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Records galore at final Combe sprint
Event 32 at Castle Combe on 23/10/2021
At Bristol Motor Club's rescheduled Great Western Sprint at Castle Combe on October 23rd the weather was kind, allowing competitors to set plenty of new HSA class records on a dry and not too cold track.
The three competitors who have all scored a full complement of 9 maximum scores in 2021 - champion, Rob Thomson (Clio), Peter Taylor (MX5) and Andrew Webber (Elan +2) were all present and duly broke the exisitng HSA records. A fitting end to their successful seasons. Peter O'Connor (Westfield SE) and Simon Bainbridge (SBR Crono) also broke the exisitng HSA records.
Most of the Class championship winners had been decided prior to the event but Pete Goulding (Mygale Ecoboost) nosed ahead of Graham Blackwell (also in a Mygale) to take Class L by a point and sixth overall in the championship.
Mike Smith and Bob Bellerby were sharing the Striker for this event but after practice were losing coolant. A fix saw them out for a single T2 run each. This left Tim Monk (Fisher Fury) to take Class B1 in the championship.
The enthusiastic Formula Ford contingent comprised Geoff Ward (macon MR8), making his first ever visit to Combe and completing a dominant season in Class J1, Simon Broadbridge (Van Diemen RF87) having his first and very enjoyable learning year in a single seater and finally, Carole Nicholls (Nike) who was finishing a 34 event season and looking forward to 2022 in her newly acquired Mini.
In the competitive 1100cc racing car class, John Loudon (Force HC) was running a stock engine but was able to take the class win from Ben Bonfield (Jedi MK4) who won Class I in the championship.
Tim Monk, Class B1 champion
Ben Bonfield, Class I champion
Pete Goulding, Class L champion
THOMSON SEALS THE TITLE
Event 31 at Curborough on 10/10/2021
On the second day of their Curborough double-header, the HSA held the penultimate round of the Triple M/Pirelli Speed Championship on the figure of 8 course. Just two competitive runs were possible with a slightly larger field than the previous day, boosted by the annual appearance of the Pirelli Ferrari Championship runners. With another class record Rob Thomson claimed the Championship, even though his closest rivals also broke their class records. Thomson, Peter Taylor and Andrew Webber all scored the maximum points from their best 9 rounds and with all three still on equal points, it was down to the number of class records across the season to separate them. This was Rob’s 13th record and with only one round left, at Castle Combe, it is no longer possible for Peter (currently with 11 records) or Andrew (with 10) to deny Rob the title in his Renault Clio on the tiebreak.
HSA class records were also set by Peter Goulding, who recorded FTD in his Mygale, and a delighted Les Buck in his Pringett Mistrale in the pre-94 Formula Ford Challenge. Richard Summers won the latter class overall and cemented his second place in the 6-event Challenge while Paul Morcom ended the year third and Simon Andrews was fourth.
Jay Elliott just failed to complete a record breaking double in the 2-litre Roadgoing class but won over Dean Cubitt, while Rob Kuschel, Peter O’Connor, Stephen Laing, Anthony Brown, Stuart Bickley and Nicholas Scott were other HSA class winners.
The 11-strong field of Ferraris were led by Champion David Snelson in his F430, but the star of the show was Jon Goodwin’s bright red Lusso 250GT.
Rob Thomson - the 2021 HSA Speed champion (Steve Wilkinson)
Pete Goulding's FTD made it a Mygale double for the weekend (Steve Wilkinson)
Richard Summers took the Formula Ford class win and second overall in the Pre-94 Challenge (Steve Wilkinson)
The superb Ferrari 250GT Lusso of Jon Goodwin (Steve Wilkinson)
Event 30 at Curborough on 09/10/2021
Eight HSA class records were broken at Saturday's Curborough sprint on the 2 lap course as Rob Thomson took one step closer to winning the Championship. All three contenders for the title – Thomson, Peter Taylor and Andrew Webber – set new HSA class standards as did Jay Elliott (by 1/100th second), Stephen Laing, Peter O’Connor, Nicholas Scott (breaking Kerry Waine’s 10 year old rain-affected time by 19 seconds), and Graham Blackwell as the organisers managed to give the small field three competitive runs.
Blackwell set FTD with 51.40 in his Mygale single-seater, just 4/100 quicker than Peter Goulding's Mygale, and between them they broke Peter’s old record four times.
An early misfortune befell Anthony Brown whose Audi TT’s bonnet flew up and cracked his windscreen. After removing the screen he was allowed to compete by the scrutineers and enjoyed the rest of the day enjoying a new form of Audi air conditioning! Aside from the record-breakers listed, HSA classes were won by David Bennett, Anthony Brown, Stuart Bickley and Geoff Ward.
Outside of the Championship contenders the meeting saw the debut of Archie Ker and Morgan Hamer in the Junior Sprint class in their Citroen C2, the cousins’ respective fathers and OMS pilots, Wil and Ben, on hand to give plenty of advice. Another pair of sons of racing fathers were sharing a car in the 15 strong pre-94 Formula Ford Challenge class where Alex Coles (son of Neal) and Tom Morgan (son of Stephen) drove their Van Diemen to eighth and tenth in the class, which was won by Simon Andrews, his first win of the year, from Richard Summers and Geoff Ward. Tom Weaver was absent as he was representing Great Britain in the European Masters in Braga, but having already scored three wins he could not be beaten in the best four out of six competition.
A late entry from Richard Brant saw probably the first appearance of an Audi A8L in a speed event. The large saloon was very rapidly driven and Richard managed to split Golf 310R drivers Gordon Hick and Phil Darbyshire to take second in class and also get below 70 seconds on his third run.
The Alan Payne run-off at the end of the day, which gives class winners a chance to improve on their winning times, saw Andrew Webber retain the trophy which he won when it was last staged in 2019, this time in his Lotus Elan +2 as opposed to his Lotus 62 recreation as then. With an improvement of 5.55 seconds he was one of only three to better a class winning time, the others being Peter Taylor and Jay Elliott.
Graham Blackwell set Saturday's outright pace in his Mygale Ecoboost (Steve Wilkinson)
Richard Brant manhandles his Audi A8L around Curborough (Steve Wilkinson)
Archie Ker and Morgan Hamer made their Junior Sprint debut in their Citroen C2 (Steve Wilkinson)
Simon Andrews took his first Formula Ford win of the season (Steve Wilkinson)
Taylor goes joint top at Shelsley
Event 29 at Shelsley Walsh on 18/09/2021
At Shelsley Walsh on September 18th Peter Taylor (MX5) set a new HSA Class record (his ninth of the year) and joined Rob Thomson (Clio) at the top of the Championship standings.
Stuart Bickley (Jedi) also went well but just missed out on a maximum score by being a couple of tenths off his own Class record. Jay Elliott (Honda S2000) had a good result and moved ahead of Martin Ellis (Escort) in the Class A2 championship standings.
FTD went to Allan Warburton's Gould GR50 with a 25.62s ahead of Lindsay Summers' DJ Firestorm (25.93s). Finally, Ian Rolwlance (Metro 6R4) set a new closed car record for the hill.
