Another sizzling summer speed spectacular at Gurston Down!
Location: 1 mile west of Broad Chalke, 9 miles SW of Salisbury, Wiltshire. Turn off the A354 at Coombe Bissett on the unclassified road to Broad Chalke, follow event signs.
Dates: Saturday July 18th & Sunday July 19th (practice only Saturday)
Times: Practice from 0830 both days, competition from approx. 1030 Sunday.
Admission: adults £6 Saturday, £10 Sunday, accompanied under 15s free, free paddock entry, free parking.
• Capacity entry
• Rounds of the BMTR Midland Hillclimb Championship and the TTC Group Top Ten Challenge
• Round 4 of the Meadens Skoda Gurston Down Hillclimb Championship and BARC (SW) Top Ten Challenge
• Everything from the popular roadgoing classes to big V8 powered single seaters, and all manner of great cars in between!
• Plus the Downton Engineering Works & Social (DEWS) Car Club Speed Series, a blast from Wiltshire’s engineering past
Two days of spectacular action are in store over the weekend of July 18th and 19th as the Midland Hillclimb Championship contingent makes its annual visit to Gurston Down to join the local championship contenders. Valuable points are at stake in both series, and in addition there will be two ‘Run Offs’, thrilling shoot outs for those registered in the TTC Group Top Ten Challenge to bring Sunday’s morning and afternoon sessions to exciting conclusions.
Can Jason Mourant set another Gurston BTD in his 3.2 OMS 28? Copyright: Akina Media
The Meadens Skoda Gurston Down Hillclimb Championship is finely poised with three drivers, Simon Neve (over 2000cc roadgoing series production Mitsubishi Evo 6), Stephen Moore (over 2000cc modified series production Mitsubishi Evo 6) and Jonathan Gates (up to 2000cc sports libre Force LM), tied for joint first place, and a number of others in the frame for the top positions. And the BARC (SW) Top Ten Challenge could actually be settled this weekend if the current leader Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo) comes first or second among the registered contenders.
You can’t get closer to the action than at Gurston Down Speed Hillclimb, and with excellent catering, refreshment and ice cream outlets on site everything is in place for a great value, exciting weekend of motorsport!
In the strong up to 2000cc roadgoing series production class Adam and Andy Greenen are sure to challenge for the win in their rapid 2.0 Honda Civic Type R. They will be joined by former Gurston Champion Paul Webster in his 1.9 Mazda MX5, and he was only a third of a second behind the Greenens in June… A 19-strong chasing pack complements the biggest class of the day.
The over 2000cc roadgoing series production class will once again see Simon Neve run his rapid 2.3t Mitsubishi Evo 6, and he will be aiming for the class win by a clear margin again to maintain his joint lead of the 2015 Gurston Championship. Up against him though are some strong Midland Championship contenders including Nigel Burke (2.0t Subaru Impreza) and Robert Lancaster-Gaye (3.6t Porsche 997 Turbo).
Simon Neve jointly heads the Gurston Championship. Copyright: Akina Media
In the roadgoing specialist production class the probable favourite for the class win will be Piers Thynne in his 1.3 turbocharged Westfield Megabusa. Among others pushing Piers will be Steve Holland in his 1.6 Caterham Hayabusa and Adrian Lewis (1.4 Westfield Megabusa) who took a third place in June.
The marque sports car class up to 2000cc should see Graham Beale go well in his 1.8 litre Ginetta G20. Graham is fourth overall in the Gurston Championship, just behind the joint leading trio, so a good result will maintain the pressure on the leaders. Can Nick Morgan (1.8 Lotus Elise) get close enough to take valuable fractions off Beale’s potential points score though?
The over 2000cc marque sports car class should be a cracker again, with 2014 Gurston Down Hillclimb Champion Simon Purcell in his 1.8 supercharged Lotus Elise, up against Tim Painter and Andy Fraser in their 3.6 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. The June double header saw a win each for Simon Purcell and Tim Painter, but it was the former who set the weekend’s fastest time, just 16 hundredths outside the class record.
In the up to 1400cc modified series production class we should expect Neil Turner to go well in his 1.4 Mini Cooper ‘S’. Neil is currently fifth overall in the Gurston Championship and he will be aiming for a clear win to keep up his challenge. Midland class leader Carl Jones fields his 1.4 Austin Mini too, so could we see a battle royal here? And we can never discount Derek Mullis in his 1.3 Mini Cooper ‘S’, for during his hillclimbing career the former Gurston champion has made over 1000 ascents of the tricky Wiltshire course!
Colin Satchell runs in his ultra-rapid 2.0 Peugeot 205 GTi in the up to 2000cc modified series production class and he will start as favourite for the win here. Up against him are two Midland contenders, Steve Bailey, also 1.9 Peugeot 205 GTi-mounted, and Peter Kukainis in his 2.0 Ford Escort Mexico.
Still holding the joint lead in the Gurston Down Hillclimb Championship after round 3 in June is Stephen Moore, who goes in his Janspeed 2.0 Mitsubishi Evo 6 in the over 2000cc modified series production saloon car class. Once again he will be looking for a clear class win to consolidate that points lead, and if conditions are right he may be able to get under the class record to earn bonus points; he was less than a quarter of a second away from the record in June. Geoff Twemlow runs his 2.1t Subaru Impreza in this class too.
