Pilbeam to Lotus

Ciaron Pilbeam may not be the first person hillclimb enthusiasts think of when ‘Pilbeam’ is mentioned, but he is certainly a very highly respected Race Engineer in the world of Formula 1.

Alastair Douglas Osborne Pilbeam MP62

Ciaron used this MP62 (driven here by ADO) at Prescott in 1994 & 1995 (thanks to Steve Wilkinson)


The son of Pilbeam designer/constructor Mike Pilbeam had a stab at hillclimbing in the mid to late 1990s when he used the then works MP62 (now owned by the Alexander family) and MP82 (now owned by the Ede brothers) at selected Midlands BHC rounds.

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Hillclimb Suspension Development

Over the years the British Hillclimb scene has seen a huge amount of technical innovation, in particular (traditionally) in the area of suspension and steering.

Will Hall Force WH

Traditional, but highly effective pushrod/monoshock set-up on the Force WH


From the early days of the BHC when ERAs used clever radius arms in conjunction with leaf springs to generate immense traction, through the transverse leaf-springs of the early Coopers, to wishbones with the 1960s mid-engined cars we’ve seen it all… Or have we?

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Motor Sport This Month

One of the most eagerly anticipated days of every month for me is the day when Motor Sport magazine lands on the door mat.

The ‘Green One’ is compulsory reading for anyone claiming to be a racing enthusiast/anorak!

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Coulthard at Shelsley

As a precurser to the National Motorsport Week/Go Motorsport profile on BBC TV this weekend, todays Autosport magazine contains a small feature on David Coulthard’s visit to Shelsley Walsh last month.

The images from Shelsley that are included in the article are from Rich Danby (http://www.zipp.co.uk/) and one of them seems to feature DC posing with Lee Evans!


During last weekends coverage of the rain-delayed Canadian GP, whilst trying to fill nearly 2hrs of non-action, Martin Brundle and David Coulthard spent somewhile discussing the rubber ‘over-shoes’ that Sebastian Vettel slipped over his race boots to get out of the car.

These boots will be familiar to anyone who has ever attended events at either Wiscombe or Doune! However, at Gurston Down yesterday we discovered that F1 technology is significantly inferior to hillclimb technology. Gould GR37 driver Terry Graves revealed the fanciest pair of overshoes seen yet, as modelled by Hannah below!

Should Red Bull be informed?

Moran on Pole at Monaco!

Following a conversation during last years Monaco Grand Prix, and further fuelled by a small discussion at Gurston Down on Sunday (whilst the 2011 Monaco GP was in progress), I have been tasked with trying to answer one ‘simple’ question. What would Scotty do around Monaco ?

So, if Scott Moran were able to run a full lap of the Monte Carlo Grand Prix circuit in his hillclimb Gould-NME GR61X, what sort of time could we expect and where would that time put him on the 2011 F1 grid.

As Piers refused to ask Ron if Scott could have a day in McLaren’s simulator, I needed to get a calculator out! In order to shortcut the process, and to simplify it some what, I have decided to use the proven ‘percentage based’ system as used by Midweek Motorsport (radiolemans.com) for their car comparison chart.

The first task was to discover a comparison between an F1 car and a Gould, which would have to be Graeme Wight Jnr’s appearances at Goodwood with his GR51B. During one of Graeme’s appearances at the Festival of Speed Allan McNish was also being timed in the then current 2002 Toyota F1. The times recorded were as follows:

McNish @ Goodwood - 41.65
Jnr @ Goodwood - 42.95

So McNish was 3% faster than Jnr up Goodwood.

Now we need to compare Wight Jnr’s pace with that of Scott Moran, as Scott’s Gould has the benefit of an NME V8 and 8 seasons of development, so I looked at their respective PBs at the main midland-ish hills.

Moran @ Shelsley - 22.83
Jnr @ Shelsley - 24.24 (6.2% difference)

Moran @ Prescott – 36.35
Jnr @ Prescott - 37.37 (2.8% difference)

Moran @ Gurston - 25.58
Jnr @ Gurston - 26.88 (5.1% difference)

Moran @ Loton Park - 44.42
Jnr @ Loton Park - 46.56 (4.8% difference)

Lets say that on average Scott is 5% quicker than Jnr was. Therefore, that would make Scott about 2% quicker than McNish.

In qualifying at Monaco in 2002 McNish set a time of 1:18.292 and a time 2% quicker than that would be a 1:16.726s.

However the Monaco track changed for 2003, with revisions to the swimming pool section which made the track considerably quicker. Looking at times for 2002, 03 & 04 it appears as though the track is in the region of 3.5s faster.

Applying that to Scott’s theoretical lap means that his 2011 lap time would be 1:13.226. This means that last Saturday he would’ve been on pole position, nearly half a second faster than Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull!

I am low-flying with this one and am waiting to be shot down! If you have tried this yourself, you disagree with my methods or if you have anything to add then please get in touch and let us know.