Perfect weather conditions added a bonus festival atmosphere to the last competitive events of the hill climb year at Shelsley Walsh over the weekend, finishing off an exceptional year of motor sport, according to the Midland Automobile Club’s competition secretary Robin Webb.
The two separate one-day events entitled ‘Autumn Speed Finale’ saw a capacity entry for both days and fierce competition throughout in the culmination of several individual championships.
MAC Competition Secretary Robin Webb, commented: “The setting doesn’t get much better than Teme Valley for a pleasant weekend’s motorsport with beautiful sunshine and shirt sleeves, combined with a huge variety of cars and many drivers fighting hard for final championship positions.
“Overall it has been a superb season of competition with over-subscribed entries for every event here at Shelsley Walsh and credit must go to the MAC officials and marshals who ensure that these events run so smoothly, allowing both competitors and spectators to enjoy their chosen sport.”
Adding a little more flavour to the weekend mix were over 30 motorcycle and sidecar combinations competing on Saturday in their own National Hill Climb Association championship, with wins for solo riders Glyn Poole, Tom Short, Peter Short and Peter Jeffery, with Sam Matthewman and passenger Kelly Martin taking the sidecar class.
Keeping it in the family, sponsor Paul Matty admitted to being only ‘mildly embarrassed’ by winning his class in the final round of his own 25th anniversary Paul Matty Sports Cars Lotus Championship, with wife June having won the Fastest Lady award, David Hampton having already sealed the overall title in his Lotus Atlantic.
The Morgan Sports Car Club saw handicap wins for George Proudfoot followed by Rob Toon and Clive Hall, with Steve Mogg, Jes Firth, Mark Everett and Alan Hugh-Davies taking the handicap honours respectively in the TVR Car Club Speed Championship.
Best Time of Day on Saturday went to Richard Hollingworth with a time of 27.49 seconds in his DJ Firehawk racing car, with class wins for drivers including Russell Haynes, Bruce Atkinson, David Gidden, Antony Browne and Derek Kessell.
Sunday produced a 26.95 run taking Best Time of Day by Gary Thomas in his Force PC racing car, with class wins for Mike Walters, Chris Berrisford, John Bradshaw, Duncan Andrews, Tim Barber, Matt Carter, Martin Jones and Simon Andrews
Two hectic days of motor sport action hosted by the Midland Automobile Club will be taking place at Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb this weekend as several different championships are going ‘down to the wire’ in deciding ultimate title winners.
Spectators and fellow competitors crowded into the paddock area and trackside at the British Hill Climb Championship‘s premier event were not disappointed on Sunday as the very last run of the day proved the highlight of the meeting held at Continue reading “EVENT REPORT: Championship Challenge”→
There is all to play for as the MSA British Hill Climb Championship reaches its crucial stages at Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb, near Worcester, this coming weekend with all the top drivers and cars in action. (20/21 Aug)
Five times former champion Scott Moran of Ludlow currently leads by 21 points – before some scores are dropped – in his all-conquering Gould GR61X, with Worcester driver and 2012 champion Trevor Willis in his OMS 28 racing car in close contact, while Scottish driver Wallace Menzies holds third place, with Richard Spedding and Dave Uren in fourth and fifth respectively.
Reigning British champion Alex Summers, from Tenbury Wells, is awaiting delivery of his new car, so he will be sharing a Gould GR55 racing car with owner Mark Coley as it has a Cosworth V6 engine, similar to the one that Alex will have in his DJ Firestorm which is currently under construction.
Scott, said: “This should be a really good weekend as Trevor is chasing me hard and Wallace is not far behind, Alex will be sharing a Gould GR55 which is ideal for a ‘power hill’ like Shelsley Walsh, so as one of his favourite venues, Alex should go well!
“I haven’t driven for over a month since the Channel Island events but the car is being prepared this week and I will be raring to go at the weekend.”
The Championship Challenge weekend also sees a large entry of cars in the Midland Hill Climb Championship with reigning champion and current leader Mike Turpin, of Hereford, competing in his Vauxhall VX220.
