The 2018 Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb season got underway on the Saturday 21st April with the first two rounds of the Meadens Skoda Championship and the first round of the Cavendish Ships Stores Top Ten Challenge.

The weekend’s weather proved to be great for cars, drivers and spectators.

The sun shone on the fast and twisty course at Wiltshire’s famous Speed Hill Climb Venue.

With a very full entry, the hill was busy from the outset. With the withdrawal of Wallace Menzies, fastest time of the day became much more open.

This was eventually won by Peter D Smith and the Force PT he shares with Richard Gaylard. Although the car didn’t manage a second timed run on Saturday. The first run time of 30.72s just held Chris Cannell and the SR8 off. Chris finished on 30.85s.


Saturday’s meeting gets under way with the invited classes.

The first class to come to the line was the Pre-War Austin 7’s. The “Road” Class had six drivers and five cars entered. After the first timed run, Ian Bennett had established a good margin over the rest of the class, With the course improving, the times fell in the second timed run but no-one could over come Ian’s first timed run time. Then Ian went faster, stopping the clock at 48.28s. Zak Cobb and Bernard Cowley were second and third, finishing with 50.43s and 52.41s respectively.

The quicker “Track” division went next. Colin Danks won, his time of 43.68s left the others in his wake. Martin Whittaker too second with a 45.47s run with Paul Geering taking third with 46.16s on his second timed run.

The ACSMC Championship Class ran next. Mike Williams in the Westfield SeiW won the class with a 37.28s timed run.

The Porsche Club GB Speed Championship always brings some lovely cars and April’s event wasn’t an exception. The Tim Barber and David Hilton shared 996 911GT3RS was the car to beat. But it wasn’t to be. Tim and David finished two seconds ahead of the rest of the field. With less than half a second separating them, Tim took first with a 34.57s run and David second on 34.97s. Ian Wadsworth and his 911 finished third on 37.29s.

The TVR class run next. Mark Harris in the Cerbera took the win. There is a great video on our Facebook page showing Jes Firth having a great spin after the finish, take a look. Mark’s time was 38.27s with Alan Davies in the Griffith just 0.15s behind on 38.42s.

The huge entry in the very popular ‘Classic Marques Speed Championship’ Class went next. Matthew Eady and his lovely Ginetta G4 took the win on 37.15s but the top five were all within one second of the winner. Steven Lyle (Porsche Boxster), Steve Hill (Lotus 7), Nick Keyser (Scimitar SS1) and Roger Coate (Ginetta G4) were second to fifth respectively, a great performance all round.

Next came the Meadens Skoda Championship Classes. With every timed run counting towards points in the championship, every run counts.

The MX5 Class sponsored by The Window Doctor went next. Mark Crookall, the 2017 Overall Champion and Class Champion started this class as favorite. But there were a lot of unknown cars and driver combinations entered for the first time. Mark knew he would have to work really hard in the Mk2 RS. On top of that he was also sharing the car for the first time with Chris Burch. First timed run went to Mark Crookall won pipped Jason Richardson by just one hundred. Mark stop the clock on 40.77s. The second times run went the other way, Jason beat Mark’s first time with a 40.70s and Mark 40.97s. The event going to Jason.

The new Road Going Series Production up to 1400cc class came next. There were two entries and there was always going to be a class record sent. Barny Francis in the Mini he shares with Malcom took the win in both timed runs and the event overall, his best time setting the next class record at 41.28s.

The Road Going Series Production Class, 1401cc to 2000cc, sponsored by Record-Designs ran next. Paul Dickinson’s Honda S2000 pipped Tim Forster in his Lotus Elan. Paul took both rounds and the event stopping the clock on 38.22s and Tim on 38.40s.

The Over 2000cc Road Going Series Production Class, sponsored by Turbo Dynamics, rounded off the batch. The Subaru Impreza of Shaun and Sarah Fudge would have to perform well to withstand the onslaught of Jon Maycock’s lovely MX5. Jon had a spin in Karousel, which ruined his first timed run. Shaun and Sarah taking the one / two. Jon managed to keep on the black stuff in the second timed run and pipped Shaun by just 0.03s. The event overall was won by Shaun with first first timed run 36.79s giving Shaun the class championship lead after two events. More on that in a later report.

The next batch began with The Road Going Specialist Production Class, sponsored by Fieldfare Trailers. It was Clive Skipper in his 2.0 Caterham HPC day, taking both timed run and the overall event from Adrian Lewis. Tony Wiltshire’s latest car a Lotus Elise went well. If he’s entered in the May event, he’ll be in the Road Going Series Production Class and his time would have given him the win there at 37.95s.

The Over 2000cc Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Car Class saw four driver / car combinations entered. It was an interesting day, Graham Beale in the Ginetta G33 took the first timed run and Simon Purcell and his Lotus Elise took the second. Simon’s time was the day’s best, so he took the event overall. His best time was 34.78s with Graham’s being a little adrift on 35.10s. This is another class championship that looks like it’s going to be competitive throughout the season.

Neil Turner and his Mini laid his claim to the class championship with an impressive Saturday in the up to 1400cc Modified Series Production Class, sponsored by Cock and Sons (General Builders). He wasn’t taking any prisoners and finished on 35.45s, a time just shy of his class record.

The Over 2000cc Modified Series Production Class, sponsored by Meadens Skoda, saw the lovely Aston Martin Vantage of Tim Painter and Andrew Fraser. Tim took the win in both rounds and overall. He finished on 35.54s with Andrew on 36.21s.

Next up was the Over 2000cc Modified Specialist Production Class, sponsored by Gates of Brockenhurst. Martin Watson and his Westfield took the win in both rounds with Richie Gatt in his Westfield second. Martin’s best time was 32.92s.

Kelvin Jouhar sponsors the Historically Interesting Class which ran next. This class had a big entry. Fyrth Crosse’s Dempster Ensign LNF3, took the first round and came second to James Tearle and his Ginetta G12 the second. The best time was Fyrth’s with a 35.31s.

The final batch of the day started with Mark Mortimer in his Mallock17b. He was the only entry in the Hillclimb Super Sports Class and stopped the clock on 35.27s.

Another new class to Gurston Down, the Sports Libre up to 1400cc Class went next. Gurston Down’s Driver School Principle, Tim Pitfeild and his DJ Firecat took the event and both timed runs. His best time being 34.37s.

Keith Diggle’s WEV HCS-BDG ended up being the only entry in the Sports Libre 1400cc to 2000cc Class. He ended the day on 32.27s. His second run being 32.38s.

Chris Cannell and his Force SR8 was the only runner in the Sports Libre Over 2000cc Class. Geoff Twemlow’s Subaru powered, Saker GT would behave so he withdraw from the meeting after practice. Chris’s best time was 30.85s. Giving him some great points in the Cavendish Ships Stores Top Ten Challenge and second fastest time of the day!

The 601cc to 1100cc Racing Car Class, sponsored by Drynham Project Management, came next. James Moore and his Evo, last year’s Top Ten Challenge winner was favourite and ended the day with two round wins and the overall. Although it looked like Tony Levitt in another Empire Evo might have got the second round. James’ time was 32.06s.

The 1101cc to 1600cc Racing Car Class, sponsored by SM AeRo Techniques was Peter D Smith’s from round one. The car he shares with Richard Gaylard was a none starter after some issues in round two. Peter’s time of 30.72s gave him fastest time of the day too.

The New Techniques sponsored 1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car (Normally Aspirated) Class had two entrants. David Lord and his Quest took the honours in round one after Roger Cock’s Pilbeam stopped on the him. But round two was different. David took the win but by just 0.01s. David’s first timed run gave him the overall event win with a 34.07s run.

The final class and car on the hill was the Gould Engineering sponsored Racing Cars Over 2000cc class. Paul Crute with the OMS 28 finished on 32.36.

Sunday April 22nd Car and Motorbike Reports to follow.

We would like to thank everyone who made the day possible, the office staff, the marshals, timekeepers, scrutineers and officials without whom we couldn’t run the meeting. Thanks to Ashley Wood Recovery, TSL Timing, Steve Lister, A-Cute Medical Services, Venture Security and Peter Crutcher from Ringwood PA.



Anthony Record – Press Officer – BARC SW, Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb