BHC at Gurston this Weekend

After a week’s break, the runners and riders from the British Hillclimb Championship return to competition this weekend at the fast and flowing Gurston Down in Wiltshire.

Gurston Down Hillclimb

Gurston's paddock will be echoing with the sound of racing engines this weekend


As usual, Gurston’s Press Officer Simon McBeath has sent us a preview for what should be a cracking event….

The event opens with a special class for Gurston Down members, with a number of locals going in a wide variety of cars. Stephen Moore from Stapleford could get among the medals in his 2.0t Mitsubishi Evo 6, as could Simon Neve from Yeovil in his similar but 2.3 litre powered car.

The roadgoing series production class up to 2000cc sees Andrew Thorp from Romsey in a 1.6 Mini Cooper taking on Steve Harris from Cranborne in his 1.4 Vauxhall Corsa. In the over 2000cc roadgoing series production class Jules Freeman from Eastleigh fields his 2.0t Subaru Impreza against the visiting Tim Elmer from Stratford on Avon aboard his 3.8 Porsche 911 Carrera. And in the roadgoing specialist production car class, current record holder and former record holder, father and son Allan and David Warburton from Manchester will be hard to beat in their shared 1.8 Caterham, although Paul Cardy from Southampton in his 2.0 Caterham Superlight will be doing his utmost.

The up to 1400cc modified series production class should produce a good battle between Jim White from Southampton in his 1.4 Mini Clubman and Andy Russell from Alresford in his 1.1 Ginetta G15. Both drivers can be relied upon to push the limits!

In the up to 2000cc modified series production class Karl Stevens from Andover fields his 2.0 Ford Escort Mk 2 again versus 2011 Gurston champion Paul Webster from Fareham, whose New Techniques 1.9 Mazda MX5 struggled slightly against the Escort in April. Can he turn the tables?

The well-travelled Geoff Twemlow from Cornwall runs his rapid 2.1t Subaru Impreza in the over 2000cc modified series production saloon car class against Richard Hillyar from Christchurch in his 2.0t Renault 21, and the Subaru driver will probably have the upper hand here.

In the over 2000cc modified series production sports car class battle will be re-joined between Bob Mortimer from Mudford, who can be relied upon to hurl his 2.7 Porsche 911 up the hill with apparent abandon, and Steve Holley from Salisbury whose gruff 5.2 TVR Griffith will be smoking its tyres in pursuit!

In the modified specialist production class up to 2000cc there will be a fascinating contest between Antony Orchard from Wareham who is fast getting to grips with his rapidly developing turbocharged 1.3 Westfield Megabusa and Andy Dunbar from Glangrwyney in his normally aspirated 2.0 Westfield. Orchard could be on for the gold medal here!

Some much-travelled competitors take to the hill in the over 2000cc modified specialist production cars class, with former Gurston champion Mike Rudge from Cwmbran in his 2.3 Westfield taking on Les Mutch and Mike Jolly from Aberdeenshire in their shared 2.5 Dax Rush IRS.

The Historically Interesting class sees a collection of superb single seaters running, and former class record holder Geoff Hunt from Andover looks the probable favourite here in his lovely Lotus 22.

Mark Mortimer from Mudford ought to take gold in the hillclimb supersports class in his 2.0 Mallock Mk 18B, while in the up to 2000cc sports libre class there will be a great scrap between Gurston’s loyal sponsor Jonathan Gates from Brockenhurst in his 1.6 Force LM, Keith Diggle from Aldershot in his 2.0 WEV HCS and Hillclimb Leaders Championship sponsor Graham Wynn, OBE, from Shropshire in his 1.6 Force LM.

The over 2000cc sports libre class has attracted the usual variety of machinery, with another former Gurston champion Rodney Thorne from Dorchester looking like the favourite for gold in the 5.0 Pilbeam MP43 he’s sharing with wife Hayley. But Salisbury’s Chris Cannell may have other ideas because he goes in his twin-engined 2.6 Force SR8 with partner Sue Hayes at this event.

Onto the well-supported single seater racing car classes, and in the up to 1100cc class father and son Richard and George Brown from Newbury should be among the medals in their shared 1.0 Force PT.

A big entry in the up to 1600cc racing car class is headed by class record holder Lee Adams from Aberdeenshire in his ultra-rapid 1.6 GWR Raptor. Lee finished an amazing fifth overall in the 2011 British Hillclimb Championship, taking a number of Top 12 Run Off wins in the process against the much more powerful V8-engined cars, so it’s hard to see him being beaten in class here. One of those who will get closest to him though will be James Blackmore from Ropley near Winchester in his 1.6 OMS25.

The up to 2000cc racing car class is tough to call but Alex Summers from Tenbury Wells will be quick in his 1.3 supercharged DJ Firehawk. And look out for the new 1.3 supercharged Gould GR59 of father and son Brian and Simon Moyse of Ludgershall and Bicester respectively.

The over 2000cc racing car class is where the top British Hillclimb Championship contenders slug it out for qualifying spots in the Top 12 Run Offs, and all the main contenders are entered. Reigning champion Scott Moran from Ludlow, running ‘Number 1’ on his car, holds the class record in his 3.5 Gould GR61X. Last year’s number 2, Scott’s father Roger Moran, also from Ludlow often goes well at Gurston too. Number 3, Trevor Willis from Aylesbury may lack sufficient horsepower in his 3.2 OMS 25 to challenge for top spot at Gurston. But last year’s number 4, Wallace Menzies from Kincardine certainly has the potential for a win here in his 3.2 DJ Firestorm. Tom New from Southampton is the local most likely to score well in his 4.0 Gould GR55. Look out too for father and son John and Andrew Forsyth from Poole and Blandford respectively who are entered in Rodney Thorne’s 3.5 Pilbeam MP58 at this event. Andrew Forsyth is the reigning double Gurston Down Top Ten Challenge winner, so can the Forsyths qualify for the Run Offs?

The entry is rounded out with a very well supported Lotus 7 Club Championship contingent populated entirely by Caterham 7s in different guises. Among the local drivers are Alan Johnson from Sherborne in his 1.6 Caterham Academy, David Dowson from Alton in his 1.8 Caterham Roadsport, Clive Skipper from Ringwood in his 1.7 Caterham, Michael Sankey and Chris Moss from Southampton in their shared 1.8 Caterham Superlight, Steve Holland from Portsmouth in his 1.8 Superlight and Stuart Miller from Southampton in his 1.8 variant.

It’s going to be a great meeting.

Thanks as always Simon!

We will be there all weekend, so if you can’t be then don’t forget to check out our twitter feed and the homepage for all the gossip…


  1. My favorite bhc venue

  2. David Paterson says:

    Its nice to read something covering all the classes for a change.

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