Torbay motoring enthusiasts enjoy a fine return to racing
- Credit: Nigel Cole
Motorsport got underway for 2021 when the first meeting of the South West hill climb season was held at Wiscombe Park, Honiton at the weekend and Torbay Motor Club performed very well. Unfortunately, the meeting was held under very strict Covid19 guidelines laid down by Motorsport UK and the Government, and this meant that it was a “behind closed doors event” with no spectators allowed.
Wiscombe has been very fortunate over the winter to attract sponsorship for 2021 from Reis Motorsport Insurance – a national insurance broker, ensuring the venue can continue to operate whilst spectators are not able to attend.
It has been a long winter break for the competitors, and there was a big demand for an entry to the meeting – so much so, that the organising motor club, Woolbridge, could have held a third day of racing. During the long winter months, drivers have been modifying their cars, and are obviously keen to see how much quicker their cars are.
Wiscombe Park is regarded as one of the most challenging courses in the UK, and therefore, the 1000-yard course is a driver’s favourite, and the sun shone all weekend providing perfect conditions.
Drivers come from all over the South West arrived to compete in a variety of championships – Wiscombe Park has its own championship, and there were also rounds of Championships organised by Downton MC, Bristol MC and the National Classic Marques Speed Challenge.
The best performance of the weekend came from golf professional Jon Langmead in his Lotus Elise 135R. Jon won Class A2 on both days, taking him in to second place in the Tillicoultry Quarries Wiscombe Park Championship. Jon was an early leader of that championship last season, but his results fell away – maybe 2021 will be his year to lift the cup.
Martyn Glover – Mitsubishi Evo 4 RS won Class A4 on Saturday, and followed it up with a third place on Sunday.
In Class C2, it was a family battle. Shaun Tuckey, who was last year’s Association of South West Motor Clubs Hillclimb Champion, won the class on both days driving his Ford Ka. His brother, Nathan, also driving a Ford Ka, took a second place on Saturday and a third on Sunday. Not to be outdone, father Neil driving a Ford Fiesta, finished second on Sunday. The Tuckey’s are a fast family!
The quickest cars in hill climbing are the single seater racing cars often powered by motor bike engines from Suzuki and Kawasaki. Torbay MC members performed well in these classes too.
Andy Short in his OMS CF07 secured third places on both days in Class E2. He also set the third quickest time of the weekend. Kevin Frost scored two third place finishes in a car that he has designed and built himself – the KMD004. Paul Crocker finished his weekend in style with a third place on Sunday in a Jedi Mk1 and the 9th quickest time of the weekend.
In addition to the cars, the National Hill Climb Association members were also competing on their motor bikes and sidecars. The dominant machines were those from Austrian manufacturer, KTM – Paul Jeffrey setting the quickest time on Saturday, and Tom Short on Sunday – both on KTM SMR’s.
Wiscombe Park are hopeful that at some point this season, they will be able to welcome the public back – that is of course all subject to the easing of restrictions. Please check on the Wiscombe web site www.wiscombepark.co.uk and Facebook page for all the latest news and updates.
Quickest times of the weekend
1 Ed Hollier Pilbeam MP62 36.46
2 Andrew Forsyth OMS CF04 36.94
3 Andy Short OMS CF07 37.47
4 Tony Wiltshire Ralt RT34 37.96
5 Ben Bonfield Jedi Mk4 38.16
6 Simon Clemow Radical SR1 38.29
7 Dave Greenslade Radical SR1 38.32
8 Tom Williams MWR Storm 39.26
9 Paul Crocker Jedi Mk1 40.04
10 Andrew Dinner Pilbeam MP62/82 40.26