Now that was an interesting weekend’s speed hill climb! Saturday was a tough day for everyone. The weather really made being a driver tough but the marshals had an even tougher day. The rain just would not let up.
Sunday on the other hand was so much different. One could say it was a bright and dry event. Some times being 20% faster than the previous day.
There were some exciting performances in both the Turbo Dynamics Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb Championship and more surprises in the Online Cleaning Technologies BARC SW Top Ten Challenge.
The Gurston Down Mazda MX5 Class
Chris Burch and Richard Morton are having a great season, in the Mazda Roadster RS they share. They have both been close to Mark Crookall’s record many times this season but Saturday wasn’t going to be a day to break records. On Saturday it was Chris’s performance that took the win, Richard had an issue with his first run when conditions were at their worst, but Chris pipped him by 0.21s on the second timed run. Chris finished on 41.71s and Richard 41.92s.
On Sunday the tables were reversed. Richard’s first timed run was 39.08s was enough to take the win after Chris’s off on his second timed run.
Road Going Series Production Class up to 1400cc
John Davey, Gurston Down’s Vice-Chairman, in the MG Midget, was in good form all weekend. Took the win both days, although first timed runs on Sunday meant an improvement was required in the second when Andrew Thorp in the shared Ford Fiesta did one of his fastest runs ever too. John’s second run was a significant improvement and turned out to be one of his fastest runs of the season.
Road Cars Series Production Class 1401cc to 2000cc
The Honda Civic Type R was dominant in the class all weekend. Russell Davies and Daniel Friel were swapping first and second at almost every timed run. Saturday went Daniel’s was quickest, 41.53s
Sunday went to Russel with a 38.17s. The rest of the class struggled with not only the weather but Daniel’s and Russell’s performances.
The Turbo Dynamics supported Over 2000cc Road Cars Series Production Class
Steve Cox in the Golf R was the one to beat on Saturday. Simon Neve in the Mitsubishi Evo 6 improved, as did Steve, after his first timed run but it wasn’t enough. Steve finished at 40.60s and Simon at 40.91s.
Sunday Simon finished ahead of Steve on both timed runs. Simon finished on 35.51s and Steve 36.73s.
Road Cars Specialist Production Class
Adrian Lewis in the Westfield Superbusa had a great weekend. Adrian’s Saturday gave him a fairly clear win over Chris Burridge in the Caterham HPC, Chris shares with Clive Skipper. Sunday was much closer, Clive Skipper was just 0.03s behind Adrian.
Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Cars up to 2000cc
Steve Butts ran alone in this class all weekend. His best time over the weekend was 34.65s, helping his Championship points.
Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Cars Over 2000cc
Graham Beale in his Ginetta G33, had a great weekend winning both days. On Saturday Gary Dawkins in his Lotus Exige can second. Phil Price and his misbehaving Porsche 930RS, managed one timed run on Saturday and attempted to fix the car in the afternoon but had to withdraw.
Up to 1400cc Modified Series Production Class
James White in his Austin Mini took wins both days. James finished on 42.09s and 36.48s on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, significantly ahead of his competition.
Modified Series Production Class 1401cc to 2000cc Class
Karl Stevens and the Ford Escort Mk2 had a great weekend. On Saturday he was almost 4 seconds ahead of his competition but on Sunday, things changed. Ian Plummer in the Opel Corsa he shares with Kevin Pummer finished less than a second behind.
Modified Specialist Production Class supported by Online Cleaning Technologies
Steve Holland had the class to himself all weekend. On Sunday he managed a 30.50s run which broke the class record but also earned him the Tony Marsh Memorial Award which he won last year. He also won the Top Ten Run-off on Saturday, a great performance.
The Historically Interesting Class, supported by Kelvin Jouhar
Fyrth Crosse in the lovely Dempster Ensign LNF3 had a great weekend, winning both days but by significant margins. It was good to see the Rudeani of James Dean. The car competed in our first meeting in 1967.
The Sports Libre up to 1400cc Class
Tim Pitfield, in his DJ Firecat, had a great first run on Saturday and took the win. But the car, which seems to like stopping at Ashes these days, decided it would do the same on the second run and subsequently Tim wasn’t able to run on Sunday.
On Sunday, Stephen King in his Radical Prosport ran alone and finished on 36.73s.
The Sports Libre over 2000cc Class
Mike Rudge and the Force SR8 had the timed runs to themselves on Saturday. An issue on the first timed run meant the second run became much more critical. He finished at 44.73s, an excellent performance considering the conditions.
Nic Mann and the Mannic-Beatie were back on Sunday and it was a great afternoon. Nic pushed the car and managed a sub-30s run. Mike Rudge improved significantly over Saturday but it wasn’t enough. Nic finished on 29.73s and Mike on31.28s.
The 601cc to 1100cc Racing Car Class
Ed Hollier with the Force H/C made the weekend his in this class. He was ahead on every timed run. On Saturday, with the tough weather, Luke Trotman in another Force HC, took second with Ben Bonfield in the repaired Jedi, third. Their times were 36.53s, 37.27s and 39.18s respectively.
On Sunday, Ed was again the class leader. This time Mark Crookall in the OMS PR took second with Ben Bonfield, third. Ed finished on 30.51s, Mark on 31.13s and Ben on 31.43s, so much quicker than the rather damp Saturday.
Formula Ford Racing Car up to 1600cc
The Van Diemen RF84 shared by Becky Crocombe and Lawrence Marks was the only car in the class this weekend. Saturday would a tough day, with Mark ahead of Becky, finishing on 49.16s and 51.38s respectively. Sadly, during Sunday’s practice, the car had an issue meaning Becky and Mark were unable to continue.
Racing Car over 2000cc
Paul Crute ran on his own in the Jaguar powered OMS 28 on both days. Saturday’s time was 37.72s and Sunday’s 31.74s.
We would like to thank all those who made our weekend possible!
Anthony Record – Press Officer – BARC SW, Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb