IN superb conditions Oliver Tomlin from Hinckley, took the family 4.0 Pilbeam MP97 Judd to sub-28 second times as the Midland Hillclimb Championship made its annual visit to Gurston Down at the weekend.
The Leicestershire driver set two consistent timed runs to qualify top for each run off, and went on to even quicker times in the shoots outs, finishing with BTD on the last run of the weekend on 27.54 seconds.
Hontion’s Ed Hollier won the 1600cc racing car class on 28.20s in the 1.6 Empire Evo, which was good enough for third BTD, but more importantly it meant he has won the Gurston Down Top Ten Challenge for the second time in three years.
Hollier’s pace in the relatively low-powered car meant he was very close to the big V8 engined cars of Oliver Tomlin and Channel Islander Jason Mourant (3.2 OMS 28), but crucially he was the fastest of the Gurston Top Ten Challenge registered contingent and collected his fourth maximum score from the four rounds so far this season. With one round to go in September he cannot be beaten.
The day’s only class record went to local man Stephen Moore (2.0t Mitsubishi Evo) as he won the over 2000cc modified series production saloon class on 32.72 seconds, this shaving a mere hundredth off the previous record! The bonus point Stephen earned for breaking his record means he is now clear at the top of the Gurston Down Championship with one round to go.
The title could, theoretically, still be taken by second placed driver Simon Neve from Yeovil, who won the over 2000cc roadgoing series production class in his 2.3t Mitsubishi Evo, but he will need to break his class record in September to have a chance at the title.
Jason Martin and Mark Parrett enjoyed a close battle in their 1.6 Autotune Gemini, despite carburettor gremlins, finishing less than four tenths apart in the road going specialist production class for ‘B licence’ holders.
Adrian Lewis was among the medals again in the ‘A licence’ holders’ specialist production class, collecting third place with yet another personal best in his 1.4 Westfield Megabusa.
In the over 2000cc marque sports car class Steve Holley struggled for traction in his big 5.2 TVR Griffith and finished fourth in class.
Stephen Moore’s record in the over 2000cc modified series production saloon class had been coming for a while, but he did no more than was necessary by shaving exactly one hundredth off the previous mark.
Fastest local driver was Wilton Racing’s Chris Cannell in his spectacular supercharged 1.3 Empire Evo sports libre machine, Chris all but matching his personal best in the car set a month previously. His partner Sue Hayes was third in class in the same car, Sue exactly equalling the time she set in June’s event.
Tony Levitt entered his second weekend at Gurston having impressed on his debut in his brand new 1.0 Empire Evo in June, and Tony once again showed he’s one to watch as he won the ‘B licence’ holders’ up to 1100cc racing car class with a sub-33-second time.
In the Downton Engineering Works Social (DEWS) Motor Club Speed series class James Edmonds went one better than last year in his 1.4 Rover Mini by finishing fourth in class with a good improvement on his time set last July.
Meanwhile, Steph Colvin from Malmesbury ran in the family 1.8 MGF once more in the up to 2000cc marque sports car class and took third place.
Mark Walker from Trowbridge ran his 3.9 Porsche Cayman S in the over 2000cc modified series production sports car class and finished fourth, somewhat out-gunned by the visitors in the Midland Championship this weekend.
Murray Wakeham and Alan Joy once again shared the 1.0 OMS CF96 in the up to 1100cc racing car class and continued to carve chunks off their times as they get used to the car.
And in the DEWS class, one of the prime movers behind their club and championship Steve Harris from Redlynch once again took third in class in his 1.8 Vauxhall Corsa.
It was Hampshire versus the Isle of Wight in the up to 2000cc roadgoing series production class as former double Gurston champion Fareham’s Paul Webster (1.9 Mazda MX5) and Newport, IoW’s Adam Greenen (2.0 Honda Civic Type R) dead heated on their first timed runs. But Adam’s brother Andy, third fastest on the first runs, had a huge moment at Karousel on his second effort which resulted in a roll, fortunately without any injury to the driver. This put the car out of action so Webster took the win on the basis of his second run time.
Clive Stangle from Shaftesbury had another good event in his 1.8t Audi TT Quattro with a class win in the ‘B licence’ holders’ over 2000cc roadgoing series production class ahead of Poole’s Shaun Fudge in his 2.0t Subaru Impreza WRX.
Simon Neve from Yeovil again took the ‘A licence’ holders’ over 2000cc roadgoing series production class in his 2.3t Mitsubishi Evo 6 and holds onto second overall in the Gurston Championship with one round to go.
The roadgoing specialist production class for ‘B licence’ holders was a very close run thing, and Clive Skipper from Ringwood took the win in his 2.0 Caterahm 7 HPC from Steve Holland from Portsmouth (1.6 Caterham Hayabusa) by a mere six hundredths of a second.
The ‘A licence’ holders’ roadgoing specialist production class saw an emphatic win for Piers Thynne from Hartley Wintney in his 1.3 supercharged Westfield Megabusa, but runner up Andy Forsyth from Blandford set a personal best in his recently acquired normally aspirated variant.
Basingstoke’s Graham Beale was another clear class winner, Graham taking the up to 2000cc marque sports car class in his 1.8 Ginetta G20 and moving into third overall in the Gurston championship.
There was another good battle in the over 2000cc marque sports car class and once again it was Sherborne’s Simon Purcell who emerged in front in his 1.8 supercharged Lotus Exige ahead of Frome’s Tim Painter in his 3.6 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
The modified series production up to 1400cc class was pretty close but Andover’s Neil Turner (1.4 Mini Cooper ‘S’) used his local knowledge to take a half second win over Midland Championship contender Carl Jones in his 1.4 Austin Mini.
Devon’s Colin Satchell bagged the win once again in the up to 2000cc modified series production class with a comfortable margin in his rapid 2.0 Peugeot 205 GTi.
In the modified specialist production class Antony Orchard from Wareham was flying in his 1.3 Westefield ‘Bakerbusa’ and a win by three quarters of a second and a low 32s time was his reward.
The over 2000cc sports libre class saw record holder Nic Mann from Newbury back out in his amazing 1.7t Mannic Beattie, and with the latest turbine developments under the bonnet Nic was pleased just to attain reliability, so the class win was a bonus on the day.
The up to 1600cc racing car class was a regional battle, Devon’s Ed Hollier taking the aforementioned win in his 1.6 Empire Evo but just six tenths behind was Peter D. Smith from Wantage in his 1.6 Force, also in the 28-second bracket, and another three quarters of a second behind was Sean Gould from Newbury aboard his company’s latest car, the normally aspirated 1.6 Gould GR59.
The Pre-1994 Formula Ford class continues to be very competitive, and once again Tony Wiltshire from Devon took the win in his 1.6 SwiftSC93, but by just 28 hundredths this time from Simon McBeath from Sturminster Newton in his 1.6 Swift SC92. Andrew Abbey from Fareham was less than half a second behind McBeath in his 1.6 Jamun M91.
In the over 2000cc racing car class Jerseyman Jason Mourant finished second in class in his 3.2 OMS 28 and went on to score a second and a third in the Midland Championship Run Offs.
The next event at Gurston Down is a British Hillclimb Championship event on August 29/30.
Full details at www.gurstondown.org and www.facebook.com/GurstonDownSpeedHillclimb