What a great weekend! The Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend brought 130 cars and 30 motorbikes to Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb.
The weekend was four rounds of the Meadens Skoda Gurston Down Championship and two rounds of the Cavendish Ships Stores Top Ten Challenge.
Both the Championship and the Challenge are in their early stages with no clear leaders or likely championship contenders. However, the June meetings changed all that. Some drivers putting down some excellent performances has lead to clear leaders in both. More on those later.
The highlight of the weekend was The Tony Marsh Memorial Trophy. It is awarded to the Meadens Skoda Championship Competitor who makes the greatest improvement in or is nearest to their respective class record in either of the June meetings.
Mark Crookall, in the MX5 class won it for a record third year in succession by improving the existing record which now stand at 40.34s.
Together with the regular Meadens Skoda Gurston Down Championship classes, there are a number of invited clubs.
Saturday’s Invited Classes:
The ACSMC Registered Road Legal Cars Class. With the variety of cars in this class which is an amalgamation of all of the ACSMC classes, each competitor is competing for honours in their original class. The Mitsubishi Evo of Clive Stangle took the win with a new class record of 34.93s. Jenny Stangle in the Mitsubishi Evo she shares with Clive was second. A great day for the Stangles!
ASWMC Registered Road Legal Cars ran next. There were just three cars / driver combinations entered. After the first timed runs, Steve Ellis in his Ford Escort was almost a second ahead of Tony Wiltshire in his Lotus Elise. In the second timed runs, Tony improved his time by over a second and took the lead. However, it wasn’t to be. Steve improved on his second run which was good enough to take the win by just 0.25s.
Next to run was the Midland Speed Championship. The class had five entries. Aaron Walters in his Toyota Celica GT4 took the class winalmost a second ahead of his nearest rival, Martin Walters in his 500 Abarth. Aaron’s time was38.83s with Martin’s being 40.29s.
The 500 Owners Association Championship, sponsored by Riley Cranes had a great entry, unfortunately only two managed to get to the line. Vic Deane in his Cooper Mk9 took the win with a 45.23s, second timed run.
Sunday’s Invited Classes:
It’s great to see the Volvo Owners Club Class competing. The current class record holder, Richard Conway in his PV544 started favouite and stamped his authority on the class from the outset. He was almost two seconds ahead of Kevin Diamond in then Amazon. Neither could improve their times on the second timed run so Richard took the win, finishing on 44.17s and Keith on 46.76s.
The Bugatti Owners Club Championship came to the start line next. Their championship is subject to rules that include a handicap. Our results are purely based on finishing times. This fastest time was Richard Jones in his Brabham BT29X with a 31.92s run. Second was Steve Darley in his Leastone F5, 35.02s and third was Nick Stevens on 36.04s in his Lotus 51b.
The Pirelli Ferrari Championship class went next. David Snelson is his 430 won the class with a 36.92s second timed run. Paul Booth and his 458 Spider was second on 39.09s and Pauline Goodwin in her 328 on 41.07s.
The Midland Speed Championship returned for the second day. Aaron Jones in his Toyota Celica GT made it two in a run. His time was an improvement on Saturday’s time at 37.81s and David Reed in the Lotus 61FF second on 40.86s.
Gurston Down Regular Classes:
The Gurston Down Mazda MX5 Class, supported by The Window Doctor ran next. Saturday saw Mark Crookall take the win, a new class record and as a consequence the Tony Marsh Memorial Trophy for the third year running. The record is now 40.34s. Jason Richardson took second place with a 41.04s.
Sunday saw the positions reversed. Jason’s first timed run came in at 40.63s with Mark on 40.75s. Their second timed run were a dead-heat at 41.07s so Jason took the win. Third on both days was Chris Burch, who shares Mark’s RS was third both days. Better watch out, this class championship looks like it will go all the way to the wire.
The Road Going Series Production Class up to 1400cc is a new class this season and seems to be becoming popular. There were only two entries on Saturday but four on Sunday. John Davey in his MG Midget, the Managing Director of our Top Ten Challenge sponsor took the class both days. Finishing on 41.83s on Saturday and 41.47s on Sunday.
The Record-Designs supported Road Going Series Production Class 1401cc to 2000cc went next. It was a big class with similar entries both days. Paul Dickinson in his new car, a Honda S2000 stamped his authority on this class during the June meetings. Not only did he take the class win both days but he took charge of the overall Meadens Skoda Championship too. Paul’s Saturday time was 38.14s and Sunday 38.42s.
Dean Cubitt’s Mazda MX5 has some mechanical issues prior to the meeting so he competed in a borrowed Honda S2000. Second on Saturday was Tim Forster in the newly rebuilt Lotus Elan after the fire at Goodwood. Third was Ronald King in his Renault Clio. Tim finished on 38.86s and Ronald 39.40s.
Sunday saw a great run by Rob Brodie in his Clio which has had a little work over the past few weeks, that have paid off. His second place time was 39.36s. Third was Chris Davies in a Honda Civic with a 39.49s second timed run.
The Over 2000cc Road Going Series Production Class supported by Turbo Dynamics went next. Saturday saw the current class record holder and former Gurston Down Champion, Stephen Moore and his Evo 6 take the win with a 34.93s run. After a year or so absence, Simon Neve brought his Mitsubishi Evo back to the hill and took second place with a 36.53s run, pipping the Lewis Dean Subaru Impreza of Shaun Fudge by just 0.14s.
