The weekend of Saturday May 26th and Sunday May 27th is the first of the two visits by the Avon Tyres / Wynn Developments British Hill Climb Championship and the Avon Tyres / Wynn Developments Hill Climb Leaders Championship to Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb.
The Championship brings some of the fastest cars and drivers to the twisty course at Wiltshire’s famous Speed Hill Climb Venue. There will be over 140 cars and drivers competing in everything from standard road cars, specially prepared hill climb cars and spectacularly fast fast sport and single seat racing cars.
Spectators have fabulous unrivalled access to the hill, views of the course, paddock and facilities. We have excellent catering and refreshments on site too.
You really can’t get closer to the action!
Saturday is practice day. Each competitor gets the opportunity to take three practice runs, starting around 09:00. There are two runs in the morning and one after lunch. Practice usually finishing around 15:00.
Sunday is competition day, there will be an early morning practice, starting around 09:00 followed by one timed run before lunch and the first of two top twelve run-offs. Then after lunch the second timed runs are followed by the second top twelve run-off.
The Top Twelve Run-Off allows the fastest twelve, championship registered, competitors to take an additional run, after which the fastest ten score points for the British Championship. Ten points for a win, down to one for tenth. These run-offs ultimately determine who becomes the British Champion!
Alongside the British Championship and Leaders Championships, the Lotus 7 Club and the Porsche Club have rounds of their championships and the BARC South West Members have their own class.
As ever there will be a Fastest Time of Day! Who will it be?
Class Preview in Detail:
The BARC South West B Licence Class will run first. The class has a variety of cars and drivers who hold MSA Speed B Licences. On current form it’ll be between Martin Watson and his Westfield, Sarah Fudge in the Lewis Dean Impreza and Dean Cubitt’s and his Mazda MX5. These three will probably be fighting for the top three places. There are a number of new car and driver combinations that might just mix this class up a bit.
The Porsche Club’s National Hill Climb Championship Class has an all 911 line-up. This championsip is another one of those that is so difficult to predict. On previous form, Phil Price and his 930RS, Bob Mortimer in his 911 and Peter Turnbull’s 911 are likely to be in the top three. But you can’t discount any of the other drivers!
The Road Going Series Production Car Class up to 2000cc rounds off batch two. It has just four cars entered. It looks like it will be a Renault Clio one, two. Richard Brant and his Clio 172 will probably squeeze Paul Hearne and his Clio 172 Cup out to second if previous form is anything to go by.
Batch three gets underway with the Over 2000cc Road Going Series Production Car Class has five cars entered. With Stephen Moore in his Mitsubishi Evo RS, Justin Andrews and Shaun Fudge in their respective Subaru Imprezas, it’s going to be close. Stephen will probably end up on top.
The Road Going Specialist Production Car Class has just two entries, Adrian Lewis and his Westfield Superbusa and John Davey in his TVR. Adrian should take this class.
The up to 1400cc Modified Series Production Car Class sees some lovely machines entered. Not only do we have the Gurston regulars, David Bean, James White and Neil Turner in their Minis but we have two Hillman Imp powered cars and a Peugeot 106 too. Andrew Russell’s delightful Ginetta is always competitive but the one, two will probably be Neil Turner and James White.
The Over 2000cc Modified Series Production Car Class has a great entry. Tim Painter and Andy Fraser bring their lovely Aston Martin. But it will be a tough class with the two Subaru Imprezas of Steven Darley and Jim Herbert to content with. Winner, we will have to wait and see.
The Modified Specialist Production Cars Class, goes next. On previous form, Simon Jenks and his Caterham Supersports starts favourite but Andrew Griffiths, Richie Gatt and Steve Holland will not make it easy. In a class with these cars and drivers it could be anyones.
Next to come to the line will be the beautiful cars entered in the Historically Interesting Class. Look out for the Lola T142 of Roger Deans and the Chevron B19 shared by Richard and Amanda George. However, Mike Broome in the Alexis Mk17 F3 starts favourite. All of the drivers are very capable of taking the class win.
