Joan Marie Hitchings

It is with great sadness that we have to inform you that Joan Hitchings, aged 88, has died on the 15th August 2020.

All at Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb offer our thoughts and most sincere condolences to her children, Robert, Philip, Janette, Melanie, Barbara and Frances and to her grand-children.

The family memorial service and cremation service are being held today.


These are the dates that BARC SW Centre plan to run events in the 2021 season. The exact decision on whether events are one day or two day meetings has yet to be agreed. Full details, including invited clubs, will be published here as soon as they are available.

Test Day – 7th March – BARC SW Members

March – Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th

April – Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th

May – Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th – expected to be the Motorsport UK British Hillclimb Championship Weekend. There will be an Intercub (formerly Nat B) meeting for BARC SW Centre members at this event.

June – Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th – The Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend

July – Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th

August – Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th

Note: Full details of the invited clubs for each event will be available soon.


Hill Climb School Days – 2021

There will be at least FOUR school days in 2021:

Tuesday 6th April

Tuesday 4th May

Tuesday 8th June

Tuesday 13th July (FULLY BOOKED)

There may be a school on Tuesday 3rd August – but this has not yet been confirmed


Statement from BARC South West Centre – Event 30th August 2020

August 2020 – Club Meeting

After an exhaustive Committee meeting on the 29th June 2020, BARC South West Centre  have to announce that we will not be running an event on 30th August 2020.

As many of you already know, as a consequence, there will be no hill climb events at Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb for the 2020 season. The Turbo Dynamics Gurston Down Hill Climb Championship and the Cavendish Ships Store BARC SW Top Ten Challenge have both been cancelled as has our Annual Awards Dinner in November.

The Committee heard from all of those involved in the running of the event, discussed the safety and financial implications, as well as views from each of the committee members.

The primary concern of the Committee was driver and stakeholder safety. The Committee, by majority vote, decided that the event could not be run taking into account all of the current guidance issued by Motorsport UK, BARC, HM Government and the other stakeholders.

Our Competition Secretary, Nick Revels will be in touch with all competitors over the next few weeks to arrange refunds. These refunds will be processed as quickly as possible.

BARC SW, 1st July 2020

Statement from BARC South West – August and September Meetings – 12th June 2020

August 2020 – British Hill Climb Championship and BHC Cup

NOTE: This statement was originally due for release on Friday 12th June at 10:00 and has been changed to reflect announcements made during that day.


BARC South West have decided, after much discussion, that we will not be running the British Hill Climb and BHC Cup event planned for the August bank holiday weekend. 

Our final decision was made on Friday morning, prior to the announcement by the British Hill Climb Championship that they have cancelled their 2020 championship.

September 2020 – Club Meeting

BARC South West regret to announce that we are cancelling our September club meeting.

However, we are now working towards running just one meeting in 2020. Obviously, subject to the Motorsport UK’s guidelines and any government restrictions in force at the time.

This meeting will take place over the August bank holiday weekend vacated by the BHC event. We believe that this will give us time and enable us to organise the meeting.

August 2020 – Club Meeting

The August 2020 meeting will be a Club Event.

The precise format of the meeting in August has yet to be formally decided, although we expect it to be a one day event on Sunday 30th. As you will appreciate, we have a number of issues that will need to be addressed prior to running the meeting. These include safety issues, other logistical issues as well as the financial implications that come about running a motorsport event during these times.

Once we have formulated solutions to these issues, that are both workable and feasible, within the guidelines and time-frame, we will let you know.

More updates as soon as we have them.

BARC South West – Original Statement Date: Friday 12thJune at 10:00 – Edited

BARC SW Statement – August and September 2020 Meetings

With a number of other hills and clubs making announcements about running events in July, August and further in the future, BARC South West would like to update you on our progress in respect of the August and September meetings.

We have been analysing the Motorsport UK’s requirements published last month. Our primary concern with regard to these regulations is safety. That’s not just of our competitors but all the people involved in our events.

