Wonderful Werrington

This weekend we decided to give the Midland Hillclimb Championship event at Shelsley Walsh a miss and take on the long journey down to the M5 to Launceston in Cornwall for some proper club hillclimbing at Werrington Park hillclimb.

Werrington Park

Werrington House overlooks the famous Cattle Grid.

 

Set in the Tamar Valley, just over the county border, this very fast parkland hill is a real challenge for competitors with some very narrow and very high-speed sections to the course. It may not be World Famous, but Werrington Park has a hardy bunch of supporters!

Starting at the bottom of the valley the course turns around a long, off-camber right hander and climbs towards the best known feature of the Werrington course. After the climb, the course levels out and competitors negotiate a pair of gate posts which flank a cattle grid in front of Werrington House. As series of 90deg left and right handers are followed by a medium length straight, before a very tricky kink/chicane and then a high-speed blast to the finish between to high banks.

Werrington Park

The Startline and Bottom Paddock.

 

The organisers Plymouth Motor Club put together a large and varied entry of saloon, sports, kit and single-seater cars for the two day event which was run on Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately local star and current hill record holder Terry Graves was forced to withdraw his ex. Rob Turnbull Gould-HB GR55 from the proceedings due to the recurrence of the wiring loom issues he experienced at Prescott the previous week. The spectators were hoping for an assault on the hill record from the 700bhp monster, but had a great scrap for FTD on both days to make up for the lack of a record-breaking run.

Local drivers Andrew Dinner (ex. Frost/New Pilbeam MP62/82) and Mike Lee (ex. Sexton/Moseley OMS 2000M) were joined by the well travelled Gary Thomas (ex. Peter Radnall Force PC) at the head of the field and it was this trio who set the outright pace all weekend.

 

Former Leaders Hillclimb Champion Lee held on to take the win each day, heading Dinner and Thomas on the Saturday, and then Thomas and Dinner on the Sunday. The ever impressive Dougie Bennett wasn’t prepared to let the single-seaters have it all their own way though and kept a watching brief in fourth each day with the mega supercharged Sylva Striker, despite not being able to rev the Honda powerplant beyond 7,000rpm.

 

Other impressive performances over the weekend came from Cornish Motorsport legend Roy Bray and the well-used ‘Furniture Direct’ Escort Cosworth in the big Roadgoing class, Dean Gammon who hustled his little 106 Rallye ahead of the usual raging scrap between Gordon Iles and Andy Stoddart in the small mod-prod class and 2013 HSA series runner-up Colin Satchell who took the 2-litre mod-prod class on Sunday despite twice hitting the 5 second ‘penalty’ cones in the complex with the mighty 205 GTi.

 

One downside of Werrington is that often a lot of damage is inflicted on cars, and unfortunately this year was no exception. Several big offs took place over the weekend as the fast, narrow course combined with lovely weather conditions saw some drivers pushing just that bit too hard. Fortunately only drivers pride and wallets suffered long term damage and all involved should be back to fight another day.

Thanks must go to the Locke family and all involved at Plymouth MC for putting on a cracking event, it was great to get back to a proper club hillclimb and be reminded what it should be all about.

Werrington Park

The course changes dramatically after the Cattle Grid.

 

 

 

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