Easter weekend brought some beautiful weather, lots of spectators and great competition to Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb.
The 2022 Turbo Dynamics Championship had four more rounds and the Cavendish Ships Stores Top Challenge had two more rounds during the Easter weekend. There were a variety of cars entered with a large number of invited clubs and championships.
You will be pleased to know our two Charity Easter Egg Raffles raised over £800! Thank you to all those who bought tickets and to Liz for her efforts.
SATURDAY 16th APRIL – INVITED CLASSES
Pre-War Austin 7’s of the Bert Hadley Memorial Championship
There were eight cars entered with Gurston Down experience really paying off. The class win went to the Austin Seven Ulster driven by Colin Danks with Paul Geering in his Pigsty Special second. Both of them have a significant margin over the other car and driver combinations. Colin’s first timed run of 44.71s took the win and Paul’s second timed run of 45.74s was a great improvement over his first. Douglas Alderson was third on 56.89s.
The Revington TR Triumph Register Sprint and Hill Climb Championship
There was another massive entry in this class. The TR8 and TR7 V8s took five of the top six places in this class but they were all beaten by Len Olds in his lovely TR4. Great results as the top three cars were just 0.33s apart. The V8s were next, Rod Warner was second with Jim Giddings third. Rod finished on 39.83s and Jim on 39.99s. The class’s results are very interesting, with many positions changing between the first and second runs.
The Welsh Sprint and Hill Climb Championship
This class competed both days. The first three swapped places between Saturday and Sunday with all of them improving their times.
Saturday saw William Hunt in the Ford Sierra take the win from Alison Lock, in her Mitsubishi Evo and, John Morgan in the Ford Anglia. William’s time was 37.88s, Alison finished on 38.06s and John on 38.31s.
On Sunday things changed. Alison took first, with John second and William third. Their respective times were 36.85s, 37.12s and 37.38s. A great competitive class.
The Healeysport Speed Championship
Stephen Casson in his Sebring won this class, with Peter Walton and Paul Baker second and third respectively. Less than 1 second covering the first three, it could have gone anyone’s way.
The Historic Rally Car Club Championship
Saturday’s class win went to David Wheeler in his Renault 8 Gordini with the Mini of Stuart Ballinger second. David’s time was 43.59s and Stuart’s 45.14s.
Sunday’s class win went to Stuart Ballinger in his Austin Mini. He had a great improvement over the weekend and stopped the clocks on 43.96s, pushing the Lancia Fulvia of Jago Keen into second place with a 45.79s.
The BARC Connaught Speed Championship
The Caterhams of Nigel Holt, Anthony Shearman and Roger Legg were the top three on Saturday. Nigel’s Gurston experience probably helped him to a 38.27s, first timed run. Anthony’s first timed run was good enough for a second (39.33s) although it looked like Roger might just have pipped him on the second timed run. Roger finished on 39.39s just 0.06s behind Anthony.
Nigel’s mishap on the first timed run, left the door open for Anthony and Roger in their Caterhams to fight for the win. Anthony won with an improved time, compared with Saturday and stopped the clocks on 38.77s with Roger coming in at 39.50s. Jonnie Toon in the Peugeot 106 swapped places with Robert Pallett in the Ginetta G20.
The 500 Owners Association Championship
Mark Riley in his Cooper Mk9 was pushed hard by Finlay Macintosh and Alistair Dent in the 500 Owners Association rules class. Mark finished with 41.92s, Finlay a 41.96s and Alistair with 42.53s.
The 500 Owners Association Speed Championship and Walley Cuff Trophy
Russel Haynes turned a second-place around to win this class in the Elva 200 he was sharing with Mark. Mark was quickest by just 0.12s after the first timed run. But Russell went almost 2 seconds quicker to finish on 39.81s with Mark stopping the clock on 40.15s.
The ‘Classic Marques Speed Championship’ Class.
This class ran both days with a massive entry of a huge variety of different cars.
