Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb hosts the Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend with two days of speed! June 18th and 19th promises to be another great weekend’s motorsport!
Over 130 cars and drivers and 35 motorbikes will compete each day in specially prepared hill climb cars, spectacular sport and racing cars as well as standard road cars. They will all face the challenge of the legendary 12 feet wide fast and twisty course at Wiltshire’s famous Speed Hill Climb Venue, Gurston Down.
With unrivalled access to the hill, paddock, cars, drivers and facilities available to our spectators, the weekend promises to be a veritable spectacle of sound, smell, skill and speed. We have excellent catering and refreshments on site too!
You really can’t get closer to the action!
Saturday’s meeting has a round of the ACSMC, ASWMC, Porsche Club’s and the Service Hydraulics Speed Championships and the second round of the Meadens Skoda Gurston Down Hill Climb Championship and the Cavendish Ships Stores Top Ten Challenge as well as the motorbikes in the National Hill Climb Association (NHCA).
Sunday’s meeting has a round of the Morgan Cars, Bugatti Owners Club and the Service Hydraulics Speed Championships and the third round of the Meadens Skoda Gurston Down Hill Climb Championship and the Cavendish Ships Stores Top Ten Challenge as well as the motorbikes in the National Hill Climb Association (NHCA).
Jason Mourant brings his gleaming white Judd powered Gould GR55 back to the hill after a great May meeting. He should take Fastest Time of the Day for both days with the ex F1 engined car. Others will have an uphill struggle, although we should never discount Simon and Peter Marsh or Peter D Smith.
Saturday’s Invited Classes Preview:
The invited classes get the meeting under-way. The ACSMC ‘Road Legal’ class has two entries. Will David Brown’s Renault Clio or Rob Choules’ Citroen Saxo VTS take the honours? The nimble Saxo could just snatch this one.
The ACWMC ‘Road Legal’ class also has two entries, the Lotus Elise of Jon Longmead should be able to overcome the John Cooper Works Mini of Richard Trevail.
Next up is the second visit to Gurston of The Porsche Club. With 15 drivers in 14 cars, this class will be hard fought. Form says that Graham Rose’s 924S, Geraint Evans’ 911, David Hilton’s GT3RS or Ian Wadsworth’s Carrera 3 will all be in with a shout of victory. But don’t be fooled by the form. This class is properly competitive.
The Service Hydraulics Speed Championship class runs next. Ian Perry in his Rover 25 is probably the favourite but with the Westfield of Dave Reed and the Clio 172 of Richard Jenkinson, he’ll really need to work for the win.
Sunday’s Invited Classes Preview:
The Morgan Car Class will be first up on Sunday. Alan Foster in the 3.9 litre +8 should be able to beat smaller engined field. Alan is also competing on Saturday in the Road Going Specialist Class.
The Bugatti Owners Club class is a very wide variety of cars, everything from a Brabham BT21c (Martin Jones) to a Dodge Coronet (John Harrison). Nick Stephens’ Lotus 51b starts favourite but this could be anyone’s class.
Sunday’s Service Hydraulics Speed Championship class has just two entered. Ian Perry in his Rover 25 and Dave Reed in his Westfield go today. Will there be a repeat of Saturday’s result?
Classes Running Both Days:
This season new sub-class the Road Going MX5 class runs next. Mark Crockall (Mk1 Eunos Roadster) has a previous victory under his belt. However Nick Revels’ latest Mk2 MX5 will see Mark under pressure. It will be close, as ever, so will we see a new class record or will there be someone new taking the win?
There are thirteen drivers in the Upto 2000cc Road Going Series Production Car class. The Honda Civic Type R driven by Adam and Andy Greenan, should take the win on Saturday but Tim Forster and his delightful Lotus Elan or Steve Harris’ Corsa could challenge. On Sunday Paul Webster and his super quick Mazda MX5 will be back so that will stir things up.
In the Over 2000cc Road Going Series Production Car class sees Stephen Moore, last year’s Gurston Champion, in his 2.0t Mitsubishi Evo 6 run against the 2.3t Evo of Simon Neve and Jennie and Clive Strangle’s Audi TT. They all go both days but there are some new car and driver combinations appearing for the first time so it should be an interesting class to watch.
The Road Going Specialist Production Car class always produces some great action. Clive Skipper with his 2.0 Caterham HPC and Adrian Lewis in his 1.4 Westfield Megabusa will probably be one / two but which driver / car combination will it be? And we should never discount any of the others entered here to cause a surprise.
In the Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Cars up to 2000cc class Graham Beale is back in his Ginetta G20. Nick Morgan in 1.8 Lotus Elise really will struggle to catch the Ginetta G20.
The 2014 Gurston Champion Simon Purcell in his Lotus Exige and Bob Mortimer in his 2.7 Porsche 911 will battle to the line in the Over 2000cc Modified Production Marque Sports Car class. Steve Holley and his TVR Griffith won’t let them walk away with the victory.
The up to 1400cc Modified Series Production Car class is full of classic Minis but not ordinary Minis. The class record holder, Jim White’s highly developed 1.4 Mini Clubman, won’t be given any quarter by David Bean, Neil Turner or Derek Mullis who will all be looking to steal a win.
Richard Wood runs in his Yamaha Mini both days in the Modified Series Mini Class.