The ever-popular Paul Matty Sports Cars Lotus Championship reaches its penultimate round at Shelsley Walsh this weekend with sponsor’s wife June Matty leading the points in the handicap class with her Lotus 2022 FJ while David Hampton leads the main class with his Lotus 69 Atlantic.
Paul Matty, commented: “The weather forecast looks good so we are hoping for a great weekend as both of our front running drivers only have a slender 3-point lead, so competition within the ranks will be pretty fierce and we apologise now for our boistrous behaviour after the event!”
Eight cars are entered into the 500 Owners Association class while no fewer than 22 drivers are competing in the 1100cc racing car class and 15 cars are taking part in the classic racing section for pre-1971,1975 and pre-1985 cars.
The action starts with practice and qualifying from 9.15am on Saturday with two timed competition runs in programme order with full commentary on Sunday. There will be a run off for the fastest 12 cars registered for the British Championship at the end of both the morning and afternoon sessions on Sunday.
Advanced tickets are still available for both days £10 Saturday and £12 Sunday with tickets also being sold on the gate at £12 Saturday and £15 Sunday.
Further information can be obtained from www.shelsley-walsh.co.uk
A visit to Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb brought tears to the eyes of international racing driver Hans-Joachim Stuck during the Midland Automobile Club’s Classic Nostalgia event at the weekend.
Double Le Mans winner and former F1 driver Hans was guest of honour at the meeting and followed in the footsteps of his late father the legendary Hans Stuck, who exactly 80 years ago drove a similar V16 Auto Union Grand Prix car up the iconic hill in front of the same sorts of large number of spectators.
Hans, said: “This place and these crowds are absolutely magical and I won’t be shy with you, I actually had tears in my eyes coming back down from my first run – just thinking about my father doing the very same thing in the same car those many years ago.
“My reception here this weekend has been simply wonderful and I am delighted to have been able to put on a show with this famous car for so many people who have all shown such interest, enthusiasm and appreciation.”
Hans-Joachim Stuck also drove the Audi IMSA S4 GTO which was making its UK debut after arriving in this country only 6 weeks ago. This monster of a race car is capable of 190mph powered by a turbocharged five-cylinder, 20-valve racing engine creating 720 bhp. It certainly made the ground tremble as it took to the hill.
Another crowd pleasing aspect to the weekend was the appearance of 25 Group B rally cars from the 1980s period, which were eventually banned on safety reasons, but driven over the weekend once again by stars such as Jimmy McRae with his original co-driver Ian Grindrod, Russell Brookes with his co-driver Mike Broad and David Llewellyn in the Audi S1.
Jimmy McRae, commented: “I have just been reunited with the glorious Metro 6R4 which was always a crowd pleaser and these outrageous Group B cars still have a large following of avid fans, many of whom are here today to see and hear them in action once again.”
Fellow rally driver Russell Brookes, was driving his former 1986 Opel Ascona in tarmac specification and in original Andrews Heat for Hire colours, saying: “This is a fabulous occasion and it is great to be meeting up with old cars and old friends but is does seem strange to be racing against the clock up such a very short length of track.
“Somebody once created the slogan ‘the right crowd, and no crowding’ and this weekend sums that saying up exactly. The atmosphere and organisation is simply exceptional and credit must go to the organisers for their efforts in creating such an occasion whereby people can celebrate our wonderful motoring heritage in all its forms.”
A Concours d Elegance competition was staged for the first 100 cars to enter on the Sunday and this was won by Peter Prosser from Buckinghamshire with his 1935 MG Pillarless Magnette saloon, which will now be invited to be displayed on the MAC stand at November’s NEC Classic Car Show.
Peter, said: “We were invited here today as guests of Stratstone and just happened to be in time to enter the competition, not really expecting much as this car is in regular use and has just completed a tour of Ireland with the MG Car Club. I have owned the car for 18 years having originally bought it from Australia and had it delivered to my home in pieces on four pallets, taking another four years for its restoration.
“You can imagine our surprise then when my wife Dot and I were awarded the top prize and we were thrilled to be presented with our trophy by Jimmy McRae, who then drove us up the hill – being very surprised at how nimble the car was – so much so that he was still smiling when we got back down!”
