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