Four decades of champions celebrate 70 years of British Hillclimb

British Hillclimb champions spanning four decades joined a celebration of 70 years of the national championship at Shelsley Walsh last weekend

Four decades of champions celebrate 70 years of British Hillclimb

Stars names of the discipline joining the special event included six-time champion Scott Moran, five-time champions Martyn Griffiths and David Grace, four-time champion Martin Groves, triple champion Martin Bolsover and late 1970s title winners Alistair Douglas-Osborn and David Franklin.

Mike Pilbeam and David Gould represented the manufacturers of specialist hillclimb single-seaters, between them having taken all bar four titles across the last four decades.

Ray Rowan, one of only four drivers to take the title in a car of his own design, was reunited with his 1989 Roman.

Famous cars from the earlier years of the championship were on show, including the Marsh GM used by Tony Marsh to take three of his six titles in the mid-1960s, and the Cooper-Jap used by David Boshier-Jones to earn a hat-trick of crowns from 1958-60.

The son (Stephen) and grandson (Ryan) of the late David Hepworth drove the mighty Hepworth 4WD that took the 1969 and '71 titles as many former champions and their cars took to the hill for demonstration runs.

The weekend also marked 112 years to the day of the inaugural event at Shelsley Walsh.

Ernest Instone took the fastest time of the day (FTD) in 77.6s on the un-surfaced track in 1905, while Raymond Mays (ERA R4D) set FTD during the venue's inaugural British Hillclimb Championship event in June 1947 at 41.5s.

The current nine-year-old record stands to Groves at 22.58s - last weekend's FTD went to Will Hall (pictured above), who recorded in a 23.21s in his Force.

Other winners across the four top-12 run-offs for the 2017 championship were double winner Wallace Menzies (Gould GR59) and 2016 champion Moran.

One of only two drivers, along with Marsh, with six titles to his name, Moran has been hillclimb's benchmark for the last decade.

"It would be nice to go for a seventh title one day," he said during this year's limited programme in his Gould GR61X.

"I think the car's still got a championship or two in it.

"Hillclimbing is very intense. It is maximum concentration and maximum fun."

shares
comments
X-Factor for F1 engineers

Previous article

X-Factor for F1 engineers

Next article

Leading team JHR suspended from competing in Ginetta categories

Leading team JHR suspended from competing in Ginetta categories
Load comments
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

General
Feb 17, 2021
How Radical's latest machines fare on track Plus

How Radical's latest machines fare on track

The lightweight sportscar manufacturer has not rewritten the rulebook with its latest machines, but the new SR3 XX and SR10 still provide a step forward on its previous successful models

General
Feb 8, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Plus

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them

General
Jan 31, 2021
How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory Plus

How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory

The New Zealand Grand Prix's mix of rising talent and big-name stars thrilled the crowds (yes, remember crowds?) assembled for the Toyota Racing Series meeting at Hampton Downs last weekend and left distant observers craving a repeat

General
Jan 26, 2021
How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going Plus

How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going

OPINION: The 67th edition of the Macau Grand Prix might have been a largely muted affair to the outside world without its international influx and star line-ups, another victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organisers deserve huge credit for keeping the party going

General
Nov 24, 2020