The second round of the 2018 championship took place at the Bugatti Owners Club's home Prescott Hillclimb. Following weeks of relentless rain and poor weather it was always going to be a fraught affair. All parking areas soon descended into a muddy endurance test for Competitors , Marshals & Spectators alike. Although the weather is undoubtedly poor this spring it does highlight some shortfalls in the venues infrastructure that need attention.
The track action by contrast was really very good with a huge entry across all three classes. Some new faces and familiar faces with new cars made a welcome change and added to the uncertainty of a new season.
Saloon cars had a monster 18 car field with new variety added by Philip Staders Hillman Minx - possibly the most unlikely Classic saloon racing car seen for quite a while. Going into the final timed run of the meeting the fastest 6 drivers were separated by just 1 second. 4 improved on the final run , with Matt Clarke just about equalling his earlier time in the flying Mini , Simon Braithwaite the other 'non-improver' with a lurid moment across the grass on the exit of Ettores in the Escort BDG.
Trevor Shortt emerged quickest overall with a time also good enough for 2nd on handicap. Garry Cox was second fastest overall closely followed by Steve Louch , all three in Reliant Scimitars. Ian Moss in the Hillman Imp was right in the thick of the battle until the drying track took the edge off his challenge. The Handicap Victory went to Jenny Howells in another Imp with a great time -1.42 seconds under her personal best. Some consolation for Matt Clarke was third place in the handicap standing giving him some more useful points in the defence of his 2017 championship win.
Sportscar drivers had to endure the worst of the paddock mud but put a brave face on it. New driver in the class Iain Daniels took both fastest overall and first on handicap in his debut with the pretty , rare & quick Reliant Sabre. Callum Barney has swapped his Ford Cortina GT for a 2018 season drive in Philip Staders green MG Midget and was quick straight away with second on handicap, Third on handicap was the super consistent Steve Phennah in his MGB. Second fastest overall was John Newton in his rapid TVR , Third fastest was Mike Henney in the pretty Lotus Europa - lucky to get away with just a scraped nose after an off at Ettores in the final run.
Racing cars & Sports Racing cars had prime position on the Bugatti Terrace for the weekend, which saw the debut of Andy Tippett's beautiful newly restored Brabham Buick. Five years in the making it was an unfortunate debut in the conditions but the car is fantastic and will surely go like stink when it gets warmer!
Richard Jones set the pace in his Brabham with Ford BDA power, followed by Peter Thurston in the Mallock. Third fastest being Martin Jones also in a Brabham. Handicap results for the championship were Peter from Martin Jones, then Richard Jones. Due to a quirk in the class structure on the day Jeremy Rivers Fletcher collected a deserved third in the racing car class. John Huntley was an unfortunate casualty in his Palliser with a damaged nose following an off on Saturday.
Peter Thurston in the Mallock rounds Pardon Hairpin
Ian Moss using all the road on the Esses approach in the rapid Hillman Imp
Andy Tippett with the Brabham at the Esses complex in Saturday's slippery conditions