Summers Stuns!

Those present at Gurston Down’s second British Hillclimb Championship event of the season last weekend were fortunate enough to witness one of the most incredible hillclimb performances we have ever seen.

Alex Summers DJ Firehawk

Alex Summers in the DJ Firehawk at Gurston Down (thanks to everleyphotography.co.uk)

 

Mr Editor has always maintained that the single most impressive hillclimb run he has ever seen was Ray Rowan hurling his self-built, aluminium honeycombe-chassised, crossply-tyred Roman Hart IV up the fast chutes of the J Hichins Partnership’s hill in 28.77s in 1991. He is now re-assessing this.

 

Ray Rowan Roman IV

Ray Rowan hustles the Roman up Fintray Hillclimb in 1991 (thanks to Steve Wilkinson)

 

Gurston is a power hill, always has been and always will be. The little cars can hustle their way through Hollow and into the Karousel split with competitive times, but they will be left way behind on the flat-out blast over Burkes Rise and towards the finish line.

In both Top 12 Run Offs at Gurston Down a 1300cc Racing Car scored podium finishes and in the second shoot-out of the day set a quite remarkable 26.31s ascent of the 967 metre hill.

This performance came from Alex Summers in his supercharged Suzuki Hayabusa-powered DJ Firehawk single-seater and is just the latest in a long line of record-breaking performances that have had the whole paddock gasping and asking ‘what will he do next!?’.

Despite upgrading the DJ with a high-downforce aero package for Doune Hillclimb back in June and running that set-up since, Alex chose to return to the older ‘low drag’ set-up for Gurston and it certainly worked. The skinny wings allowed him to hit the 138mph rev-limiter over the finish on virtually every run on Sunday. Engine builder Mark Fisher said “the car is limited by the top gear ratio, 138mph is V Max’.

 

The time set in the second Run Off was no fluke either, Alex set two 26 second Runs in the Run Offs and also lowered his own 2-litre class record to 27.09s on his second qualifying run of the weekend. The Bath University student is now in a solid fourth place on the Championship table and is threatening former Champion Roger Moran for third overall.

Congratulations to everyone involved in this, and all of the other impressive performances this year: DJ Racecars for the Firehawk chassis, Mark Fisher of Greenhill Racing for building the engine, DTA Fast for the mapping and of course to Alex and all of the Summers clan.

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