Wiscombe Park – 2014 Events

Our pre-season calendar tour of British Hillclimb Championship venues concludes today with one of the classic hills in the championship.

Tony Wiltshire Ralt RT34

Wiscombe specialist Tony Wiltshire gets crossed up off the start in 2005 (thanks to Steve Wilkinson).


Wiscombe Park hillclimb, near Honiton in Devon, is a truly rustic venue with basic but functional facilities, cracking organisation and a seriously challenging course.

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More Media Coverage

The guys and girls at Torbay Motor Club have tipped us off about some great coverage that the sport has received down in the South West this week.

Devon-based MotorMad internet TV show filmed a feature about Torbay Motor Club and it’s members over a couple of events during last season.

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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!

TMC Wiscombe – Official Report

Further to our own report on the Saturday event at Wiscombe Park last weekend, Torbay Motor Club’s Press Officer Rupert Barker  has kindly sent us over the club’s review of the days activities at the parkland hill


Ed Hollier Pilbeam MP62

Hollier attacks Sawbench in the Pilbeam (thanks to Dewerstone Photography)


Ottery St Mary’s Ed Hollier swept to his fifth victory from five starts at Torbay Motor Club’s Wiscombe Park hill climb, taking Fastest Time of the Day in his Hayabusa-engined Pilbeam MP62. Hollier’s superiority on the East Devon course was demonstrated by his winning margin of a fraction over 2.5 seconds from his nearest rival Andrew Dinner (Pilbeam MP82), who improved on his second run with a time of 38.27 seconds but couldn’t approach Hollier’s stunning first effort of 36.01, just a few hundredths shy of the all-time record for up-to 1600cc racing cars at the venue. The only other drivers to dip into the sub-40 second bracket were Launceston’s Paul Crute (Pilbeam MP58-01) with a time of 39.85 and Tavistock’s Doug Bennett, whose first run in his highly modified Sports Libre Sylva Stryker stopped the clock on 39.46 seconds.

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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!

Torbay MC at Westpoint

We have received the following news from Torbay Motor Club which may be of interest to anyone in the Westcountry…

Andy Cawsey Westfield

Andy Cawsey at Sawbench Hairpin, Wiscombe Park in his familiar Westfield


Torbay Motor Club will be exhibiting for the first time at the Exeter Kit Car Show, which this year takes place on October 27th and 28th at the Westpoint Arena, Exeter. On show will be a Westfield hillclimb and sprint car built, and campaigned in the South-West’s many speed events, by its owner Andy Cawsey from Westward Ho! A Torbay Motor Club member for many years, Andy has racked up a massive haul of 78 trophies since building the 2-litre machine in 2002, frequently finishing in the Top Ten of the regional championship, including 2nd place in 2010.

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