GURSTON Down's 2015 season comes to a close this weekend with what promises to be a nail-biting finale with scores to be settled in the overall championship and throughout the classes.
Stephen Moore from Stapleford currently leads the Meadens Skoda Gurston Down Hillclimb Championship in his 2.0 turbocharged Mitsubishi Evo 6, and having edged ahead of his rivals by setting a new class record in the over 2000cc modified series production saloon class in the previous round in July, he is in good position to hang onto that lead.
However, should any of those rivals repeat that record-breaking feat in their respective classes in the final round, then they could, theoretically, draw level on points.
One of those rivals is Simon Neve from Yeovil who also drives a Mitsubishi Evo 6, this one with a 2.3 litre turbocharged engine but Simon runs in the over 2000cc roadgoing series production class. Of the three drivers who could potentially equal Stephen Moore’s score, Simon Neve, currently in second place in the championship, has been closer to his class record than any of the others and therefore poses the greatest threat.
There are other class championship battles to be settled throughout the entry, one of which involves Wilton’s Chris Cannell who has a chance of winning the up to 2000cc sports libre class in his 1.3 supercharged Empire Evo on the day and in the season-long championship.
Nerves will be jangling as always in this final round, and the action will be tense throughout the entry, which includes many local drivers.
In the TR Cars class one of the front runners will be Nick Smith in his 2.6 Triumph TR6, while Steve Harris from Redlynch will run his rapid 1.8 Vauxhall Corsa in the roadgoing series production class up to 2000cc.
In the over 2000cc roadgoing series production class Mark Parrett is entered in a 2.0t Mitsubishi Evo 4.
The roadgoing specialist production class sees Mark Parrett’s colleague at the Fieldfare Trailer Centre at Ford near Salisbury, Jason Martin run in the 1.6 Autotune Gemini the pair have shared in previous events. Also going in this class is Adrian Lewis, back in his familiar 1.4 Westfield Megabusa after his outing in the historic St Bruno Roughcutter in August’s event.
In the over 2000cc marque sports car class we will see Steve Holley run in his 5.2 TVR Griffith.
The aforementioned Stephen Moore from Stapleford will run in the over 2000cc modified series production saloon car class.
The up to 2000cc sports libre class will feature, among others, Jerry Bailey, boss of the Fieldfare Trailer Centre, who will run in his 1.2 Mallock Mk 14, and he finds himself up against the 1.3s Empire Evo of the Wilton Racing duo Chris Cannell and Sue Hayes.
And completing a successful debut season will be Tony Levitt who has gone really well in his new 1.0 Empire Evo single seater.
Other Wiltshire drivers
Melksham's Claire Giles will run her 3.0 Austin Healey 3000 Mk 3 in the ‘Big Healey’s class, while Steve Luscombe from Warminster goes in the MG Cars class in his 1.4 MG Midget.
Steph Colvin from Malmesbury goes in the family 3.1 Datsun 240Z in the over 2000cc marque sports car class, sharing with step-sister Hannah Stapley (see also below).
Gurston regular Mark Walker from Trowbridge will run his 3.9 Porsche Cayman S in the over 2000cc modified series production sports car class.
Fellow Gurston regular Hugh Kemp from Wylye runs his lovely 1.6 Palliser WDF3 in the Historically Interesting class
Devon, Dorset, Hampshire and Somerset drivers
Drivers from elsewhere across the region will feature strongly in the results, and some of those likely to star include: Roderick Warner from Mapledurwell who will be the hot favourite in the TR Cars class in his 3.5 TR7 V8.
In the popular up to 2000cc roadgoing series production class Paul Webster from Fareham will be very hard to beat in his rapid 1.9 Mazda MX5 but among those chasing will be Ian Redding from Chandlers Ford in his 2.0 Peugeot 306 and Tim Forster from Winchester in his 1.7 Lotus Elan.
The over 2000cc roadgoing series production class will most likely go the way of the aforementioned Simon Neve from Yeovil in his potent 2.3t Mitsubishi Evo 6, but the chasing group will include Clive Stangle from Shaftesbury who has gone well in his 1.8 Audi TT Quattro this season.
