Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June brought thirty bikes, sidecars and riders of the Autocycle Union’s (ACU) National Hill Climb Championship to the fast and twisty Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb.
The riders and their machines produced a great display of skill and spectacular riding. The bikes ran early on both days which meant we all got to see their Top Ten Run-Off. For those who were lucky enough to be watching at the Karousel to Ashes complex you will have seen Tommy Hodges little off and the great riding that gave us the pictures above.
Solo Motor Cycles 100cc to 250cc class
Saturday saw Alan Harvey on his Huish Yamaha YZ take the win over John Bottomley on his Ducati. Alan finished on 39.37s. Alan rode alone on Sunday and improved his time, finishing on 38.86s.
Solo Motor Cycles 251cc to 350cc class
Simon Wilson on his Yamaha had the class to himself on Saturday and turned in a 41.15s.
With the additional competition of Steve Atkins and the Greeves on Sunday, not only did Simon take the win but he also improved his time finishing on 40.61s.
Solo Motor Cycles 351cc to 500cc class
The huge entry in this class on Saturday. April’s meeting was settled in the hundredth of a second and the June meetings weren’t any different. George Hodges on his Team GV Honda CRF took the class win with a 35.19s. Chris Keates on his Honda, Callum Short on his KTM and Mike Tilley on his Honda CR were second, third and fourth. They finished on 35.67s, 35.78s and 35.99s respectively.
On Sunday, April’s winner Dan Hurley came back on his Honda CR. Saturday’s winner, George Hodges, couldn’t quite managed to beat Dan, although he did improve his time. The result was Dan Hurley 34.88s, George Hodges 35.08s, Mike Tilley 35.38s, Callum Short 35.58s and Chris Keates 35.68s. Spectacular riding by all.
Solo Motor Cycles 501cc to 750cc class
Tom Short on his KTM SR stamped his authority on this class from the outset on Saturday. Not only did he win the class but he took the Fastest Time of Day too. His class time was 33.25s. Tommy Hodges, Team GV KTM SMR was just three hundredths behind on 33.28s. Dan Hurley on his Husaberg was third on 34.78s and Guy Ursell, on his KTM was fourth finishing on 34.82s.
Tom Short repeated the class win, this time stopping the clocks on 32.88s. Tommy Hodges couldn’t quite match his pace on Sunday and finished second on 33.48s. Guy Ursell was third with a 34.68s.
Solo Motor Cycles 751cc to 1300cc class
Saturday’s class had just three entries. Alan Jolly on his Aprilia TZV lead the class and took the win with a 35.56s second timed run. Second placed man Matthew Moggridge on his Suzuki was only 0.19s behind after the first timed run but Alan put in a great second timed run, improving his time and making sure of his win.
Sunday’s class brought Stu Mills, April’s class winner and Fastest Time of the Day man on his Aprilia Tuono V4. He established a two second lead after the first timed run over Alan Jolly. Alan pulled a little back but just wasn’t quite enough. Stu’s time was 33.23s.
The sidecars is such a great class to watch and both days were no exception. After the first timed runs on Saturday, Simon and Jane Foster’s Honda combination was ahead by a good margin from Pat and Paul Keates Baker F1 by over a second. The second timed runs changed all that, Pat and Paul Keates pulled a 36.80s run taking the win.
Sunday was a repeat of Saturday. But this time it was much closer. The Keates were ahead after the first timed run by a heathy margin. But the Foster’s pulled a fantastic runs out of the bag and undercut the Keates first timed run by just 0.09s. Pat and Paul may well have known their time had been beaten when they left the line but they took 0.15s off their previous times winning by just 0.06s!
Top Ten Run Off
Earlier than usual in the meeting, the bikes took their Top Ten Run Off. Tom Short took both run offs with Tommy Hodges, second both days, Guy Ursell, third both days. Dan Hurley and Stu Mills were fourth and fifth on Saturday and their positions reversed on Sunday.
Fastest Time of the Day
Tom Short had an outstanding weekend, with class wins, Top Ten Run-Offs and Fastest Times of the Day too!
The July meeting will have a surprise for those who love the motorbikes. There is a plan to run the bikes at this years and future July meetings. This is subject to the appropriate meeting licences. Look out for more information soon!
All other pictures – Steve Lister
Anthony Record – Press Officer – BARC SW, Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb