Mortimer’s Moment

Although we weren’t able to be there ourselves, we are now able to bring you the full story of the Gurston Down Hillclimb season finale, as well as the results of the Gurston Down Hillclimb Championship and the Gurston Down Top 10 Challenge title positions.

Jonathan Gates Force LM

Jonathan Gates launches the freshly-blown Force LM over Deers Leap (thanks to


BARC South West Press Officer has compiled a very thorough report and review of the season which should bring us all up to speed:


Mark Mortimer Gurston Down

Mark Mortimer took the overall title with his Mallock Mlk18B (thanks to


In a tense and extremely close-fought season finale Mark Mortimer held his nerve and did what was needed to seal the 2013 Gates of Brockenhurst Gurston Down Hillclimb Championship as he took another commanding Hillclimb Supersports class win in his trusty 2.0 Mallock Mk 18B. Mike Rudge needed a 31.16 second time in his 2.3 litre modified specialist production Westfield to ease the title from Mortimer’s grasp, and the best of two nicely controlled efforts fell just seven hundredths short of his target. Championship leader going into the final, Ritchie Gatt, won the up to 2000cc modified specialist production class in his 2.0 Wetsfield SEiW to increase his score sufficiently to finish as runner-up, thus edging Rudge into third place. Unofficial final positions are:

1. Mark Mortimer 86.00 points
2. Ritchie Gatt, 85.79 points
3. Mike Rudge 85.50 points

Ed Hollier Gurston Down

‘Kimi’ Hollier took a clean sweep of Gurston Championship FTDs


The day’s other highlights included a 28.77 second Best Time of the Day for Ed Hollier, which gave him the clean sweep of five from five maximum Top Ten Challenge scores in his 1.6 Pilbeam MP62 Hayabusa. And there were class records for Karl Chard (1.8 Mazda MX5) in the up to 2000cc road going series production class and Jim White (1.4 Austin Mini Clubman) in the up to 1400cc modified series production cars class (and son Steve White made it a family one-two in the class).

The sports libre classes produced some rapid times too with Peter Sexton, setting second fastest time of the day in the newly supercharged 1.3 Force LM that he shares with Gurston Championship sponsor Jonathan Gates who was fourth fastest overall just 22 hundredths of a second behind his driving partner.

And sandwiched in third fastest overall was a determined-looking Chris Cannell in the twin-engined 2.6 Force SR8, setting his personal best time in the Force in what could well be his last run in this car, with a new sports racing machine coming along for next season.

Chris Cannell Force SR8

Chris Cannell will be out in his new sports racer in 2014 (thanks to


The meeting kicked off with the usual invitation classes that this time featured some classic British sports cars. As in April the TR Cars class produced a family one-two as father and son John and Jonathan Weedon from Sussex and Northants respectively beat off the opposition in their rapid TR5 and finished just a quarter of a second apart. The favourite also won the Austin Healey – Big Healey and Warwick Cars class too, John Tewson from Leicester pedalling his 100/6 with the usual brio. And there was a good scrap in the Austin Healey Sprite class as car sharers Adie Ball from Ashbourne and Robin Johnson from Birmingham grabbed a one-two in their 1.4 Sprite with Murray Wakeham just half a second behind in third in his 1.4 Sprite.

The first of the Gurston Championship classes produced the first class record of the day on a track washed clean by a shower in morning practice. Karl Chard reset his own mark in the up to 2000cc road going series production class in his 1.8 Mazda MX5 to give him a 1.2 second win over the not exactly tardy Miles Horne in his rapid 2.0 Peugeot 306 S16. Horne held onto the class championship win though as Chard was not registered.

Karl Chard Mazda MX5

Karl Chard on the ragged edge as always in his MX5 (thanks to


In the over 2000cc road going series production class Simon Neve came from behind after the first timed runs to take a well-earned win in his 2.3t Mitsubishi Evo 6, three-quarters of a second ahead of in his similar 2 litre car.

Steve Holland not only had to go for the road going specialist production class win but he needed to eke out as big a winning margin as possible to try to wrest the class championship from the grasp of the absent Piers Thynne. And Holland did all that was required in his 1.4 Caterham Hayabusa with over a half a second margin on Martin Watson in his 2.0 Westfield SEiW to take the win on the day and in the class championship.

The up to 2000cc marque sports car class this time brought out the classic and lovely Renault Alpine A110 of Peter Ellens and it was fortunate that he gave himself a big enough winning margin on his first climb because a half spin at Karousel hairpin on run two put paid to any improvement! Gurston treasurer Dee Stapley was runner-up in her 1.8 MGF just thirteen hundredths ahead of daughter Steph Limb, who was sharing the car, giving Dee the class championship win.

There have been some good scraps in the over 2000cc marque sports car class but on this day Graham Beale was firmly in charge with a first run effort just a third of a second away from the class record in his 2.0t Ginetta G33 to win on the day and in the class championship. Steve Holley brought his 5.2 TVR Griffith into second place.

