The weekend of Saturday May 25th and Sunday May 26th 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 many of Britain’s 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 08:30 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.
There will be a fastest time of the day and 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
The class will be first to the hill. The class is specifically for those driver who hold an MS UK B Speed licence. There are a number of new comers to this class and the hill. Daniel and Andy Reeve bring their Aston Martin N24 and Campbell Adams and Roland Hanbury bring their OMS 2000M. Martin Watson and his Westfield, Sarah Fudge in the Lewis Dean Impreza and Dean Cubitt’s and his Mazda MX5 probably start as favourites for the top three places because of their experience on the hill. But with a real mix of cars and drivers in this class and the new car and driver combinations this class will be especially hard fort.
The Road Going Series Production Car Class up to 2000cc
There is a small entry in this class, just two cars. Tim Forster in his beautifully prepared Lotus Elan, Nick Revels, Gurston Down’s Competition Secretary, in John Davey’s New Midget and Tony Record, Gurston Down’s Press Officer, in the Proton Satria Gti he usually shares with Nick Revels. Tim will dominate this class!
Over 2000cc Road Going Series Production Car Class
Mike Rudge is the sole entrant in this class. He’ll bring back his Ford Focus RS. It will be interesting to see how he compares to last season when he first brought the car to the hill.
Thanks to Stuart Freeman for this great picture of Mike having an issue with Ashes….
The Road Going Specialist Production Car Class
John Davey, the Managing Director of our Top Ten Challenge Sponsor, Cavendish Ships Stores, bring his TVR Vixen to the hill for the first time this season. Adrian Lewis and his Westfield Superbusa should dominate this class, providing the car behaves!
Up to 1400cc Modified Series Production Car Class
Not only do we have the Gurston regulars, David Bean and James White in their Minis but we have two Hillman Imp powered cars. Eric Morrey in his turbo-charged Hillman Imp and the delightful Ginetta G15 of Andrew Russell. It will be probably be between James White and Andrew Russell.
1401cc to 2000cc Modified Series Production Car Class
There is just one entry in this class, Paul Meadows in his Renault Clio.
Over 2000cc Modified Series Production Car Class
There is a massive entry in this class. The current class record holder Stephen Moore in the Mitsubishi Evo RS has some stiff competition with Phil Price and his Porsche 911RS and the Aston Martin of Tim Painter and Andrew Fraser. There are a few new car and driver combinations that may mix this class up a little.
Modified Specialist Production Cars Class
Steve Holland and Simon Jenks in their respective Caterham’s go head to head in this class. It will be the performance on the day that will decide this class!
Up to 2000cc Sports Libre Car Class
There is an eclectic entry in this class. Derek Kessell brings his Maguire Mini, Duncan Barnes his Norma M20FC (he shares with Tom New), Pete Steel his Radical SR1, Tim Pitfield his DJ Firecat and Keith Diggle in the WEV. Keith starts favourite but his car didn’t make it to the April meetings so that might open this class right up.
Over 2000cc Sports Libre Car Class
The mad Mini Evo of a former Manx Grand Prix winner (on a bike, of course), Allan McDonald has Geoff Twemlow and the Saket GT as his only competition. Allan who, who holds the closed car hill record should take the win.
Up to 600cc Racing Car Class has just one entrant. Les Buck in his OMS Hornet.
601cc to 1100cc Racing Car Class
Another huge entry in this class, 20 drivers! Robert Kenrick in the GWR Raptor 2, Eynon Price in the Force TA, Andy and Adam Greenen in the Empire Evo, Harry Pick in the OMS 3000M along the DJ Firehawk of Debbie Dunbar and Felix Summers will be some of the names to watch for in this class. But this class and it’s places will be settled by hundredths of a second. And there’s a really great chance that some of these cars will qualify for the Top Twelve Run-off too!
1100cc to 1600cc Racing Car Class
There is a good entry in this class. David Warburton in the Gould GR59 probably starts favourite here and he is having a good season, 11th in the British Hill Climb Championship. He will be looking for a qualification place in the top twelve.
Formula Ford Racing Cars up to 1600cc Built Before 1994
Just three entries in the class but it is such a competitive class! Doug Auld in his Swift SC93 and Samantha Lester in her Van Diemen FR92 have Gurston experience which should be critical. Ed McDonough in his Dulon F-Ford MP15 will have his work cut out to catch Doug and Samantha. But who will take the win?
