Restored Ralt Returns

Amongst all of the stunning historic cars competing at the recent Silverstone Historic Sports Car Club event, one of the 1980s Formula 3 cars really caught our eye.

Martin Brundle Ralt RT3

ex. Brundle/Henson Ralt RT3 at Silverstone

 

There was a Ralt RT3 car which was recognisable firstly because it was one of the most well-known F3 cars of its generation, being used by a driver who would go on to achieve big things in the sport, but also because once its first circuit career was over it went on to become a very successful speed events car.

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King of the Castle

As well as the hillclimb action going on at Loton Park in Shropshire, the Camel Vale Motor Club in Cornwall also ran a pair of ASWMC Hillclimb Championship events at the brilliant Castle Hillclimb, near Lostwithiel in Cornwall.

David Sims Ralt RT33

David Sims in action at Manor Farm Hillclimb (thanks to www.teltphotography.com)

 

The short, but technical, and very fast hill is almost like a ‘reverse’ Shelsley Walsh and is very popular in the West Country. Healthy entries are always received at this challenging course.

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David & Cameron Take Dorset Victories!

The weekend just gone saw just one competitive Speed Hillclimb in England and that was at the new, but already popular Manor Farm venue, near Charmouth on the Devon/Dorset border.

David Sims Ralt RT34

David Sims powered his Ralt to FTD in the dry on Saturday (thanks to www.teltphotography.com)

 

Woolbridge Motor Club discovered this venue, but share it with a few local motor clubs, and there are two weekends of competition each season. The ambition of this very new venue lead to it being awarded ‘Venue of the Year’ in the inaugural year of the Speedhillclimb.com Awards.

Torbay Motor Club were one of the ‘Three Clubs’ who ran the event last weekend, along with Taunton MC and Burnham on Sea MC, and their Press Officer Rupert Barker has very kindly sent us the following report from the ASWMC Hillclimb Championship events.

The winners of the weekend’s Three Clubs Manor Farm hill climb had a prime ministerial ring to them, with Newton Abbot’s Dave Sims taking FTD on Saturday and Ian Cameron snatching the honour in Sunday’s worsening conditions. Co-promoted by Taunton, Burnham-on-Sea and Torbay Motor Clubs, the events were rounds of two regional contests, the Bridge Tyres and Wheels Point S 2013 Association of South Western Motor Clubs Hill Climb and the Top Performance Services 2013 Association of Central Southern Motor Clubs Speed Hillclimb Championships. The two days of competition proved to be very different, with Saturday’s entrants enjoying largely fair conditions, enabling Sims (2-litre Ralt RT33/34 SRD) to dip into the 27 second bracket on his second run, a full one and half seconds faster than his nearest rival in the racing car classes, John Burton (Ralt RT3) only managing a time of 29.19 seconds; more intense competition for the top of the podium came from Andrew Short’s Sports Libre OMS SC21, and Colin Satchell and Paul Drowne in their modified-class Peugeot 205’s. All three set sub-29 second times, with Drowne snatching the C3 class award from Satchell by the slimmest of margins, just 1/100th of a second. Robert Thomson (Vauxhall Nova GTE) initially dominated the packed ranks of 13 competitors in Class A2 with two runs under 32 seconds, which none of his rivals could approach until Jonathan Langmead (Lotus Elan S3) topped the times with a last-gasp run of 31.35 seconds.

Sunday was a very different proposition, with erratic bursts of rain and drizzle making track conditions hard to read, a progressively wet practice period and only marginally better conditions for the second timed run. Unable to put down the full power of the SRD-powered Ralt, Dave Sims had to be content with a class win whilst Cameron’s nimble 1300 cc category Chaplin Hornet was better able to cope with the slippery track, taking the win with a second run of 29.37 seconds. For the second year running, Stuart Browne (OMS SF2) was once again the ‘best of the rest’, with a Sunday time of 30.12 seconds.

In A2 Jonathan Langmead was inexplicably off-form in the wet conditions, allowing Honiton-resident Robert Thomson to exact revenge for the previous day, his winning time of 34.91 being almost a full second ahead of his nearest rival. The long-standing battle for supremacy in the largest capacity standard production class was ‘honours-even’, with Yeovil’s Simon Neve (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo6) taking the class on Saturday and Exeter garage-owner Steve Clarke (Subaru Impreza) settling the score with half-second advantage on Sunday. Father and son pairing David and Jan Yeo, who share their Westfield SEi, scrapped for the class award once again in B2, with David this time turning the tables on his son by taking victory on both days, exactly the opposite result from 2012.

No less than ten drivers completed double victories, winning their classes on both days, including David Foster (Mini 1275GT), Burnham-on-Sea member Anthony Wright (Audi A3), Andy Cawsey (Westfield SEW), Gordon Iles (Vauxhall Tigra), Paul Drowne (Peugeot 205 GTi), Tim Porter (Darrian T90) and Andrew Forsyth (Alfa-Dana). Graham Gonzalez was also a double victor, taking the honours in the DEWS Speed Series class with his 1380 cc Austin Mini.
Other class winners from the organising clubs included Tim Dodwell (VW Scirocco) and Crediton’s Kevin Frost (KMD Sports), both from Torbay MC.

Thanks so much for this report Rupert, sorry that we couldn’t make it this weekend, but we will get there soon!

Wallace’s Wobble!

The tricky finish line at Gurston Down is one of the points in British Speed Hillclimbing where the top cars hit the highest terminal speeds seen all year.

Wallace Menzies DJ Racecars

Wallace Menzies prepares to launch the DJ Firestorm

 

Back in the mid to late 1990s, the advent of the carbon fibre monocoque chassis (in particular the Ralt RT37-based Gould GR37), combined with the fearlessness of David Grace, Alan Thompson and a few others, saw the magic 150mph barrier broken through the speed trap at the Wiltshire farm course.

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Opening Wiscombe

Woolbridge Motor Club held its first hillclimbs of 2013 by running their traditional late April double-header at Wiscombe Park in East Devon.

Wiscombe Park Hillclimb

 

In years gone by, this event would have been the second round of the British Hillclimb Championship, but since Woolbridge moved their National status event to July in hunt of better weather back in 2001, the April meeting has been a South West Championship event.

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Pilbeam Returns

One of the highlights of the Gurston Down Test Day last Sunday was seeing a familiar face return to the hills with a familiar car!

Robin Johnston Pilbeam MP82

Robin Johnston returned to the hills in rebuilt Pilbeam

 

Robin Johnston regularly ran the ex. Emma & John Williams Ralt RT30 single-seater at Gurston in the past, but now he has moved onto a purpose built hillclimb single-seater.

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