We are working on the requirements, as well as reviewing how other clubs are implementing these requirements and how they are organising their meetings.

As many of you know, we have a limited paddock area. The current regulations would only allow us to accommodate approximately 70 cars and no spectators. This makes the August and September meetings financially difficult. We are hoping for changes to be made after the next government announcement at the end of June / early July to enable us to run these meetings as planned.

On top of this, we are unable to run meetings after the second week of September because of our lease of the hill.

In order to reduce our costs, we have withdrawn our online entry system for both of the August and September meetings. At this time we would prefer not to accept entries to avoid additional costs.

Once we have solutions to all of these requirements, as they stand today, to run an event we will allow entries to be taken online again.

More updates as soon as we have them.


BARC South West Statement – Our July 2020 Meetings

As most of you will know, on the 20th May, Motorsport UK issued guidance to assist with the restart of motorsport in the UK. The guidance details a raft of recommendations for all elements of running an event. MSUK issued it’s PPE recommendations on 22nd May.

Here’s a link to the MotorsportUK Guidance in full

After considerable discussion and thought, BARC South West have decided to cancel the two July meetings that were due to be held on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th July 2020.

MSUK’s guidance and the current social distancing requirements would lead to entries being restricted to around 70 cars.

The club has a responsibility to all of the stake-holders involved in our meetings. That’s everyone from the drivers, riders, marshals, officals, the wider community, to our suppliers and sponsors, our cleaners and ultimately to BARC SW members.

There are many points in the guidance that could be overcome but not within the time-frame for organising the July meetings.

We will update you when we are able on our August and September meetings.



BARC South West Centre – Annual General Meeting

BARC South West Centre usually has it’s Annual General Meeting in May. Due to the current restrictions, we are postponing the meeting and rescheduling it for sometime in August. The date is yet to be confirmed.

We will confirm the date, location and time once we are able to.

South West centre members should check here, our Facebook page, our Twitter and Instagram feeds for details. We will make any appropriate announcements in those places in due course.



Anthony Record – Gurston Down Press Officer




As many of you will know, Motorsport UK has made a further statement in respect of Motorsport being held in the UK at this time. Part of that statement reads as follows:

“In light of recent developments in the COVID-19 crisis, and following the address to the nation by the Prime Minister on the evening of 23rd March, Motorsport UK has today extended its suspension of all organising permits and Certificates of Exemption for motorsport events until at least 30th June.

This move provides clear guidance to event organisers, venues, competitors, officials and volunteer marshals of the role that Motorsport UK must play in supporting the broader UK public health agenda.

In recent days the feedback from our members and the community was a need for increased clarity to allow them to plan appropriately and, should the need arise, put in place necessary contingency measures.”

Motorsport UK will continue to monitor the prevailing advice from the UK Government in respect of the COVID-19 international pandemic and will update the motorsport community accordingly.

As a consequence of this Gurston Down (BARC SW) have to fall in line with statements made by BARC.

1. April 18th and 19th are POSTPONED.


2. May 23rd and 24th are POSTPONED.


3. June 13th and 14th are POSTPONED.


4. ALL three Driver School Days are CANCELLED – The Drivers School will be in touch with everyone directly.


BARC SW will update you as soon as we have more information.


As many of you may already have read, Motorsport UK have withdrawn all events licences for events scheduled up to 30th April 2020. As a consequence:

  1. Test Day of the 29th March is CANCELLED. Refunds will be processed as soon as we can. There are a large number to deal with so please bear with us.
  2. Saturday and Sunday meetings on the 18th and 19th April 2020 have been POSTPONED. We are working very hard on a solution and will update you as soon as we have any information to give you.
  3. April’s Drivers School is POSTPONED.

Once any decisions have been made, we will provide information here, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Please read the News Release from Motorsport UK – Statement from Motorsport UK