Saturday May 26th and Sunday May 27th saw our first visit of the year by the Avon Tyres / Wynn Developments British Hill Climb Championship and the Avon Tyres / Wynn Developments Hill Climb Leaders Championship.
It was a little damp on Saturday morning for practice but soon brightened up. Gurston Down’s weather looked like it might throw a spanner in the works with an amazing thunderstorm overnight on Saturday which started around mid-night. Sunday morning’s practice could only be described as damp and then after batch two the heavens opened. It looked like it would make the whole event rather interesting. By first timed runs the weather has improved and the course was quite dry.
Sunday’s competition runs brought some stunning performances and not just in the two Top Twelve Run-Offs, one of which ended as a dead heat.
Fastest Time of the Day went to Will Hall in the Force WH-XTEC with a time of 26.39s.
Round 7 of the Avon Tyres / Wynn Developments British Hill Climb Championship ended in a draw. With the timing down to hundredths of a second it is very unusual for there to be a dead heat. Will Hall and Trevor Willis both managed 26.55s runs taking the win and ten points each in the championship.
Round 8 saw Will Hall take the win and the Fastest Time of the Day (26.39s) mentioned earlier. You can see the full presentation including Will’s speech on Facebook.
More details of the run-offs can be found later in this report.
Class Results in Detail:
The first class to take to the hill was the BARC South West B Licence Class . This class had a wide variety of cars driven by MSA B Speed Licence holders. The first two places, unsurprisingly, going to the fast and lightweight Caterham of Steve Holland and the Westfield of Martin Watson. Steve was in second place after the first timed runs but put in a sterling performance to snatch back the win finishing on 33.15s. Martin improved on his time too with a 33.63s but Steve’s improvement was just that little bit better. Sarah Fudge came next, with a 38.69s second timed run giving her third in the Lewis Dean Subaru Impreza. Christopher Davies was fourth, ahead of Dean Cubitt, finishing on 39.40s and 39.91s.
Next up were the Porsche Club’s National Hill Climb Championship Class. The all 911 line-up saw Paul Howells in the RSR win by a good margin over Peter Turnbull and Tim Barber in their respective GT3s. Paul’s time was 33.75s, Peter’s 35.04s and Tim’s 35.13s.
The Road Going Series Production Car Class up to 2000cc rounded off batch two. There were four cars entered. Richard Brant and his beautifully presented Clio 172 was on top form from the start and finished his second timed run with a 38.14s run. The other Clio of Paul Hearne taking second on 40.22s.
The Over 2000cc Road Going Series Production Car Class started batch three. Sean Fudge in the Subaru Impreza won the class with a 37.80s run with Gordon Weston in the Prostate Cancer Porsche 924S second on 41.80s.
The Road Going Specialist Production Car Class had two entries. With the super fast and well driven Westfeild Superbusa of Adrian Lewis winning the class with a 35.24s second timed run to take the win from the MD of Cavendish Ships Stores, Gurston Down’s Top Ten Challenge sponsor, John Davey’s TVR Vixen.
The up to 1400cc Modified Series Production Car Class took to the hill next. The super quick Minis of James White and Neil Turner seemed to be in a class of their own this weekend. James was ahead after the first timed run but Neil put in a great time in the second run taking half a second out of his previous time, finishing ahead of James. Neil finished on 35.81s and James 35.94s.
Then it was the turn of the Over 2000cc Modified Series Production Car Class. This was another class that was close run between two car / driver combinations. Stephen Moore switched classes bringing his modified Mitsubishi Evo rather than his road going specification car. But he just couldn’t quite match Steven Darley’s lighter series one Subaru Impreza. Steven finished on 32.59s and Stephen on 33.30s.
Andrew Griffiths in his Caterham Hayabusa won the Modified Specialist Production Cars Class after putting in a great second timed run. It was very close after the first Andrew and Simon Jenks were separated by just one hundredth. Andrew’s final time was 31.14s and 31.84s for Simon.
The two gorgeous cars entered in the Historically Interesting Class were as competative as usual. It looked like the Lola T142 of Roger Deans had the class to himself after the Chevron B19 shared by Richard and Amanda George didn’t take it’s first timed run. But the Chevron was sorted by the second times run. Amanda George took the win with a 35.82s run with Roger Deans second on 36.59s.
The Up To 2000cc Sports Libre Car Class had a large entry. The British Championship regulations don’t have the up to 1400cc class that runs under the BARC SW regulations so the class had six entrants. Keith Diggle and the WEV HCS-BDG took the win with a 31.70s second timed run. The first appearance on a Norma on a British hill resulted in Duncan Barnes’s second place with a 33.38s. The Norma M20FC is quite a common sight on European hills and it was great to see.
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. Unfortunately, during practice it threw a rod in hollow and didn’t make it to the line on Sunday.
The up to 600cc Racing Car Class had two entries, David Cuff in his Jedi Mk4 and David Tatham in his Terrapin M41A. David Tatham won the day with a 34.23s run.
The massive entry in the 601cc to 1100cc Racing Car Class proved to be as close as ever. The first nine drivers were less than one second behind the winner, Debbie Dunbar in the DJ Firehawk she shares with Lindsay Summers. Her second timed run took her from sixth to first, she stopped the clock on 30.05s. Andy and Adam Greenen in their Empire Evo were second and third stopping the clock on 30.20s and 30.22s respectively. Debbie just missed out on qualifying for the second Top Twelve Run-Off.
The Formula Ford Racing Car Class went next. Simon McBeath, the current class record holder took control of the class in the second timed run, from a much narrower lead in the first. His finishing time was 36.78s. Simon Andrews was second, with a 37.38s.
Les Mutch seems to be the man of the season in the 1100cc to 1600cc Racing Car Class. Les and his GWR Raptor won the class and qualified for both of the Run-Offs! He finished the day just over half a second in front of second place man, David Warburton. David in the Gould GR59 he shares with his father. He too qualified for the second Run-Off. These two were the only drivers to do sub-30s runs in this class. Les finished on 29.26s and David on 29.76s.
The 1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car Class – Normally Aspirated – had another big entry, with new car and driver combinations. The GWR Preditor of Jonathan Varley was third after the first timed run behind Tim Elmer’s lovely Dallara F399 and Terry Davies OMS. Despite improved performances by all the drivers in this class, it was Jonathan’s improvement that overcame the rest of the field. His finishing time of 30.10s took the win with Tim Elmer just 0.09s behind on 30.19s and Terry Davies third on 30.75s.
The Forced Induction 1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car Class came next. It was close after the first timed run, the top two being separated by just 0.02s. Paul Haimes and the Gould GR59 and Lee Griffiths in his OMS 25. The first three in this class qualified for the first Run-Off too. Paul won the class with a 29.22s and Lee second on 29,2s. Paul and third place man, Kelvin Broad in the Pilbeam MP101 also qualified for the second run-off!
With the majority of the Over 2000cc Racing Car Class coming to the line looking to qualify for the run-offs and the bar having been set very high by the smaller engined classes, these cars and drivers really had to take the course by the scruff of the neck and they did! It was Will Hall’s day, after two great runs, not only did he qualify first for both run offs but took the class and fastest time of the day with his time in the second run off. Trevor Willis was second and Jason Mourant third. Their times were 26.55s, 26.89s and 26.91s respectively.
Between the timed runs and the Top Twelve Run Offs we had the Lotus 7 Club Championship runners. The classes are based on horse power and tyres. They were as entertaining as ever to watch.
The Lotus 7 Club Championship Class 1 – Cars Up to 125 bhp – had three entries. Paul Boston had a good buffer after the first timed run but he wouldn’t have known that Richard Abraham hadn’t quite matched his pace after his second timed run. Paul went quicker, he finished on 38.28s with Richard on 39.04s.
The Lotus 7 Club Championship Class 2 – Cars up to 150 bhp – List 1A Tyres – David Nelson started favourite and looked like he had a good half second lead after the first timed runs. But Graham Howard went quicker in the second. David finished on 37.61s with Graham on 37.65s!
The Lotus 7 Club Championship Class 3 – Cars up to 150 bhp – List 1B Tyres – had seven entrants. The first two Richard Price and Robert Jacobs swapped places between the first and second timed runs. Robert was ahead by just 0.08s after the first timed run but Richard’s second timed run was an improvement of more than one second. Richard ended with a 35.86s and Robert on 36.36s.
The Lotus 7 Club Championship – Class 4 – Car up to 210 bhp – had just one entrant, Tom Price. His best run was his second timed run, stopping the clocks on 34.78s.
The final class runs were The Lotus 7 Club Championship – Class 6/7. These are the most powerful cars in the Lotus 7 Club Championship. The class had seven entries. Half a second separated the first three in this class, Robert Margel, Shaun Elwell and Mark Durrant. But Robert Margel in his Hayabusa powered car took the win with a 32.72s, second timed run. Shaun second and Mark third, finished on 33.45s and 33.59s respectively.
After each timed run, there were the Avon Tyres / Wynn Developments Top Twelve Run-Offs that score points for the British Hill Climb Championship.
The first run-off was a draw. Will Hall in his Force WH-XTEC and Trevor Willis in his OMS28 both finished on 26.55s. With Jason Mourant in the GR55 third, Dave Uren forth and Terry Graves fifth.
The second run-off was won by Will Hall. His time of 26.39s was also Fastest Time of the Day. Trevor Willis was second, Jason Mourant, third, Dave Uren forth and Wallace Menzies fifth.
Full details of the results of the two rounds of the British Hill Climb Championship can be found at www.britishhillclimb.co.uk
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, Steve Lister, A-Cute Medical Services, Venture Security and Peter Crutcher from Ringwood PA.
Anthony Record – Press Officer Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb – BARC SW