Peter Taylor leaves the line (Rob Thomson)
FTD went to Allan Warburton (Rob Macdonald)
A closed car record for Ian Rowlance (Rob Macdonald)
Carole Nicholls is her rare Nike FF (Rob Macdonald)
Taylor makes his move at 3 Sisters
Event 27 at Three Sisters on 05/09/2021
At the Longton & District Motor Club's 3 Sisters sprint on September 5th Peter Taylor (MX5) set a new HSA class record (and won his class on the day) to move up to joint second with Andrew Webber in the 2021 Triple M / Pirelli HSA Speed championship.
Nigel Fox (Caterham and class winner) and Geoff Ward (Macon MR8) also set new HSA marks while FTD went to Jim Spencer in his 1100cc Racing Car class Reynard with a new track class record of 66.43s.
HSA records for Taylor and Webber as Blackwell takes FTD at Aintree
Event 26 at Aintree on 04/09/2021
Graham Blackwell (Mygale EcoBoost) took FTD with a 40.11s run at Aintree on September 4th from Rob Tonge's Busa engined Force TA on 41.26s.
Liverpool Motor Club gave comptetitors plenty of action with up to 6 runs on offer and Peter Taylor (MX5) took the opportunity to cement his third place in the Championship with a new HSA record and win his class on the day. Andrew Webber (Elan +2) broke his 8th HSA record of the season and won his class as did Alex Gilchrist-Jones in his EVO 9.
Geoff Ward, won the Formula Ford class as usual in his elderly Macon MR8 but was less than half a second away from his own HSA record set in his much newer Swift.
Graham Blackwell (Mygale EcoBoost) took FTD
Rob Tonge took 2nd FTD in the Force TA
THOMSON'S RECORD WEEKEND
Event 25 at Gurston Down on 29/08/2021
The second day of Gurston's August double-header saw Rob Thomson maintain his strong grip on the HSA Championship with yet another record in the Renault Clio, over three and a quarter seconds quicker than the one he'd set the previous day, to leave it at 40.70sec. Out again in his V8 Europa, Championship second place man Andrew Webber this time managed to reset the Class U2 record with a 38.25 while the third HSA record-breaker on the day, Dean Cubitt, lowered the A2 record to 38.10 on his way to winning another strongly supported Gurston 2-litre Roadgoing class.
Although Peter Taylor wasn't present on Sunday, the previous day's winner of that class ended the weekend with his MX5 firmly in the top three of the HSA Championship ahead of Ben Bonfield, who once again put in a fine drive in his Jedi to end the day on third FTD with his best time of the weekend. Ahead of his 1-litre Jedi on the road were the eventual winner of Gurston's Top Ten Challenge trophy Tony Wiltshire (2-litre Ralt-Peugeot) and second place man Pete Hammock (1.6 Empire Wraith -Suzuki) so Ben, a relative newcomer to the venue, vowed to be back next year to take on the Gurston regulars! Although his 31.25sec run was still half a second away from Simon Andrews' record with the OMS, it was enough to earn 13 HSA points.
John Amory three-wheeled his supercharged Cooper S round Karousel to bag the highest score behind the two record breakers, with 15 points. Other contenders in double figures were Jay Elliott, with 12 points in his Honda S2000, and Richard and Philip West in their Sierra XR4x4. Also on 12 points, Richard flung the sonorous silver saloon up half a second clear of Philip, whose 10 point score was matched by two single seaters; Luke Trotman's Force HC and Laurence Marks' Formula Ford Van Diemen RF84.
Championship leader Rob Thomson was on top form with two records over the weekend (Ian Beard)
Jon Amory heads for the finish line (Steve Lister)
Richard West understeers the XR4x4 through Ashes (Steve Lister)
Dean Cubitt was one of three HSA record breakers on Sunday (Steve Lister)
HSA'S GURSTON OPENER
Event 24 at Gurston Down on 28/08/2021
Rob Thomson maintained his front running Championship status with another record-breaking run in his Clio 172 Cup as the HSA series visited Gurston for the opening day of the August double-header weekend. Peter Taylor took just one run, but the MX5 driver had done enough to become the HSA's second record-breaker on the day, as well as taking the outright win in Gurston's strongly supported 2-litre Roadgoing class, which also contained seven contenders for the venue's home championship. These included HSA contender Dean Cubitt, who arrived at Gurston in the joint lead of the home series with his own Mazda. In Association terms he ended the day with a 13-point score, as did Clive Wooster in his Radical, but Cubitt had to settle for second place in the 11-strong Gurston class to Taylor who, despite missing the following day's event, hung on to his third place overall in the HSA Championship.
Next highest HSA scorer was Ben Bonfield with 12 points. Despite being a relative newcomer to Gurston, Ben was really flying in the Jedi Mk4 in a bid to maintain his place in the top four overall HSA standings. Although dropping to fourth FTD by the end of the meeting, after the first runs he'd held a brilliant second overall to Gurston ace Tony Wiltshire in his Ralt-Peugeot, the man who the following day would go on to clinch Gurston's Top Ten Challenge title for the third time.
Coming to Gurston in second place on the overall HSA standings, Andrew Webber forfeited the chance of closing in on Thomson as he'd opted to switch classes and field his charismatic V8 turbo Lotus 47D/62 replica for the weekend. Nevertheless he bagged a 15-point score in Class U2, while the points he'd previously gained in his Class U1 Elan Plus 2 were sufficient to maintain his Championship position, well clear of Taylor.
Gurston class winner Peter Taylor - third overall in the HSA series (Steve Lister)
Ben Bonfield held second FTD after the first runs (Ian Beard)
Andrew Webber switched to his Lotus Europa V8 for the weekend (Ian Beard)
Laurence Marks' Van Diemen RF84 (Ian Beard)
Event 21 at Hethel on 08/08/2021
Borough 19's Hethel sprint on August 8th provided a new challenge for HSA peed championship competitors. For this event the organisers had chosen to use the full, one lap, 1.7mile version of the fast and challenging Hethel circuit. This, of course, meant that there were no existing records so new ones would be set during the day.
Four runs were on offer but heavy rain appeared during the final run when only the very early starters had a chance of improving their times while the later runners abandoned altogether.
Championship contender, Andrew Webber (Elan +2) was looking for a maximum score but with no existing records had to make do with a fifteen point haul - along with the other HSA competitors. However, he was rewarded with a good second in a well supported Class A4, less than a tenth behind James Shore's Fiesta ST with Rob Kuschel third in his Mini Cooper S.
Paul Beesley's Westfield Megabusa got the better of Stephen Laing's Caterham R500 in roadgoing Class A8 while Ivan Russell's familiar red Anglia won the modified Class B10 with ease.
It was Jedis vs OMS's in the 1100cc Racing Car class with Mark Chaplin's Jedi MK6 winning with a 73.98s (and FTD) from Tony Beesley's Jedi MK4 with Simon Wallis' OMS 300M in third.
