The final event of the year at Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb took place on Sunday 9th September. The final two rounds of the Meadens Skoda Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb Championship and the final round of the Cavendish Ships Stores BARC SW Top Ten Challenge produced some interesting results and changed the class and overall results because of some great performances. There will be more on that in the Championship and Challenge Report later this week. There might be a few hints as to the consequences of these results and what they might mean to the championship and challenge but you will need to wait for the full report.

The September meeting hosted a number of invited championships and classes. These championships were the Triumph Register Cars, MG Cars, Austin Healeys and Sprites and the historic 500cc racing cars.

The Fastest Time of the Day was Neal Coles in his OMS 28 with a 30.07s second timed run. His first timed run was 30.08s, a very consistent performance. It was his first ever Fastest Time of the Day and seemed rather pleased about it as anyone would!


The Triumph Register Class

Roderick Warner and his TR7 V8 dominated this class from the outset finishing he improved his first timed run performance which was 40.73s with a second timed run of 40.34s, leaving the rest the class in his wake, fighting for the places. It looked like it might be quite tight for second until Dale Huxford Spitfire put in a 42.76s second timed run. Roger McEwen in his TR6 was third (44.69s).

The MG Class

There were twelve cars and driver combinations entered in the MG Class. Last years event winner, Ben Rolls in his Sprite maintained his winning form with a second timed run of 39.71s. Richard Withers, last year second place driver, really pushed Ben. After the first timed runs they were just 0.07s apart. Richard improved his time but not quite enough, he ended on 39.95s just 0.24s behind Ben.

The Austin Healey Class – Big Healey and Warwick Cars Class

The Big Healey and Warwick cars went next. After the first timed run, Richard Mason lead Paul Baker and John Tewson. All three of their times were covered by just 0.35s. But it was John Tewson’s day! He improved his time by more than one second giving him first on 38.48s, beating John Mason by just one hundredth, John Mason stopped the clocks on 38.49s! Paul Baker didn’t improve on his time and end on 39.83s for third.

The Austin Healey Class – Austin Healey Sprite Class

The Austin Healey Sprite Class had six drivers entered. Colin Gale lead after the first timed run with a 39.77s. He was just 0.19s in front of Joe Mackrell. But Joe improved his time in the second time run by more than half a second and finished on 39.27s. Colin didn’t manage to improve his time and took second.

Regular Gurston Classes

The Gurston Down MX5 Class supported by the Window Doctor

The 2017 Meadens Skoda Gurston Down Champion, Mark Crookall produced a great first timed run, beating the class target time. Jason Richardson dis the same but was just 0.14s behind Mark. Mark on 40.14s and Jason on 40.28s respectively in their MX5 RSs.

Neither driver improved on their times on the second runs. Jason was just 0.01s behind his first timed run with a 40.29s but was pipped by Mark who finished on 40.28s. These two have scored great points for the championship but more on that later. Chris Burch was third on 40.66s.

Road Going Series Production Class up to 1400cc Class

John Davey, Managing Director of our Top Ten Challenge sponsor, Cavendish Ships Stores set a new class record in this class and took the class win with a 41.21s first timed run. David Nutland was second in his Mini Cooper S on 41.46s.

Road Going Series Production Class up to 2000cc, supported by Record-Designs

Dean Cubitt in his Mazda MX5 had stiff opposition in Tim Forster in his Lotus Elan, Dean lead after the first timed run by 0.25s with a 38.74s. He improved his time in the second timed run finishing on 38.50s with Tim just 0.10s behind on 38.60s. The Davies’, Chris and Russell in their Honda Civic were third and fourth, respectively. Alex England end the day with his first sub 40s run. Needless to say he was extremely happy with his 39.93s!

Over 2000cc Road Going Series Production Class, supported by Turbo Dynamics

After the first timed run Simon Neve in his Mitsubishi Evo was quickest with a 34.74s. Mike Rudge, Ford Focus RS, second on 37.19s, Andrew Thorp, Porsche Cayman S, on 37.46s, and Sean Fudge, Subaru Impreza on 37.49s.

Thanks to Stuart Freeman for this great picture of Mike having an issue with Ashes….

Simon Neve didn’t improve his first run time. But both Andrew Thorp and Mike Rudge scored identical times of 36.72s which were personal bests for them both. A great end of season for them both. Mike Rudge took the second place because of his faster first timed run leaving Andrew third, although he won’t be disappointed with that! An interesting addition to the class was Isabella Lawrence in a Mitsubishi Evo, not only was she competing for the first time – she got her competition licence on Friday before the meeting! 37.83s is a great time. Look out for Isabella next season!

