Driving through the rain at Wiscombe Park
- Credit: Nigel Cole
Wiscombe Park hosted the Torbay Motor Club hillclimb and members of the National Hill Climb Association joined in the action on their bikes and sidecars.
Unfortunately, the weather did its best to try and spoil Wiscombe’s third hillclimb weekend of 2021.
Although overnight rain had left the hill very wet, the drivers completed their first practice runs without incident.
Despite the less than ideal conditions for speed hillclimbing, there were some great battles throughout all the classes for both cars and bikes.
In Class A3 for road going cars, triple British Sprint Champion Rod Eyles in his Alfa Romeo 4C is usually very difficult to beat. Rod currently leads the Wiscombe Park Hillclimb Championship. However, Dan Trotman in his Toyota GR Yaris got the upper hand by four tenths of a second. A great result for Dan in a brand new car which was launched by Toyota at the end of 2020 – it is only his second Wiscombe event in the car.
Class C3 was another very close battle with the top three separated by just over a second. Simon Pollock in a Toyota MR2 winning from Martin Stubbington / VW Golf GTi and former Midland Hillclimb Champion Josh Sadler, third in his Porsche 911 RS.
Wiscombe also hosts the Championships of various motor clubs. One of these is the Downton MC. The club is based around the Mini tuning specialists, Downton Engineering company. Because of this heritage, most of the competitor’s compete in Mini’s....not just the classic original, but also the latest BMW version too.
The nine competitors produced a close finish – the top three separated by less than a second. Graham Gonzalez finished at the front from John Kirby – now fully recovered from an accident suffered at Wiscombe three weeks ago – and Daniel Bradford-Jones. Daniel’s car was competing in hillclimbs in the early eighties, and still remains highly competitive.
The fastest cars are always the single seater racing cars, and again it was the two familiar adversaries battling for the honours - Cullompton’s Ed Hollier / Pilbeam MP62 and Dorset’s Andrew Forsyth / OMS CF04.
So far this season, Ed has come out on top, but Saturday saw the tables turned, and Andrew was victorious with a time of 45.82s –just four tenths of a second quicker than Ed.
If it was very challenging in the conditions on four wheels, spare a thought for those on two and three wheels. With some very brave riding, Paul Jeffery on his KTM took top spot with a time of 45.82 – exactly the same time as Andrew Forsyth achieved in his car.
The Hodges family had a great day – Tommy Hodges, also on a KTM, finished second, from brother George, third, on a Honda CRF.
Fortunately, despite the atrocious conditions, there were no accidents, and most of the competitors were looking forward to a second day of competition at the Wiscombe Wildlife Autosport event on Sunday. However, the organisers took the reluctant, but sensible decision, to abandon the meeting.
A summary of the top ten quickest times -
1 Andrew Forsyth OMS CF04 45.82 Class winner E2
2 Ed Hollier Pilbeam MP62 46.23
3 Martyn Glover Mitsubishi Evo 47.68 Class winner A4
4 Tony Wiltshire Ralt RT34 48.14 Class winner E3
5 Ben Bonfield Jedi Mk4 49.27 Class winner E1
6 Roy Bray Ford Escort Cosworth 49.31
7 Jan Yeo Legend Ford 34 Coupe 49.64 Class winner D1
8 Ben Rolls Austin Healey Sprite Mk1 49.66 Class winner F2
9 Dan Trotman Toyota GR Yaris 50.20 Class winner A3
10 Ian Ingleheart Westfield Cosworth SE 50.22 Class winner B2
1 Paul Jeffery KTM 45.82 Class winner 750
2 Tommy Hodges KTM 46.20
3 George Hodgea Honda CRF 47.76 Class winner 500
4 Mark Short KTM 48.37 Class winner 750+
5 Guy Ursell KTM 48.71
6 Glynn Poole Panthera 49.12
7 Rich Peaty KTM SFX 49.25 Class winner 350
8 Alan Jolly KTM 49.57
9 Simon Hocking Husqvarna 50.45
10 Patrick Evans KTM 50.68