The 1400 to 2000cc Modified Series Production class sees Ian and Kevin Plummer go head to head in their Opel Corsa.
The Over 2000cc Modified Series Production Sports Car class sets the beautifully presented Aston Martin Vantage of Tim Painter Andrew Fraser against Mark Walker’s 3.4 Porsche Cayman S with Tracy Marshall in an Audi TT running both days and Mike Butler (BMW M3) and Brendon Jones (Ford Escort) competing Sunday.
There’s a huge entry in the Modified Specialist Production Car. Mike Rudge, the current record holder in his 2.3 Westfield SEi, looks good for the win here but with an interesting number of quick car / driver combinations both days, it’s not going to be easy!
The Historically Interesting class always brings out some stunning machinery. Anthony Norton’s Alvis 12/50 TJ, Hugh Kemp’s Palliser WDF3, Geoff Hunt’s Lotus 22 and Fyrth Crosse’s Dempster Ensign LNF3. Fyrth is the man in form at the moment but it’s doubtful he’ll have it all his own way.
Saturday sees just one entry in the Hill Climb Super Sports Class with Derek Harris and his Mallock Mk17b. However, Sunday sees another car, a Mallock Mk20b, shared by John and Jonathon Weeden. With cars this evenly matched, it’s going to be close.
The pace really hots up as we reach the combined sports libre classes.
The up to 2000cc Sports Libre Class has Peter Sexton, the Gurston Down Championship Sponsor, and Jonathan Gates and their 1.3 supercharged Force LM top seeds. Tim Pitfield’s DJ Firehawk and the other entrants will make sure they have to get everything right to take the win.
The Over 2000cc Sports Libre Class sees the fabulously sounding Chevrolet Camero of Jeffery Way, the Metro 6R4 Replica of Paul Punnett, Keith Diggle’s WEV HCS and Chris Cannell and Sue Hayes (Force SR8) will have Saturday to themselves.
However, Sunday sees Nic Mann’s mental Manic Beattie back at Gurston. Sunday should be Nic Mann’s day but Saturday in pretty open.
David Cuff and his Jedi has the up to 600cc Racing Car class to himself.
The 601cc to 1100cc Racing Car class has seven entries on Saturday and eight on Sunday. There are a wide range of cars and engine combinations. The front runners here should be Murray Wakeham and Alan Joy in their OMS CF96, Gregory Barton and James Moore in their respective Empire 00s.
The Formula Ford class has six cars entered both days. All these cars should be within a few seconds of each other but it’s going to be the driver who does best on the fast and twisty course.
With six entries on Saturday and four on Sunday, the 1101cc to 1600cc Racing Car class will be another highly competitive class. Although Peter D Smith, with his form and local knowledge, should take the win.
Simon and Peter Marsh and their DJ Firehawk are having a good season so far in the 1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car – Forced Induction class. Simon finished 10th in the second Top Twelve Run at Shelsley Walsh last weekend. Andy McBeath’s OMS will have to be on top form to snatch this class.
Jason Mourant brings his 4.0 litre ex F1 Judd engined Gould GR55 to Gurston in the over 2000cc Racing Car class. He’s having a great season after moving from an OMS to the GR55. Fastest Time of the Day should be Jason’s on both days.
The N.H.C.A.’s motorbikes run both days.
They are an amazing spectacle in their own right. Competing on a bike or combination at Gurston Down isn’t anything like driving a car. Gurston is fast, very fast. The course records range from 35.39s for a rider / side car combination to the 31.85s on a solo motorbike.
The solo motorbike 100cc to 250cc class sees three riders, Issac Warren (Suzuki RM), Pauline Douglass (Honda CBF) and Alex Warren on his Yamaha, on Saturday and Sunday see two in the class, Glyn Poole (Honda) and Simon Wilson (Yamaha). Glyn holds the course record at 34.08s so a win for Glyn on Sunday is on the cards.
The 351cc to 500cc class has seven riders on Saturday and eight on Sunday. Tommy Hodges goes both day on his Honda was second in the 2015 championship so we should expect a great performance from him. Pete Ford on his KTM will make sure Tommy doesn’t have it all his own way. All the other riders will make sure they both have their work cut out for the win.
The 501cc to 750cc has four top ten riders from last year’s championship, Peter Short on his KTM, Tom Short on his Husaberg, Mark Short on his Aprilia and Keith Haines on his Aprilia will all be looking to take the win. The other riders won’t be letting those four just take the win without a fight.
The 750cc to 1300cc bikes has ten entrants on Saturday and nine on Sunday. There are two top ten riders in this class, Pete Loxston (Suzuki) and Stuart Mills (Aprilia). There are all four of the top class riders in last year champions. This class will be won on the day!
The Sidecar Class has a great entry, five on Saturday and seven on Sunday. This is a class to watch and we aren’t talking about just the speed! Pat and Paul Keates, the current record holders in the amazing Baker F1, have some of last years championship front runners to compete against. The best view of the sidecars is at Karousel or Ashes.
With this variety of cars and motorbikes, June 18th and June 19th will be provide two action packed days of motorsport 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 June 18th and Sunday June 19th
Times: Competition runs from approx. 1300, practice runs from 0830 both days.
Admission: Only £10 for adults each day, accompanied under 15s free, free paddock entry, free parking.
Anthony Record – Gurston Down Press Officer – BARC SW