The final round of the Porsche Club Hill Climb Championship took place on a recently resurfaced track at Loton Park in Shropshire. Hagley Light Car Club has done a great job in making Loton Park, with its freely roaming deer and ‘kamikaze’ pheasants (both, fortunately, are kept clear of the track), into a super hill climbing venue, both for the driving and the great social atmosphere.
The track on the Saturday morning was very damp and slippery on the new tarmac for the practice sessions, so much so that Paul Howells, in his superb ’73 911 RSR, stepped out sideways in third gear approaching the first corner! All drivers found it slippery and challenging, particularly the famously fast Cedar Straight.
The Hill Climb Championship welcomed some ‘newbies’ from the Speed Championship with Ross Mcdonald, Martin Leach and Mike Burtt setting some great times and finding their feet or grip limits very quickly. It was a hugely competitive weekend with drivers pushing each other, sometimes past or over the boundaries of the tarmacked hill!
In the timed sessions on Sunday, the pace was quickly set by Duncan Andrews (Cayman) setting a good time, with Paul not far behind. Tim Barber and Dave Hilton were hot on the heels of the two front runners with their GT3RS, both setting their personal bests on the hills with Tim very nearly dropping into the 55 second bracket, a fantastic result after a season of mechanical issues with gremlins, hopefully a great augur for Tim for next season’s competition.
In the roadgoing class Porsches, Robert Lancaster-Gaye (997 Turbo) was having to push hard to stay in front of Simon Tarling (911 GT3), who is clearly enjoying the benefits of experience and getting quicker. Newcomer Martin Leach created a stunning time of 60.08 after a great run and used his Speed championship knowledge to great effect – hill climbing is not for the faint-hearted with trees and solid barriers all potential targets for the inexperienced!
A new class record was jointly set by Paul and Duncan, when they both set a time of 55.43 seconds and shared first place for the second time this season, at the same venue!
With our regards to Terry Davidson, Peter Turnbull and Steve Kevlin, none of whom could be with us at Loton, we send our thanks for jointly organising the Hill Climbing Championship and wish you all well, from a great season finale at Loton Park.