Skools Out For Winter!

On Saturday the Guernsey Kart and Motor Club hosted the final hillclimb event of the year at Les Val des Terres.

Justin Smith OMS 25

Justin Smith with his beautifully presented OMS 25 (thanks to Our Correspondent)


As with all events on the island, our local scribe Lee Corbet was there and has put together his usual ‘off piste’ report on the days proceedings.

The results for this event are up on the ever excellent resultsman website, so Lee’s report is an attempt to distract from the winners and covers more about the participants who don’t always get a mention…

“It was a bleak start to the day yesterday as heavy overnight rain had fallen leaving the hill midly moist to say the least for its last event of the year.

This time it was the turn of the Guernsey Kart and Motor Club and no one would have imagined at the start of the day that 8 class records would fall in the 38 hotly contested classes and many a personal best would be set.

But it wasn’t just about records yesterday, at least not for me, it was about family fun, great achievements and above all camaraderie amongst competitors and everyone who is involved in the sport.

Tim Tulie for example, there he was, scrunched up against the granite walls in the esses with his Vision (or what’s left of it) but he had to be at the boat by 5. Not a problem, marshals, competitors and friends manhandled the wreckage onto a trailer for him and no doubt when he returns it will be sitting comfortably in his workshop awaiting his long winter nights of rebuilding. Oh there will be some rib tickling going on that’s for sure, there always is, but Tim just smiles, shrugs his shoulders and moves forward to the next challenge.

One of our greatest unsung hero’s should also be mentioned at this point as without the enormous amount of work he puts in non of our events would be possible. Roger King is always there, quietly going about his business ensuring so much is working so we can all enjoy the sport and it was nice to see he was able to compete on the day putting in some pretty impressive performances in his Ross Gower Chevy Special sandracer setting his personal best of 33.18. Where does he find the time to do all this I ask?!!

Bitter sweet was Simon Ward’s time in his grunty Peugeot 205 in the Modified limited Production cars 1801 & over for he set a 33.47 personal best equalling the record set by Darren Warwick back in May 2005…..what he wouldn’t give for another 1/100th of a second, but well done Simon, it was an awesome time and there’s always next year.

I particularly enjoyed watching my lad James and his mates in the Road Going Series production cars up to 1600 as this class has become a proper “reception” class for hillclimbers, more so this year than ever before. They’re all having a great time in their Saxo’s, 106’s and Civics and are the epitome of what entry level hillclimbing is all about with “Hollywood” tyre screeching and lots of laughter in the pits as they compare runs. They were talking about going over to Jersey next year and making a few days of it….I think I’ll have to dig the Westy out and join them!

Having spent most of the day on the first corner marshalling with Turk Vaudin it was lovely to hear our relatively new voice commentating the essess. Well I say new but we all know he has been involved in the sport for many many years. Little Nigel Ozanne was on cracking form and excitable to say the least. I am happy to say that I step down gracefully from that freezing cold stump that I have spent most of the last 20 years on as Nigel is very entertaining up there….even if he does look like a garden gnome where he sits!

At the end of the day, the usual suspect was on top, yep, nearly got away without mentioning Darren Warwick but it was inevitable I suppose he would get a mention in the end. He did however have to pull the stops out as Nick Saunders sat on BTD for a while earlier in the day and with a trickle of rain midway through lunch we thought it might be all over but he got there in the end.

Back to family business and it was so heart-warming to see Charlie Smith embracing his son Justin at the end of the day for Justin finally made it into the sub-30 club having posted a 29.36 in his final run of the day. The road had gone cold and he was one of the last dozen or so to run so that time was nothing but exceptional.

Finally, a fourth generation hillclimber made his debut on the hill. Young Seb Priaulx was competing for the first time in his cadet kart. Seb as you should all know is the son of our very own British Hillclimb champion Andy, Grandson of Graham and great grandson of the late Arnold…

That’s it then from me for the Val de Terres for what has been another fantastic season, yes there are still a few other events left here before the winter sets in and we all go about planning next years attack on this great venue, but for now, from Guernsey it’s á la prochaine mon vieux.”

Thanks so much for these words Lee, all of us over on the mainland have loved hearing about whats been going on at the Terres.

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