Robbie Birrell, in the Lotus Exige and Steven Lyle, in the Porsche Boxster, were separated by just one-hundredth of a second after the first timed runs, Steven 36.41s and, Robbie 36.42s. But Robbie managed to go a little faster in the second timed run, dropping into the 35s and finishing on 35.79s. It was great to see such a huge variety of cars in this class.
Sunday saw Robbie push even harder, winning the class with an improved time, over Saturday, finishing on 34.74s. Mark Everett in his TVR Griffith was second on 37.17s with Matthew Eady in the Ginetta G4, third on 37.77s.
The Morgan Sports Car Club Techniques Speed Championship
Some lovely cars competing on Sunday in this class. Simon Baines was dominant in the class. His times ended up being 37.81s about 1.5s ahead of the second-place man Clive Hall who finished on 39.35s.
Road Cars Mazda MX5 Class, sponsored by The Window Doctor
The MK2 RS shared by Richard Morton and Chris Burch was dominant over the Easter weekend. With Richard beating Chris on Saturday with a great second timed run which was an improvement of over a second. Richard finished on 40.03s with Chris on 40.25s. But both of them have to be looking over their shoulders, Jon Hammock in another RS finished on 40.95s but had to withdraw after mechanical issues forced him and Pete Hammock out.
On Sunday, Richard had a small off at Karousel that caused minor damage to the car and it was ready for Chris’s run a little later. Chris finished the second time run with a 39.68s with Richard, on 40.14s.
Road Cars Series Production up to 1400cc, sponsored by Cavendish Ships Stores
With Stephen Wareham absent and after practice, there were three car and driver combinations looking likely to win this class. The best performance was David Nutland in his Mini who managed a 40.28s first timed run, followed by John Davey, in his Midget on 40.85s and Piers Thynne, in his Mini on 41.06s. Piers’ time improved by over 2 seconds between the first and second runs.
On Sunday it was all change. Piers took the win with a 40.80s first timed run with David Nutland second just 0.05s behind and John Davey third on 41.00. The rest of the season in this class is looking interesting.
Road Cars Series Production Class 1401cc to 2000cc
Martin Ellis in the Ford Escort Mk2 was pushed very hard all weekend by Russell Davies in the Honda Civic Type R. Martin managed to stay ahead and win the class by just 0.10s on Saturday and 0.13s on Sunday. Nigel Trundle in the Abarth 500 finishing third.
Over 2000cc Road Cars Series Production Class, sponsored by Turbo Dynamics
Clive and Jennie Stangle in their Mitsubishi Evo finished first and second both days pushing Steve Cox in the Golf R into third. Clive finished on 33.55s and 33.35s respectively with Jennie on 35.11s and 35.47s.
Road Cars Specialist Production Class, any capacity
The top two in this class were Clive Skipper and Chris Burridge both in Caterhams. Clive finished with a 34.33s run on Saturday and 34.00s on Sunday with Chris’s bests being 34.86s and 34.36s respectively.
Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Car Class up to 2000cc
Tony Record, Gurston Down’s Press Officer, in his Mazda MX5 had a very consistent day on Saturday finishing in the 41s all day, taking the win with a 41.59s second timed run. Pete Ramsden in the MR2 stopped the clocks on 42.97s. On Sunday, Tony’s practice runs were a little slower but in the second timed run he managed 40.77s, a personal best.
Over 2000cc Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Car Class
Phil Price’s Porsche 930 RS had issues all weekend with its exhaust giving Graham Beale in the Ginetta G33 a little bit of a breather but he still needed to push hard to make sure the E Type of Paul Slade didn’y catch him. Graham finished on 34.41s and 34.18s respectively.
Up To 1400cc Modified Cars Series Production Class, sponsored by Cock and Sons (Builders)
The class record holder and last year’s class champion, Neil Turner dominated this class both days. His Mini takes him to the top of the hill in 34.41s and 35.50s. David Bean was second and was pushed very hard by Mike Edwards on Sunday managing a consistent 41.83s on Saturday and 41.73s on Sunday.