1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car Class – Normally Aspirated
There another big entry in this class. Look out for Tim Elmer and his Dallara F399, the GWR Predator of Johnathen Varley and Andy Bougourd in the Force PT. It will be a close class, Johnathen has been performing well in the Leaders Championship and will be looking for a points.
1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car Class – Forced Induction
Richard Spedding was fifth in the British Hill Climb Championship last year in this GWR Raptor and is currently third. He’ll probably take the class and a place in the Top Twelve Run-off too but you just can’t discount Kelvin Broad in the Force TA and Simon Moyse in another Gould GR59. They will all be looking for championship and leaders points!
Over 2000cc Racing Car Class
This class brings the fastest cars to the hill. Wallace Menzies in his Gould GR59 is the current leader of the British Championship and holds the fastest finish line speed of in excess of 159 mph. He will be chasing run-off places and championship points as will all of the others in this class. Look out for the Scott Moran (Gould GR61x) the current hill record holder, Will Hall in the Force WH-Xtec, Alex Summers in the DJ Firestorm, the Gould GR55 of Nicola Menzies and Dave Uren, Sean Gould in the factory Gould GR59 and Jason Mourant is his Gould GR55.
Sports Racing and Racing Cars Built up to 1971
There are three drivers and two lovely cars in this class. The Brabham BT35 of Christopher Bentley Jones and the Chevron B19 shared by Amanda and Richard George. The Chevron will probably take this class.
Sports Racing and Racing Cars Built up to 1985
Roger Deans in the Lola T142 runs in this class on his own. The 5 litre car makes a wonderful sound!
The Porsche Club’s National Hill Climb Championship Class 2
An all 911 line up in this class compete in this class. The road going class is always very competitive. Robert Lancaster-Gaye should be a contender for the win after visiting Gurston’s Driver School at the beginning of May. But David Dyson, Simon Tarling as well as Richard York and Ross Mcdonald will also be ready and willing to take the win.
The Porsche Club’s National Hill Climb Championship Class 1
This class is another all 911 line-up. Peter Turnbull and Paul Howells start favourites but, just like the road going class, everyone will be happy to take the win.
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 just two entries. Paul Boston has previous form at Gurston Down so Rebecca Boston will need to make him work for the win.
The Lotus 7 Club Championship Class 2 – Cars up to 150 bhp – List 1A Tyres – There is a huge entry in this class and as usual it will be difficult to predict who will come out on top.
The Lotus 7 Club Championship Class 3 – Cars up to 150 bhp – List 1B Tyres – has nine entrants. This class was decided by just a few hundredths of a second last year. Robert Jacobs has Gurston experience so 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 four entrants. It’s difficult to gauge who might be at the front in the end. However, Bruce Bosley has Gurston experience which may play in his favour.
The Lotus 7 Club Championship – Class 5 – there are just three entries.
The Lotus 7 Club Championship – Class 6/7 – sees seven cars and drivers entered. Simon Rogers won in 2017 so he’s probably in with a shout.
Another exciting weekend of 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 May 25th and Sunday May 26th
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
Sunday 21st April brought the motorbikes and combinations from the Autocycle Union’s (ACU) National Hill Climb Championship to Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb. The weather was almost perfect and we had a spectacular show of riding skill.
The fastest time of the day for the motorbikes was Tom Short on his KTM SMR 613cc with a 32.58s timed run.
The riders and their machines never fail to produce some great racing. Practice did not quite go to plan for Paul Jeffery on his KTM. He had a little off over Dear’s Leap but was back on his bike ready for the next run.
The bikes are fast! The fastest car at the event on Sunday produced a 30.24s run. The fastest bike was Tom Short on his KTM SMR 613cc at 32.58s, that’s eighth fastest overall!
Motorbikes are run in classes, just like cars, based on engine capacity. We had a good range of bikes with 32 bikes and three combinations.
There was also a Top Ten Run Off for the bikes, but more on that later in the report.
Results by Class:
The Solo Motor Cycles 351cc to 500cc Class, went first. Glyn Poole on his Honda 500cc stamped his authority on the class from the first run. His time of 33.44s was almost 1.5s ahead of his nearest rival Simon Hocking, KTM SMR, Mike Tilley, Honda CR and Callum Short, KTM. Glyn’s second timed run was only 0.03s slow so everyone else had some real work to do. Mike Tilley managed a 34.94s, pipping Simon Hocking’s 34.95s with Callum just a second behind.
