2018 Season Opening Weekend – Day Two Sunday 22nd April
The 2018 Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb, second event of the season first weekend the Sunday 22nd April rounds three and four of the Meadens Skoda Championship and the second round of the Cavendish Ships Stores Top Ten Challenge.
The weekend’s events are the season’s openers and will provide a glorious show of sound, smell, speed and skill. Around 130 cars and drivers, motorbikes and riders competing in different cars, motorbikes and classes, in everything from your average standard road car, classic and modern sports and saloon cars and purpose built, fast sport, single seat racing cars, high performance motorbikes and ex-F1 side-car combinations. 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!
With the recent course changes, spectators have superb and unrivalled views of the event, access to the hill, paddock and facilities.
You really can’t get closer to the action!
Sunday also brings the ACU’s Motorbikes and Combinations for their first of three visits to Gurston Down. Not only do they bring some exciting viewing but speed comes too. The fastest bikes and side-car combinations produced stunning times.
Fastest Times of the Day will probably go to Wallace Menzies in the Gould GR59M for the cars but the bikes is more difficult to predict, with some of the finest hill climb riders in the country being present.
There is a separate Preview for the Motorbikes and Side-Car Combinations.
SUNDAY 22nd APRIL
Sunday’s meeting gets under way with the invited classes. First up will be the Triumph Register Car Class. There is a huge entry with some great looking cars. The TR8 V8 of Roderick Warner to dominated this class last year. Nick Smith and his TR6 and Tony Browne in his lovely Dolomite Sprint were second and third respectively. Can either of these two or any of the drivers catch Roderick?
Next up are the Austin Healey – Big Healey and Warwick Cars. Richard Mason in his 3000 Mk2 beat Pat Cooper (100/6) and Paul Baker (3000) last year. However, with eight entries it might be a little tougher at the top!
The Healey Sprite Class ventures up the hill. There are three cars enteted and four drivers. The Sebring Sprite of Phil Gardner should, on paper at least, be the quickest but Colin Gale has hill experience and was third last year by less than half a second. Last years winner and second aren’t entered so this class could be anyone’s!
Batch Three starts with the Morgan Cars Class. The Plus 8 of Robert Toon has the power! Paul Clarke and his Lightweight and the other two entrants won’t let Robert walk away with the win.
For the second time this weekend and to complete the third batch it’s the lovely cars that form the ‘Classic Marques Speed Championship’ Class. It will be interesting to see how the Saturday winners perform. All of the cars in this class are beautifully presented cars, take a look around the paddock when you can.
Batch Four brings the Mazda MX5 Class, sponsored by The Window Doctor back for the third and four round of their championship. Last year’s Meadens Skoda Gurston Down Champion, Mark Crookall and his RS will have got the measure of the competition by today. It’ll be interesting to see how hard Mark is going to have to work to retain his class title and class record.
The New Road Going Series Production up to 1400cc. John Davey, the MD of our Top Ten Challenge sponsor, in his quick MG Midget is running on his on today. Class win, one would hope so! New Class record…. Perhaps….
The Road Going Series Production Class, 1401cc to 2000cc, sponsored by Record-Designs runs next. Tim Foster, last years class champion, and his lovely Lotus Elan start favourite. But Dean Cubitt’s MX5 and Paul Dickinson’s Honda S2000 will make sure he really has to work for the win. And look out for some surprises.
The Over 2000cc Road Going Series Production Class, sponsored by Turbo Dynamics, round off this batch. Stephen Moore, Mitsubishi Evo 6 RS, last years class champion, is back. He’ll have a great scrap with Simon Neve and his Evo 6 RS. On last years form, it is probably Stephen for the win but with the company he has in this class, you shouldn’t be betting your shirt on it.
The Road Going Specialist Production Class, sponsored by Fieldfare Trailers, will start batch five. We will have found out how quick the Lotus Elise with Tony Wiltshire at the wheel after Saturday’s runs. Will it be Clive Skipper in his 2.0 Caterham HPC or Adrian Lewis in his Westfield today?
The Over 2000cc Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Car Class sees the four driver / car combinations entered on Saturday. Will it be Simon Purcell or Graham Beale today?
The up to 1400cc Modified Series Production Class, sponsored by Cock and Sons (General Builders) has three super fast Minis entered. The form would suggest James White should take this one but it’s such a competitive class, we will have to wait to find out who will take the honors.
The Over 2000cc Modified Series Production Class, sponsored by Meadens Skoda, sees a similar entry to Saturday plus the Porsche 930RS of Phil Price. The the extra Porsche into the mix who’ll be fastest in this class. The Painter / Fraser car?
The over 2000cc Modified Specialist Production Class, sponsored by Gates of Brockenhurst, has a three car line up. Yesterday’s result will give us an idea of what today might bring. It could be anyone’s and will be down to the best performance on the day.
The Historically Interesting Class, sponsored by Kelvin Jouhar, finishes batch five. The class sees Geoff Hunt and the lovely Lotus 22 back for the first time this season. He will make sure everyone else in this class will work hard to win. But who will it be?
Batch Six runs next. Mark Mortimer in his Mallock17b will come to the line first with the only entry in the Hillclimb Super Sports Class.
The New Sports Libre up to 1400cc Class’s second outing of the season has a similar entry to Saturday. Gurston Down’s Driver School Principle, Tim Pitfeild is likely to head this class but we will know how hard he will need to work to win.
Sports Libre 1400cc to 2000cc Class has just one official entry, Keith Diggle’s WEV HCS-BDG. He may be joined by Chris Cannell and the Empire Evo. Chris and the Evo will probably win this one.
The Sports Libre up to 2000cc Class see that Chevrolet Camero Z28 of Jeffery Way is back and joins Geoff Twemlow’s, Subaru powered, Saker GT today. Geoff and the Saker should take this class but the Camero makes a spectacular sound!
The next cars in the batch are the racing cars. The up to 600cc Racing Car Class sees just one car entered in the class, David Cuff and his Mk4 Jedi.
The 601cc to 1100cc Racing Car Class, sponsored by Drynham Project Management, has a good entry on Sunday. James Moore, the 2017 Cavendish Ships Stores Top Ten Challenge winner will be the hot favourite. But the class is so competitive, it will be down to the hundredth of a second to decide the win and the challenge points!
The 1101cc to 1600cc Racing Car Class, sponsored by SM AeRo Techniques, sees Peter D Smith and Richard Gaylard back out in their shared Force PC. There are three other drivers who will be working to stop them take the win.
The New Techniques sponsored 1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car (Normally Aspirated) Class has just two entrants. The new livery on David Lord’s Quest should help take the win!
The last two in batch six are in the Gould Engineering sponsored Racing Cars Over 2000cc class. Wallace Menzies in the Cosworth powered Gould GR59M should take this class and is most likely to take Fastest Time of the Day.
Why not come and join us?
With this variety of cars Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd 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, follow AA signs.
Dates: Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd April
Times: Competition from approx. 1300, practice from 0830 both days.
Admission: Only £10 for adults each day, accompanied under 14s free, free paddock entry, free parking.
Anthony Record – Press Officer – BARC SW, Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb