Gurston Preview in Detail

Part two of Simon McBeath’s brilliant event preview of Gurston Down’s Midland Championship weekend looks at the likely runners & riders in each class.

Chris Cannell St Bruno Roughcutter


There is an impressive entry in all of the classes, and this event will certainly be looking for a regular place on the Midland Hillclimb Championship calendar.

Roadgoing series production cars get the entry underway, and in the up to 2000cc class Miles Horne from Fordingbridge will be one of the favourites for the class win in his 2.0 Peugeot 306 although Jules Freeman from Eastleigh will push hard in his 2.0 Renault Clio 172 Cup. In the over 2000cc class Dylan Ferrett from New Milton took the class win in June in his early model Mitsubishi Evo and closed to within four tenths of the class record, so could he be in with a shout at the Gurston 1000? Stephen Moore from Stapleford and Simon Neve from Yeovil in their respective Mitsubishi Evo 6s may have other ideas! And Robert Lancaster-Gaye from Berkhamsted who leads the class in the Midland championship goes in his Porsche 996 GT3.

Dylan Ferrett Mitsubishi Lancer Evo


In the roadgoing specialist production class Simon Thornley from Redditch ran under the old class record time in his 1.9 Westfield in June, that old record belonging to Allan Warburton from Manchester, who also goes in this event in the 1.8 Caterham he shares with son David (who held the class record before his father!). Warburton, A., currently leads the Midland championship class. However, all are up against a new mark set in May this year, and Thornley has been closest to it… Could he be another going for the Gurston Grand? Can the Warburton’s get the record back and take the Big Prize?

The modified limited production marque sports car class up to 2000cc should see the return of former triple Gurston champion Steve Butts from Abingdon in his supercharged and turbocharged 1.4 Lotus Elise. He will be up against his own class record, set in a normally aspirated version of the same car, so could he get down to that record and grab the Gurston Grand?

Steve Butts Lotus Elise


The over 2000cc modified production marque sports car class features a number of quick entries, but back in June it was Graham Beale from Basingstoke who won in his 2.0 turbocharged Ginetta G33. Steve Holley from Salisbury will be chasing hard in his 5.2 TVR Griffith, as will Bob Mortimer from Mudford in his 2.7 Porsche 911.

The modified series production car class up to 1400cc has belonged to Jim White from Southampton recently in his rapid 1.4 Austin Mini Clubman and it’s hard to see that situation being overturned. Jim is currently second overall in the Gurston Championship and his priority will likely being getting the best score he can here. Behind him it’s very competitive, and Darren Eaton from Poole in the 1.4 Austin Mini shared with dad Phil could be in for a top spot.

The modified series production cars up to 2000cc sees the return to Gurston of Keith Murray from Swindon, this time in his potent 1.4 turbocharged Audi 80 Quattro. Keith leads his class in the Midland championship and could be a possible Gurston 1000 contender.


Another Gurston returnee appears in the over 2000cc modified series production saloon car class as former record holder Roger Banks from Churchstoke once again fields his awesome Audi S4. But Roger has not competed much recently because of young family commitments, so look out too for 2010 Gurston champion Roy Barker from Stockbridge in his potent Mitsubish Evo 5. Roy was only three tenths from the class record in June and must be another possible candidate for the Gurston 1000.

The over 2000cc modified series production sports car class gathers a collection of rapid machines, and the current leader of the Midland Hillclimb Championship Mike Turpin from Hereford goes in his supercharged Vauxhall VX220. As an unknown quantity in this car at Gurston, we can only wonder how he will fare, but it seems certain he will be highly competitive.

In the modified specialist production car classes Antony Orchard from Wareham runs his turbocharged Westfield Megabusa in the up to 2000cc division, and has been within half a second of the class record this season. Could he get down to the record and sweep up the Big Cash Prize? In the over 2000cc division current record holder Mike Rudge from Cwmbran goes in his Westfield, and Mike is never far from his class record so he too could be a factor in the chase for the big money! 

