Redundant Venues – Part 3

For the third installment of our tour of Westcountry ex. hillclimbs we are heading South, across Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks, to Chuddleigh, near Exeter, in Devon.

Finlake

The biggest loss of all? Finlake was probably the most wasted facility in British Hillclimbing. It had everything (restaurant, pools, golf course, log cabins, hard-standing, amusement parks, etc.), and it had everything at a time when most other venues in the country had NONE of these.

Finlake was a holiday park on the edge of Dartmoor, near Chudleigh in mid-Devon.

Over the years many different track layouts were used at the venue as the organisers (Torbay Motor Club) worked to maintain a satisfying course for drivers and a safe venue for the governing body.

Early events at Finlake were blighted by some major accidents and as a result the course underwent it’s first layout change.

One major problem was that the surface of the hill was largely limestone based which made it unbelievably slippery and as a result was largely unsuitable for single-seaters. This, along with Torbay’s desire to look after it’s existing membership rather than chase a higher prize was the main reason why the BHC never paid a visit.

Torbay continued to develop the hill right through until November 2003 when the last event was held (on the weekend that England won the Rugby World Cup).

Jared Knight Ford Escort Mk2 Finlake Hillclimb

Jared Knight entertains at Finlake Hillclimb

 Please let us have your memories of these hills, it would be great to build an online record of events there.

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