Adding to the weekend’s festival atmosphere was live music and singing on a stage created in the Courtyard together with dancing displays in 1940s and 50s style. This was wonderfully enhanced by officials, vehicle support staff and members of the public being invited to dress in period costume to match the occasion and many many people entered into the spirit of the occasion and did exactly that.
On the track itself, competition was as fierce as ever through a wide range of varied machines dating back over the decades in various classes, hosting names such as Frazer Nash, MG, Cooper 500, Austin Healey, Lotus and Morgan, through to Austin Mini, Ford Mustang and Ferrari.
Best Time of Day on Saturday went to Nic Mann in his amazing home made Mannic Beattie Sports Libre car, which uses aircraft power as part of it engine, taking an ascent time of 25.47 seconds. Sunday saw a Best Time of Day for local man Keith Harris with a time of 29.18 seconds in his Chevron B25 racing car.
Saturday’s class winners included Bill Tuer in a Morgan, Mark Brett in a Bellamy Ford, Martin Spencer in GN Spider 2, Malcolm Thorne in a Lotus Buick, Mike Gallery in a Morris Cooper S, Stuart Gilbert in an MGB GT V8, Thomas Robinson in an MG Midget, Finlay Mackintosh in a Cooper Mk6, Phoebe Rolt in an Elva FJ Junior, Richard Mason in and Austin Healey 3000, Tim Painter in a Metro 6R4 and Kevin Jones in a Renault 5 Turbo.
Sunday’s separate event saw most of the above once again take class wins with the addition of Andrew Tippett in a Russell Alexis Formula Ford and James Smith in a 1968 Rellard Trials.
Also presented was a very special watch called the “Spirit Of Shelsley Walsh” which had been designed and made by Omologato, timing sponsor at the hill climb. This was presented to Chris Jaques who brought back the 1934 Maserati 8CM that Whitney Straight drove at Shelsley Walsh.
Looking back over the weekend, MAC committee member and event paddock marshal Tony Harrison, commented: “Yet again the accolades keep pouring in from competitors and visitors alike for this very special classic event here at Shelsley Walsh.
“For example, one competitor, Wayne Wilson is from Australia and competing in his 1968 Brabham BT21 and after this his first visit to Classic Nostalgia is already making plans to return next year and its easy to see why, the sight and sound of the Auto Union alone is mesmerising and you can watch people simply smiling at its pure power and presence.
“The crowds have been amazing and with awesome weather to boot we believe this could well be a record attendance. The Group B rally cars have also been such a huge success, so this event could be a very hard act to follow!”
Mark Constanduros, Commercial Manager for the Midland Automobile Club commented “Several years of hard work paid off this weekend. To see Hans-Joachim Stuck drive his father’s Auto Union was a very special moment. He is such a lovely guy who fell in love with Shelsley Walsh”
“And to also have three British Rally Champions here with 9 titles between them was a joy. They were all a bit like naughty school boys, great fun to be with”
“Not sure how we will follow this up, but there are ideas!”
Classic Nostalgia on the 16th and 17th July at Shelsley Walsh will see the debut of the Audi IMSA S4 GTO which has never before been seen on British soil.
This car has only just arrived in the UK, having been imported from America and with only four weeks to prepare the car, it will be driven by Hans-Joachim Stuck for the first time since 1992. Continue reading “Audi IMSA S4 GTO Debut”→
A weekend of contrasts lined up at Shelsley Walsh …
Two contrasting events are traking place at Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb, near Worcester this weekend (2nd/3rd July).
On Saturday hosts, the Midland Automobile Club, stages its Reg Philips Trophy Meeting which will see a wide range of machines competing in several different classes for individual championships including the Revington TR Register for Triumph cars and the Aston Martin Owners Club Championship.
Other invited championships include the Sevenoaks Speed League, SBD HSA Speed, the Service Hydraulics, the HRCR Speed Series and the Northampton Motorsport Speed Series for Westfield sports cars.
Local entrants include Dave West in a Peugeot 106, Michael Henney in a Lotus Elan, Graham Godfrey in an Audi TT, Will Gough in a Ford Sierra Cosworth, Duncan Andrews in a Porsche Cayman and Paul Jones in a Lotus Elise Motorsport.
Best time of day should be a battle between local man Keith Harris in his Chevron, Michael Tregoning in a Pilbeam or veteran driver Bill Morris – who celebrated his 80th birthday this month – and will be competing in a Pilbeam MP88.
Apart from the usual mixed array of sports, classic and latest technology racing cars, around 30 motorcycle and sidecar combinations will be taking part in their own National Hill Climb Association competition.
Sunday’s event is hosted jointly with The Vintage Sports Car Club where the wonderful sights, smells and sounds of vintage and historic machines can be seen in action on the hill, some of which date back to the Edwardian era of 1908 to 1919.
Sports and racing cars of yesteryear competing will see names from famous marques including Frazer Nash, Morgan, Alvis, Austin, Lagonda, Vauxhall, Bentley, Bugatti and ERA, in all states of restoration or pure originality.
Wolverhampton driver Chris Williams is entered in the tyre-smoking 24 litre Napier Bentley which produces a fine spectacle off the start line everytime!
Other local drivers include Terry Brewster in a Lagonda, Simon Bowyer in a Lea Francis, Winston Teague in a Wasp, Stephen Shoosmith in a Bugatti, Jeremy Brewster in a Wolseley and Tom Richardson in a GN Gipsy Special.
Practice and qualifying starts at 9.15am on both days, with timed competition runs in programme order with full commentary each afternoon.
Advanced tickets are still available
Tickets on the gate are £15.00 for Saturday and £18.00 on Sunday.
Accompanied children under 16 are free
Track action starts at 9.15am and finishes around 5.30pm
Two wins for Ludlow driver Scott Moran enforced his lead in the 2016 British Hill Climb Championship at the ‘Best of British’ event at Shelsley Walsh over the weekend.
In perfect conditions and in front of large crowds of spectators, five-times former champion Moran drove his Gould GR61X racing car in his usual smooth style to take rounds 9 and 10, gaining maximum points.
Scott, said afterwards: “I am really happy with that as the car ran faultlessly and I have been pushed really hard this weekend by both Trevor Willis and Wallace Menzies, and when Will Hall gets his car fully sorted he too will be a real threat as he was doing 147mph over the finish line!
“Although I appear to have a big lead in the championship at the moment on paper, things will balance out and the others will be much closer when dropped scores are taken into account as only so many rounds can count.”
Willis and Menzies each took second and third places in the run-offs to keep them in contention for the next rounds at Loton Park this coming weekend.
With a capacity entry, the competition was always going to be fierce throughout the various classes and no more so than the huge 1100cc racing car class which saw a win for Scottish driver Steve Marr in his PCD Saxon from young driver Tom Poole in the new Empire Evo, followed by racing car constructor Steve Owen in his OMS28.
In the road going class for car up to 2 litres, spirited driver Richard Brant held off a strong challenge from Lotus drivers Ken Williamson of Oxford and Teme Valley’s Sarah Thorne to maintain his class lead in the Midland Hill Climb Championship.
Other class winners included Bruce Aitkin in a Citroen Saxo, Roy Standley in a Mitsubishi Evo5RS, David Warburton in a Caterham 7, Mike West in Westfield SEW, Andrew Russell in a Ginetta G15, Ash Mason in a Westfield Allan McDonald in his Mini Evo and Karl Schollar in his Shelsley Special Spectre Mk7.
Well in front in the Hill Climb Leaders championship is south west driver Colin Satchell who extended his lead with a clear class win in his beautifully prepared Peugeot 205 and reigning Midland Hill Climb Champion Mike Turpin of Hereford once again took an emphatic win in his class with the Vauxhall VX220.
The hugely popular racing car classes saw wins for David Tatham, Tim Davies, David Uren, Trevor Willis, Joshua Moss, Stuart Ridge, Ben Tranter and Ed Hollier.
An invitation class for competitors in the Pirelli Ferrari Hill Climb Championship saw Nick Taylor take the win in his F430 Coupe, followed by former championship winner Richard Prior in his F355 GTB.
The next competitive weekend will be the Reg Philips Trophy on Saturday 2nd July followed by the Vintage Sports Car Club meeting on the Sunday 3rd July.