The August meeting at Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb brought the Avon Tyres / Wynn Developments British Hill Climb Championship and the Avon Tyres / Wynn Developments Hill Climb Leaders Championship to the hill.
There were 150 cars and drivers competing at the twisty course at Wiltshire’s famous Speed Hill Climb Venue and it was a spectacular weekend with class records falling all over the classes! Some great performances!
The British Hill Climb Championship was decided at the first run-off on Sunday. Wallace Menzies won the first run-off and sealed the championship. It was his 299th run-off too. Such a great performance with seven run-off to go! More on the run-offs later in the report.
Wallace also won the Fastest Time of the Day with a 25.54s run in the first run-off. That’s less than 0.2s off the overall hill record.
Saturday’s practice had a few incidents but it showed how Sunday’s events might be.
The BARC SW B Licence Class
The BARC South West B Licence Class went first. Martin Watson in his Westfield SeiW dominated the class from the outset. His second timed run was 32.13s four seconds ahead of the Isabella Lawrence in Stephen Moore’s Mitsubishi Evo, she was sharing with Jon Maycock this weekend. She finished on 36.14s with Mark Everett in the TVR Griffith. There were many personal bests in this class too.
The Road Going Series Production Car Class up to 2000cc – A(i)
Dean Cubitt in the Mazda MX5 stamped his authority on this class from the start of practice. He best timed run was 38.24s. It was interesting to see how the four “new” Mazda MX5 drivers got on. Ronald King snatched second in the MX5 he was sharing with Paula Levett, finishing on 41.46s.
The Over 2000cc Road Going Series Production Car Class – A(ii)
Jon Maycock in the Mitsubishi Evo he was sharing with Isabella Lawrence had a great day. He one the class with a 33.98s first timed run. Interestingly, his second timed run was just 0.01s slower on 33.99s. Jon was a little surprised by the car! Second was Rodney Eyles in the gorgeous Alfa Romeo 4C on 35.14s, narrowly beating Mike Rudge in the Ford Focus RS.
The Road Going Specialist Production Car Class – B
Adrian Lewis with the super fast Westfield Superbusa was dominant in this class. He improved his fiorst timed run 33.05s with a 32.98s second timed run. Second was John Pick in the Subaru powered AMS Murtaya with a 36.96s second timed run.
The up to 1400cc Modified Series Production Car Class – C(i)
Neil Turner and his super fast Mini reset the class record in the second timed run and won the class. The new record and the class winning time was 35.01s. The Hillman Imp with Eric Morrey at the wheel was pushed hard by Jim White in the Austin Mini. Those two finishing on 35.96s and 36.17s respectively.
The 1401cc to 2000cc Modified Series Production Car Class – C(ii)
Colin Satchell and Paul Drowne who share the very quick Peugeot 205 swapped places between the first and second timed run. Paul was just 0.03s ahead of Colin after the first timed run. They both went quicker in the second timed run. But it was Colin who took the win with a 33.68s run. Paul was just 0.01s behind on 33.69s.
The Over 2000cc Modified Series Production Car Class – C(iii)
Yet another record fell in this class. Stephen Moore in his other Mitsubishi Evo had an outstanding second timed run. After the first timed run he was in front by just 0.64s. But in the second he got everything together and finished on 31.99s, beating his own class record for the second time this season. Mark Walker in the Porsche Cayman finished second with a 34.26s. Tim Painter in the lovely Aston Martin Vantage was third on 34.53s
The Modified Specialist Production Cars Class – D
Simon Jenks and his Caterham Supersport had a great weekend. Not only did he win the class with a 30.44s second timed run but he took Mike Rudge’s ten year old record with it. Interestingly, Mike, whilst being interviewed during the meeting, promised he would be back with his Westfield soon! Steve Holland was second with a 31.87s second timed run.
The up to 2000cc Sports Libre Car Class – F
Tim Pitfield in the DJ Firecat was in sparkling form! His winning time of 31.75s would be a record in Gurston Down’s own up to 1400cc class. But with the class structures different in the national events, sadly it won’t count. Needless to say he was very pleased! The Norma M20FC, belonging to Duncan Barnes was second, not in Duncan’s hands, but in his hands of the driver he was sharing with, Tom New. Tom was only 0.13s behind Tim and 0.33s ahead of Duncan. A great performance for a car that is usually seen on European hills.
The Over 2000cc Sports Libre Car Class – G
Allan McDonald bring the crazy Mini Evo was joined by Geoff Twemlow in the Saker GT. Geoff switching cars. Allan and the Mini Evo currently holds the hill record for a closed car, he didn’t quite match that pace but won the class with a 31.23s second timed run.
The 601cc to 1100cc Racing Car Class – I
The current class record holder Robert Kenrick in the GWR Raptor 2 was the man to beat in this class. Robert reset the class record in May and reset it twice in both of the timed runs. He won the class with a 28.04s run. He also helped his Leaders Championship points and he qualified for both British Hill Climb Championship run-offs too. Stephen Owen in the OMS 28 was second on 29.66s with the Greenen brothers Adam and Andy third and fourth respectively, both finishing on 29.87s but Andy’s second timed run failgave Adam the third place.
Formula Ford Racing Cars up to 1600cc Class – J(i)
This class was amalgamated with the 1100cc to 1600cc Racing Car Class (J(ii)) as Sam Lister is the only entrant. Sam and her Van Diemen RF92 managed a 37.99s second timed run, a great performance.
The 1100cc to 1600cc Racing Car Class – J(ii)
Eynon Price in the Force TA took the lead in the first timed run, didn’t improve in the second but none of the rest of the class could match his pace. He stopped the clocks on 28.59s. David and Allan Warburton in their Gould GR59 were second and third respectively, finishing on 28.62s and 29.27s respectively. David and Eynon also qualified for the first Top Twelve Run-off.
