Sporting Trials (Mudplugging)
Sporting Trials (or Mudplugging) is one of the oldest forms of Motorsport running for more than 50
years, and done in cars that could be used in a number of Motorsport disciplines and at the time driven
to shops or work the next day.
The cars have had much development over the years to what they are today, now built specifically for
mudplugging, cars originally had engines in the front, then engines were put in the back and nowadays
Cars are using motorcycle engines in the front driven through two gearboxes to give lower gear ratio’s,
There are still rear engine cars being built and developed with motorcycle and car engines, and most
cars are home built.
Having said that, there is always strong opinions as to where the engine should go, front or rear and it
always leads to heated discussions among drivers, then if everyone was the same mudplugging would
be very boring.
Mudplugging is a competition to get through 12 off road sections (six done twice) a section is usually
150 meters long and is laid out, over rough, muddy, wet and difficult terrain ideal land would be quarry,
Hillside scrub land, rough farm land, sand pit or a forest.
The sections are laid out over rough terrain and marked out with stakes (Red on left & white on right)
Each section is divided up by 10 gates all numbered 10 down to 0 and the objective is for the driver to
Negotiate all the section without touching a marker. The section is judged by an observer who follows
competitor through section and the driver with the lowest total marks on the day wins.
The sections are driven generally at walking pace and in 1st gear, as the gates are specifically laid out on
hills and hollows with plenty of mud and some water thrown in and there is only one competing car in
the section at any time.
Mudplugging is a family sport with the age from 10 year old (since 2014) old up to 80 at present, with
father competiting against son or daughter and the latter often wins, which leads to a good competitive
spirit within the family.
There are four grades in mudplugging A B C D these grades are reviewed each season, grade A driver
would be the most experienced drivers down to D would be less experienced or beginners with all
others in between.
The season runs from September to April and the season finishes up with a two day trial somewhere
like Dundalk, Carlow, Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny, Enniscorthy, with an overnight in one of these
There are Three motor clubs running Mudplugs ( Sporting Trials) at present Motor Enthusiasts Club,
Garda Motor Club, and Leinster Motor Club, each club would run 5 or 6 trials through the season every
second weekend from September to April, each club would have its own website with information
regarding Sporting Trials, there is also a website set up to give information about Sporting Trials.
If you are interested in getting involved contact any of the clubs who will gladly give advice or help on
any aspect of Mudplugging or full set of Rules and regulations are available on MI website. Sporting Trials (Mudplugging)
Attached is a couple of photos showing a cross section of cars from left Suzuki car front engine, S&S
Erskine motorbike front engine, VW car rear engine and Mog Honda motorbike rear engine