Saturday 16th July sees the British Hillclimb Championship (BHC) presented by Avon Tyres complete its annual ‘double-header’ visit to the Channel Islands, when it visits the twisty and technical Le Val des Terres Hillclimb, located in Guernsey’s capital, Saint Peter Port.
Le Val des Terres has been part of the BHC since 1973, forming part of a Channel Islands double-header with Bouley Bay in nearby Jersey. The track is 777 metres (850 yards) long, starting adjacent to the seafront in picturesque Saint Peter Port. It climbs its way past steep and unforgiving rock faces, through a tunnel of overhanging trees, before bursting out into the sunlight of the open parkland upper reaches of the hill. A tricky right hand corner immediately precedes the finish line, which regularly catches out drivers as they push hard to set a good time.
To say that Le Val des Terres is unique is an understatement. The pedestrian pavements have been especially lowered to accommodate modern single seater race cars by the local Guernsey authorities, encouraging the brave to use them as part of the track as they take to the hill. In fact a good time is impossible unless you attack the pavements, positioning the car with precision as you ascend. Le Val des Terres in therefore absolutely unique in British Hillclimbing and a real test for mainland competitors as they go head to head with the many local drivers. It is therefore not unusual for local drivers to get in amongst the elite of British Hillclimbing, occasionally showing them how it is done!
Le Val des Terres, like Bouley Bay, is open to all types of machinery, from cars to sidecars and motorbikes to karts, all are welcome to entertain the crowds. For spectators, either view in the lower reaches of the hill as cars leave the start line and head for the first corner, or perhaps venture to the final corner. The view from here as cars burst into view at speed from the tree lined middle section of the hill and accelerate to the final corner is fabulous, and one that will stay in the memory for many a year.
A high quality entry has been received, with in excess of twenty drivers making the trip from the mainland. This includes the majority of the current BHC top ten. 2022 BHC Championship leader Alex Summers (DJ Firestorm Cosworth XD) heads the entry list alongside defending 2021 Champion Wallace Menzies (Gould GR59 Cosworth XD) and six time BHC Champion Scott Moran (Gould GR59J).
Competitive action is scheduled to start at 9.00am and will continue for the majority of the day.
So, if you are in the Channel Islands make plans to visit Le Val des Terres in Saint Peter Port, Guernsey on Saturday 16th July. The BHC is having an absolutely fantastic 2022 season. Watching the top men and women in British Hillclimbing as they attack the pavements at this unique hill is truly a site to behold.