Stephen Moore is equal top in the Gurston Championship. Copyright: Akina Media
In the over 2000cc modified production sports car class will be Gurston regular Mark Walker in his 3.9 Porsche Cayman S. Mark has upped the power of his lovely Porsche and is enjoying getting to grips with it on Gurston’s tricky twists and turns. But he faces very strong opposition from, among others, current Midland series leader and class record holder Mike Turpin (2.2s Vauxhall VX220).
The 2014 Gurston Down Top Ten Challenge winner Jonathan Gates will once again go in his rapid 1.3 supercharged Force LM in the up to 2000cc sports libre class and he will be aiming for another clear class win to maintain his joint lead of the 2015 Gurston Championship. Among the chasing pack will be the Wilton Racing duo, Chris Cannell and Sue Hayes in their new 1.3 supercharged Empire Evo. Both carved chunks off their times during the course of June’s double-header event and are really getting to grips with their stunning new car. Among the Midland visitors will be the class leading 1.3 Brytec Bullet of Thomas and Henry Grantham-Wright. And look out for perhaps the most unusual Citroen 2CV you’ve ever seen, fielded by Alexander de Vries…
Jonathan Gates shares the lead of the Gurston Championship. Copyright: Akina Media
What the over 2000cc sports libre class lacks in numbers it more than makes up for in quality with some great machinery running. Keith Diggle will once again run his beautifully self-engineered 2.2 WEV HCS. But he will be up against the class record holder, Nic Mann aboard his astonishing 1.7 turbocharged Mannic Beattie. As well as its conventional turbocharged Ford engine this car features a helicopter gas turbine driving its turbocharger to maintain constant boost pressure AND has four-wheel drive for amazing traction… If you haven’t seen this car before, it has to be seen to be believed.
In the very competitive up to 1100cc racing car class one of quickest Gurston regulars is James Moore who goes in his 1.1 OMS 2000M. But the locals have some great opposition from the Midlands this weekend, including class front runners Simon Andrews (1.0 OMS 28) and Simon Fidoe (1.0 Empire Wraith). And making his Gurston debut is Aberdeen domiciled Steve Marr who runs the amazing 1.1 PCD Saxon, which set the class record in the hands of the late Rob Barksfield back in 2004.
The 1600cc racing car class always produces fast times and one of the fastest drivers at Gurston will be Ed Hollier who goes in his 1.6 Empire Evo again. He certainly looks like the man to beat in the class, and potentially could wrap up the Gurston Top Ten Challenge, which he currently leads with a maximum 30 points from the first three rounds. He just has to be first or second fastest of the registered Gurston contenders! Among the drivers who might upset Hollier’s apple cart are Peter D. Smith (1.6 Force) and Sean Gould aboard his company’s latest creation, the 1.6 Gould GR59.
Can Ed Hollier wrap up the 2015 BARC (SW) Top Ten Challenge? Copyright: Akina Media
There’s a very strong up to 2000cc racing car class this weekend, with plenty of Midland Championship registered contenders running. Simon Moyse (1.3s Gould GR59) and Andy McBeath (1.3s OMS 25) traded class wins in our June double header event, and among others who will go well is Tim Davies in the 2.0 Pilbeam MP88 shared with Bill Morris. But the class outcome is very hard to predict.
The over 2000cc racing car class ought to produce a good battle too, with Oliver Tomlin, second fastest in this event last year, likely to be the bookies’ BTD bet in his 4.0 Judd-propelled Pilbeam MP97. But Jason Mourant (3.2 OMS 28) went well in our Saturday June event, taking a narrow BTD from Ed Hollier, and it could well be close between Mourant, Tomlin and Hollier for BTD again.
Oliver Tomlin in the 4 litre Pilbeam MP97 Judd could be a good bet for BTD. Copyright: Simon McBeath
Johnathen Varley (1.6 March 772P) and Stuart Ridge (2.8 Pilbeam MP53) jointly lead the Midland Championship class for sports racing and racing cars manufactured up to 1985, but Ridge’s Pilbeam should have a useful power advantage at Gurston.
Recent Gurston returnee Antony Orchard runs in his 1.3 Westfield ‘Bakerbusa’ again in the up to 2000cc modified specialist production class. Also making his belated but welcome seasonal debut at Gurston is Ritchie Gatt in his 2.0 Westfield SEiW. These two, however, are amalgamated with the over 2000cc class in which Gurston legend Mike Rudge pedals his 2.3 Westfield SEi with spectacular determination!
The Historically Interesting class features one of the loveliest racing cars you are ever likely to see, the 1.6 Lotus 22 of Geoff Hunt, who has owned this car for over 40 years. Geoff, just back from a layoff from competition, was dialling himself in again in June.
The pre-’94 Formula Ford class should produce a close battle as championship class leader Andrew Abbey (1.6 Jamun M91) takes on the class winners from June’s meetings, Simon McBeath (1.6 Swift SC92F) and Tony Wiltshire (1.6 Swift SC93).
The entry is rounded off with the DEWS Motor Club Speed Series class, and here we should expect to see last year’s winner and class record holder Derek Kessell hold sway in his 1.4 Maguire Mini Cooper ‘S’. DEWS prime mover Steve Harris should also feature well in his 1.8 Vauxhall Corsa, and another local man, James Edmonds could do well in his classic 1.4 Rover Mini.
The classic Mini of James Edmonds exemplifies what the DEWS Motor Club is all about. Copyright: Simon McBeath
And don’t forget, there’s a TTC Group Top Ten Challenge Run Off at the end of the first class runs and after the second class runs to bring the morning and afternoon sessions to exciting conclusions.
It’s going to be a great weekend of thrilling action!