Gurston BHC – In-depth Report

The British Hillclimb Championship visited Gurston Down last weekend for rounds 7 & 8 of the series.

Scott Moran Gould GR61X

Scott Moran in the Gould-NME GR61X (thanks to everleyphotography.co.uk)

 

Gurston Press Officer Simon McBeath has sent over a full report on the classes and Run Offs.

Milestone Set at Gurston Down British Championship Event

Under sunny skies the big crowd that gathered at Gurston Down on Sunday May 26th witnessed a notable landmark in the career of three times former British Hillclimb Champion and 2013 series leader Scott Moran. For Moran not only set best Time of the Day with the weekend’s only sub-26 second run, he also won both Avon Tyres / TTC Group British Hillclimb Championship Run Offs in his 3.5 Gould GR61X NME V8, and significantly this took his career tally of BHC Run Off wins to 100. Only one other driver in the history of the sport has a greater total (Martin Groves), and Moran looks set to overhaul that this season.

Behind Moran the battle for BHC points was intense, with Scotsman Wallace Menzies taking second in each Run Off in his 3.2 DJ Firestorm Cosworth V8 and reigning champion Trevor Willis was third each time in his 3.2 OMS 28 Powertec V8.

And after losing out to Eynon Price (1.6 Force PC) by one hundredth on aggregate for the class win, current Gurston Top Ten Challenge series leader Ed Hollier (1.6 Pilbeam MP62) scored his first BHC point in the second Run Off, beating both Eynon Price and Price’s co-driver Richard Spedding in the process.

Ed Hollier Pilbeam MP62

Ed Hollier qualified both times (thanks to everleyphotography.co.uk)

 

Other highlights included class records for Steve Holland, Steve romping to the BARC (SW) Centre Members class win in his 1.8 Caterham Superlight. In the up to 2000cc roadgoing series production class Miles Horne also eased to the win in a new record time in his 2.0 Peugeot 306. And Paul Boston (1.6 Caterham 7 Academy) and Matthew Willoughby (1.6 Caterham 7 Roadsport) won classes 1 and 2 of the Lotus 7 Club Championship runners in record time.

In the classes

Miles Horne Peugeot 306

Miles Horne took a class win with his Peugeot 306 (thanks to everleyphotography.co.uk)


The over 2000cc roadgoing series production class saw Shaun Fudge in command in the 2.0t Subaru Impreza WRX he shares with wife Sarah, Shaun seeing off the much fancied works Vauxhall Astra VXR of Scottish visitors David Finlay and Alasdair Suttie by over a second.

In the up roadgoing specialist production car class Piers Thynne had to rely on his first run time for the win as a high-speed second run spin after Hollow in the turbocharged 1.3 Westfield Megabusa put him off track. Fortunately that first run was clear of second placed Paul Cardy in his 2.0 Caterham Superlight.

The up to 1400cc modified series production class saw some frantic action but Neil Turner remained calm and set two consistent times in his 1.4 Mini Cooper ‘S’ to take the win from the always hard-trying Andy Russell in his 1.1 Ginetta G15 by 0.35 seconds, with Darren Eaton just 12 hundredths further adrift in his 1.4 Austin Mini. Darren’s Dad Phil Eaton tried a little too hard to catch his son and was another to spin out after Hollow.

The battle in the up to 2000cc modified series production class saw local knowledge come in handy for Karl Stevens in his 2.0 Ford Escort Mk 2 as he saw off the potent 2.0 Peugeot 205 GTi of the visiting Ralph Pinder.

In the combined over 2000cc modified series saloon and sports car classes Stephen Moore eased to a comfortable win in his rapid 2.0t Mitsubishi Evo 6

The specialist production class up to 2000cc saw former Mini pilots father and son Graham and Neal Masters debut in their recently acquired ex-Jonathan Gates/Kelvin Jouhar 2.0 Westfield SEi, and Neal came out in front for the class win.

Mike Rudge was as usual good value for the spectators in his rapid 2.3 Westfield SEi as he eased to the over 2000cc specialist production class win ahead of Mike Hall in the 5.0 Morgan +8.