Road Going Specialist Production Class, supported by Fieldfare Trailer Centre

The first three in this class, Clive Skipper’s 2.0 Caterham HPC, Adrian Lewis’ 1.4 Westfield Megabusa and Anthony Orchard, sharing the Lewis Westfield produced some great times. There was just 0.48s difference in their first timed runs, their positions didn’t change in the second timed runs although Adrian the only one making an improvement. They finished in that order with 34.06s, 34.08s and 34.54s respectively.

The Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Cars upto 2000cc Class

Andrew Hurle was the only runner in this class and stopped the clock on 39.84s.

The Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Cars over 2000cc Class

Phil Price in the Porsche 911 has been the man to beat in this class all season and September wasn’t any different. He stamped his authority on the class from the first timed run finishing with a 33.33s and then imprived that time in the second run with a 33.25s. Graham Beale in the Ginetta just could not match Phil’s pace and came second on 35.11s.

The up to 1400cc Modified Series Production Car Class

Neil Turner, the class record holder, in his super fast Mini dominated this class from the outset. His first timed run of 35.34s was over three seconds ahead of his nearest rival Derek Mullis on 38.75s. Neil marginally improved his time on the second timed rin with a 35.21s. Derek Mullis’s first timed run was good enough to secure second.

Over 2000cc Modified Series Production Car Class, supported by Meadens Skoda

Steven Moore in his Mitsubishi Evo had a great weekend, breaking the class record on both timed runs. 32.45s in the first timed run and 32.27s in the second. A great performance! The Aston Martin Vantage shared by Tim Painter and Andy Fraser gave them second and third respectively, scoring valuable points in the championship.

The Modified Specialist Production Class, supported Gates of Brockenhurst

Steve Holland and his Caterham Hayabusa had a great first timed run with a 31.75s climb, Martin Watson in his Westfield SEiW was second, just 0.16s behind Steve. Martin didn’t make the second run so the result after the first stood. Richie Gatt in another Westfield was third on 33.20s.

The Historically Interesting Class, supported by Kelvin Jouhar

Sue Hayes in her Palliser WDF3 had this class in the bag after the first timed run, dominating it throughout the day. Her tuime of 36.76s was almost six seconds ahead of second place man Brian Gent in the Gilbern GTwith a 42.75s run.

Hill Climb Super Sports Cars Class

There were just two cars entered in this class on Sunday, Mark Mortimer and Richard Fry both in Mallocks. Mark has Gurston experience which paid off and he took the class with a good margin, finishing on 34.80s.

The Sports Libre up to 1400cc Class

Craig Russell in his Westfield XTR2 had a great day, taking the win. Peter Steel in his Guille Mallock, the current class record holder, just couldn’t match Craig’s pace on the day. Craig finished on 36.07s and Peter on 37.62s.

The Sports Libre 1400cc to 2000cc, supported by Class Lewis Property Services and The Sports Libre over 2000cc Class were amalgamated

Chris Cannell took an early lead and unsurprisingly stayed ahead in the more powerful over 2000cc Force SR8 and finished on 30.29s with the under 2000cc WEV HCS-BDG of Keith Diggle second on 31.73s. Great times for both drivers.

The 601cc to 1100cc Racing Car Class, supported by Drynham Project Management

The OMS shared by Murray Wakeham and Alan Joy was the car to beat in this class. Murray took the win with a 32.81s, second timed run and Alan, second, on 33.07s with Steve Loadsman third in his OMS on 34.30s.

The Formula Ford Class- Cars up to 1600cc, amalgamated with the 500 Owners Association (2001 Rules) Car Class

David Matthews in his Zeus ZR163 won this class with a sub 40 second run, finishing on 39.93s with the Lola P.101 of Stuart Barnes, second on 49.85s.

1101cc to 1600cc Racing Car Class, supported by SM AeRoTechniques with Brian and Adrian Moody

Peter D Smith and Richard Gayland had a mechanical issue which took them out after practice which left Heal Coles in his OMS 28 and George Brown in his OMS CF07 to fight for the class win. Not only did Neal win the class he also set Fastest Time of the Day with a 30.07s second timed run. Peter and Richard would have to have worked hard to beat that time!

The 1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car Class – Normally Aspirated

Roger Cock has made a good return to Gurston Down this year in his Pilbeam MP54 and took the win with a 32.54s beating Dave Lord in the Quest by just over half a second.

The Over 2000cc Racing Car Class

Paul Crute in the Jaguar powered OMS28 took the class win over Rodney Eyles in the Pilbeam MP54 although it wasn’t quite quick enough for Fastest Time of the Day but helped him with his Top Ten Challenge. Paul’s time 30.40s and Rodney just 0.45s behind.


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