FF fun at Gurston Down
Gurston Down is proud to announce that it will host the inaugural ‘Hillclimb Formula Ford Fest’ at its July 23rd/24th Midland/Gurston Down Hillclimb Championship event. The Hillclimb FF Fest, will be for ‘Kent’-engined 1600cc cars and, subject to the requisite entry numbers, there will be three classes: pre-1982 ‘Classic’ FF; pre-’94 FF; and ’94 onwards FF. The first two classes fall within Gurston Down’s existing pre-‘94 FF class, so drivers in those classes will be eligible for Gurston Championship points as long as they register for the championship before the due date, May 15th.
The idea of a hillclimb ‘FF Fest’ came from Van Diemen RF91 driver Charlie Reilly in 2015 and, as Gurston already has an FF class, supported by Veloce Publishing Ltd, the ‘fit’ seemed perfect! With the cars being matched on power and weight, the competition is bound to be extremely close on Gurston’s 1057 yard (967 metre) course! Andrew Henson’s three year old class record may also come under threat…
Charlie Reilly in his immaculate Van Diemen RF91
The technical regulations have been posted on the Drivers Information page of the Gurston Down Hillclimb web site and can be found by clicking HERE. In essence the regulations for Gurston’s FF classes are identical to circuit racing Kent FF 1600 regs with the sole exception that a timing strut to S.10.9 must be fitted to actuate the timing equipment.
Entries for the July 23/24 event are open now and close on June 24th. Numbers may have to be limited, so get those entries in early! As always the acceptance of entries is entirely at the discretion of the competition secretary!
Come and join the FF Fest fun at Gurston Down!
After a rather overcast and damp start to the day the sun broke through and with a few hours the sun had burned off any remaining dampness. The weather in the afternoon, meant times falling and busy batches.
By 0900 the paddock was busy and by ten almost everyone had been signed on. With the marshalls, rescue, timekeepers and officials all in place the hill was opened. Early drivers were rightly cautious with the new surface at Karousel and the damp track. It wasn’t long before the course dried and times started to fall.
The morning session gave opportunities for the new car / driver combinations, new drivers and some regulars to re-establish their knowledge of the hill.
The ladies were out in force, Sarah Fudge left the family Subaru at home and drove a beautifully presented Honda Civic Type R, Jennifer Strangle in the Audi TT, Babs Lubbrook’s red Honda S2000 GT and Hannah Stapley and Stephanie Limb in a misbehaving Datsun 240Z.
The fastest time of the morning was Adam Steel in his Martlet AS1, who was spectacular particularly at the top of Karousel, with a 32.63s followed by Peter Marsh in the DJ Firehawk.
By the afternoon, the hill was drying and the drivers / car combinations were starting to come together. Times started to fall as confidence grew.
Adam and Andy Greenen returned with a “new” silver Honda Civic Type R. The new Mazda MX5 class brought some new cars and faces who’ll be back in April. There will be more about that in the April preview.
The Porsche 997 Cup of Tim Painter and Andrew Fraser put in some good times. Although this may be the last outing for the car as they have entered something different in the April meetings.
Babs Lubbrook’s red Honda S2000 GT saw off Sarah Fudge in the Honda Civic Type R. But Jennifer Strangle in the Audi TT was the fastest lady. The Stapley / Limb Datsun 240Z finally decided to behave, with Stephanie beating Hannah by just 0.34..
Fastest time of the afternoon, and the day, was Simon Marsh at 30.45, officially. Although it was suggested that someone may have forgotten to switch the numbers over! Peter recorded a 31.08.. Adam Steel improved his time and was third fastest.
Now testing is over, it’s competition time. See you all in April.
Ben Stapley, Gurston’s Chairman, was very happy after an extremely busy day and “thanked the drivers for leaving the newly seeded grass at Karousel intact”… We should also mention those who came over on Saturday to complete the hill set-up.
We would like to thank everyone who made the day possible, particularly Linzi, Barbs and Rachel for their help in the office, the marshalls, timekeepers, scrutineers and officials without whom we couldn’t run the meeting. Thanks to Ashley Wood Recovery, who had a busy day dealing with relatively minor breakdowns, TSL Timing for providing the timing, Insight Medical Services for the rescue crews and Peter Curtcher of Ringwood PA.
Anthony Record – Gurston Down Press Officer – BARC SW