The 2019 Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb season gets underway on the Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st April with the first four rounds of the Meadens Skoda Championship and the first two of the Cavendish Ships Stores Top Ten Challenge. The 2019 championships promise to be both challenging and exciting!
The weekend’s events are the season’s openers and will provide a glorious show of sound, smell, speed and skill. Around 110 cars and drivers will compete in a range of cars and classes, in everything from your average standard road car, classic and modern sports and saloon cars and purpose built, fast sport and single seat racing cars. All of them will pit their wits against the fast and twisty course at Wiltshire’s famous Speed Hill Climb Venue. They will also be competing against each other and themselves too!
You really can’t get closer to the action!
INVITED CLASSES SATURDAY APRIL 20th
Gurston Down hosts a number of national championships on Saturday 20th April, in addition to the first two rounds of the Meadens Skoda Championship and the first round of the Cavendish Ships Stores Top Ten Challenge.
The ACSMC hold a round of their championship, as do the TVR Club, Classic Marques Speed Challenge, The Volvo Owners Club and pre-War Austin 7s. On top of all those championships there is the usual mix of production-based machines, sports racing cars and single seaters.
Fastest Time of the Day is the ultimate goal for a competitors. This could very much depend on the combinations and how some new car / driver combinations perform. It could be one of many drivers.
Saturday’s meeting gets under way with the invited classes. First up should be the Pre-War Austin 7’s “Road” Class which has four drivers entered. Gurston Down experience will probably be key in this class so Bernard Cowley in his Cowley Special starts favourite.
In the much quicker “Track” division, there are there are six entries, anyone of which cpould take the win. Terry Griffin and his Austin 7 Special is a previous winner and both Pigsty Special will all be with a chance of taking the win. But who will it be?
The Volvo Owners Club Class runs next. The current record holder Richard Conway in his Volvo PV544 will be looking to improve his existing record.
The ACSMC Championship Class runs next. There are six entries in a wide variety of cars. Adrian Lewis in the Westfield Superbusa, not only has extensive Gurston experience but has an exceptional car. David Newman in his Mazda MX5 will be looking for championship points.
Next up will be the TVR class. There will be some great noise when these drivers take to the line. Four of the five entrants are run V8s! This class will be close. The top three are likely to be Alan Davies or Mark Everett in their Griffiths or Mark Harris in his Cernera.
The ‘Classic Marques Speed Championship’ Class. This class has entries from all over the country and in an interesting variety of great cars. Everything from a modern Porsche Cayman with Gordon Pearce, at the wheel to, Phil Jones in his Marcos 1800GT. They will all be beautifully presented and are always worth checking out in the paddock and watching run the hill. The class winner? Far to difficult to predict!
SUNDAY 21st – INVITED CLASSES
Sunday’s meeting gets under way with the invited classes. First up will be the Triumph Register Car Class. There is a huge entry with some great looking cars. There are two TR8 V8s entered and they have previously dominated the class. However, you just can’t dismiss Nick Smith and his TR6. On paper it looks like Larry Jeram-Croft and Steve Small in their V8s and Nick Smith will make up the top three.
Next up are the Austin Healey – Big Healey and Warwick Cars. Pat Cooper in the 100/6 has the form and experience to take the win. But the class is always super competitive. The winner, we will tell you on Sunday.
The Healey Sprite Class ventures to the hill next. There are six cars entered. Will Gurston experience pay off. Stephen Casson is competing Saturday so he will be one to watch.
Next up will be the TVR class. There will be some great noise when these drivers take to the line. It will be interesting to see what effect Saturday’s event has on each driver. A V8 will take the win but which one?
The ‘Classic Marques Speed Championship’ Class are back for day two. The class has some extra entries on Sunday. You will need to look out for Graham Beale in his Ginetta G33 who has plenty of Gurston experience and a fast car. Could be anyone’s class.
The Mazda MX5 Class, sponsored by The Window Doctor. Last year’s Meadens Skoda Gurston Down Champion, Mark Crookall and his RS, will be the driver / car combination to beat. Although Mark will have Jason Richardson in his RS to contend with as well as all of the other drivers in the class.
John Davey, Managing Director of the Top Ten Challenge sponsor, Cavendish Ships Stores will have his work cut out in the Road Going Series Production up to 1400cc Class. There are three entries in this class on Saturday and just two on Sunday. John holds the class record and will be looking to do better this year.
The Road Going Series Production Class 1401cc to 2000cc, sponsored by Record-Designs runs next. Tim Foster, last years class champion, and his lovely Lotus Elan start favourite. Although Miles Horne in his Peugeot 306 Rallye and Dean Cubitt in his MX5 will all be in with a shout. You really can’t discount any of the driver / car combinations in this class. There might be some surprises.
