THE Tony Marsh Memorial Midsummer Speed Fest weekend at Gurston Down attracted more than 130 drivers and 30 motorbike riders each day.
Another sizeable crowd witnessed some sizzling motorsport action against the clock on the famous Broad Chalke speed venue.
Best Time of the Day on Saturday went to Jerseyman Jason Mourant in his 3.2 litre V8 powered OMS 25 single seater on 28.30 seconds, while Sunday’s BTD was set by Ed Hollier from Honiton in his 1.6 Empire Evo on 28.56 seconds.
There were plenty of other successes for local and regional drivers and riders.
The fastest Salisbury-based driver was Chris Cannell in his latest acquisition, the 1.3 supercharged Empire Evo sports libre car. Cannell registered a 31.47 seconds time on Sunday as he familiarised himself with the new projectile, and he finished second in the up to 2000cc sports libre class each day.
His partner Sue Hayes, who shares the car with him, was fourth in class each day as she too continued to shave time off on each run in the new car.
Stephen Moore continued his winning ways in the over 2,000cc modified series production saloon car class as he guided his Janspeed 2.0t Mitsubishi Evo 6 to class wins on both days, going sub-33 seconds on his final run of the weekend and closing to within a quarter of a second of the class record. He also retained the joint lead of the Gurston Down Hillclimb Championship after three rounds.
In the highly competitive roadgoing specialist production class Adrian Lewis had a good weekend in his 1.4 Westfield Megabusa with fourth on Saturday and third on Saturday. Jason Martin and Mark Parrett made their competition debuts in their shared 1.6 Autotune Gemini and enjoyed chipping away at their times and trading places, Mark beating Jason on Saturday but the positions reversed on Sunday!
Steve Holley made a belated seasonal debut in his well-known 5.2 TVR Griffith and took third in the over 2000cc marque sports car class each day.
Tony Levitt made his and his car’s debut on Saturday, Tony fielding a brand new 1.0 Empire Evo single seater in the up to 1100cc racing car class. Knocking time off on each ascent of the hill netted a fifth in class but new car gremlins forced an early retirement on Sunday.
James Dean brought his rare 1.6 Raven 4WD single seater into second spot in the Historically Interesting class on Saturday.
Saturday’s opening class was for road legal cars registered in the Association of Central Southern Motor Clubs Speed Championship and it was won by Mike Williams from Warminster in his 2.0 Westfield SEiW.
Hugh Kemp from Wylye won the Historically Interesting class both days in his lovely 1.6 Palliser WDF3 single seater.
Among the very fastest cars overall was the 1.0 litre Jedi Mk 4 single seater of Bradley Hobday from Trowbridge, Bradley taking the win in the up to 1100cc racing car class on both days and getting down to an impressive 30.26s time on Sunday.
In the up to 2000cc marque sports car class Steph Limb from Malmesbury finished second in class on Saturday and third on Sunday in the 1.8 MGF she shares with her Mum Dee Stapley, who finished one place behind each day).
The enormous class for roadgoing series production cars up to 2000cc produced a great battle on both days in which Newport, IoW brothers Andy and Adam Greenenfeatured heavily. Previously Adam has just held sway in their well-developed 2.0 Honda Civic Type R but this weekend it was Andy’s turn for glory as he took the class win on both days. It was incredibly tight though, with Jon Longmead from Exminster squeezing his 1.8 Lotus Elan S3 into second spot on Saturday just seven hundredths behind Andy and eight hundredths ahead of Adam!
It proved almost as tight on Sunday, with Andy beating his brother by a mere nine hundredths. Fareham’s Paul Webster, a former double Gurston Champion, slotted into third spot just another third of a second adrift on his delayed seasonal debut.
In the over 2,000cc roadgoing series production class Simon Neve from Yeovil took his familiar 2.3t Mitsubishi Evo 6 to the class win on both days and in the process retained his joint lead of the Gurston Championship. Clive Stangle from Shaftesbury carved chunks off his times during the weekend in his 1.8t Audi TT Quattro to finish in second spot each day.
The highly competitive roadgoing specialist production car class saw Piers Thynne from Hartley Wintney in charge once more in his 1.3t Westfield Megabusa, and Piers won the class both days, dipping into the 32 second bracket on Sunday. Martin Watson from Eastleigh took the runner up spot each day in his 2.0 Westfield SEiW.
Basingstoke’s Graham Beale was back to winning ways in the up to 2000cc marque sports car class as he took his 1.8 Ginetta G20 to the class win on both days.
The over 2000cc marque sports car class produced a terrific battle over the weekend, with Frome’s Tim Painter winning on Saturday in his 3.6 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup by 16 hundredths from Sherborne’s Simon Purcell aboard his 1.8s Lotus Exige. But reigning Gurston Champion Simon overturned the verdict on Sunday with a sixth tenths margin over the Porsche pilot. Simon’s winning time was only 16 hundredths away from his class record, a feat that earned him the prestigious Tony Marsh Memorial Trophy, awarded to the driver who got closest to his class record over the weekend.
In the up to 1400cc modified series production car class it was again Neil Turner from Andover who set the pace in his well-developed 1.4 Mini Cooper ‘S’, Neil winning on both days from Yeovil’s Derek Mullis aboard his les highly tuned 1.3 Mini Cooper ‘S’.
The up to 2000cc modified specialist production class brought mixed fortunes for Antony Orchard from Wareham aboard his 1.4 Westfield Bakerbusa, with the class win on Saturday but a driveline failure on Sunday that side-lined the car on his first timed run.
The up to 2000cc sports libre class was always the property of Jonathan Gates from Brockenhurst, and Jonathan was well under 30 seconds on both days to take home two class winner’s medals.
Keith Diggle from Aldershot ran his superbly self-built 2.2 WEV HCS in the over 2000cc sports libre class as usual and netted class wins on both days ahead of the rumbling v8 powered 3.5 Skoda Coupe of Barry Moignard and daughter Jodie Bush from Jersey, who finished second and third respectively.
The historic racing cars of the 500 Owners association are always good value, and here John Forsyth from Poole took the win on Saturday but had to settle for third spot in Sunday’s much bigger class in his Alfa Dana.
In the up to 1100cc racing car class James Moore from Frome went well in his 1.1 OMS 2000M with two second places and sub 32 second times on both days.
Ed Hollier from Honiton was well in charge in the up to 1600cc racing car class as he set mid-28 second times on both days to take the class wins. This made him the fastest registered Top Ten Challenge contender both days and kept him at the top of that series after three rounds, with two rounds still to come.
In the pre-1994 Formula Ford class Sturminster Newton’s Simon McBeath took the win on Saturday in his 1.6 Swift SC92F, a quarter of a second ahead of Andy Abbey from Fareham in his 1.6 Jamun M91. On Sunday Tony Wiltshire from Newton Abbot won in his 1.6 Swift SC93F with the class’s only sub-37 second times of the weekend, four tenths clear of McBeath who in turn was just thirteen hundredths ahead of Abbey.
The next event at Gurston Down is on July 18-19, round four of the Gurston Championship and Top Ten Challenge, and also a round of the prestigious Midland Hillclimb Championship.
Full details at www.gurstondown.org and www.facebook.com/GurstonDownSpeedHillclimb