• A run off win apiece for Oliver Tomlin, his first (4.0 Pilbeam MP97), and Deryk Young (4.0 Gould GR51).
• Deryk Young took BTD on the last run of the weekend
• Class records for Nic Mann in the awesone Mannic Beattie in the over 2000cc sports libre class and Richard Jones in his 1.8 Brabham BT29X
• Simon Purcell now homing in on the Gurston Championship
• Chris Cannell (2.6 Force SR8) retains the Top Ten Challenge lead
Deryk Young won the second Run Off and set BTD. Copyright: Simon McBeath / everleyphotography.co.uk
The dual permit Midland/Gurston Championship event saw some classes split to cater for B- and A-grade licence holders, and perhaps the season’s most impressive newcomers to Gurston, the Greenen brothers in their shared Honda Civic Type R took the up to 2000cc roadgoing series production class (B) with some typically exuberant runs only for the car to slow dramatically on Andy Greenen’s second run, then withdrawing from further action. Gurston Hillclimb Drivers School graduate Adam thus took the win from his brother on the basis of their first climbs. Such was Adam’s pace that he would also have won the ‘A’ division, but instead this went to Miles Thorne in his Peugeot 306 GTi.
The over 2000cc roadgoing series production class (B) was the preserve of Lewis and Deborah Fanner in their shared 2.5t Impreza WRX, Lewis grabbing the gold medal here.
Simon Neve (2.3t Evo 6) led the over 2000cc roadgoing series production class (A) at halftime by 0.48 seconds from regular sparring partner Stephen Moore (2.0t Evo 6) but a determined Moore carved a whopping 1.2 seconds off his first run time to win by 0.47 seconds! Thanks to some absent drivers who were above them in the Gurston Championship table, this result moved Moore up six places to eighth overall and Neve up two places to ninth.
The roadgoing specialist production cars were split into two high quality divisions, Steve Holland going sub-34 seconds to win the ‘B’ division in his 1.4 Caterham Hayabusa from Martin Watson’s 2.0 Westfield SEi, while Piers Thynne set a personal best sub-32 time to win the ‘A’ division in his turbocharged 1.3 Westfield Megabusa from Simon Jenks, whose efforts in his 1.6 Caterham Supersport to catch Thynne resulted in a half spin onto the Karousel infield. Despite his win, Thynne dropped a place to seventh overall in this close-fought section of the Championship table.
Piers Thynne was smooth and quick in the turbo Westfield Megabusa. Copyright: Simon McBeath / everleyphotography.co.uk
Gurston Championship leader Simon Purcell’s grip on the 2014 title is all but final now as he racked up another win in the 1.4 Lotus Exige in the up to 2000cc marque sports car class. But mathematically there are still drivers who can surpass the current leading scorer in September’s finale or match it and take the title on the tiebreak if Purcell were to score a lot less than he has in the first four rounds! Behind Purcell’s potent projectile the mother v. daughter battle continued with Steph Limb seeing off her Mum, Gurston treasurer Dee Stapley in the family MGF, and moving up to equal tenth in the Gurston Championship.
As ever the over 2000cc marque sports car class produced some great action, and having sniffed at the class record in June’s double-header, Graham Beale’s hard charging efforts in the 2.0t Ginetta G33 were not quite as fast this time, but he took the win by half a second from Steve Holley’s 5.2 TVR Griffith to hang onto third overall in the Gurston Championship.
The pace was hot in the up to 1400cc modified series production class with the top three all sub-37 and covered by just six tenths. Class record holder Jim White (1.4 Austin Mini Clubman) was made to work for the win by Neil Turner (1.4 Mini Cooper ‘S’) once again, Turner briefly getting ahead with his second climb before White put the matter to rest with his final effort to stay fifth overall in the Championship. Midland Championship contender Carlton Jones (1.4 Austin Mini) was only 16 hundredths behind Turner after two consistent, rapid climbs.
Former Gurston Champion Paul Webster was well in charge in the up to 2000cc modified series production class, setting mid 36s in his ‘For Sale’ 1.9 Mazda MX5 to take the gold medal.
In the over 2000cc modified series production saloons it was Adrian Flagg on pole in the family 2.0t Impreza STi, his win moving him up three places in the Gurston Championship to sixth overall.