The over 2000cc Road Going Series Production Class, sponsored by Turbo Dynamics, round off this batch. Saturday sees Clive and Jennie Stangle in their Mitsubishi Evo return. That means that Subaru Impreza of Shaun and Sarah Fudge and Simon Neve in his Mitsubishi Evo will need to be on top form to take the class win. Simon isn’t entered on Sunday so that could really change the way the class championship looks at the end of the weekend.
The Road Going Specialist Production Class, sponsored by Fieldfare Trailers. With Adrian Lewis competing in the ACSMC Class on Saturday, this class really is wide open. Nigel Holt and Mike Parrett will have their work cut out to beat Tim Richardson in his Lotus Elise 250 Cup. Sunday will be all change, Adrian is back and will probably be in charge from the off.
The Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Car Class up to 2000cc sees former Gurston Champion with the class to himself both days. Simon had much of the last season off so it’ll be interesting to see how the car performs in 2019.
The Over 2000cc Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Car Class runs next. Phil Price in his Porsche 930 RS has to start favourite. Phil, class championship in 2018 has Gary Dawkins in his Lotus Exige as the only competition. Sadly, Paul Slade’s E Type won’t make the line due to some mechanical issues.
The Up To 1400cc Modified Series Production Class, sponsored by Cock and Sons (General Builders), has a good entry. But with the class record holder and last years class champion, Neil Turner is likely to take the wins!
The Over 2000cc Modified Series Production Class, sponsored by Meadens Skoda, are next up. Stephen Moore brings his seriously fast modified production Mitsubishi Evo both days and has that beautiful Aston Martin Vantage of Tim Painter and Andrew Fraser. It will be interesting to see how Jim Herbert’s Mitsubishi and Mark Walker’s Porsche fair.
The Modified Specialist Production Class, sponsored by Gates of Brockenhurst, is a five driver, four car line-up on Saturday and a three car line-up on Sunday. Martin Watson in his Westfield runs both days but has Ritchie Gatt in his Westfield and Steve Holland in his Caterham will be chasing him all the way to the line. This class is always far too difficult to predict, it could be anyone’s.
The Kelvin Jouhar sponsored Historically Interesting Class, runs next. The lovely Chevron B19 of Amanda and Richard George is out. And we will see Fyrth Crosse’s Dempster Ensign LNF3, who is a late entry. Fyrth will probably take the win. But you really should take a look at these cars when they are in the paddock.
Next up is the Hill Climb Super Sports Car Class. It has just one entrant Richard Fry in his Mallock 25/27.
Sports Libre up to 1400cc Class sees four entrants both days. Gurston Down’s Driver School Principle, Tim Pitfeild is out in his DJ Firecat. At Test Day, Tim was close to his personal best. Look out for Richard Wood’s beautifully prepared Yamaha Mini.
Sports Libre 1400cc to 2000cc Class has just one entry, Keith Diggle’s WEV HCS-BDG.
The Sports Libre up to 2000cc Class which sees Chris Cannell and Sue Hayes entered in the twin engined Force SR8 up against Geoff Twemlow’s, Subaru powered, Saker GT. Chris will be looking for Top Ten Challenge points both days and might even be in with a chance of Fastest Time of the Day.
On Sunday the 500 Owners Association Championship Cars Class (2001 Rules) has three entrants. The Lola’s of Stuart Barnes and Mike Wood will need to be on top form to beat Ainsley Barwick.
The 601cc to 1100cc Racing Car Class, sponsored by Drynham Project Management, has a good entry on both days. It is an open class but the form book would suggest that David Cuff in his OMS CF97 taking the win but the rest of the class are not going to let him have it easy.
The 1101cc to 1600cc Racing Car Class, brings a new car and driver combination to the hill on both days. Pete Hammock bring his new Empire Wraith. But it will be close, as he has Andrew Forsyth in his OMS CF04 to contend with. They will both be looking for Top Ten Challenge points and are possible Fastest Time of the Day contenders.
The New Techniques sponsored 1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car (Normally Aspirated) Class has just one entrant both days. Roger Cock in the Pilbeam MP54.
The final car runner of the day will be in the Gould Engineering sponsored Racing Cars Over 2000cc class. Paul Crute in the Jaguar powered OMS28 will be searching for a Fastest Time of the Day. He will definitely have his work cut out!
Why not come and join us?
With this variety of cars Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st will both be action packed days at Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb.
Don’t miss it!
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 21st and Sunday 22nd April
Times: Competition from approx. 1300, practice from 0830 both days.
Admission: Only £10 for adults each day, accompanied under 14s free, free paddock entry, free parking.