The Solo Motor Cycles 501cc to 750cc Class had another big entry. After the first timed runs, Tom Short, last year’s National Champion, on his KTM ahead of Tommy Hodges on his Team GV CR by just over 0.5s. These two were just over a second ahead of Daniel Hurley (Husaberg) and Guy Ursell (KTM SMR).
The second timed runs saw both Tom and Tommy improve on their times, Tom 32.87s and Tommy 33.51s. Daniel Hurley and Guy Ursell were third or fourth on 34.46s and 34.62s respectively.
The Solo Motor Cycles 751cc to 1300cc Class had the biggest entry of all the motorbike classes. Paul Jeffery’s little off in practice didn’t seem to phase him at all. He came out on his KTM RC8R on the first timed run and finished with a 33.75s. Stu Mills on his Aprilia Tuono managed a 34.24s. The rest of the riders weren’t able to match their pace. There were improvements from most of the riders in this class but the top two didn’t change. Paul Jeffery went faster still as did Stu Mills. Paul’s time was 33.24s and Stu’s 33.94s.
And then it was the turn of the motorbike and side car combinations! The top two were close. Rodney Thorne and Kevin Young, on the Honda Derbyshire, were ahead by just 0.25s of Kevin and Sarah Dewell on their Honda SKR. Kevin and Sarah put together a great second timed run, improved their time by more than a second. They finished on 38.65s and Rodney and Kevin on 39.53s. Kevin Young also competed for the first time as the rider, rather than the pillion. His pillion was Sarah Howard, Gurston Down Speed Hill Climbs Chairman, again in her first competitive climb at her home hill. They ended the day some 18s quicker than their first run.
Ten bikes then qualified for their Top Ten Run-Off.
This was won with another outstanding performance by Tom Short on his KTM SMR going faster than his class run – 32.58s and he won fastest bike of the day with this performance.
We are looking forward to see the bikes again in June!
Anthony Record – Press Officer – BARC SW, Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb
The 2019 Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb season got underway on the Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st April. And what a weekend it turned out to be!
The first four rounds of the Meadens Skoda Championship and the first two of the Cavendish Ships Stores Top Ten Challenge saw some amazing performances with class records being broken by one competitor then broken again on the next run by another competitor. And it didn’t end there, records were re-broken again in the next run and the next day.
The 110 cars and drivers provided spectacular entertainment all weekend and the bikes were equally entertaining. More on the bikes in a separate report.
SATURDAY 20th APRIL – INVITED CLASSES
Pre-War Austin 7’s “Road” Class
There were four entries in the road class. Gerald Mullord in his Austin 7 Hamblin took the lead after the first timed run from Bernard Cowley in the Austin 7 Cowley. The second timed runs saw Gerald go over a second quicker finishing on 53.37s. Bernard couldn’t improve his first timed run 55.80s and ended second.
Pre-War Austin 7’s “Track” Class
The quicker “Track” division went next, with five entries. Martin Whittaker in his Austin 7 was another driver to establish his lead of the class after the first timed run. He improved his time with a second time run of 44.93s. Alistair Frayling-Cork and Paul Geering were very close after the first timed run, they were separated by just 0.16s. Alistair improved his time to 45.99s putting 0.50s between himself and Paul.
The Volvo Owners Club Class
The current record holder Richard Conway in his Volvo PV544 was looking to improve his existing class record of 43.53s. He had some great runs but couldn’t quite match his record breaking runs. His best time was just over half a second off the record, he finished on 44.07s.
The ACSMC Championship Class
This was Adrian Lewis’s, in the Westfield Superbusa, class from the outset. Adrian finished on 35.75s with David Newman in his Mazda MX5 second on 38.89s, a personal best!
The TVR Class
For those of you who like the sound of V8s, this class was the time to listen. Great performances from Mark Everett in the Griffith 500 saw him take a lead of more than a second after the first timed runs. Alan Davies, in his Griffith and Jo Briars in the Chimaera swapped places, Jo being second on 38.89s just 0.15s ahead after the first timed run. But Alan pushed and a 38.80s run put him ahead of Jo. Unfortunately, Jo didn’t managed to better the 38.89s first timed run and as a consequence took third.