The 1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car Class – Normally Aspirated – K(i)
Tim Davies in the Pilbean MP88 won a very hard fought class with a 29.26s first timed run. Tim Elmer and his Dallara was second on 29.50s and the GWR Pediator with Johnathen Varley at the wheel with a 29.69s run. The first four in this class were separated by less than one second.
The 1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car Class – Forced Induction – K(ii)
Paul Haines in his Gould GR59 took this class with a 27.58s. He has had some great runs during the season at Gurston earlier in the season. Richard Spedding had issues with his car all weekend. He finished second on 27.94s and they both qualified for the two Top Twelve Run-offs. Great performances all round in this class.
The Over 2000cc Racing Car Class – L
With the Championship at stake, this class really was a great one to watch. Will Hall in the Force WH-Xtec had a little spin in the first timed run which meant he didn’t qualify for that. But in the second timed run, he was on the money. His second timed run took the win and took him into the second Top Twelve Run-off. His time was 25.79s, which is close to the long standing hill record but he didn’t get fastest time of the day. That went to Wallace Menzies in the Gould GR59 in the first run-off. Wallace’s class time was 26.03s with Sean Gould in the relatively new Gould GR59-Judd third with a 26.11s. Dave Uren in another Gould, but this time a GR55, was fourth on 26.39s. Debbie Dunbar in the DJ Firestorm had a great weekend, she qualified for the run-offs and her first timed run was just 0.07s off the long standing Ladies Hill Record held by Sue Young.
The Sports and Racing Car Built up to 1971 Class – M
The Brabham BT35 of Christopher Bentley-Jones finished fastest in this class. Although issues meant that he only did one timed run. He finished on 34.85s, just ahead of Amanda George in the Cheveron B19 who finished on 35.11s.
The Sports and Racing Car Built up to 1985 Class – N
Roger Cock transferred from the Racing Car Class in the Pilbeam MP54 and took the class win from Roger Deans in the Lola T142. Roger Cock finished on 31.95s and Roger Deans on 37.47s.
The SBD HSA Speed Championship – Class A2 Saloons and Sports Cars
Chris Berrisford in the Subaru Impreza was a non-starter, leaving the class very wide open. Charles White in Lotus Elise won after a great first timed run of 41.78s with Oliver Beale in the Audi TT just 0.20s behind.
The SBD HSA Speed Championship – Class A2.1 Mazda MX5s
The Mazda MX5 class had a good entry. The Mazda shared by father and son, Alan and Nicholas Mugglestone dominated the class. They both broke the existing class record. Ultimately. Alan was the quickest. He finished on 38.26s with Nick on 39.29s.
The SBD HSA Speed Championship – Class B2 Roadgoing Specialist Cars
The Westfield is shared by Simon Price and Paul Evans was the only car in this class. Simon was ahead after the first timed run and stayed in that position during the second as Paul couldn’t improve on the mornings run.
The SBD HSA Speed Championship – Class C Modified Saloons and Sports Cars
Robin Lee in the Renault Clio he shares with Geoff Lancaster took the class win here. It was a hard fought and very close battle for the top three places. Paul Meadows in another Clio was second and Julian Harper in a Mini was thirds. Their times were 39.38s, 39.64s and 40.36s respectively.
The SBD HSA Speed Championship – Class F Supersports / Sports Libre Cars
This class was amalgumated with Class I and J Racing Cars.
The SBD HSA Speed Championship – Class F, I and J Racing Cars Amalgumated
Paul Batey in his Rawlinson S-F Stiletto took the class win, by a good margin. He stopped the clocks on 37.16s. Laurence Marks in the Van Diemen RF84 took second with a 39.14s first timed run.
The Porsche Club’s National Hill Climb Championship Class 2 – Standard Production Cars
Another class record fell in this class. A great performance by David Dyson in his 911 beat Robert Lancaster-Gaye in his 911 GT3. David’s time and new class record was 34.89s with Robert finishing on 36.82s
The Porsche Club’s National Hill Climb Championship Class 1 – Modified Cars
Class 1 had the super fast 911 RSR with Paul Howells at the wheel. Paul was ahead after the first timed run. None of the three improved their times in the second timed run so Paul took the win. His time 33.27s finishing ahead of Peter Turnball who stopped the clocks on 34.03s. Their times were probably affected by the late afternoon heat.
Top Twelve Run-offs, Rounds 27 and 28 of the British Hill Climb Championships
This run-off could decide this years Motorsport UK Avon Tyres / Wynn Developments British Hill Climb Championship. In order for Wallace Menzies in the Gould GR59 to win, he had to win the run-off and Alex Summers in the DJ Firestorm, his competition needed to finish below fourth. Wallace won the Run-off and Alex finished fifth, so Wallace became the 2019 British Hill Climb Champion. His time also won fastest time of the day, he finished on 25.54s, just 0.07s off the Hill Record. It was an all Gould top three, Sean Gould in the GR59-Judd was second on 25.81s, Dave Uren in the GR55 was third on 25.89s with Trevor Willis in his OMS28 fourth on 26.34s. Alex Summers was fifth on 26.88s.
This was the 299th time Wallace had qualified for a Top Twelve Run-off and the 19th time a Gould has won the British Hill Climb Championship.
Sean Gould had a great second run-off in the GR59-Judd. The “new” car is really coming together now and it will be interesting to see what will happen during the rest of the season. Sean finished on 25.62s with Wallace Menzies in another GR59 second on 25.78s. Will Hall in the Force WH-Xtec slotted into third on 25.96s and Dave Uren and Trevor Willis fourth and fifth respectively.
We would like to thank all those who made our weekend possible!
Anthony Record – Press Officer Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb – BARC SW