The Historically Interesting class brings out a lovely collection of cars once again, and heading them is Chris Cannell from Salisbury in his St Bruno Roughcutter. Chris currently leads the Gurston championship and is therefore clearly another driver who could threaten his own class record to put himself in the running for the Gurston 1000.

The Hillclimb Supersports class again sees Mark Mortimer from Mudford the probable favourite for the class win in his Mallock Mk 18B.

The Sports Libre classes feature some drivers we only occasionally see at Gurston, and in the up to 2000cc division Midland Hillclimb Championship sponsor Graham Wynn from Shropshire runs the 1.6 Force LM we have seen recently at our British Championship events. He leads the Midland Championship class by just one point from Rob Stevens from Marsh Gibbon who runs in his potent supercharged Force. Gurston’s long finish straight could favour the latter, but can he approach the class record? Also running in this class is Keith Diggle from Aldershot in his WEV HCS, currently third in the Gurston championship, and Gurston sponsor Jonathan Gates from Brockenhurst in his 1.6 Force LM, and there’s never much between these two! 

In the over 2000cc sports libre class we have Gurston’s Two Fast Ladies, Sue Hayes from Salisbury in her 2.6 Force SR8 and Hayley Thorne from Dorchester in her 5.0 Pilbeam MP43. But among others joining them will be Terry Clifford from Aston on Carrant in his 2.5 Pilbeam MP43, Terry returning to Gurston after quite a few years and currently leading the class in the Midland championship, so he could well be a medal winner here.

Onto the single seaters and the ‘historic’ 500cc racing car class sees father and son John and Andrew Forsyth from Poole and Blandford respectively thrashing it out in their shared Alfa Dana.

The up to 1100cc racing car class will see Adam Steel from Maidenhead in the diminutive Martlet AS1, Adam sharing with his father Tony from Chichester. Adam has been closer to the very quick record in this class than anyone in recent years, closing to within four tenths back in May 2011, so could he have a chance at the Gurston 1000? Simon Andrews from Pershore who currently leads this class in the Midland championship runs his OMS 2000M and could be up for a class medal at this event.


The up to 1600cc racing cars features some quick Gurston regulars including Peter D. Smith from Wantage in his Force and James Blackmore from Ropley near Winchester in his OMS 25, Blackmore perhaps the favourite on recent form. We also hope to see Ed Hollier from Ottery St Mary give his bike-engined Pilbeam MP62 its Gurston debut.

In the 2000cc racing car class Morgan Jenkins from Daventry in his Pilbeam MP87 is the highest placed Midland championship contender entered, but Tim Davies from Narberth knows the venue better and could be the gold medal favourite in his Pilbeam MP88.

The unlimited capacity racing car class will surely seem some quick times with current Gurston Down Top Ten Challenge leader Tony Wiltshire from Newton Abbot running his Gould GR55. Perhaps the quickest challenger to Wiltshire for what is likely to be Best Time of the day will be Deryk Young from Hereford in the Gould GR51 he shares with wife Sue, who is the current Gurston Ladies record holder. The Youngs haven’t been to Gurston since 2010 but Deryk has been sub-27 seconds, which would certainly put the pressure on Wiltshire, who thus far has been well down in the 27s but not under that mark… 

We also have a class for 1600cc Formula Ford cars in which Andrew Henson and Nicola Dearden from Rochdale go in their shared Van Diemen RF91; there a class for racing cars manufactured up to 1971 in which Richard Jones from Stroud will run his superb Brabham BT29X. And in the class for racing cars manufactured up to 1985 former Gurston Down Top Ten Challenge winner Rodney Eyles from Taunton will run his Ralt RT3 Hart again.

It’s going to be a cracking event, so don’t miss any of it! Who WILL win the Gurston Grand?

Thanks again Simon, great stuff! See you at the event, we will be tweeting live updates all weekend.


  1. Eddie says:

    Sorry to have to miss the event, should be a cracker.

  2. The Bad Wolf will be there for the first time in the over 2000cc Spotrs Libre.
    I had better get on YouTube LOL

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