The up to 1400cc modified series production class never fails to entertain, and it was good to see Jim White have things go well after a somewhat fraught and shortened season with his highly developed 1.4 Austin Mini Clubman. A fast but assured ‘banker run’ on his first climb was just 18 hundredths short of the class record but his second run shaved 11 hundredths off the record to regain the mark he had previously held a couple of years ago. To top a fine day for the Whites, son Steve came through to take the runner-up spot on his second run ahead of Neil Turner in his 1.4 Mini Cooper ‘S’, and Neil took the class championship.

The up to 2000cc modified series production class always belonged to Karl Stevens and he capped a good season off with a 34 second climb in his 2.0 Mk2 Escort to win the class from Gurston’s competition secretary Paul Webster in his 1.9 Mazda MX5. Adam Walker was back in fourth place on the day in his 1.8 Peugeot 306 but wrapped up the class championship.

The awesome rally replica 2.1t Audi Quattro of Andy Trayner and Tim Clarke is always a pleasure to watch, and Andy brought the car home seven tenths ahead of Tim for the over 2000cc modified series production class win on the day. The absent held onto the class championship win in his 2.0t Subaru Impreza.

The up to 2000cc modified specialist production class saw the championship leader going into this meeting Ritchie Gatt do all he could in his 2.0 Westfield SEi to try to hang onto the lead short of breaking the class record as he won the class with over a 1.5 second margin. But it wasn’t quite enough although he did finish overall runner-up and he took the class championship win by way of consolation.

And in the over 2000cc modified series production class Mike Rudge came so close (on tyres that were several seasons’ old…) to the time required to get the 1.50 bonus points he needed to take the overall championship with his 2.3 Westfield SEi, but despite two clean, fast runs it was not to be and Mike had to make do with the class championship win too.

The Historically Interesting class brought out the gorgeous ex-Jo Siffert 2.0 litre Chevron B19 of Richard George to battle with some of the regulars in this well-supported class and Richard took the win by nine-tenths from Hugh Kemp in his equally immaculate 1.6 Palliser WDF3.

In the Hillclimb Supersports class Mark Mortimer drove with pace and deliberation to secure the winning margin he needed to move to the top of the overall Championship table in his 2.0 Mallcok Mk 18B. Needless to say Mark also won the class championship.

There had been some changes since their previous event in July to the Force LM of up to 2000cc sports libre class contenders Jonathan Gates and Peter Sexton with the fitment of a 1.3 litre supercharged engine to replace the previous 1.6 litre normally aspirated unit. And although the duo’s expectations were modest at the start of the meeting the engine performed extremely well, producing fast times and a one-two with Sexton in front by 22 hundredths, both drivers well under 30 seconds. Keith Diggle finished third on the day in his 2.0 WEV HCS but second in the class championship just 0.41 points behind Gates.

In what was probably his swansong event in the Force SR8, Chris Cannell was absolutely flying, dipping well under 30 seconds to take the over 2000cc sports libre class from partner and car sharer Sue Hayes, who was also on top form. What will Chris do next year in his new sports libre machine?

The cars of the 500 Owners Association always bring smiles to the spectators’ faces, and we were treated to a well-supported class that was won by Mark Riley in his 500cc Creamer JAP, four tenths clear of Nicholas Reynolds in his 500cc Cooper Mk 9.

Another class that has produced very close action this season is the racing cars up to 1100cc class, and this time James Moore took the win by just under half a second in his 1.1 OMS 2000M from Calum Kemp in his 1.1 OMS PR. Although this closed the gap slightly in their close-fought season long battle, Calum Kemp held onto his class championship lead by a mere 0.36 points.

In the up to 1600cc racing car class a suspension breakage on the first run for put him and co-driver Peter D. Smith out of action in their 1.6 Force, which really removed any threat for the class win to worry Ed Hollier. In any event Hollier wanted the clean sweep of five wins from five Top Ten Challenge rounds, and this he achieved with a couple of stirring runs in the 1.6 Pilbeam MP62 Hayabusa, the best of which saw the day’s only sub-29 second run.

The racing car class up to 2000cc produced just two runners but excellent ones they were, with Roger Cock winning in his 2.0 Pilbeam MP54 from Mark Walker in his 2.0 Dallara F399.

And so ended another great season of hillclimbing at Gurston Down, a year that has seen a record number of driver entries, good spectator numbers, amazing weather overall, excellent new catering, plus a new Gurston Champion in Mark Mortimer and a new Top Ten Challenge winner in Ed Hollier.

Roll on 2014…

Thanks to Simon, and indeed to the full team at Gurston Down, for keeping us all fully informed of whats going on at the hill. The prompt arrival, comprehensive nature and sheer enthusiasm of your previews and reports are an example to all venues and clubs in our sport. Thanks so much, we owe you one!

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