Gurston Preview

Saturday and Sunday this weekend sees the first competitive events at the ever popular Gurston Down Hillclimb, near Salisbury.

James Blackmore OMS 25

James Blackmore blasts over Deers Leap at Gurston (thanks to Simon McBeath)


There are large and varied entries on both days of the event, with plenty to interest all spectators whether you are into serious single-seaters, svelte sportscars or stunning saloon cars.

Simon McBeath is Press Officer for the organising club, the BARC (SW Centre), and has put together this preview for the event:

The events open on both days with specially invited classes. On Saturday the pre-War Austin 7s will entertain as ever, and Bernard Cowley from Wimborne is always competitive in the ‘Road’ division in his variant of the iconic machine. In the ‘Track’ division Vincent Leek from Warminster enters his Austin 7 Single Seater, but is up against some very good opposition.

Warminster is certainly one of the better represented towns in the weekend’s competition, and in the ACSMC Road Legal Cars class Warminsterians Stuart Morgan-Nash and Anthony Ballard share their 1.8 MG ZR. Meanwhile ‘neighbour’ Paul Moakes goes in his 4.0 TVR V8S in the TVR Cars class but is also pitted against some very swift opponents.

Like the TVR class the Westfield Cars class is very well supported, and local interest here focusses on Martin Watson from Eastleigh in his 2.0 Westfield SEiW.

On Sunday the TR Cars kick off the meeting followed by the Austin Healey ‘Big Healey and Warwick Cars’ division, both of which have attracted drivers from all over the country. In the Austin Healey Cars ‘Sprites’ division, it’s Warminster to the fore again as Murray Wakeham goes in his 1.4 Austin Healey Sprite, and Murray has a good chance of doing well here.

The ‘Classic Marques’ class runs for the first time on Sunday, and Trevor McMaster from Melksham goes here in his 3.6 TVR Tamora.

The up to 2000cc roadgoing series production cars class always gets strong regional support. Tony Recond from Bishops Waltham goes both days in his 1.8 Proton Coupe, and on Sunday Miles Horne from Fordingbridge appears in his rapid 2.0 Peugeot 306.

In the over 2000cc roadgoing series production class Simon Neve from Yeovil will be quick in his 2.3t Mitsubishi Evo 6, but the abovementioned Stephen Moore’s appearance on Sunday should make for lively competition here! Lewis Fanner from Shaftesbury also has a new and more potent 2.5t Subaru Impreza and could get among the medals.

The roadgoing specialist production class looks competitive, and Mike Williams from Warminster and Steve Holland from Portsmouth in Westfield and Caterham respectively will be in the thick of it on both days. On Sunday they are joined by Piers Thynne from Hartley Wintney in his potent Westfied Megabusa and Robert Margel from Wokingham his Caterham Hayabusa, which should make for a terrific class battle.

In the up to 2000cc modified limited production marque sports car class mother and daughter Dee Stapley from Castle Cary and Stephanie Limb from Reading share Mum’s 1.8 MGF! And in the over 2000cc marque sports class the aforementioned Steve Holley is joined by Bob Mortimer from Long Load in Somerset in his 3.5 Porsche 911 and last season’s pace setter here, Graham Beale from Basingstoke in his 2.0 turbocharged Ginetta G33, so this should see a good tussle for the top awards!

It’s all Minis in the up to 1400cc modified series production car class, and on recent years’ form look out for James White from Southampton in his rapid 1.4 Mini Clubman. Father and son Phil and Darren Eaton from Poole are always quick too in their shared 1.4 Mini.

Gurston Down’s competition secretary and former two-time Gurston champion Paul Webster from Fareham runs his familiar New Techniques 1.9 Mazda MX5 in the up to 2000cc modified series production cars class and looks a good bet for the win.

There’s some extremely potent machinery in the over 2000cc modified production saloon cars class with class record holder and former Gurston Champion Roy Barker from Stockbridge going in his 2.32t Mitsubishi Evo 5. Tim Clarke and Andy Trayner from Poole bring out their awesome 2.1t Audi Quattro again. And father and son David and Adrian Flagg from Christchurch field their 2.0t Subaru Impreza.

Roy Barker Mitsubishi Lancer Evo

Roy Barker attacks Karousel at Gurston Down (thanks to Simon McBeath)

The Historically Interesting class has as always attracted some superb machinery and local drivers featuring here include Hugh Kemp from Wylye in his 1.6 Palliser WDF3, Geoff Hunt from Andover in his 1.6 Lotus 22 and Fyrth Crosse from Bristol in his 1.6 Ensign LNF3.

The up to 2000c sports libre class sees old friendly rivalries renewed as Gurston’s Championship sponsor Jonathan Gates from Brockenhurst shares the 1.6 Force LM with fellow New Forest resident Peter Sexton from Wootton, and up against them is Keith Diggle from Basingstoke in his 2.0 WEV HCS.

In the over 2000cc sports libre class the aforementioned Chris Cannell and Sue Hayes will be joined by Tom Brown and Stephen Cunningham from Newbury in the 3.5 SPA Judd formerly owned by Chris Cannell. And it’s great to see the Metro 6R4 of Tim Painter from Frome and Andy Fraser from Langport out again.

Chris Cannell Force SR8

Chris Cannell rounds Karousel at Gurston Down (thanks to Simon McBeath)

Among the single-seater racing cars, in the up to 1100cc racing car class brothers Calum and Euan Kemp from Woking and Chippenham respectively share their 1.1 OMS PR and could be fighting for the win.

The up to 1600cc racing car class will be an absolute cracker, with James Blackmore from Ropley near Winchester in his 1.6 OMS25 pitted against Eddie Hollier from Honition in his 1.6 Pilbeam MP62 and Peter D. Smith and Richard Gaylard from Wantage in their 1.6 Force.

On Saturday the runners in the up to 2000cc and over 2000cc racing car classes are amalgamated, with Mark Walker from Warminster debuting his new 2.0 Dallara F399 and running against last year’s British Hillclimb Championship number ‘7’ Will Hall from Rowley Regis in his 3.5 Force V6.

On Sunday the top racing cars are both in the up to 2000cc racing car class as Mark Walker runs against Robin Johnston from Shaftesbury his latest acquisition, the ex-Bill Morris 2.0 Pilbeam MP82.

Among the bikes, the ever spectacular former outright hill record holder Glyn Poole from Northampton is entered on his 500cc Honda CR, along with a number of other class record holders…

Glyn Poole Honda CR

Glyn Poole attacks Ashes Bend at Gurston Down (thanks to Simon McBeath)

Both meetings promise some great action. And with new caterers and new food outlets on site for 2013 you’re sure to have a great day out at Gurston Down Speed Hillclimb!

Keep up to speed on the Gurston Down Speed Hillclimb website

Thanks for the info Simon, sounds like it’ll be a good start to the year. We will be there all weekend, so keep an eye on the Twitter feed and the website for all the goss!

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