One of Those Days in England

As the Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British and Leaders Hillclimb Championships move into the final rounds of the season, the Gurston Down event was hosted by BARC South West over the August Bank Holiday weekend. A strong entry, slick organisation and a venue that escaped the torrential rain that appeared to engulf most of the country, the scene was set for a good weekend of motorsport.

Practice on Saturday offered drivers 3 runs in dry though overcast conditions, with class front runners immediately on the pace. Throughout the day the farm where Gurston Down Hill Climb is held was harvesting the grain crops, taking advantage of the dry conditions. Combines & tractor/trailer units could be seen passing back and forth across the vast fields surrounding the paddock and track.

Sunday dawned to much the same weather as the previous day, though it looked more determined to rain and eventually did shower following the morning practice runs and prior to first timed runs. A strong breeze was blowing and this began drying the track as soon as the rain stopped. The first cars on the hill for the mornings timed runs had more difficult conditions than the single seaters running later in the session. For the afternoons' competition runs track conditions were good and most drivers improved on their morning times in this session.

Racing cars up to 1100cc fielded 14 drivers including 7 OMS driver/car combinations. Class winner Simon Fidoe won on 29.72 seconds with the highest placed OMS driver in class Simon Andrews finishing second on a personal best time of 30.58 set on his morning climb. His co-driver Bernard Kevill took 6th place in class with a time of 31.59 seconds in their OMS 2000M. James Moore (OMS 2000M) and Euan Kemp (OMS PR) ran in the 32's whilst Calum Kemp (OMS PR), Stephen Loadsman (OMS RA) and Steve Boother (OMS 2000M) ran in the 33's.

Racing cars up to 1600cc saw British Championship number 4 driver Jos Goodyear take the class win on 27.94 seconds. The next three places were covered by 2/10ths of a second Dave Uren in 2nd, ex-OMS SC1 driver Ed Hollier 3rd and Steve Owen in the new OMS 28 finished 4th with a personal best time of 29.02 seconds: setting the exact same time on both of his timed runs. OMS 25 driver James Blackmore ran a 29.66, Mike Lee in the OMS 2000M ran 29.72, Lee Griffiths (OMS 25) 30.35 and Lynn Owen (OMS 28) also ran a personal best time in the new car of 30.52 seconds.

Racing cars over 2000cc saw the top three places covered by under 2/10ths. Scott Moran took the win on 26.36, Wallace Menzies 26.45 and Trevor Willis (OMS 28 V8) on 26.52 seconds.

Trevor was third fastest qualifier in each of the two Top 12 run offs. But as at Shelsley Walsh the previous weekend, Trevor’s' top speed deficit to the 600bhp cars of Scott and Wallace was always going to be difficult to overcome at Gurston. He just missed out on 3rd place in the first run off, being beaten into 4th place by a mere 1/100th of a second by Alex Summers. In the second of the run offs there was a tie for 3rd place between Trevor and Alex with both setting an exact same time of 26.31 seconds: a personal best time for both drivers.

Whilst prize giving finished and competitors left the meeting, work on the farm and on the harvest continued and went on into the night at Gurston Down.

Results for the meeting can be found here.

British and Leaders Hillclimb Championship positions can be found here.

Date: 26/08/2013 | Author: L.Owen