There was drama in the over 2000cc modified series production sports car class as Midland Championship leader Mike Turpin was adjudged to have not had all four wheels of his 2.2s Vauxhall VX220 on the track over the finish line and his first run was therefore deemed to be a ‘fail’. This saw Peter Turnbull in the lead at halftime in his 3.6 Porsche 911 GT3 ahead of the similarly gorgeous 3.6 GT3 Cup variant of Tim Painter. But Turpin made amends with a rapid and precise second effort that was only a quarter of a second shy of his own class record to snatch the win ahead of the two Porsches, who finished in the above order. Turpin thus held onto his Midland Championship lead.
Mike Turpin was adjudged to not have had all four wheels on the track over the finish on his first climb. No such problem on run 2… Copyright: Simon McBeath / everleyphotography.co.uk
The specialist production sports cars were amalgamated for the event and pre-race favourite Mike Rudge produced a typical storming effort in the 2.3 Westfield to win from the 2.0 variant of Ritchie Gatt, whose win in the up to 2000cc class kept him in second overall in the Gurston Championship. Rudge stays in fourth place overall and, unofficially, these are the only two drivers who could theoretically take the title from Simon Purcell…
It was a close run thing in the Historically Interesting class as clear first run leader Chris Bentley-Jones (1.6 Mallock Mk 11B) came under attack from Gurston regular Hugh Kemp (1.6 Palliser WDF3). Both drivers improved second time up but Bentley-Jones hung on to win by 13 hundredths.
In the up to 2000cc sports libre class Gurston Championship sponsor Jonathan Gates was in determined mood (as ever) in the 1.3 supercharged Force LM and went sub-30 on his first climb to head co-driver Peter Sexton by half a second. Sadly neither was able to improve though as the drive chain broke on the exit of Karousel on Gates’s second run. BARC (SW) secretary Tim Pitfield debuted his recently acquired 1.3 DJ Firecat and finished a delighted third in class.
The over 2000cc sports libre class certainly produced some fireworks with class record holder Nic Mann really getting to grips with the 1.7t Mannic Beattie and its exhaust blown diffuser-augmented aerodynamics. A new class record on his second run was just reward. Behind him, Chris Cannell (2.6 Force SR8) and Rod Thorne (5.0 Pilbeam MP43) had a great scrap, both going sub-30 on their second climbs with second spot going to Cannell by just eight hundredths. Cannell stays at the head of the Gurston Top Ten Challenge table as third fastest contender on the day but the title remains unsettled, so the finale in September is going to be exciting!
Nic Mann reset his over 2000cc sports libre class record in the astonishingly quick Mannic Beattie. Copyright: Simon McBeath / everleyphotography.co.uk
Hard-working committee member John Forsyth ran alone in the 500 Owners Association class in his Alfa Dana but enjoyed himself and entertained with two chassis-hugging runs through the Karousel complex!
Sparks literally flew in the up to 1100cc racing car class as we saw the welcome return to Gurston of former Hillclimb Leaders champion Phil Cooke in his new 1.0 Empire Wraith. With Willem Toet-designed aerodynamics the car’s skid plates were sparking spectacularly all around Hollow Bend, although Phil had a lurid high-speed oversteer moment on his second run. His first effort was enough to win the class though from Simon Andrews (1.0 OMS 28) by 16 hundredths, with Mark Goodyear (1.0 OMS Hornet) just another eight hundredths adrift in third.
Phil Cooke sets the sparks flying in the superb Empire Wraith. Copyright: Simon McBeath / everleyphotography.co.uk
Andrew Abbey set a personal best in Roger Labbett’s Jamun M91 to win the Formula Ford class ahead of the current owner, Abbey’s time just a second away from the class record, impressive after only three events in the car.
In the up to 1600cc racing car class Peter D. Smith (1.6 Force) served notice of intent with a first run sub-30 charge that he then significantly improved upon second time up to take the class and maximum Gurston Top Ten points on the day. Co-driver Richard Gaylard set a low 30 on his first run but spun out at the entry to Ashes trying to gain ground on his second climb.
The up to 2000cc racing car class front runners were motoring rapidly too, with Simon Moyse’s first effort in the superb 1.3 supercharged Gould GR59 enough to take the win. A determined second climb from Tim Davies (2.0 Pilbeam MP88) closed to within 13 hundredths though.
Deryk Young’s first attempt in the 4.0 Gould GR51 got no further than the startline as a driveshaft snapped, leaving Oliver Tomlin (4.0 Pilbeam MP97) leading at halftime and also qualifying fastest for the first TTC Group Top Ten Challenge Run Off. With the car quickly repaired though it was no problem for Deryk to slot in a very smooth sub-28 second climb to win the class from Tomlin and qualify fastest for the second Run Off.
The pre-1972 and pre-1986 sports racing and racing car classes were amalgamated but sole runner in the pre-72 class, Richard Jones, did enough on his only run in the lovely 1.8 Brabham BT29X to set a new record, finally eclipsing the mark set by David Hepworth in 1971. Rodney Eyles took the class overall in his 2.8 Pilbeam MP53 by just over a second from Johnathen Varley (1.6 March 772P), who came through from third behind Stuart Ridge (2.0 March 792) at halftime. Eyles maintained his second place in the Midland Championship with this win.
Richard Jones broke the 43 year old pre-1972 racing car class record in his 1.8 Brabham BT29X. Copyright: Simon McBeath / everleyphotography.co.uk
The Downton Engineering Works Social (DEWS) Motor Club Speed Series class produced 19 starters (and a very nice static exhibition in the display area) for its first appearance at Gurston. Derek Kessell always looked in control on scratch in his 1.4 spaceframe Maguire Mini Cooper ‘S’ although the hard-trying Tim Porter (Darrian T90) was only three tenths adrift in the end. DEWS series prime mover and Gurston regular Steve Harris (1.8 Vauxhall Corsa) was third on scratch with a pair of sub-40s runs.
With Deryk Young failing to qualify for the first TTC Group Top Ten Run Off, fastest qualifier Oliver Tomlin took full advantage and improved to a fine low 28s time to take his first ever Run Off win. With the Gould’s driveshaft repaired in time for Sue Young’s Run Off climb she charged through to second spot ahead of the newer, leaner Gould of Simon Moyse. In the second Run Off Deryk Young was not to be denied and his 27.52 winning time was also good for BTD. Tomlin improved again but had to be content with second ahead of Sue Young who also improved and closed to within four tenths of her Gurston Ladies’ record. The full Run Off results are shown below.
TTC Group Top 10 Challenge Run Off 1
1 Oliver TOMLIN Pilbeam MP97, 28.32
2 Sue YOUNG Gould GR51, 29.00
3 Simon MOYSE Gould GR59, 29.49
4 Tim DAVIES Pilbeam MP88, 29.68
5 Mark GOODYEAR OMS Hornet, 31.39
6 Simon ANDREWS OMS 28, 31.63
7 Phil COOKE Empire Wraith, 31.70
8 Bill MORRIS Pilbeam MP88, 31.71
9 Bernard KEVILL OMS 28, 31.78
10 Paul CRUTE Pilbeam MP58-01, 31.82
11 Kelvin BROAD Pilbeam MP62, 32.26
12 Tina HAWKES Force PC N/S
TTC Group Top 12 Challenge Run Off 2
1 Deryk YOUNG Gould GR51, 27.52
2 Oliver TOMLIN Pilbeam MP97-03, 28.11
3 Sue YOUNG Gould GR51, 28.54
4 Simon MOYSE Gould GR59, 28.81
5 Tim DAVIES Pilbeam MP88, 29.31
6 Tina HAWKES Force PC, 31.00
7 Simon ANDREWS OMS 28, 31.07
8 Bill MORRIS Pilbeam MP88, 31.09
9 Mark GOODYEAR OMS Hornet, 31.47
10 Kelvin BROAD Pilbeam MP62, 31.52
11 Paul CRUTE Pilbeam MP58-01, 32.28
Summary results can be found here and fully detailed results can be found here.
The next event at Gurston is on August 23rd/24th and sees the second visit of the season by the British Hillclimb Championship and Leaders Hillclimb Championship, bringing the cream of the country’s speed hillclimb drivers and cars back to Wiltshire. Don’t miss it!