion is TIME - each car takes about 15 minutes to cover - 33 cars which leads to a position of 3 teams of 3 taking 3 hours to cover this - and that is in ideal world conditions, in reality it took all the time available on the day. It has been commented to me on the time it did take the judging teams just in terms of their own personal comfort, toilets drinks etc. 

So to speed up effectively needs double the numbers which would see 18 people required to judge 30 or so cars and it starts to become a burden of where does the Club find this number of people to do this at all our events, especially when people don’t know if they are coming until a few days before the event? 

So - make the process easier?

It has taken over year to develop and bring together the new scoring system - and I think we have nailed down a a damn good judging criteria and process of the cars and it is down to the bear essential to give a complete assessment of the vehicle. If we keep this in place will continue to lead to members understanding how their car competed and criteria that will see them improve their vehicles as well as to go on to do well in other non Club competitions - and help to support owners with the older cars to help to maintain them for entry into Classic shows as the cars mature further.??So I can’t really see a way to make it better without creating a system that is not then worth doing and we revert to times gone by that were borne out of convenience and not competition - I know you have score numbers - and I hope that you feel that numbers that are scored are based on solid evidence?

Will we do comps at Brooklands? I’d like to, but at the moment until we can do further wash up, I can’t say that they will go ahead watch the Brooklands Announcements from December, but I wholeheartedly encourage members to enter competitions as part of our events  - And if you don’t feel you’d want to compete could I ask you to consider joining the judging side of things as I think you certainly care enough about the car and the competitions to want to help?

I do hope that your call from the Chairman has set this at ease and as soon as I have the trophy prepared and a prize to give then I will get this to you, but I cant promise that this will be able to come as quickly as the apology that has now formally been given, but it will be sent just as soon as I can.

After Robbie, Iain and Richard alerted me to the mistake I offered to ring Robert to formally apologise on behalf of the Owners Club. I have just spoken with Robert and he has accepted the apology. We spoke also about the trails and tribulations of competitions and judging and I will take forward his thoughts and the views expressed here when the National Committee review the outcome of the National Rally at it’s meeting later this month.

I hope though this has not detracted from members overall view that it was a great Rally and as I did not get a chance to thank the judges for all their hard work on the day I do so now and  hope they will feel able to help us in 2014.

Roger Mead, Club Chairman

Thank you Roger for the call and the apology which I am pleased and happy to except.

Please pass on my thanks to all those involved in organising the rally and judging the competitions.

Looking forward to next year