The 2024 Season Opener at Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb went ahead as planned. Running the Test Day earlier in the month as a closed event helped the ground at the hill, in the car park and camping field recover from the unprecedented weather the UK has had for the past few months. There are many people we need to thank.

The 2024 Turbo Dynamics Championship had the first four rounds and the Online Cleaning Technologies Top Ten Challenge, it’s first two rounds. Remember you will need to enter the Championship and Challenge by 8th May 2024.

The current leader is Luke Chard-Maple in his Renault Clio 172.

The April meetings also brought the motorbikes of the Auto Cycle Union for their first of two weekends in the 2024 season – more on that later.



The Revington TR Triumph Register Sprint and Hill Climb Championship

There was good entry in this class. Len Olds in the lovely TR4 and Steve Small in the TR7 V8 were out front after the first timed run, Len was just ahead of Steve. When the second timed runs were complete, Steve improved his time as did Len but Steve’s improvement was enough to take the win. Steve finished with a 38.93s and Len 39.08s.

Midland Speed Championship

The Midland Speed Championship had a very good entry both days. The Westfield’s dominated both days with Keith Adams taking the wins. Craig Spooner fought hard but could not quite overcome Keith’s consistent performances. Thomas Frankland and Simon Green were third on Saturday and Sunday respectively. The times on Saturday were Keith 36.95s, Craig 37.02s and Thomas 37.25s. Sunday’s were Keith 36.88s, Craig 37.02s and Simon 37.81s.

Downton Motor Club Speed Championship

The Downton Motor Club speed championship had a full entry of Minis both original and BMW versions. The original Mini came out on top both days, James Edmonds in his Mini finished on 39.25s and 38.70s respectively. Adam Holland in the BMW Cooper S was second both days with 40.53s and 40.24s.

Westfield Sports Car Club Racing Speed Series Championship

There were just three entrants in this class, with the result being the same both days. David Smith in his Sport 250 had a great weekend, dominating on both days. His times were impressive with a 36.30s and 35.71s respectively. Second was Mark Bishop in his SE, with 40.93s and 40.34s.

Pre-War Austin 7’s of the Bert Hadley Memorial Championship

There were seven cars entered, the Austin Seven Ulster driven by Colin Danks took the honours with a resounding victory, over two seconds ahead of Terry Griffin on 49.20s who, in turn was over five seconds ahead of Nicholas Turley who finished on 54.32s.

The BARC Speed Championship

A big entry and a great collection of cars featured in this class. Stephen Mallett in the Radical PR6 he shares with Richard had a great weekend, winning both days. After the first timed run on Saturday had Robert Pallett in his Ginetta G20 had the lead. But the second timed runs saw an improvement by Stephen and Matt Bramall, in the Caterham. Finishing times were Stephen 37.28s, Matt 37.97s and Robert 38.70s.

On Sunday, Stephen had connected with the hill and his Radical and set a first run time two seconds ahead of the Matt. The Radical took third in the hands of Richard Mallett with Robert Pallett finishing fourth. Second to fourth separated by just over a second.

Stephen’s time was 35.62s, Matt’s 37.66s, Richard’s 38.25 and Robert’s 38.81s.

The Morgan Sports Car Club Techniques Speed Championship

Simon Baines in his Roadster has Gurston experience and has won this class before and this time that really showed. Simon dominated in the class, he was over three seconds ahead of his nearest rival, Andy Hatch. Simon finished on 38.69s and Andy on 43.34s.


Road Cars Mazda MX5 Class

It was great to see a fuller entry in the MX5 class for the first two events. The much battered MK2 RS shared by Richard Morton and Chris Burch was dominant all weekend. Richard matched his times on the two timed runs, finishing on 39.80s, just pipping Chris to first on both days. Richard was just a second ahead on Saturday but just 0.31s on Sunday. This class has a number of new car and driver combinations so it will be interesting to see how the rest of this season goes.

Road Cars Series Production up to 1400cc

David Nutland and his Mini had a great weekend, with two solid performances, winning both days. Saturday saw him ahead of the Ford Fiesta of Andrew Till on Saturday and the Fiesta of Steve Holley on Sunday. David’s times were 42.39s and 41.99s respectively. There were many new driver and car combinations in this class too.

Road Cars Series Production Class 1401cc to 2000cc

Russell’s Honda Civic Type R has served him well over the past few seasons and this weekend was no exception. Russell took the win both days, Saturday and Sunday’s times were identical, 39.27s. David Newman in his MK1 Mazda MX5 challenged hard but could not quite match Russell. He finished on 39.60s and 39.75s with Daniel Friel in his Honda Civic, third on Saturday, 39.84s and James Wills, Renault Clio, third on Sunday 40.67s.

Over 2000cc Road Cars Series Production Class – Two Wheel Drive

Martin Prescott’s Ford Fiesta ST had a perfect weekend. He took the win on Saturday and Sunday with 38.27s and 38.37s respectively. On Saturday he was pushed by Jim Hood on the MX5 just under a second behind on 39.25s. On Sunday, the lovely Porsche 911RS shared by David Franklin and Chris Stone, in David’s hands pushed Jim into third place. David’s time was 39.46s

Road Cars Series Production Class – Four Wheel Drive

On Saturday there were two entrants in this class Steve Cox in his much campaigned VW Golf R won the class but was unable to return on Sunday.

On Sunday Richard Mullis and Ben Bowdidge brought their Golf R’s and had a great battle. Richard was ahead after the first timed run by just 0.02s. Richard matched 37.32s first timed run time on his second run but Ben went a little quicker. Ben stopped the clock on 37.12s just 0.20s ahead.

Road Cars Specialist Production Class, any capacity

The top two in this class were Clive Skipper and Chris Burridge both in Caterhams. But Clive made the class his own both days. He finished with a 34.77s run on Saturday and 35.15s on Sunday with Chris’s bests being 38.13s and 37.24s respectively.

Over 2000cc Modified Limited Production Marque Sports Car Class

Graham Beale in the Ginetta G33 had the class to himself. Saturday’s time was 35.46s and Sunday’s 35.27s.

Up To 1400cc Modified Cars Series Production Class

This class was dominated by the class record holder and last years class champion, Neil Turner and Jim White both in Minis.

Saturday was Jim’s day, he managed a 37.04s run, just ahead of Neil’s 37.17s.

After the first timed run, it looked like Jim may well pull off a double over Neil. However, Neil went a little better in his second timed run, pushing Jim out with a 36.67s run.

1400cc to 2000cc Modified Cars Series Production Car Class

Luke Chard-Maple in his Renault Clio is having a fantastic start to the season. Not only did he take the class win both days but as a consequence of his performance he currently leads the Turbo Dynamics Gurston Down Championship overall. James Fordham in his Clio was second both days, it’ll be interesting to see how these two get on over the rest of the season.

Modified Series Production Class – Four Wheel Drive

On Saturday Stephen Moore competed in his daughters Clio in the Road Car class but brought one of his Mitubishi Evo 6’s to end the day pn 33.97s.

Modified Specialist Production Class – Supported by Online Cleaning Technologies

Steve Holland, managing director of our Top Ten Challenge sponsor and last years Top Ten winner was on his own in this class. He has made a few improvements to the car over the closed season and it showed in the times and speeds.

Historically Interesting Class

Saturday’s class had four entrants. The Ginetta G12 of James and David Teale, in James’s hands took the win with Mike Broome in the lovely Alexis splitting the two entrants in the Ginetta. James finished on 36.85s and Mike on 38.31s.

On Sunday, the lovely Brabham BT16 of Ian Baxter took the win over Mike. Ian’s time was 35.34s a couple of seconds ahead of Mike’s.

Sports Libre up to 1400cc Class

Tim Pitfield, and his DJ Firecat competed on his own on both days..

Sports Libre 1400cc to 2000cc Class

Mike Lee in his Force LM, had a great weekend, taking the win and qualifing for the Top Ten Runoff. His times were 33.66s and 33.06s.

Sports Libre Over 2000cc Class

The amazing Mannic Beattie of Nick Mann was on his own in this class but managed to take both Fastest Times of the Day. Winning the Richard Gaylard Memorial Trophy on Saturday and the Craig Russell Memorial Trophy on Sunday.

Rally Car Class

Sunday saw our first entrant in the newly created Rally Car Class. Ben Purnell entered his Ford Escort Mk1.

The 601cc to 1100cc Racing Car Class

A very full 601cc to 1100cc Racing Car Class meant that everyone needed to perform to their best. James Moore in his Empire came out on top but was chased hard by Nigel Pitt in the OMS and Adrian Lewis in his Empire. It looks like this class will be tough in 2024.

The 1601cc to 2000cc Racing Car – Forced Induction – Class

It was good to see Paul Haimes in the turbo-charged Gould GR59 had a good first timed run but an issue in the second put him out for the weekend. Although he did stay to support his son who was entered in the 1401cc to 2000cc Road Car Class in the car he is sharing with James Wills.

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 and taking almost two seconds off his Saturday time on Sunday.

The Online Cleaning Technologies Top Twelve Run-Off

Saturday’s Run-Off was won by Nick Mann in the Mannic Beattie. Second was James Moore, third Steve Holland and fourth Adrian Lewis.

Sunday’s Run-Off was won by James Moore, meaning he now leads the Top Ten Challenge. Unfortunately, Nick Mann’s Mannic Beattie had a technical issue at the start line. Steve Holland took second and Ben Bonfield third.

More details on the Championship and Top Ten Challenge to follow




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