The Historically Interesting class produced the usual selection of mouth-watering cars and Geoff Hunt dipped into the 33 second bracket for the win ahead of Adrian Lewis who was having a run in Chris Cannell’s 1.7 St Bruno Roughcutter.

In the Hillclimb Supersports class John Forsyth was sharing the 1.7 Mallock Mk 17B of Derek Harris, Forsyth bringing his long experience of Mallocks to assist Derek’s development of the car. And Forsyth it was who took the class win.

TTC Group boss Graham Wynn’s newly turbocharged 1.3 Force LM edged into a four tenths lead at half time over local ace Keith Diggle (2.0 WEV HCS) but after a walk up the course at lunchtime Wynn found over a second more on his second climb to go deep into the 29s, although for the first time this year that was not enough to qualify him for the Run Off.

The over 2000cc sports libre class produced another great scrap with Mike Manning putting his potent 2.0 turbocharged Ford Puma into the lead after the first runs as local favourite Chris Cannell had a lurid moment in the 2.6 Force SR8 ‘Grasscutter’ on the run up Burkes Rise! But under pressure, Cannell came back on the second runs to snatch the win by just seven hundredths! And Sue Hayes, driving the Force with Cannell, was just behind in third place.

Gurston Instructor Chris Cannell doesn't teach this! (thanks to everleyphotography.co.uk)

Gurston Instructor Chris Cannell doesn’t teach this! (thanks to everleyphotography.co.uk)

 

Onto the racing cars and Steve Owen, guesting again in Gary Hill’s OMS Hornet, came out in front by seven tenths.

Simon Fidoe always looked in charge of the 1100cc racing car class in his 1.0 Empire and he was just a third of a second away from the late Rob Barksfield’s class record. Simon Andrews was second in his 1.0 OMS ahead of Darren Gumbley in his 1.0 Force PT.

The 1600cc racing car class produced the battle of the meeting as Eynon Price (1.6 Force PC) and Ed Hollier (1.6 Pilbeam MP62) set identical times on their first runs. Both drivers were marginally slower second time up but Price was one hundredth faster, earning him the win on aggregate. It cannot get any closer than that! Dave Uren (1.6 Force PC) was third and also sub-29 seconds.

The up to 2000cc racing car class was won by Alex Summers in the 1.3s DJ Firestorm who could only take one run because of cylinder temperature gremlins, but he closed to within half a second of his class record to fend off a rapidly improving Paul Haimes in his new turbocharged Gould GR59. This was the first meeting of serious running for the car and it clearly has great potential, Paul scoring in both Run Offs and in the second of these he exactly equalled Summers’ class winning time.

 

Scott Moran took the over 2000cc racing car class ahead of Trevor Willis and Wallace Menzies.

The Lotus 7 Club Championship classes produced some good battles. In class 1 Paul Boston pipped class record holder Robert Jacobs by just two hundredths, both drivers under the previous record. In class 2 the top three were all under the old record, Matthew Willoughby going sub-37 seconds for a six tenths win over Graham Howard with Andrew Willoughby just nine hundredths further adrift. In class 3 Richard Price took the win by just over a second. David Nelson won class 4 by three tenths with a sub 34 second first climb. Shaun Elwell was also well clear in class 5 with a low 33 second effort. And Simon Rogers won class 6 with a mid-32 second run, half a second clear of Robert Margel.

Paul Boston Caterham 7

Paul Boston at Ashes Bend (thanks to everleyphotography.co.uk)

 

The next meetings at Gurston Down are on June 22nd and June 23rd, this midsummer speed fest featuring two rounds of the Gates of Brockenhurst Gurston Down Hillclimb Championship and the Top Ten Challenge. As well as all the usual contenders there will also be special invitation classes for Historic Lotuses, Porsches, and pre-War Austin 7s on the Saturday and MGs, Morgans, Ferraris and historic 500cc racing cars on Sunday. And the motorbikes of the National Hill Climb Association will be competing on both days too. Don’t miss it!

Thanks as always for the report Simon!

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