Following the abandonment of the first Championship round at Croft due to relentless wintery weather, the fine blue skies and warmth at Gurston Down hill climb came as a great relief. Running on a dry track contributed to some quick times overall for the eight Championship drivers competing for points on this Wiltshire hill.
Although we had no Championship registered cars running in Class P1 at Gurston we did see erstwhile Speed Champion drivers Tim Barber and David Hilton making an appearance from the Hillclimb Championship and both putting in close and very quick times, just a fraction of a second off the P1 class record of 34.98. Running on slicks in a shared and much modified 996 GT3, David finished in 34.91 while Tim’s time of 34.57 was a satisfying personal best at Gurston. Simon Cristol ran for the first time at Gurston though not in a registered Championship car and finished the day in a Boxster S with a time of 43.73.
The largest class at Gurston was Class P2 with five drivers putting in close times with the fastest four all within 0.40 of a second of each other. Geraint Evans (modified 911 Carrera 3.0) picked up his first trophy of the season with a third-placed time of 37.69 while Justin Mather tried out his 2.7 litre 924S with a supercharger for the first time. Despite water pump issues early on and a run in another competitor’s car for the practice sessions, Justin still claimed second place in 37.43. Always an assured competitor, Ian Wadsworth (911 SC/RS) bettered Justin’s time by just 0.14 of a second and put in a superb performance throughout the day to finish with a fastest time of 37.29 and the class win.
Two drivers made up Class P3 at Gurston with Stephen Jory running on slicks in his 2.5ltr 944 for the first time in the Speed Championship. The addition of slicks puts him in P3 alongside Wayne Eason in a Boxster at Gurston. Both drivers steadily cut their times down over the practice and timed sessions with Stephen finishing the day in 40.70 while Wayne bettered that by a margin of 1.62 seconds for the class win.
Sole competitor in Class P4 was Dave Chivers. Dave has previously competed in the Speed Championship in early 911s but has now entered the Championship in a 2.5ltr 944. Time will tell if a front-engined Porsche will suit his preference for the hill climb rounds but Gurston was a good start and he finished the day with a time of 43.84 for his fastest run.
Thank you to the drivers for what, in effect, becomes our first Championship round, our next two rounds form an exciting double-header at Anglesey Circuit in north Wales.