Easter weekend brings two days of competition to Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb.
The 2022 Turbo Dynamics Championship has four more rounds and the Cavendish Ships Stores Top Challenge has two more rounds as well as a great variety of cars entered with a large number of invited clubs and championships.
The weekend sees the Austin Sevens of the Bert Hadley Memorial Championship (Saturday), the Revington TR Triumph Register Sprint and Hill Climb Championship (Saturday), the Welsh Sprint and Hill Climb Championship (both days), the Healeysport Speed Championship (Saturday), the Historic Rally Car Club Championship (both days), the Connaught Speed Championship (both days), the Morgan Sports Car Club Techniques Speed Championship (Sunday), The 500 Owners Club Championship (Sunday) and, last but certainly not least, the Classic Marques Speed Challenge (both days).
Look out for our Charity Easter Egg Raffles on both days
The weekend’s events will get underway around 08:30 each day and will provide a glorious show of sound, smell, speed and skill. Entry is around 140 cars and drivers, on Saturday and 120 cars and drivers on Sunday, 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!
The Fastest Time of the Day is the ultimate goal for 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 underway with the invited classes. First, up should be the Pre-War Austin 7’s of the Bert Hadley Memorial Championship. This has eight cars entered. Gurston Down experience will probably be key in this class so Colin Danks and Paul Geering probably start favourites but there are some newcomers, so that might all be turned upside down.
The Revington TR Triumph Register Sprint and Hill Climb Championship goes next. The TR8 and TR7 V8s usually dominate this class with the TR4s and TR6s usually making the V8s work hard for their wins. Rod Warner, Lawrence Jeram-Croft, Jum Giddings in the V8s and Len Olds in his TR4 and Nick Smith in the TR6 will all be fighting for the win and places. There are some lovely cars in this class.
The Welsh Sprint and Hill Climb Championship have a great range of cars entered, everything from a Fiat Punto to a Ford Sierra. William Hunt in the Sierra has form but there is a Westfield entered, with John Morgan at the wheel. They compete both days so who will take the win and can they repeat it on Sunday?
The Healeysport Speed Championship runs next. There are ten cars entered. Stephen Casson in his Sebring and Paul Baker in his Roadster. This is another class of beautifully presented cars, always worth taking the time to look at.
The Historic Rally Car Club Championship has just three cars entered but it’ll be very competitive. David Wheeler in his Renault 8 Gordini will have his work cut out to stay at the front. Again, will there be a different winner on Sunday?
The BARC Connaught Speed Championship has a good entry, again with a great variety of cars, everything from Caterhams to Ford Fiestas. Looking at previous experience, the two Caterhams of Nigel Holt, Roger Legg and the Ginetta of Robert Pallett will all be looking for the victory.
The 500 Owners Club Championship has a good entry. John Dent in his Cooper has form so will probably be in the top three. But who else will join him?
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 Boxster with Steven Lyle at the wheel to, Brain Marshall in the Marcos Mantula. 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!
The Mazda MX5 Road Car Class, sponsored by The Window Doctor. March’s meetings showed that this class may well be far more competitive than it may have looked based on the original entry. The record-holding RS, Chris Burch used to share with Mark Crookall now has a new shared driver, Richard Morton. Richard made sure Chris worked for his class wins as did Jon Hammock in his RS. Pete Hammock, who usually competes in an Empire, is sharing that car with his son Jon. You shouldn’t discount any of the drivers in this class.
The Road Cars Series Production up to 1400cc was an interesting class in March. Stephen Wareham scored maximum points and leads the overall championship as well as the class. Can this form continue, or will someone else in the class of eight cars, squeeze the former champion out of his lead.
The Road Cars Series Production Class 1401cc to 2000cc runs next. Daniel Friel and Russell Davies in their respective Honda Civic Type Rs have the form to take this class. There are some newcomers who might well separate these two or push them down the order. There might be some surprises.
The over 2000cc Road Cars Series Production Class, sponsored by Turbo Dynamics. Clive and Jennie Stangle in their Mitsubishi Evo return. Steve Cox in his Golf R will be pushing them for the win and championship points. It’ll be interesting to see how the Porsche 996 of Nigel Watkins does against those three.
The Road Cars Specialist Production Class runs next. There are four entries in this class and five on Sunday, with the TVR of Stephen Thomas. The two favourites have to be Chris Burridge and Clive Skipper both have very similar personal bests so it will be interesting who finishes where each day.
The Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Car Class up to 2000cc sees just two cars entered in this class. Peter Ramsden in his Toyota MR2 and Tony Record, Gurston’s Press Officer, in his Mazda MX5. The winner of this class will be down to who performs best on the day.
The Over 2000cc Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Car Class goes next. Phil Price in his Porsche 930 RS has to start favourite in this class although Graham Beale in the Ginetta G33 will push him all the way to the line. A tiny error, like a missed gear, will change the result in this class.
The Up To 1400cc Modified Series Production Class, sponsored by Cock and Sons (General Builders), has a small entry of just two cars. But the class record holder and last year’s class champion, Neil Turner is likely to take the wins!
The 1400cc to 2000cc Modified Series Production Car Class has one entry on Sunday, Paul Meadows in his Renault Clio 182.
The Over 2000cc Modified Series Production Class 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 or the Audi R8 V10, depending on whether the Aston is ready to have Jim Herbert’s Mitsubishi to contend with. On Sunday James Herbert Winner, probably Stephen.
The Modified Specialist Production Class, has just one entrant, Martin Watson in his Westfield. Personal bests will be his target.
The Kelvin Jouhar sponsored Historically Interesting Class, runs next and, has just two entrants on Saturday and three on Sunday. Fyrth Crosse’s Dempster Ensign LNF3 starts favourite based on personal bests but with Sue Hayes and Mike Broome the other two competitors, it could be anyone’s day.
The Sports Libre up to 1400cc Class sees last year’s championship Tim Pitfield competing on his own. Tim and, his DJ Firecat will be looking for personal bests.
Sports Libre 1400cc to 2000cc Class has two entries, Clive Wooster in his Radical and Mike Lee in his Force LM. Mike will probably end up at the front of this class.
The 601cc to 1100cc Racing Car Class, sponsored by Rhianco Ltd, has a good entry on both days. It is an open class but the form book would suggest that Murry Wakeham in his OMS and Ben Bonfield in his Jedi are likely to be in the top two. But with a newcomer to the class and, former multiple Gurston Champion, Mark Crookall and Adrian Lewis in his Empire may well be there to upset the form book.
Formula Ford up to 1600cc built up to 1985 Class. Two cars entered here, Robin Johnson and Joe Mackrell. They share the car so it’ll be interesting who takes each day.
The New Techniques sponsored 1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car (Normally Aspirated) Class has two entrants, Roger Cock in the Pilbeam MP54 and Tony Wiltshire in the Ralt. The winner will probably be Tony.
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 and a Top Ten Challenge Run-Off place. He will definitely have his work cut out!
Why not come and join us?
With this variety of cars, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th 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.
Dates: Saturday 16st and Sunday 17nd April
Times: Competition from approx. 1300, practice from 0830 both days.
Admission: Only £15 for adults each day, at the gate (£12.50 in advance) accompanied under 14s free, free paddock entry, free parking.
Anthony Record – Press Officer – BARC SW, Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb