Finale on the Farm

Sunday’s event at Gurston Down, Wiltshire hosted the final round of the venue’s own championship. The Top 10 Challenge title was decided in Andrew Forsyth’s favour at the July event, but going into Sunday’s finale the Hill Championship was wide open.

 

Terry Graves ran 3rd at Gurston Down

 

Having missed the June round in order to claim a class win at Doune, Paul Webster blasted through from 15th place on the table, ran nearly 1.5s under the record at the start of the year, and destroyed the opposition to claim the title. Webbo (now with speedhillclimb.com stickers on his New Techniques Mazda MX5) was delighted to claim his 2nd Gurston Hill Championship win 12 years after he won it in an Opel Manta.

Having led since Round 2, Neal Masters slipped at the final hurdle. He tried different gearing in an attempt to gain some speed over the finish, but it didn’t quite work and he had to settle for 2nd in class behind an inspired Jim White who closed in on Masters’ class record. His 8.33 point score secured 3rd place in the Championship.

Having missed out on the April round Anthony Orchard, like Webbo, was always going to jump up the ranks when the dropped score was applied (it’s done to keep Jerry & Gwyn on their toes in the commentary box)! Orchard squeeked past his own record from June to leap into 4th overall.

The unluckiest driver was surely Chris Cannel. The driver of the wonderful St. Bruno Roughcutter has been chasing Fyrth Cross’ Historically Interesting Class record for a couple of years. Fyrth improved his record at the August National and took it further out of reach, but Chris dug deep and stormed to a time 0.26s inside his target. Unfortunately for Chris everyone else blitzed their records, and his dropped score from June allowed Orchard to knock him down to 5th.

Amongst the flurry of activity over the Championship, there was a tooth & nail battle for FTD underway. Tony Wiltshire has been rapidly acclimatising to his Gould GR55 and led the field throughout, but it was close. Andrew Forsyth was never far behind and set his fastest pace of the year. Wilt was just off of his best of the year (set at the August National) but pleased to take his 1st FTD with the car.

Other notable performances came from Colin Smith who hustled the Nova around like never before to chase the Minis of White & Masters home and also from Edward Marsh. Edward, having been separated from his brother Tom by 1/100th at each event this year, destroyed Tom at this event to finish 3/100ths clear! This gave Edward a higher finish in the Championship in the rebuilt family Mallock.

The usual relaxed prize giving brought the curtain down on another brilliant year at Gurston. Doug Auld, Paul Webster, Dee Stapely and all of the crew have done a great job again this year and we can’t wait until 2012!

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