1400cc to 2000cc Modified Cars Series Production Car Class
Paul Meadows in his Renault Clio 182 had a quiet Saturday, being on his own in the class but still managed a 41.13s. Sunday on the other hand meant Paul had competition with the Opel Corsa of Kevin Plummer. Kevin must have inspired Paul. Paul’s time on Sunday was much faster, he finished on 38.29s and won the class.
Over 2000cc Modified Series Production Class
This class was a great one to watch. It was a win both days for Mitsubishi Evos. Saturday was Stephen Moore’s day and Sunday went to Jim Herbert. Saturday was very close, Stephen did a 33.06s first timed run with Jim finishing on 33.31s.
But Sunday was all change. Jim pulled out some great driving. Pushing both of his timed runs below 33s. His best time was 32.69s whilst Stephen managed 33.45s. Great driving by both drivers.
Modified Specialist Production Class
This class had just one entrant, Martin Watson in his Westfield. Martin managed a better time on Sunday, pushing the car to 33.17s.
The Kelvin Jouhar sponsored Historically Interesting Class
Saturday’s class was Fyrth Crosse’s in the Dempster Ensign LNF3. He finished just under a second quicker than Mike Broome. Fyrth’s time was 35.91s.
On Sunday, everything changed. Sue Hayes in the WDF3 Palliser turned in a great performance, pushing Fyrth into second place. Sue’s time was 36.59s with Fyrth finishing on 36.87s.
Sports Libre up to 1400cc Class
Tim Pitfield, the reigning Gurston Down Champion, and his DJ Firecat competed on his own on Saturday but were forced to withdraw on Sunday due to technical issues with his engine.
Sports Libre 1400cc to 2000cc Class
Mike Lee in his Force LM, had a great day on Saturday, beating Clive Wooster in the Radical and qualified for the Cavendish Ships Stores Top Ten Challenge Runoff.
On Sunday, Mike had a little off, damaging the car and forcing him out of the event. Leaving Clive Wooster in his Radical to run alone in the class. Clive did improve his time and finished on 33.18s.
The 601cc to 1100cc Racing Car Class
Saturday saw James Moore in the Empire take the win with his first timed run. Unfortunately, the second wasn’t as expected and he had to withdraw from the rest of the weekend. James’ time was 30.80s. Ben Bonfield in the shared Jedi Mk4, had a great weekend, finishing second in front of Murry Wakeham in the OMS. Their times were 31.18s and 31.93s respectively.
On Sunday Ben had another great day. This time first in class, again followed closely by Murry Wakeham. Ben also went quicker too, finishing on 30.81s.
The 1101cc to 1600cc Racing Car Class sponsored by Rhianco Ltd
Robert Crapper brought his Empire Wraith but competed alone in this class on Saturday.
The Formula Ford pre-1994 – Kent Crossflow Engines
Laurence Marks was the only entrant in this class on Saturday. He managed a 39.93s.
Racing Cars built up to 1985
Sunday, Joe Mackrell and Robin Johnson shared the SF83, Joe took the win with 36.82s just 0.27s ahead of Robin.
The New Techniques sponsored 1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car (Normally Aspirated) Class
This class had just two entrants, Roger Cock in the Pilbeam MP54 and Tony Wiltshire in the Ralt. Tony came out on top both days, not quite managing a 29s second run on Saturday, finishing with a 30.01s. On Sunday, Tony pulled out the stops and finished on 29.66s, giving him Fastest Time of the Day on both days.
Tony also took ten points from each of the Cavendish Ships Stores Top Ten Challenge.
Racing Cars Over 2000cc class
Paul Crute in the Jaguar powered OMS28 had a great weekend, making it to both Top Ten Challenge Run-Offs.
Thank you to everyone involved in making the weekend happen. There are so many people who work tirelessly behind the scenes before, during and after the meeting.
Lookout in May the British Hill Climb Championship and BHC Cup come to the hill. Look out for more on that soon.
E&OE – Anthony Record – Press Officer – BARC SW, Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb