British Touring Car Championship leading light Matt Neal is to compete at Gurston Down Speed Hillclimb on Sunday April 27th to help with the venue’s celebration of its 300th meeting! Honda Racing are bringing along a Racing Jazz for him to compete in the Chairman’s Invitation class alongside Honda’s Alyn James, who will run in a Civic Endurance racer.
Tiff Needell was the last BTCC driver to compete at Gurston Down back in 2011.
Former triple BTCC champion and four times Independent Drivers champion Matt Neal is more used to driving his Honda Yuasa Racing Civic Tourer this year, having collected three podium places so far in the 2014 Championship in which Neal, now a veteran of 500 BTCC races, currently lies fifth overall. However, the compact and nimble Honda Jazz will likely be much better suited to the narrow confines and tight corners of Gurston!
Ever since the very beginning of our sport, at the turn of the 19th/20th Century, innovation and development have been a cornerstone of British Speed Hillclimbing as manufacturers have strived to beat their competition by working harder and thinking smarter.
An early rendering of the Empire Wraith concept
There is one hillclimb manufacturer which is really going places at the moment. Somerset-based Empire Racing Cars are having a major push in 2014, with the launch of both a brand new, state-of-the-art, carbon fibre chassised, motorcycle engined hillclimb challenger as well as a very innovative, supercharged, sports libre class challenger and a modified version of the existing Leaders class winning, spaceframe chassised ‘Double-0′ series.