The up to 2000cc Sports Libre Car Class starts batch four. Duncan Barnes brings his Norma M20FC to the hill for it’s first outing and the first outing of a Norma in British Hill Climb. Those of you who know about or compete in European hill climbing will recognise the car as one of the most competitive cars on the European stage. The Norma is a big car and usually competes in the relatively wide and long courses in Europe. It’ll be interesting to see how the car copes with the narrow and short courses here in the UK. Chris Cannell should be back in the Empire Evo and will probably win this class.
The over 2000cc Sports Libre Car Class has a former Manx Grand Prix winner (on a bike, of course), Allan McDonald and his Mini Evo. You can see some of his in-car video on our Facebook page.
The up to 600cc Racing Car Class has just one entrant. David Cuff in his Jedi Mk4.
The ever popular 601cc to 1100cc Racing Car Class has a huge entry, over 20 cars! Simon Fidoe (Empire Wraith), Darren Gumbley (Force TA), Lindsay Summers and Debbie Dunbar (DJ Firehawk), Adam and Andy Greenen (Empire Evo) and Eynon Price (Force HC) to name just a few. Class winner? Could be any of the entrants and most will be looking to get a place in the Top Twelve Run-off.
The 1100cc to 1600cc Racing Car Class sees some new drivers car combinations that make this class even more difficult to predict than the up to 1100cc class. You’ll need to look out for the ex-Sean Gould, Gould GR59 driven by David and Allan Warburton, Oliver and Liam Cooper with the Force TA and Les Mutch in the GWR Raptor. They will be looking for great times in both timed runs to qualify for the Run-offs.
Batch five ends with some serious racing cars. The 1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car Class – Normally Aspirated – has another big entry. our cars and six drivers competing. Terry Davis’ OMS and Tim Elmer’s Dallara are both very capable of winning this class. But we have a new car from GWR, the Pedator driven by Johnathan Varley.
Batch six brings the even faster cars to the hill with the 1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car Class – Forced Induction – has four cars entered. Richard Spedding was third in the British Hill Climb Championship last year in this GWR Raptor so he’ll probably take the class and a place in the Top Twelve Run-off too.
The Over 2000cc Racing Car Class is the class that will probably bring the Fastest Time of the Day. With the British Championship in it’s early stages and being so close at the moment, this class could be very close. Wallace Menzies brings his Gould GR59b and Dave Uren and Nicola Menzies have the ex-Martin Groves GR55, Trevor Willis, the 2017 champion in his OMS will be one to watch. But you can’t really discount any of the driver / car combinations here. Will Hall and Jason Mourant will also be looking for run-off places.
Batch seven brings the Formula Ford Class. This sees the current class record holder Simon McBeath and three other drivers competing for the win. These car are so similar, the class will be close. The winner will be decided by hundredths as will all of the places!
Then it’s the turn of the Lotus 7 Club Championship runners. With the Lotus 7 Club Championship in it’s early stages, it will be tough to predict any of these classes. It will be down to performance on the day.
The Lotus 7 Club Championship Class 1 – Cars Up to 125 bhp – has three entries. Paul Boston has previous form at Gurston Down so he looks good for this class.
The Lotus 7 Club Championship Class 2 – Cars up to 150 bhp – List 1A Tyres – David Nelson starts favourite as he has won in previous seasons. But it is very early in the season.
The Lotus 7 Club Championship Class 3 – Cars up to 150 bhp – List 1B Tyres – has seven entrants. This class was decided by just a few hundredths of a second last year. Robert Jacobs the eventual winner. Based on his previous experience he should be in with a good chance of repeating his win.
The Lotus 7 Club Championship – Class 4 – Car up to 210 bhp – has just two entrants, Tom Price and Bruce Bosley.
The Lotus 7 Club Championship – Class 6/7 – sees seven cars and drivers entered. Simon Rogers won last year so he’’ probably be the man to beat.
Another exciting weekend of at Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb – Don’t Miss It!
Here’s the PROVISIONAL ENTRY LIST
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 AA signs.
Dates: Saturday May 26th and Sunday May 27th
Times: Saturday Practice from 0830 until 1500 approx. Sunday 0830 Final Practice then timed runs from approx 1030, then first timed runs followed by First Top Twelve Run-Off, then lunch and final timed runs from 13:00 Second Top Twelve Run-Off.
Admission: £10 for adults Sunday (£6 on Saturday), accompanied under 14s free, free paddock entry, free parking.
Anthony Record – Press Officer Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb – BARC SW