The ‘Classic Marques Speed Championship’ Class
This class had a huge entry. The first timed runs saw two drivers in contention, Steven Lyle in the Porsche Boxster S on 37.26s with Stephen Hill in the Lotus Super 7 on 37.30s. The second timed runs brought Matthew Eady in the Ginetta G4 into the fray. His first timed run was a fail. Steven went a little quicker with a 37.10s run, Stephen didn’t managed to improved so he finished on 37.30s with Matthew Eady on 37.48s.
SUNDAY 21st – INVITED CLASSES
Triumph Register Car Class
Steve Small in his TR7 V8 dominated the class and took the class win with a 37.45s. John Weedon in the TR4 just couldn’t match his pace, he finished on 41.27s almost a second clear of Nick Smith in his TR6 who stopped the clocks on 42.16s.
Big Healey and Warwick Cars Class
Pat Cooper in the 100/6 started favourite in this class but a win didn’t look certain after an outstanding performance by John Tewson in his 100/6. Pat’s time was 40.14s and John’s 40.17s. John didn’t managed to improve on his second time run but Pat did. Pat finished on 39.92s and John on 40.17s.
The Healey Sprite Class
Stephen Casson in the Sebring Sprite and Colin Gale in his Sprite were in charge from the first timed run. They were over 1.5s ahead of the Robin Johnson is his Sprite and the rest of the field. Robin significantly pulled that gap back in the second timed run but it wasn’t enough to snatch one of the first two places from Stephen and Colin, neither of which improved their times. Colin won with his first timed run, 39.51s, Stephen, second on 39.56s and Robin third on 39.93s.
The TVR class
The TVRs second day saw Mark Harris in his Cerbera join the class. Mark Everett in the Griffith 500 gained another win and exactly matched his winning time of the previous day. 37.51s. Mark Harris took second with a 38.51s first timed run and Alan Davies and his Griffith was third, improving on his Saturday time, 38.52s.
The ‘Classic Marques Speed Championship’ Class
There were improvements in times for most of the entrants in this class. Matthew Eady in the Ginetta G4 was just infront after the first timed run. He had Stephen Hill in the Lotus Super 7 and Nick Keyser in the Scimita SS1 were all chasing hard. Matthew’s first timed run of 36.93s took first, Stephen second timed run 37.05s took second and Nick third on 37.17s. Many of the places in this huge class, were decided by just a few hundredths.
The 500 Owners Association Championship Cars Class (2001 Rules)
Mike Wood in his Lola took the class win with a 44.50s first timed run.
The Mazda MX5 Class sponsored by The Window Doctor
Saturday – The class record prior to this meeting was held by Mark Crookall at 39.88s. Practice suggested that the record might disappear by the end of the meeting on Saturday. Jason Richardson ran before Mark in the timed runs and he broke the record with a 39.82s run. Mark didn’t know Jason had broken the record when he left the start but he showed exactly why he is the current champion, setting a new record with a 39.58s run. Jason went faster in the second timed run stopping the clock on 38.67s but it just wasn’t enough. Great championship points for both drivers!
Sunday – Jason and Mark were again the leading two in this class. But they need to start looking over their shoulders, as Chris Burch, who shares Mark’s car, seem to be improving fast! Jason’s first timed run of 39.64s was 0.14s ahead of Mark’s 39.76s run. Mark improved in the second timed runs with a 39.67s which wasn’t quite enough to take the win. Both of Jason’s and Mark’s timed run beat the classes target times giving them great points for the championship.
Road Going Series Production up to 1400cc Class
John Davey, Managing Director of the Top Ten Challenge sponsor, Cavendish Ships Stores stamped his authority on this class from practice. His first timed run on Saturday broke the class record, 41.08s which was 1.7s clear of David Nutland in the Mini.
David withdraw from Sunday so John was left to himself. He further lowered the class record to 40.95s after a great performance in the second timed run.
The Road Going Series Production Class 1401cc to 2000cc, sponsored by Record-Designs
Mile Horne and the Peugeot 306 came back and scored wins both days but also broke the long standing class record on the first timed run on Saturday. It now stands at 37.04s. Saturday’s record breaking winning time 37.04s and Sunday’s 37.33s second timed run sees an interesting prospect for the rest of the season. Dean Cubitt in the Mazda MX5 finished second both days. His best time of Saturday was 38.21s and Sunday 38.48s. Although Sunday saw a difficult first timed run with Dean bashing the rear of the car at the top of Karousel. Third went to Tim Foster in the Lotus Elan on Saturday and to Chris Davies oin the Honda Civic on Sunday.
