Afternoon Delight

Gurston Down Speed Hillclimb attracted a full entry of cars over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The meeting hosted rounds 27 & 28 of the Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb and Hillclimb Leaders Championships. With good weather conditions throughout Saturday practice and Sunday's competition runs, the scene was set for some competitive hillclimbing.

On her first timed run Lynn Owen set the pace amongst the share drivers in the 1600cc racing car class with her time of 30.50 seconds: which was also a new personal best time. But following the driver change over, the rest of the class took to the hill setting blisteringly fast times. Steve Owen initially led the class on 28.70 seconds (also a new PB) and then the lead went to next man on the hill Ed Hollier on 28.29 seconds. Last man in class to run was BHC contender and Hillclimb Leaders Championship front runner Richard Spedding, who was looking for a class win and a place in the first of the two British Championship run offs. As he went through Hollow bend and approached Carousel the car went off the track leaving Richard a passenger in what turned into a heavy impact with the scenery. Richard emerged badly bruised and shaken but without serious injury and following a check over by hospital medics, he returned to the meeting much to the relief of everyone.

Ed chose not to take his afternoon run, leaving the possibility of a class win for Steve. Lynn had already completed her climb only to find that the timing had not recorded her run and she was awarded a re-run. Leaving the line in determined fashion, Steve hit the speed trap in Hollow at 112mph and  Carousel split at 15.63, stopping the clock at 28.51 seconds with a finish line speed of 122mph. Although missing out on a class win by 0.22 of a second Steve had set a new PB and was delighted with the OMS 28's performance. Lynn then lined up the car for the final time. She had a good launch from the start and hit the speed trap at 110mph, she was slower than Steve to the Carousel split crossing the finish at 122mph with a PB time of 30.18 seconds. Mike Lee in his 1600cc OMS 2000M took fourth place in the class with his only timed run of the day 29.44 seconds, having missed his morning run due to electrical problems.  Ian Tucker in his OMS CF07 also set a PB time of 32.65 with his afternoon run.

South West Centre national B class was won by Pete Hammock driving an OMS CF04. This is Pete's first season in the car and first class win, set with a new personal best time of 33.54 seconds on his afternoon timed run.

Trevor Willis finished third in his class, with both of his runs qualifying him for the two run offs. His first class run time of 26.11 was Trevor's personal best at Gurston and qualified him third fastest behind BHC rival Scott Moran and Jos Goodyear. When Trevor took to the hill in run off one, the time to beat was that of Will Hall who had taken the lead on 25.93 seconds. Trevor was 0.14 quicker than Will to Carousel, but would the RPE V8 be able to outpace Will's Nissan V6 to the finish? The clock stopped at 25.93 equalling Will's time, leaving them jointly in the lead of the run off with two drivers to run. Jos was a fraction slower than his qualifying time on 26.02 and so too was last man on the hill Scott Moran, but his time of 25.81 seconds took the win, leaving Trevor and Will in joint second place.

Steve Owen's class winning time of 28.51 also qualified him for the afternoon BHC run off, the only 1600cc car in the field. He improved his time yet again finishing on 28.43 some 6/10ths inside his best time at the start of the meeting, though outside of the points for the BHC. Trevor had also qualified but this time only sixth fastest. He didn't match his morning's PB time and with a 26.18 finished fourth in the run off. Scott Moran took the win once again but this time with a new outright hill record 25.37 seconds, breaking the long standing 2007 record set by Martin Groves.

A fabulous weekend as always, at Gurston Down. Many thanks to the BARC SW Centre and all the marshals. To view the results from the meeting click here. BHC and Hillclimb Leaders tables can be found here.

Date: 26/08/2014 | Author: L.Owen