In the roadgoing specialist production class Piers Thynne from Hartley Wintney has dominated the class in his 1.3 turbocharged Westfield Megabusa this season and looks set for another class win. Steve Holland from Portsmouth (1.6 Caterham Hayabusa) and Andrew Forsyth from Blandford (1.3 Westfield Megabusa) could be among the medals in this class.
Graham Beale from Basingstoke will probably lead the way again in the up to 2000cc marque sports car class in his 1.8 Ginetta G20. Graham is currently third in the overall Gurston Championship and will be aiming for another strong win to try and improve on that.
In the over 2000cc marque sports car class the outgoing Gurston Champion Simon Purcell from Charlton Horethorne runs his 1.8 supercharged Lotus Exige again and should tie up the class championship. Hannah Stapley from Sturminster Newton shares the family 3.1 Datsun with abovementioned step-sister Steph Colvin in this class too.
The up to 1400cc modified series production class has been the domain of Neil Turner from Andover this season in his 1.4 Mini Cooper ‘S’, and he looks set for another win here. Highly experienced former Gurston Champion Derek Mullis from Yeovil will be chasing hard in his 1.3 Cooper ‘S’.
Antony Orchard from Wareham will be one of the top contestants in the modified specialist production class in his 1.3 Westfield ‘Bakerbusa’. In fact Antony beat the hot favourite here in the August event and will be hoping to repeat that feat!
The Historically Interesting class always produces some superb machines and Geoff Hunt from Andover will field his lovely 1.6 Lotus 22 here.
The up to 2000cc sports libre class should see Jonathan Gates from Brockenhurst at the front in his 1.3 supercharged Force LM. Jonathan missed round 4 of the Gurston Championship in July but a good win in this final round could put him into a top three position.
The over 2000cc sports libre class sees Keith Diggle from Aldershot out in his superb 2.2 WEV HCS again and up against him will be Paul Punnett from Shepton Mallet in his equally splendid 2.1 MG Metro 6R4 Replica.
There’s a good class of 500 Owners Association racing cars and John Forsyth from Poole runs his 500cc Alfa Dana here and should feature well.
James Moore from Frome will star in the up to 1100cc racing car class in his 1.1 OMS 2000M and should tie up the class on the day and in the championship.
Simon McBeath from Sturminster Newton goes in his 1.6 Swift in the Pre-1994 Formula Ford class and has a mathematical chance of winning the class championship if he can win on the day by a big enough margin, a tall order in a close-fought class. Current class leader Andrew Abbey from Fareham (1.6 Jamun M91) will be doing his best to retain his series lead, and winning will ensure that.
Adrian Moody and Barry Moignard from Jersey once again do battle in the 1.6 Ralt RT3 they share in the Pre-1985 Racing Car class, and there’s never much between these two!
And among the very fastest runners will be Kelvin Broad from Exeter in his 1.6 Pilbeam MP62 and the new 2015 Gurston Top Ten Challenge winner Ed Hollier from Honiton who will go in his 1.6 Empire Evo, both running in the class for racing cars up to 1600cc. Ed Hollier has already won the 2015 Gurston Top Ten Challenge (to add to his 2013 title) and will be looking to make it a clean sweep of five outright wins from five Challenge rounds. Pete Hammock from Ferndown will also run his 1.6 OMS CF04 in this very competitive up class.
In the up to 2000cc racing car class it will be great to see the Marsh brothers Simon and Peter from Andover and East Wellow respectively back on the hill again.
The sons of the late Tony Marsh, former Grand Prix driver, multi-discipline sportsman and Gurston’s co-designer, have always gone well at Gurston and Simon won the Top Ten Challenge in 2009 in his father’s 2.5 Gould GR55. This meeting will see the brothers debut Simon’s new acquisition, a 1.3 supercharged DJ Firehawk. Also in this class, Malcolm Cole from Poole will appear in his 2.0 Force with its unique ‘MV8’ engine, to be seen and heard if at all possible!
Don’t miss this last chance to see speed hillclimbing at Gurston Down in 2015.
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