The over 2000cc Road Going Series Production Class, sponsored by Turbo Dynamics
Saturday saw a few changes to the entry list after some class changes and withdrawals. Stephen Moore in the Mitsubishi Evo took first with a 34.88s and Shaun Fudge in the Subaru Impreza second on 37.42s.
Sunday saw Shaun Fudge in the Subaru take the win. Second went to Saturday’s third place man Stephen Cox in the VW Gold R. Shaun finished on 37.10s and Stephen 38.35s.
The Road Going Specialist Production Class, sponsored by Fieldfare Trailers
Saturday – Tim Richardson in the Lotus Elise 250 Cup took the class win ahead of Mark Parrett in the Fieldfare Trailers, Autotune Gemini. Tim’s 38.83s took the win.
Sunday – Adrian Lewis and the Westfield Superbusa returned to the class and took the class win. His time 34.35s.
The Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Car Class up to 2000cc
The 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 car has a new 1400cc forced induction engine and performed well.
The Over 2000cc Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Car Class
Phil Price and his Porsche 930 RS won on both days. Phil had a gearbox issue at the end of Saturday which was fixed thanks to the help of the farm and a few helpful pushers.
The Up To 1400cc Modified Series Production Class, sponsored by Cock and Sons (General Builders)
Neil Turner, last years class champion and class record holder was on top form all weekend. He was just 0.01s behind his existing class record on Saturday and 0.08s slower on Sunday. David Beam in his Mini was second both days.
The Over 2000cc Modified Series Production Class
Saturday – Tim Painter and Andrew Fraser had the class to themselves in that gorgeously presented Aston Martin Vantage GT4. Tim took the win stopping the clocks on 35.67s.
Sunday – Stephen Moore had his Mitsubishi Evo 6 RS took the class win with a 34.61s. Tim Painter in the Aston Martin second on 35.75s.
The Modified Specialist Production Class, sponsored by Gates of Brockenhurst
Steve Holland in the Caterham Hayabusa took the class wins both days, 32.03s on Saturday and 31.58s on Sunday. The later time is close to the class record. It wasn’t an easy win, Martin Watson in his Westfield SeiW and Ritchie Gatt in his Westfield SeiW chased him all the way to the line, both days. Richie was second on Saturday with a 32.21s and on Sunday Martin 32.05s.
Historically Interesting Class sponsored Kelvin Jouhar
The lovely Chevron B19 of Amanda and Richard George was the only entrant is the class both days. However, there was an issue with the car which meant they needed to withdraw on Sunday. Richard won on Saturday.
The Hill Climb Super Sports Car Class
Richard Fry in his Mallock 25/27 was alone in the class.
Sports Libre up to 1400cc Class
Tim Pitfield, Gurston Down’s Driver School Principle in his DJ Firecat took back the class record from Peter Steel. Tim’s first timed run on Saturday was 33.12s. Peter Steel’s times improved over the weekend in his new car a Radical SR1 but he’ll have to work hard to get that record back. On Sunday Tim pushed the record a little lower to 33.04s.
The Sports Libre up to 2000cc Class
Chris Cannell in the twin engined Force SR8 took the class win both days. Finishing on 30.85s on Saturday and 30.52s on Sunday.
The 601cc to 1100cc Racing Car Class, sponsored by Drynham Project Management
It was Murray Wakeham’s weekend in his OMS CF96. He won both days pipping Alan Joy. Saturday Murray finished on Saturday with 32.45s and 32.67s on Sunday. Alan’s times were 33.10s and 32.85s respectively.
The 1101cc to 1600cc Racing Car Class
Andrew Forsyth in his OMS CF04 took the win both days. Pete Hammock was learning his new Empire Wraith so it’ll be interesting to see how this class will pan out during the rest of the season.
The New Techniques sponsored 1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car (Normally Aspirated) Class
Roger Cock in his Pilbeam MP54 was the only entrant in the class.
The Gould Engineering sponsored Racing Cars Over 2000cc Class
Paul Crute took the class in his Jaguar powered OMS28. Paul also took the Fastest Time of the Day BOTH days, with a 30.25s and 30.24s respectively. A great performance!
We would like to thank all those who made our weekend possible!
Anthony Record – Press Officer – BARC SW, Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb