Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary on the 17th and 18th June with two meetings over the Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend.
The weather could only be described as sweltering!
The Anniversary Celebrations included a number of cars, motorbikes, drivers and riders who were part of the Gurston family over the years. We will publish a separate report of the celebrations later.
Saturday had 130 or so cars and 30 motorbikes on the hill and could only only be described as busy. Conditions were superb as far as the track was concerned but the air temperature meant some suffered with performance issues.
The weekend’s events were the second and third rounds of the Meadens Skoda Gurston Down Hill Climb Championship and the Cavendish Ship Stores BARC SW Top Ten Challenge but more on that later.
The June meetings decide the who will be awarded the Tony Marsh Memorial Trophy.
Full Event Results:
ACSMC Registered Road Legal Cars went to the hill first. The Westfield SEIW of Mike Williams took the win with an outstanding performance finishing on 36.53s. The Renault Clio’s of Andrew Bisping and Hugh Mackey took second and third on 42.57s and 43.52s, respectively.
ASWMC Registered Road Legal Cars ran next. The form book was a great indicator, Steve Clark and his Subaru Impreza took the win by a good margin over the Lotus Elise of Jonathan Langmead finishing on 38.17s.
The Porsche Club GB class went next. David Dyson and his 911 turbo really pulled out the stops finishing on 34.38s. The 924S of Graham Rose was next, his second timed run of 36.36s secured his second place. The next five cars were separated by just one second with their positions changing after the first timed run.
The Service Hydraulics Speed Championship went next. The Lotus 61FF of Dave Reed stamped his authority on the class in the first timed run, only to improve on the second. His time was 40.40s.
The Gurston Down Regular Classes:
The Gurston Down Mazda MX5 Class, supported by DoctorMX5 went next. It was the current leader in the Meaden’s Skoda Gurston Down Championship and the 2016 Tony Marsh Memorial Trophy winner, Mark Crookall who lead all day. He pulled out all the stops in the second timed run, beating his existing class record, finishing on 40.75s and scoring maximum points in the Meaden’s Championship. Was he about to take the Tony Marsh Memorial Trophy again? We’d have to wait until Sunday after all the timed runs to find out.
The Road Going Series Production Class up to 2000cc, supported by Record-Designs went next. Martin Ellis and his Ford Escort had a great second run snatching the win from Tim Forster and his Lotus Elan. Dean Cubbit (Mazda MX5) and Paul Dickinson (Honda S2000) were third and forth respectively.
The over 2000cc Road Going Series Production Class supported by Turbo Dynamics was an exciting class on Saturday. The current class record holder and former Gurston Down Champion, Stephen Moore and his Evo 6 was in command of the class from the start of the meeting. His time of 33.70s was unbeatable. The next three were Jon Maycock and his MX5, Shaun Fudge and his Subaru Impreza with Simon Marsh in the Golf R finishing just a second apart.
Adrian Lewis and his Westfield Superbusa took the The Fieldfare Trailer Centre supported Road Going Specialist Production Class finishing on 33.61s but he was chased by Alan Mugglestone in his Raw Falcrum who finished on 33.75s. Clive Skipper and the Caterham 7 HPC came third.
The Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Cars up to 2000cc Class saw Steve Butts, a former Gurston Down Champion, and his Lotus Elise take the win with a 35.81s first timed run.
Simon Purcell and the Lotus Elise won the over 2000cc Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Car Class. His first timed run of 34.18s gave him a commanding lead and ultimately the class win.
The all Mini line-up in the up to 1400cc Modified Series Production Class saw Neil Turner produced a near class record time of 35.26s to take the win. Derek Mullis was second.
Richard Wood Yamaha Mini was in good form. He managed a38.47s in the Modified Series Mini Class.
The 1401cc to 2000cc Modified Series Production Class, supported by Tipadel saw Tom Reeves and his Peugoet 106 go under 40s to take a convincing win. Tom’s second timed run was slightly better than his first at 39.44s.
The over 2000cc Modified Series Production Class, supported by Meadens Skoda went next. Another Peugeot, taking the class win against some very strong competition. Jason Tunnicliffe and his 205 held of that gorgeously presented Aston Martin Vantage GT4 of Tim Painter. Jason’s times was 34.95s just 0.60s ahead of Tim.
The huge entry in the Gates of Brokenhurst supported Over 2000cc Modified Specialist Production Class saw some very close racing. The first timed runs didn’t really give an overall indication of the likely finishing order. Mike Rudge made the class his with his second timed run of 31.73s and gave him eighth fastest time of the day. An outstanding performance by all the entrants. The top three in this class separated by less than one second. Anthony Orchard and Martin Watson finishing second and third.
Unfortunately the Marsh Special wasn’t able to compete in the competitive runs but was involved in the cavalcade runs on Saturday in the Historically Interesting Class, supported by Kelvin Jouhar. Fyrth Crosse and his Ensign F3 and Mike Broome and his Alexis Mk17 F3 were very close after the first timed run. But Fyrth must have found another gear in the second timed run as he took almost 1.50s off the first run. He finished on 35.04s with Mike on 36.09s. All the cars in this class were so well turned out.
Derek Harris in his Mallock17b had the Hill Climb Super Sports Class to himself. Derek had a fabulous first timed run stopping the clocks at 34.67s.
Adrian Lewis’, Lewis Property Services supports the Sports Libre up to 2000cc Class. The Force LM shared by Jonathan Gates and championship sponsor Peter Sexton hadn’t had the mechanical gremlins sorted so there were no Top Ten Challenge points for them. Keith Diggle’s WEV HCS took full advantage and took the win with a 32.43s.
The Sports Libre over 2000cc Class, supported by Berazzi Wheels had Sue Hayes and Chris Cannell with the Force SR8 both looking for Cavendish Ship Stores Top Ten Challenge points. Chris took the win in the slightly mis-behaving SR8.
The 601cc to 1100cc Racing Car Class, supported by Drynham Project Management Limited was lead from the start by James Moore and his Empire Evo 2. His time of 31.32s scored a solid second in the Top Ten Challenge.
The 1101cc to 1600cc Racing Car Class, supported by SM AeRoTechniques with Brian and Adrian Moody took to the hill next. It wasn’t to be for Peter D Smith and Richard Gayland with the Force PT. Allowing Neal Coles and Morgan Jenkins to fight it out. A sub 30 second run from Neal (29.94s) in the first timed run was just enough to take the win from Morgan who was only 0.13s off Neal’s time.
The Formula Ford class had a busy Saturday. The class record holder Simon McBeath was on top form. His sub 37 second runs were enough to take the win. Second was different, Mark Alley had a good lead after the first timed run but George and Russell Haynes pulled out some great runs but they couldn’t quite edge Mark out.
The 1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car – Normally Aspirated Class went next. Dave Lord and the Quest SF86 started favourite and finished with the win. His time was 33.72s.
The 1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car – Forced Induction Class saw Andrew McBeath and his OMS manage a 29.83s.
Sandra Tomlin put on a great performance in the Over 2000cc Racing Car Class. Sandra in the Pilbeam MP97-03 won the class and Fastest Time of the Day. Her time was 29.82s
We would like to thank everyone who made the day possible, the office staff, the marshals, timekeepers, scrutineers and officials without whom we couldn’t run the meeting. Thanks to Ashley Wood Recovery, TSL Timing, Insight Medical Services, Insight Security and Peter Crutcher from Ringwood PA.
Anthony Record – Press Officer – BARC SW, Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb