Saturday 5th September marked the first of a brace of one day meetings to replace the traditional Autumn visit of the British Hillclimb Championship to Prescott (obviously cancelled in this extraordinary year). The club had evolved their format slightly from the opening August event with slightly more entries and a revised parking arrangement with the welcome return of camping on-site for competitors.
The classic field was once again strong with 31 entries equally distributed across the classes.
Weather was extremely good considering the poor conditions over the two preceding weeks , with a dry track and temperatures in the high teens.
Many competitors set some times in practice close to their previous best on a track in very good condition. Unfortunately things went very wrong when Championship sponsor Mike Henneys Lotus Cortina dropped a lot of oil from Pardon Hairpin onwards on his first timed run. Running as the first car this affected the immediate following cars of Andy Clarke , Matt Clarke and Philip Stader who all had moments of varying degrees on the oil trail. Red flags were brought out at this point for a lengthy cleanup operation by the marshals. No sooner had the action resumed then BMW 2002 driver Anthony Wards engine blew a lot of oil out the breather onto the track from Bridge, through Orchard and onto Ettores Corner - now pretty much the whole track was covered with cement dust. The remaining competitors all survived the rest of the timed runs with the final order being a handicap win for Matt Clarke in the flying Mini, from Simon Braithwaite in the Escort Mk1 then Andrew Cairney in the Hillman Imp. Scratch winner was Simon from Matt, with Philip Stader third in the Alfa Berlina Saloon.
Josh Sadler and Richard Jones once again set the pace in their Porsche 911's. Josh winning the class on handicap and setting fastest time, Richard following in second. Third on handicap was Charles Boulton in his MGB having a good season so far, closer to his PB's than for many years. Third quickest overall was Nick Stephens in the immaculate Ginetta, Nick being pushed ever closer by Steve Phennah in his MGB Roadster. The trio of Scimitar coupes made a welcome return with Roger Beard , Ian Stainburn & Terry Cox only being separated by around a second. Stephen Akers had swapped to a Lotus Elan whilst his Mini Cooper receives some attention back at the workshop.
Single Seaters & Sports Racing cars:
Least affected by the cement dust was Mike Bainbridge in the Ensign F3 , easily quickest overall and on handicap. Jeremy Rivers-Fletcher brought the Triumph special out for a run and was rewarded with second on handicap , J R-F now also racing MX5's and obviously sharp as a result!. Third on handicap was David Owen in his Merlyn FF1600. Peter Thurston in the tiny Mallock was second quickest overall a fair way in front of Andy Tippett - perhaps being understandably cautious in the V8 engined Brabham. Local driver Martin Jones once again brought out his new Elva Mk7 but was only present on the first day due to other committments.