Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th May sees the British Hillclimb Championship (BHC), presented by Avon Tyres, and the class based Championship, the BHC Cup, presented by Classic Car Insurance Broker Footman James, visit Gurston Down Hillclimb in Wiltshire for the first “double header” weekend of the 2022 season. The two days are completely separate events with drivers therefore having four points scoring opportunities over the weekend. Gurston is therefore a vitally important Championship weekend, which is likely to go a long way in shaping the season ahead.
The design of the Gurston Down track, which is also a working farm and prestigious shoot, had significant input from Tony Marsh, six-time British Hillclimb Champion in the 50’s & 60’s, and has hosted a round of the BHC for over fifty years. The first competitive event took place in July 1967 and was won by Patsy Burt, a top hillclimber of her day, in her McLaren Oldsmobile. The first BHC round took place in 1971.
The track measures 957 metres or 1047 yards and rises over 43 metres or 140 feet from bottom to top. The hill itself is super-fast with a unique feature in British Hillclimbing of a downhill start. The initial downhill section into the daunting Hollow bend sees cars top 140mph on the approach to the technical section of the hill, Karousel. The cars then accelerate into Deer’s leap, where they often get a little “air”, before braking into the left hander at Ashes. Ashes is probably the key corner on the hill. A driver must carry good speed through here for the super-fast approach to the finish line, which cars take at more than 150mph! All this in 25.34 seconds – incredible but true!
The best spectator viewing is either on the approach to Karousel, where cars flash past at in excess of 100mph or at Ashes where they appear, often with front wheels waving in the air, before starting the climb towards the finish. Both are spectacular places to watch.
The double header weekend guarantees a high quality entry list, with all of the top contenders for both the BHC and BHC Cup entered for the event. The twenty strong class of unlimited capacity single seaters is the strongest of the year, with entries being received from every BHC point scorer in 2022 including the entire current top ten. In fact every driver who has qualified for a BHC run-off in 2022 will be at Gurston including BHC Championship Leader Wallace Menzies (Gould GR59-M Cosworth XD) and his wife Nicola in the Nicholson McLaren engined Gould GR55 that she broke the outright Harewood Ladies record with a couple of weeks ago.
The BHC Cup again has a strong entry list including current top three Lee Griffiths (OMS 28), Robert Marwood (Renault Clio 172) and Richard Spedding (GWR Raptor 2). It's tight at the top with Lee currently leading by a couple of points due to a very strong class record breaking weekend at Harewood.
Competitive action is scheduled to start at 8.30am on both days and will continue for the majority of the day. Advance tickets can be purchased by clicking on the button below.
So, get a visit to Gurston Down over the weekend of 28th & 29th May into your diary. Track action is sure to be spectacular!