Hollier’s Home Run

Up until the late-1990s, the Five Clubs partnership’s traditional hillclimb weekend at Wiscombe Park in Devon was a British Hillclimb Championship round. These days the event is a double-header round of the ASWMC Hillclimb Championship, but is always a very popular weekend in the South West.

Ed Hollier Empire 00 Evo

The Empire 00 Evo (seen here in testing) claimed it’s debut wins at Wiscombe Park.

 

Despite other big hillcimb events across the South of England, the BHC at Prescott and then final round of Gurston Down’s season, the Five Clubs attracted a very good entry to the parkland hill.

[Read more...]

Empire’s Extra Effort!

There are a large number of new or modified cars underway in workshops all over the United Kingdom as the hillclimb world prepares for the 2014 season.

Empire Racing Cars

 

Few facilities are as busy as the Empire Racing Cars workshop of Bill Chaplin down in darkest Somerset. Mr Editor paid Bill a visit earlier in the week and had a quick look at the workload that Bill and his small team have ahead of them!

[Read more...]

Eddie Expects Epic Empire!

We are pleased to reveal, after a couple of months of negotiation and planning, that two of the Westcountry’s most successful hillclimb exponents are joining forces for an attack on the 1600cc Racing Car class in 2014.

Empire Racing Cars

 

The recent expansion of Empire Racing Cars has been covered in-depth here on speedhillclimb.com, but as well as the continued production of carbon fibre Wraith chassis over the winter, Bill Chaplin will also be building a new model of car for South West hillclimber and former Leaders Hillclimb Champion Ed Hollier.

[Read more...]

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 everleyphotography.co.uk)

 

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

[Read more...]

Wiscombe Weekend Wrap-up

Although there was a higher-profile Midland Hillclimb Championship round at Loton Park in Shropshire at the weekend, we decided that it was time to check out some proper club hillclimbing and headed West to Wiscombe Park in Devon instead.

Wiscombe Park

It really was cracking weather at Wiscombe!

 

Local club Torbay Motor Club hosted Saturday’s event, before Wildlife Motorsport (the former organisers of Cricket St. Thomas Hillclimb) took over for Sunday. Both events were rounds of the ASWMC South West Hillclimb Championship.

2013 season sensation Ed ‘Kimi’ Hollier travelled the 6 miles or so from his home to the hill and used his local knowledge to great effect with another pair of stunning FTDs in the Pilbeam-Suzuki MP62.

Ed was chased hard on Saturday by Cornishman Andrew Dinner in his Vauxhall-powered Pilbeam, the mad Dougie Bennett in his mega horse-powered Sylva Striker and a delighted Paul Crute who finally managed a sub-40s run in his ex. Lane/Young Pilbeam-Jaguar MP58.

 

There was great entertainment throughout the field though and the Class A2 battle was a real highlight. Steve Ellis (Escort), Martin Ellis (Escort), Hugh Trotman (Elise) and Jon Langmead (Kings Mews Elan) had a mighty scrap. Trotman lead at the break, but despite surviving an almighty spin exiting The Esses unscathed, he slipped to third at the end. Langmead found nearly a second when it mattered most and closed in on Trotman, but the Ellis Brothers had the class in the palm of their hand by the end. Martin took the lead with a strong time, but Steve seemed to want it more and threw all caution to the wind at Martini Hairpin, nailed the throttle, and fish-tailed over the line with the rev-limiter popping away. He secured the win by over half a second. Great stuff!

Jon Langmead Lotus Elan

Jon Langmead’s lovely Elan

 

Other cracking performances came from Anthony Wright (Audi A3), Anthony Bulpitt (Sierra Sapphire), Mark Shillaber (Ford Fiesta), Gordy Eyles (Vauxhall Tigra) and Andy Short (OMS SC1).

 

Unluckiest driver of the weekend has to have been Vauxhall Nova Andy Stoddart. Stoddart installed a fresh engine in his car late on Friday night, finished the job at 1.30am, and made an early start to get to the event. Unfortunately within 13 hours of him completing the engine transplant he was sat on the exit of The Gate with a rod through the block. Motorsport can be a very cruel mistress sometimes.

On the Sunday a couple of big-hitters joined the crews at the Devon venue, including Ian Cameron (Chaplin Hornet) and former British Sprint contenders Roy & David Sims (Ralt RT33/34), unfortunately though Andrew Dinner had to depart the venue and return home due to work pressures.

Hollier stormed the hill all day and finished up on a brilliant new personal best of 35.42s, what will he achieve when he puts new tyres on the car at Gurston this weekend!?

 

The modified OMS of Cameron was second on the road, but couldn’t get within three seconds of Kimi. Dave Sims, who was start marshalling the previous day at the hill, nearly pipped Cameron for second. Dougie Bennett was still in the top 5 overall, but was not overly pleased with his times in the monster Striker.

Wiscombe really is such a wonderful place to be when the sun shines, if only we could book it for more hillclimb weekends!