On Sunday, Simon Neve took the win with a 36.21s. Shaun Fudge was second with a 36.93s run and the Mazda MX5 driven by Jon Maycock third on 37.26s.
The Fieldfare Trailer Centre supported Road Going Specialist Production Class had another strong entry on Saturday. Adrian Lewis and his Westfield Superbusa and Clive Skipper and the Caterham 7 HPC started favourites. Clive was on top form, he took the win both days by very small margins. On Saturday Clive finished on 35.38s with Adrian on 36.30s. Sunday was much closer, with Clive on 34.38s and Adrian on 34.65s after the first timed run. Unfortunately, neither could go quicker in the second timed run.
There is just one Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Cars up to 2000cc Class saw Elen Worthington in her Lotus Elise compete on her own and stopped the clock on 37.65s. On Sunday, Andrew Hurle in his Sylva Phoenix managed a 39.59s run.
The Over 2000cc Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Car Class had just two entries on Saturday and four on Sunday. On Saturday Graham Beale and his Ginetta took the win over Phil Price and his 911RS. But it was close, Graham’s time was 35.05s and Phil 35.19s.
Phil Price and his 911 turned the tables on Sunday. It wasn’t quite as close as Saturday but both went a little quicker. Phil stopped the clock on 34.36s and Graham 34.95s.
The all Mini Up to 1400cc Modified Series Production Class ran next. The class record holder, Neil Turner won both days. On Saturday he stopped the clocks on 35.51s with James White 36.35s.
On Sunday, Neil took the win with a 35.65s first timed run with Derek Mullis second finishing on 38.66s.
The Over 2000cc Modified Series Production Class, supported by Meadens Skoda took to the hill next. Saturday saw Chris Berrisford in his Subaru Impreza took the win from Tim Painter in the Aston Martin Vantage. Chris stopped the clocks on 35.33s with Tim just 0.50s behind.
On Sunday Stephen Moore brought his modified Mitsubishi Evo to the class. Stephen stamped his authority on the class with a first timed ruin of 33.88s and then improved his time finishing and winning the class on 33.35s. Tim Painter took second.
The huge entry in the Gates of Brokenhurst supported Modified Specialist Production Class always produces some very close results. Saturday was no exception. Steve Holland took the win with his Caterham Hayabusa with a 32.89s second timed run with Martin Watson in his Westfield SeiW second just 0.08s behind. Ritchie Gatt was third.
On Sunday it was all change! Martin Watson took the win, 32.51s with Ritchie Gatt and the Westfield SeiW, second on 32.86s and Steve Holland third on 32.99s.
The Kelvin Jouhar supported Historically Interesting Class was next to the line. Fryth Crosse and his Dempster Ensign LNF3 took the class both days with a 34.49s on Saturday and a 34.35s on Sunday. Sue Hayes was second with Amanda and Richard George swapping places for third and fourth.
Mark Mortimer in his Mallock17b has the Hill Climb Super Sports Class to himself on Saturday but was amalgamated with the Sport Libre Class on Sunday. His time on Saturday was better on Saturday than Sunday.
The Sports Libre up to 1400cc Class had a good entry on Saturday and had the addition of Mark Mortimer on Sunday. Tim Pitfeild’s troubles with his DJ Firecat continued with gearbox issues which cause him to withdraw. Peter Steel scooped the wins on both days with a 34.39s on Saturday and 33.99s on Sunday.
The Lewis Property Services supported Sports Libre 1400cc to 2000cc Class had a great entry but retirements forced two competitors out on Saturday. On Saturday the class was won by the WEV HCS-BDG of Keith Diggle.
On Sunday Keith’s class was amalgamated with the over 2000cc class.
The Sports Libre over 2000cc Class has two entries both days. Chris Cannell with the Force SR8 and Geoff Twemlow’s Saker GT. On Saturday, Chris took the win whilst Geoff struggled with his “self-steering” Saker and withdraw on Sunday. The two Sport Libre classes being amalgamated left Keith Diggle fighting with Chris Cannell for the win. Chris went a little slower as issues arose with the SR8 but his first timed run was enough to take the class win
The 601cc to 1100cc Racing Car Class, supported by Drynham Project Management Limited saw James Moore and his Empire Evo 2 take the win from Tony Levitt in another Evo. James’s time was 31.83s on Saturday and 31.75s on Sunday. Tony’s times were 32.49s and 32.12s respectively.
The NTM Training supported Formula Ford class had just one entry on Saturday. Carole Nicholls in her Nike Mk4 stopped the clocks on 43.63s.
On Sunday we saw Richard and Georgia Yeomans with their Crossle 25F. The victor on the day was Richard. His time was 39.83s.
The SM AeRoTechniques supported, 1101cc to 1600cc Racing Car Class went next. There is a relatively small entry both days. The shared Force PT of Peter D Smith and Richard Gayland won both days in the hands of Peter. He also set Fastest Time of the Day both days. His times were 30.13s on Saturday and 30.00s on Sunday.
The 1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car – Normally Aspirated and the Over 2000cc Racing Car Classes were amalgamated. Paul Crute in his Jaguar power OMS 28 won both days.
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