Rob Kuschel's Mini Cooper S - by Simon Reid (Fokus.media)
Tony Beesley leaves the line - by Simon Reid (Fokus.media)
Ina Russell concentrating hard in the Anglia - by Simon Reid (Fokus.media)
An Alfa on a Lotus track. Davie Man's 4C - by Simon Reid (Fokus.media)
Lady luck plays her hand at Wiscombe
Event 20 at Wiscombe Park on 01/08/2021
On the second day of Wollbridge Motor Club's National hillclimb meeting at Wiscombe Park on August 1st the weather and chance intervened to play a key role in determining the outcome of the Triple M/Pirelli HSA Speed championship.
With the two main contenders both needing to break records and achieve maximum scores, changeable weather conditions were not the ideal conditions for the contest.
Following a damp practice, T1 turned out to be very wet and competitive times just not possible. However, as T2 began the track was still wet but the sun had come out. Reigning champion and leader going into the event, Andrew Webber in his Elan +2 was unfortunately an early runner and was unable to get close to the time he needed. Challenger, Rob Thomson, had set a new record in his Standard class Clio 172 the day before but had he gone too fast? He came to the line about 10 cars behind Webber and on a rapidly drying track he was able to better his previous mark by about four tenths. In Thomson's estimation a couple of minutes earlier and it would have been too wet and then, a couple of minutes later, the heavens opened!
After the event, a phlegmatic Webber described it as 'a fun week-end' and felt that his title challenge was, in practice if not mathematically, over as Thomson moved into the championship lead with 9 maximum scores.
Running third in the championship Peter Taylor decided that the conditions were not worth the risk and sat out the timed runs. In a repeat of the previous day Ben Bonfield was awarded a class win in his Jedi MK4 while the fastest in class, Andrew Forsyth (OMS CF04), took the 'Interclub' FTD with a 42.61s.
As an indication of Thomson's good fortune in taking his run in such a narrow 'dry window' all the other HSA competitors were unable to set times anywhere close to their respective class records.
Rob Thomson rounds Martini to lead the championship (Andrew Webber)
Andrew Webber had a 'fun week-end' in the Elan (Geoff Pickett)
Martyn Turner's MNR Vortx (Geoff Pickett)
James Rushworth in the BMW E30 (Geoff Pickett)
Thomson edges ahead at Wiscombe
Event 19 at Wiscombe Park on 31/07/2021
Going into Woolbridge Motor Club's national hillclimb week-end at Wiscombe Park on July 31st the two main protagonists for the 2021 Triple M/Pirelli HSA Speed championship, Rob Thomson (Clio 172) and Andrew Webber (Elan +2) had seven maximum scores each to their names. With the best nine scores to count, the week-end was looking to be an important step towards the outcome of this year's title race.
The forecast for the week-end included plenty of showers mixed in with dry spells, so both tactics and luck were likely to play a part in proceedings. Faced with a 'softer' record Thompson needed to be careful, saying "I found it hard to judge my pace on Saturday and took 3.5 seconds off the record, a bit more than I'd intended, but the forecast looked better for Sunday so I hoped that the remaining margin would be OK".
Faced with a 'harder' class record, previously set by Mike Henney in his Elan S3, Webber needed a completely dry track to break it. He got very close, missing out by just three tenths.
Elsewhere, Peter Taylor maintained his third place overall in the championship with another new HSA class record in his MX5. Ben Bonfield always goes well at Wiscombe in his Jedi MK4 and broke the existing HSA record and was awarded first in class as the fastest competitor in the class, Andrew Forsyth's OMS CF04, took FTD with a 37.75s run.
Martin Ellis (Escort MK2) and David Bennett (Boxster) also scored well.
The 3 contenders: Webber, Thomson and Taylor at Wiscombe
Ben Bonfield's Jedi took first in class (Geoff Pickett)
Ian Ingleheart trying hard in the Westfield Cosworth (Geoff Pickett)
Julian Harber's Mini Clubman (Geoff Pickett)
Event 18 at Lydden Hill on 17/07/2021
Thirteen HSA Speed championship competitors made their way to the South East of the country for Borough 19's popular Lydden sprint.
Of the two (current) runaway leaders in this year's championship only Andrew Webber appeared in his Lotus Elan +2 and duly broke the exisiting HSA class record for a maximum points haul. He wasn't alone though, and Simon Bainbridge (SBR Crono) used the opportunity to take third place in the overall standings. Also taking maximum points were Jay Elliott in the Honda S2000 and Borough 19's Deputy Chairman, Stephen Laing, in his Caterham R500 who both won their respective classes on the day.
Ivan Russell went well in his Ford Anglia to come second in a competitive Mod Sports class to outscore Paul Quinnell's Peugeot 205 GTi leaving them tied on 29 points for the Mod Sports class in the HSA Championship.
Paul Quinnell in his Peugeot 205GTi (Kim Broughton)
Jay Elliott's class winning Honda S2000 (www.snapshotpics.co.uk)
Charles White's Elise S2 (www.snapshotpics.co.uk)
A rare beast. Clark Devey's Falcon Sprint (www.snapshotpics.co.uk)
Another Gumbley FTD as Thomson matches Webber at Loton
Event 17 at Loton Park on 11/07/2021
Darren Gumbley made it a pair of FTD's at Loton's two day July event with a 47.62s run in his Force TA.
Meanwhile, in the Triple M/Pirelli HSA Speed championship Andrew Webber (Elan +2) fresh from a good result at Llandow the day before, joined fellow front runner, Rob Thomson (Clio) and the pair continued their run of good form by both posting maximum scores. Although Webber is slightly ahead on points Thomsom has more new records so it is still very close.
Peter Taylor's Mazda MX5 set a new HSA class record and finished a very creditable third in the large and competitive up to 2000cc Roadgoing production class. Stuart Bickley (Jedi MK4) improved on the new record he set the day before and also won the 1100cc Racing Car class.
Martin Ellis (Escort MK2) and Maryn Turner (MNR Vortex) both scored well while Carole Nicholls (Nike MK4) was up against some strong opposition in the Formula Ford class.
Andrew Webber was at his best at Loton (Rob Macdonald)
Carole Nicholls in the Nike MK4 (Rob Macdonald)
Martin Ellis' smart Escort MK2 (Rob Macdonald)
Christopher Morgan's Mini (Rob Macdonald)
Gumbley's Loton FTD
Event 16 at Loton Park on 10/07/2021
Darren Gumbley took his Busa powered Force TA to FTD (47.95s) at Loton Park on July 10th 2021.
In the Triple M/Pirelli HSA Speed Championship the two leading protaganists were setting maximum scores. Andrew Webber was at Llandow while, at Loton, Rob Thomson was hoping to improve on his disappointing outing at Shelsley the week before. In the intervening period Rob had walked Offas Dyke and gone down with food poisoning so wasn't in perfect shape on Saturday and only felt up to a single timed run. But to Rob's surprise it was good enough for a new record and a maximum score to keep the pressure on.
Stuart Bickley (Jedi MK4) repeated his Shelsely class winning form with another win and new HSA record in the 1100cc Racing Car class where Elliott Gwilt made his fIrst appearance of the year in the interesting T89.
Wil Gough scored well in the pretty Alfa 4c while Tim Richardson had a good result, finishing a close second in the Roadgoing 'kit car' class.
One run was enough for Rob Thomson (Rob Macdonald)
Back in the Honda, Michael Thomson runs out of tarmac (Rob Macdonald)
FTD for Darren Gumbley at Loton (Rob Macdonald)
Webber scores at Llandow as Miles takes FTD
Event 15 at Llandow on 10/07/2021
Only three HSA Speed Championship comptetitors made the trip to South Wales for Bristol Motor Club's Llandow Sprint but it was worthwhile for reigning champion Andrew Webber who took a maximum points score to maintain his challenge for a repeat in 2021. John Bradshaw (Westfield SEiW) and Simon Broadbridge (Formula Ford Van Diemen RF87) fouind it more difficult to get near their respctive HSA class records but at least had the consolation of winning their classes on the day.
Steve Miles, taking a break from his British Sprint campaign, took FTD (and the Club's outright record) in his Van Diemen RF96 with a single run (after discovering a sheared wheel nut) of 68.76s from Dave Simms' RALT RT33.
John Bradshaw's Westfield SEiW (Tony Smith)
Dave Simms' RALT RT33 was second fastest (Tony Smith)
Simon Broadbridge's VD RF97 avoids the puddles (Tony Smith)
David Wheeler's unusual Renault R8 Gordini (Tony Smith)
Wet and dry Shelsley as Bickley takes FTD
Event 14 at Shelsley Walsh on 03/07/2021
Competitors arrived at Shelsley on July 3rd for the Reg Phillips meeting to be faced with dark clouds and persistent rain which continued through mid morning for the first practice runs. It began drying and although second practice was damp the organisers pushed on with the first timed runs before lunch to ensure everyone had at least one dry run. The meeting ran smoothly and, after a dry second timed run, the organisers offered a third run but the clouds re-appeared and the rain fell again although one or two drivers were lucky enough to improve their times as the track dried again.
Stuart Bickley took FTD with a time of 28.56s in his Jedi TDF which was a good effort considering the 'green' track. Stuart also won the hard fought 1100cc racing car class from Mark Schlaker's Force HC (28.81s) and Ben Bonfield making his first Shelsley appearance in the last 'hillclimb spec' Jedi built (30.52s). Also in the same class Luke Trotman was getting to grips with his smartly wrapped Force HC and not far off the pace.
Speedscene columnist, Peter Hubbard, was back with Maximus (the V8 two stroke powered Ultima ProSport), determined to complete several runs up the hill at pace. He succeeded, completing three timed runs, with a best of 45.10s and further development tasks identified.
2021 championship front runner, Rob Thomson, in his Clio 172 Cup and running on a new set of freshly shaved tyres for the occasion, was being sanguine about his chances of leaving the event with a maximum score due to the conditions and missed out on a new record by about half a second. Maybe a dry third run would have clinched it but on such rolls of the dice are championships won or lost.
Runner up in the Triple M / Pirelli HSA Speed Championship in 2020, Peter Taylor was back in his repaired MX5 and took a maximum points score to get his 2021 campaign back on track, moving up to fifth in the overall standings.
Rob Kuschel put in a good time with his Mini Cooper S to score well while the conditions appeared to suit the Fisher Fury of Tim Monk and he duly won the smaller Roadgoing kit car class. The large Roadgoing kit car class saw a good four way battle, won by Oliver Wright's Westfield from the Caterhams of Anthony Earl, Chris Bennett and Tim Richardson all covered by about a second.
Former champion, John Bradshaw, went well as usual at Shelsley in his Westfield to win the modified specialist production class
A Shelsley FTD for Stuart Bickley in the Jedi (Rob Macdonald)
A class win for Tim Monk's Fury (Rob Macdonald)
Peter Taylor was back in the MX5 (Rob Macdonald)
'Maximus' creates a startline smokescreen (Chris Bennett)
Webber keeps up the pressure at Snetterton
Event 13 at Snetterton on 27/06/2021
On the second day of the Borough 19 Snetterton Sprint week-end, Andrew Webber took his Lotus Elan +2 to a new HSA class record to score his fifth maximum points score of the season and extend his lead in the 2021 Triple M/Pirelli HSA Speed championship.
Performances were similar to the previous day although in the Formula Ford battle between Charlie Reilly's Van Diemen RF92 and Geoff Ward's Macon MR8 positions were reversed with the older Macon coming out the winner by half a second and move Geoff to third in the overall standings.
Simon Baingbridge's SBR Crono V8 again scored well to place him fourth in the Championship.
Competitors were impressed with the standard of both the venue and the efficient organisation of the event by Borough 19.
A new record for Webber at Snetterton (Simon Reid @ Fokus.media)
Geoff Ward's elderly Macon is quick (Simon Reid @ Fokus.media)
Good conditions but no HSA records broken at Snetterton
Event 12 at Snetterton on 26/06/2021
The first day of Borough 19's Snetterton sprint weekend on the Snetterton 100 circuit was held in fine conditions but none of the 16 Triple M/Pirelli HSA Speed championship competitors present were able to break the existng HSA class records. However, reigning champion and 2021 leader, Andrew Webber, in Class U1 had no record to beat so he duly set a new one with a view to breaking it on the following day.
One of the more closely fought battles of the day was in the Formula Ford class which saw Charlie Reilly back in his Van Diemen RF92, as his OMS2000M wasn't ready, up against Geoff Ward in his considerably older Macon MR8 (running with parts from his Swift SC92) and the pair were never separated by more than a second. Charlie just took the win by 0.11s but Geoff still scored well.
Chris Jones (Force TA) was making his first appearance of the year and led the 1100cc racing car class runners from Tony Beesely (Jedi MK4) and John Loudon (Force HC) although the car wasn't running as well as he had hoped.
Stephen Laing (Caterham R500) had his work cut out against Paul Beesley's Westfield Megabusa in the large 'kit car' class and was just over a second adrift with the pair setting their best times on T4. It was good to see Ivan Russell's mod prod Anglia back in action but he was unmable to approach the Class record - unsurprisingly as it was set by Keith Murray's mighty Audi 80 Quatro back in 2013! In the same HSA class Paul Quinell came in just behind Ivan with his Peugeot 205GTi.
Stephen Laing's Caterham R500 (Simon Reid @ Fokus.media)
Chris Jones was still quick in the Force TA (Simon Reid @ Fokus.media)
Ivan Russell in the lovely Mod Prod Anglia (Kim Broughton)
Paul Quinnell's Peugeot GTi (Kim Broughton)
Webber & Thomson continue HSA championship battle at Curborough
Event 11 at Curborough on 20/06/2021
The 2021 Triple M Motorsport / Pirelli HSA Speed championship round 11 took place at Curborough on June 20th on the Figure 8 layout for the traditional Owen Motor Club Graham Hill trophy event.
FTD went to Paul Tinsley's Dallara F397 with a 54.06s run while reigning HSA Champion Andrew Webber (Elan +2) and Rob Thomson (Clio 172) continued their battle for the 2012 championship with new HSA class records and maximum scores. Although Webber is ahead on points Thomson has an unbroken string of maximum scores and is looking to be a strong contender for this year's title.
Paul Tinsley's Dallara at Aintree recently (Steve Wilkinson)
Rob Thomson's Clio at Curborough last year
Tatham's FTD as HSA saloons go well at Prescott
Event 10 at Prescott on 20/06/2021
At the Bugatti Owners' Club prescott hillclimb on Sunday June 20th, Pete Tatham took FTD in his OMS 25 with a 40.11s run.
In the Hillclimb and Sprint Association's championship, 15 competitors scored points with the saloon fraternity turning in some of the best performances. Rob Kuschel and Jon Armory (both in Mini Cooper S) scored well and were separated by less than a second. Martin Ellis (Escort MK2 and former HSA champion, John Bradshaw, (Westfield SEiW) acheived good scores. Bradshaw won the HSA Championship class from Luke Trotman in his newly acquired Force HC.
Images courtesy of Stuart Wing of Capture Your Car Photography
FTD for Pete Tatham's OMS 25
Clive Wooster's Radical was 2nd in the BARC Championship class
Macdiarmid's FTD at a Forceful Barbon
Event 9 at Barbon Manor on 12/06/2021
At the Liverpool Motor Club's Barbon hillclimb on June 12th Forces took the top three places with Jim Macdiarmind in the ex Gary Thomas Force PC taking FTD (24.16s) narrowly from the Force PT of Robbie Birrell with the Force TA of John Stone in third. All three were covered by less than a second.
Reigning HSA Speed champion, Andrew Webber made the long (for him) trip and was rewarded with a good score to extend his 2021 Championship lead to 28 points.
Peter Taylor had problems with his familiar and successful MX5 and swapped to a Porsche 718 Boxster and scored well along with Geoff Ward in the Macon MR8.
Many thanks to Keith Thomas (competing in a Buckler MK5) for the photos.
Jim Macdiarmid's Force PC and Nick Scott's Force TA
Bill Drysdale's Porsche 904
Keith Thomas' Buckler MK5
Trickier day at Blyton
Event 6 at Blyton Park on 16/05/2021
The second day of the Longton Blyton Sprint week-end was held on the Outer circuit and HSA competitors found it harder to approach their respective class records than they had on the previous day's Eastern circuit.
Only Rob Thomson (closing the gap on series leader Andrew Webber), Alan Mugglestone (reversing positions with son, Nick, from the previous day) and John Loudon (knocking 0.7s off Chris Jones' old record) were able to set new marks.
Jay Elliott again had a good scrap to win the 2000cc Sports Car class in his Honda S2000 as did Nigel Fox in the over 1800cc Kit Car class with his Caterham.
Rob Thomson had a good week-end at Blyton (Anthony Mitchell)
A new HSA record for John Loudon's Force (Anthony Mitchell)
A class win for Anthony Brown's TT (Anthony Mitchell)
Webber extends lead at Blyton
Event 5 at Blyton Park on 15/05/2021
2020 Triple M/Pirelli HSA Speed Champion, Andrew Webber, extended his lead in the 2021 Championship at Longton's Blyton sprint week-end. He won the Pre '73 road car class on the day and set a new track record for that class.
24 HSA Championship competitors scored points and Rob Thomson continued his strong start to the season in his Standard Class Clio 172 with a new HSA Class record to maintain his second place in the standings. Mike Smith (Sylva Striker), Julian Harber (Mini Clubman), Nick Mugglestone (RAW Fulcrum), Geoff Ward (in a Formula Ford Macon MR8 replacing his familiar Swift) and Simon Bainbridge (SBR Crono) all set new HSA records and scored well.
Jay Elliott scored a good win in the 2000cc Sports Car class in his Honda S2000 while series sponsors Triple M Motorsport (Alan and Nick Mugglestone) were out in their RAW Fulcrum and were never more than a few tenths apart with Nick emerging the winner by three tenths beat the existing 1800cc Modified Specialist class track record by three seconds!
Andrew Webber, championship leader (Anthony Mitchell)
A new track record for Nick Mugglestone (Anthony Mitchell)
A class win for Jay Elliott's Honda S2000 (Anthony Mitchell)
Webber goes top as Montgomery-Smith takes FTD at Werrington
Event 4 at Werrington on 02/05/2021
With a new HSA class record and maximum points score, 2020 Triple M/Pirelli HSA Speed champion, Andrew Webber, moved into an early lead in this year's championship at Werrington on May 2nd in his Elan +2.
Philip Montgomery-Smith took FTD and a new hill record in 32.59s with his OMS 2000M while Ben Bonfield (class winner and third FTD in his Jedi), Martin Ellis (a strong 2nd in class with his Escort) and Rob Thomson (Clio) all set new HSA class records.
Many thanks to Howie Fowler for the images.
Andrew Webber (Elan+2) took the HSA championship lead at Werrington
FTD for Philip Montgomery-Smith's OMS
A good day for Ben Bonfield and the Jedi
Forsyth's FTD at Werrington as Webber moves up
Event 3 at Werrington on 01/05/2021
At the Plymouth Motor Club's Werrington event on Saturday May 1st, Andrew Forsyth took FTD in his OMS CF04 with a 35.05s run.
Half a dozen Triple M/Pirelli HSA Speed championship competitors made the trip and reigning champion, Andrew Webber, moved up to take a shared lead in this year's championship with a new HSA class record in his Elan +2. In the same class on the day as Andrew, Martin Ellis was involved in a three way battle for the class win. All three cars were covered by three tenths of a second and third place was still a good result in such a large class.
Rob Thomson took his Renault Clio 172 Cup to a new HSA class record and a good score.
Many thanks to Howie Fowler for the images.
Andrew Forsyth on his way to FTD
A new HSA class record for Rob Thomson
A competitive outing for Martin Ellis' Escort
FTD for Miles as Taylor takes Championship lead at Goodwood
Event 2 at Goodwood on 17/04/2021
At Bognor Regis MC's Goodwood Sprint on April 17th Steve Miles took a strong FTD in his highly developed Van Diemen RF96 (75.70s) from Steve Broughton and Matt Hillam in their shared Dallara F399.
Peter Taylor took his Mazda MX5 to a competitive second in class on the day, a new HSA Class record and an early lead in the 2021 Triple M/Pirelli HSA Speed Championship. Jay Elliott (Honda S2000) and 2020 Champion, Andrew Webber (Elan +2) also set new HSA Class records.
Tim Richardson had a good run in his new Caterham 420R and Peter O'Connor is clearly getting comfortable in his ex John Loudon Westfield - both drivers scoring well.
Steve Miles, FTD at Goodwood (Mike Curtin)
Paul Quinnell had a good run in the Peugeot (Mike Curtin)
A good score for Peter O'Connor's Westfield (Mike Curtin)
Lee Gavins monsters the finish line in his MNR Vortx (Mike Curtin)
HSA records for Taylor, Bellerby & Bainbridge as Willis takes FTD
Event 1 at Harewood on 11/04/2021
The 2021 Hillclimbing season opened at Harewood on April 11th with the BARC (Yorks) Spring National event. Trevor Willis (OMS 28) took FTD with a 50.51s run from Richard Spedding's 2 litre class GWR Raptor 2 and Alex Summers (DJ Firestorm).
Five Triple M Motorsport/Pirelli HSA Speed Championship competitors were present with Peter Taylor in his newly liveried MX5, Bob Bellerby (Sylva Riot) and Simon Bainbridge (SBR Crono) setting new HSA class records and the latter two winning their classes.
Our thanks to Chris Bannister of JCB Photography for the images.
Richard Spedding took an excellent 2nd FTD
Bob Bellerby's Sylva Riot was a class winner
A new colour scheme for Peter Taylor's MX5
Rounding off a curtailed season in style
Event 14 at Curborough on 11/10/2020
Eric Morrey reports
The Sunday event using Curborough’s figure of 8 course, was a completely different day, staying dry throughout.
In the Standard Car Class, Rob Thompson in his Clio 172 Cup took the win again, a second within his own HSA class record, with Terry Roberts taking second in another Clio, this time a 182.
Class A1, up to 1400 Roadgoing cars were next, with this time Martin Rowe in his Peugeot 106 Rallye taking the win. In the bigger engine class (1400-2000), Simon Kirton in his Elise won the class again, this time beating Oliver Wright in his Peugeot 106 into 2nd. In the over 2,000cc class, the 4 wheel drive cars were fighting it out again, this time though, it was Justin Andrews Subaru Impreza that took top spot. In the MX-5 class, Peter Taylor took another class win
In Class B2 for the specialist Roadgoing Cars, the AMS Murtaya of John Pick took his second class win of the weekend.
Modified Production up to 1,400cc cars (Class C1) were next, with Gavin Neate, in his Peugeot 106 taking the class win.
In Class C2 for Mod Prod over 1,400cc cars, Taras Andrusin in his Clio 172 Cup took the win .
In Class D for the Modified Specialist cars, the Ginetta/Caterham shoot out continued, with this time the Caterham taking the class honours, with Chris Goodreds beating the two Ginettas.
Simon Bainbridge (Chrono) was again the victor in the sports libre category, with David Large (Radical) second and Anthony Brown ( Audi TT) third.
Stuart Bickley (Jedi TDF) won the 1,100cc racing car class in a time of 51.51 seconds, which was also FTD. As with the previous day, Debbie Dunbar and Andrew Bisping placed second and third respectively.
An even bigger Pre 94 Formula Ford class ran next, this time with 15 competitors in 6 manufacturers’ cars. Simon Andrews narrowly took the win from Trevor Willis and Richard Summers.
Kelvin Broad (Force TA) again led the over 1,100cc racing car class, pushing Peter Goulding (Mygale) back into second place by 0.03 seconds on the second runs.
Philip Stader and Dave Nursey both drove Philip’s Mallock Mk 11A in the Pre 76 classic racing and sport racing car class, and Philip won the duel. Finally Pauline Goodwin and Jon Goodwin battled in their respective Ferraris with Pauline beating Jon, her 328 proving a little quicker than his historic and beautiful 250.
Andrew Webber (Lotus Elan Plus 2) won the merged classic road going and modified pre 1976 saloon and sports car class and in doing so added to his Triple M/Pirelli HSA Speed Championship points total to win the 2020 abbreviated series outright.
Rob Thomson took the class win in the Renault Clio 172 Cup
Andrew Bisping - OMS 2000M finished 3rd in the 1,100 racing car class
The season-ending weekend kicks of on a slippery Curborough
Event 13 at Curborough on 10/10/2020
Eric Morrey reports from the HSA’s Curborough weekend
The traditional season-ending HSA event at Curborough started off on the Saturday with a full entry for the double lap course. A damp and showery day, the track never really dried out.
In the Standard Car Class, Rob Thompson in his Clio took the win, with John Fox taking second in another Clio in the seven car class.
Class A1 saw Jamie Yapp taking the win in his shared Nova SR. In the bigger engine class (1,400cc-2,000cc) we had a great selection of different cars competing, with Simon Kirton in his Elise beating Nigel Trundle to 2nd in his Abarth 500. In the over 2,000cc class, the 4-wheel drive cars held the advantage in the damp conditions, with Alex Gilchrist Jones in his Mitsubishi Evo 9 taking top spot. Peter Taylor came out the convincing MX-5 class winner, finishing a full 7 seconds ahead in the tricky conditions.
Class B2 for the specialist Roadgoing Cars saw John Pick making the most of his 4-wheel drive AMS Murtaya to take the class win. Class C1 for the smaller-engined Modified Production cars saw Eric Morrey in his turbocharged Hillman Imp take the class win from Gavin Neate, after Gavin manged to spin his Peugeot 106 at the Molehill.
In the bigger-engined Mod Prod class (C2), John Stone in his impressive Ford Fiesta RS WRC rally car took the win from Taras Andrusin in his Clio 172 Cup. Class D saw a Ginetta/Caterham shoot out, with the Ginetta G33 of Graham Beale coming out ahead.
Class F for hillclimb super sports and sports libre cars was dominated by Simon Bainbridge in the fearsome 4.2 Turbocharged Chrono. His sole competitive run of 57.21secs was also enough to take FTD. Clive Wooster made just one competition run, beating David Large in another Radical into second place by a mere 0.08 secs. The 1,100cc racing car class was won by Stuart Bickley (Jedi TDF) with Debbie Dunbar (DJ Firehawk) second.
The large Pre-94 Formula Ford class had 12 runners. Simon Andrews came out the winner, with Richard Summers and Sarah Bosworth second and third respectively, all in Van Diemens.
The three classes for racing cars above 1,100cc were amalgamated, with Kelvin Broad (Force TA) the winner ahead of Peter Goulding (Mygale) and Graham Porrett (Lola Tegra T90). Bruce Atkinson (Alfa Romeo Junior) won the pre-1976 classic road going saloon and sports car class, while Philip Stader (Mallock Mk 11A) won the pre-1976 classic racing and sports racing car class.
Debbie Dunbar was pipped to second in class in the DJ Firehawk
Taras Andrusin Renault (Clio 172 Cup) lost out to John Stone in Class C2
Webber takes championship lead as title battle gets serious
Event 10 at Blyton Park on 20/09/2020
On the second day of Nottingham Sports Car C lub's Blyton Park double header, held on the Outer circuit, Andrew Webber (Elan +2) scored 15 points to take the championship lead. Peter Taylor (MX5) again went well and his 13 points score moved him into a close second place and Justin Andrews (Ipreza) took a maximum score to move into fourth behind, former leader, Andrew Till.
With his car repaired after his Saturday excursion, Pete Goulding (Mygale M13) set the early pace but with six timed runs on offer if was going to be a long afternoon. Steve Miles (Van Diemen RF96) quickly asserted himself and with a series of very quick runs managed to stay ahead of the pack, setting FTD with a 55.06s on T4. Chris Jones (Force TA) put on a new set of Pirellis and began to push the 998cc Suzuki engined car to hold second overall on T4 and T5 with a time 2 secs inside his PB. Sitting out T6 proved to be a mistake as Pete Goulding found some more speed in the Mygale and pushed Jones down to third. Terry Holmes (lola T90 Judd) would have threatened the top three but gearbox problems prevented him and shared driver, Graham Porrett, from taking their final two runs. Another driver expected to appear near the top of the timesheets was Glyn Sketchley (Force PT) but he lost a cylinder on T3 and took no further part.
Steve Miles was very satisfied (PB by 3.1secs!) with the latest iterations of the constant development of his 1996 vintage Van Diemen. He put his FTD performance down to new brakes, engine rebuild, SBD gearchange and traction upgrades and Triple M Motorsport driver coaching. He also had to contend with some noise issues which were solved by adopting his 'Goodwood' deflector tubes sending the noise in the opposite direction and saving 7Db without significant power loss. Simon Bainbridge (SBR Crono) joined Miles, Goulding, Jones and Andrews in beating the existing HSA class records.
Close competition was again the order of the day in a couple of the Lotus 7 Club classes with only fractions of a second covering the top runners. Peter Taylor again went well to win the 2000cc Roadgoing class while many of the other classes only featured one or two runners. The 1100cc Racing Car class was again won by Chris Jones but this time from Mark Anson (Jedi). Chris Price, from MBE, was guesting in the Force TA and quickly got to grips with the car, narrowly missing out on fourth place behind Mike Hull and Tony Beesley in their Jedis.
Chris Jones lifts a wheel on his way to an excellent 3rd place (Anthony Mitchell)
Steve Miles took a well deserved FTD (Anthony Mitchell)
Despite this dusty spin Peter Taylor moved into 2nd place in the championship (Anthony Mitchell)
Nigel Fox having a 'moment' in his Van Diemen (Anthony Mitchell)
Holmes takes FTD as Webber closes championship gap
Event 9 at Blyton Park on 19/09/2020
The first day of Nottingham Sports Car Club's Blyton Park double header was held in warm and dry conditions on the Eastern Circuit. The meeting was well received by competitors and run to COVID restrictions which meant reduced entries, more spacing in paddock, no awards, no briefing, everything electronic for sign on, extra ambulance brought in as normal rescue vehicles need a 3 hour decontamination which could not always be done and finally masks worn when you couldn't keep more than 2m apart.
After T3 Pete Goulding (Mygale M13) was leading the field from Steve Miles (Van Diemen RF96) and Terry Holmes (Lola T90 Judd) who was trying the latest spec AVON race tyres for the first time. A fail by Goulding on T4 (an off at Curva Grande and some suspension damage) left him out for the day and Miles edged ahead only to be pipped by Holmes on T5, taking FTD with a 60.78s run and having overcome problems with 2nd gear.
Peter Taylor (MX5) won the 2000cc Roadgoing class and kept up his championship challenge while in the same event class, Andrew Webber (Elan +2) scored good HSA championship points to stay close at the top of the table. John Wadsworth, also in an MX5, took the 200cc Standard Production class while Julian Harber (Mini Clubman), Simon Bainbridge (SBR Crono) and Goulding all broke the existing HSA class records and scored maximum points.
The consequences of the smallish (72) entry were plenty of timed runs and generally small classes. Exceptions included the 1100cc Racing Car class with 8 entries and this saw the return of Chris Jones' Force TA after being absent from racing for nearly two years. The Saturday event was the first time it had turned a wheel with the latest generation Suzuki GSXR motor and after a few teething problems (and running on very old tyres) got down to representative times and took the class win from Simon Wallis' OMS 3000M. Unfortunately, Martin Pickles blew the engine in his Jedi during practice and was out for the week-end.
Two of the Lotus 7 Club classes were very well supported and both were highly competitive with the first three runners in each class separated by less than 0.4s with Chris Whitlow and Robert Jacobs being the victors.
Andrew Webber made a championship charge at Blyton (Anthony Mitchell)
Terry Holmes took FTD in the Lola (Anthony Mitchell)
Julian harber broke the HSA class record (Anthony Mitchell)
Pete Goulding was on the pace at Blyton (Anthony Mitchell)
Bradshaw scores as Willis takes Run Off
Event 8 at Shelsley Walsh on 19/09/2020
One of the most striking things about the Midland Automobile club event (and reportedly the other successful events they ran in the preceding weeks) was the thorough and precise way in which the COVID-19 secure provisions had been designed and were carried out. And, all this without making it heavy handed or officious which led to a thoroughly enjoyable and, as near as possible, normal, experience for all. Indeed, it went beyond normal as many potential attendees, forced to remain at home, were enjoying the live video and commentary for all of the timed runs.
Hopefully, with this as a template we can look forward to a full 2021 season provided that the situation doesn’t deteriorate beyond current expectations.
The event drew a near capacity entry (and only a few no shows) including some of the British Hillclimb fraternity and the HSA, Paul Matty Lotus and the Classic Marques championships.
There was a Top 10 Run Off which was won by Trevor Willis (OMS 28) from Alex Summers (DJ Firestorm) by 5 hundredths, the latter having set FTD with a 23.01s during the timed runs.
The warm and clear conditions made for a perfect Autumn day with a number of competitors setting times close to or better than their PBs. Peter Hubbard was back again with his V8 two stroke engined Maximus GT and hoping to get in some good runs following a successful test at Snetterton a few days earlier. However, the diaphragms that control fuel flow into the carbs are very pressure sensitive (and different for each cylinder apparently!) and the atmospheric pressure difference between Norfolk and Shelsley was enough to cause the engine to run too rich. Modifications were made and the hoped for runs postponed until the following day.
Championship leader, Andrew Till was back in the Fiesta ST but, with the unfortunate cancellations of a number of his planned rounds, this was to be his last event and he was therefore resigned to losing his lead by the end of the season. Andrew was just beaten into second place in the 1400cc series production class by 0.25s by Victoria Hunt’s Cooper S. In the 2000cc class Charlie Delahunty and Andy Johnson were evenly matched in their MX5 but outpaced by some quicker cars. Justin Andrews was hunting championship points in his Impreza and took a good class win in the strongly contended over 2000cc class by a few tenths from Alex Gilchrist-Jones’ Evo 9 and Alex Bones’ Audi S3. Justin was moving on to Blyton the next day in his search for points.
It was also tight in the Roadgoing specialist production class with Chris Bennett setting a PB and just managing to stay ahead of Oliver Wright’s Westfield and Anthony Earl having his second event in his Caterham.
In the modified specialist production class John Bradshaw posted a storming sub 30s time (29.68s and a new HSA record) with his Westfield on his first run to win the class from Phil Cooke’s Caterham following Ray Lohr’s withdrawal after practice. John described the car now with a very powerful Cougar motor, a Triple M chassis set up and Pirelli ultra soft slicks as being near perfect resulting in a PB.
Clive Wooster was making a rare trip to Shelsley with his Radical SR4 and, after reminding himself which way the hill went, he succeeded in edging out David Bickley’s SR1 model in the Libre class.
In the 1100cc racing car class Stuart Bickley set an excellent 26.91s time in his Jedi but unfortunately Robert Kenrick was present with his Raptor and two seconds further ahead! Carole Nicholls was out in her trusty Nike Formula Ford and a tenth and a half off her PB. As usual the Paul Matty championship runners provided plenty of visual appeal although Tony Wallen suffered a front end damaging ‘off’ in his familiar Gold Leaf liveried Lotus 69 ending his day on T1.
A standout performance from John Bradshaw (Rob MacDonald)
Charlie Delahunty in her MX5 (Rob MacDonald)
Trevor Willis took the Run Off (Rob MacDonald)
Stuart Bickley in his very quick Jedi (Rob MacDonald)
Taylor scores at Wiscombe
Event 4 at Wiscombe Park on 23/08/2020
With a maximum score at Wiscombe on August 23rd, Peter Taylor and his MX5 closed to within a couple of points of 2020 HSA Speed championship front runners, Andrew Till and Andrew Webber.
The battle for FTD was waged between three pairs of single seaters - two Empires, two Jedis and two OMSs - and Paul Haines' Gould GR59. Almost inevitably it was the Gould that took the honours with a 36.36s run with the OMS CF04 of Andrew Forsyth the 'best of the rest' on 38.04s from Ben Bonfield's Jedi on 38.73s.
It looked like there may have been an Empire in the mix for FTD – Jason Tunnicliffe was out in his Empire Evo. On his final run, out of the tight Wis Corner, he caught the bank on the exit and the car became wedged. Fortunately, no injury to Jason, and the car seemed unscathed as well. What might have been....Jason has been quick in recent years hustling a Peugeot 205 – he switched to the Empire in 2019, so probably still learning the car.Eight HSA Championship competitors made their way down to Devon for Torbay Motor Club’s Wiscombe event. Even though, sometimes dark and ominous, clouds rolled overhead throughout the day the rain held off and the damp track under the trees after The Gate dried out enough to allow both Martin Ellis (Ford Escort) and Peter Taylor (Mazda MX5) to break the respective HSA records for Classes A2 and A2.1 and score maximum points. Andrew Webber(Lotus Elan +2) also ran well and just missed eclipsing the Class U1 record by a scant 0.19s on his final run.
Quickest HSA runner on the day was Tony Bonfield in his Jedi Mk. 4 with a 41.99 on his first timed run while, also competing in the single seater classes was Carole Nicholls with her beautiful yellow Nike Formula Ford who put in two very consistent climbs separated by just 0.07 seconds.
Both achieving useful points hauls were Julian Harber (Leyland Mini) who finished 2nd in Class C1 and Michael Smith (Sylva Striker) claiming 4th in a very competitive class B1. Andrew Till brought out his ZR105 for the first time since last October and ran alone in a specific MG class, scoring 13 points, his Championship lead cut to just two ahead of Andrew Webber, with Peter Taylor a further solitary point adrift in 3rd overall. Martin Ellis moved up to 4th in the table with his maximum score.
Motorsport UK Covid guidelines meant that there was a reduced number of competitors to ensure that social distancing could be maintained. The entry comprised of 100 cars and 40 bikes. Some competitors competed on the day before and there were also no spectators allowed – so it was a very different atmosphere to a normal Wiscombe weekend.
The event ran very smoothly, the only significant delay being caused by the need to retrieve Neil Catling’s Lotus Elise after an excursion in to the trees after Bunny’s Leap. Competitors were limited in the number of helpers they could take, there were no spectators allowed and viewing was restricted to Wis Corner. Refreshments were available throughout the day from the caterers and there was plenty of space to maintain social distancing in the paddock. Organisation and marshalling were both of a very high standard and a separate batch of motorcycles added spectacular variety. The appreciation of all those involved in putting on the event was shown with a round of applause at the end of the afternoon as the sun eventually emerged from behind the clouds and the 110 car competitors made ready to head home after a great day’s sport .
We have to thank Andrew Till and Nigel Cole for this report.
Paul Haimes on his way to FTD (Nigel Cole)
Ben Bonfield in the Jedi (Nigel Cole)
Andrew Till still leads the championship (Nigel Cole)
Peter Taylor took maximum points (Nigel Cole)
Till extends lead as Miles takes FTD at Pembrey
Event 3 at Pembrey on 16/08/2020
The second half of the Welsh Sprint week-end took place at Pembrey on Sunday August 16th following the unfortunate and last minute cancellation of Llandow the previous day - a decision that left competitors mystified. The organisers, showing commendable flexibility, allowed Llandow runners the chance to compete at Pembrey the following day even if they had not planned to do so.
Despite the predictions of heavy rain, competitors enjoyed two dry runs after lunch following a wet practice (exciting for the slick shod racing cars!) and damp T1. Steve Miles took his familiar and heavily modified Van Diemen RF96 to a relatively untroubled FTD with a 95.37s run from Dave Cutliffe's even more modified RF93 model (99.80s) and Martin Pickles' Jedi Mk1 (104.65s).
In all, 78 competitors set times and, of these, 10 Triple M/Pirelli HSA Speed Championship runners scored points, with four front runners beginning to emerge at the top of the table.
With another maximum score, Andrew Till is clearly getting to grips with his 'new' Fiesta ST and he extended his lead in the Championship. Andrew Webber also took a maximum score to keep in touch with his Elan +2. Although running in a different HSA Class, Peter Taylor almost matched Webber's time with his MX5 while Justin Andrews put in a typically competitive performance in his Impreza to win the large Roadgoing Class and sit third in the championship.
Off the track, competitors were impressed with gloved, masked and temperature taking 'check-in' as well as an excellent turn out of marshals who were much appreciated. Paddock management was well organised and the starting procedure was similar to that used at Combe and worked well. A new set of permanent garages have been erected behind the pit lane and competitors enjoyed a local, acrobatic air display team who were practising overhead for most of the day - " The aerobatic team were propellor driven - a very impressive mimic of a Red Arrows display with a corkscrewing aircraft around the tightly grouped formation of the remainder of the team! ".
Steve Miles receives the FTD award
The Pembrey paddock (S Miles)
Warburton's FTD as Till leads HSA Championship
Event 1 at Shelsley Walsh on 09/08/2020
The 2021 Triple M/Pirelli HSA Speed Championship got off to a welcome, if belated, start at Shelsley Walsh Reg Phillips Trophy meeting on August 9th with 18 registered competitors scoring points.
Outright honours went to the Warburton family, David and Allan, in their shared Gould GR59 with times of 25.12s and 26.78s respectively.
Held in fine conditions with a cool start the standout performance from the HSA Speed Championship runners was Andrew Till, running his ‘new’ Fiesta ST in preference to his long serving MG ZR105, who was the only competitor to set a new HSA Class record.
Peter Taylor was competitive as usual in his MX5 and scored well, as did Justin Andrews in the Impreza who also won the well supported large Series Production class. Andrew Webber was back in his Elan +2 and took second in the 2000cc Series Production class and so did Stuart Bickley (Jedi) in the 1100cc Racing Car class with a run good enough for 4th FTD.
An unfamiliar sight at a hillclimb was British Sprint stalwarts, Graham Porrett and Terry Holmes, in their big Lola Tegra Judd and Graham’s first hand report of the event, after a long gap from his first and only visit to the venue, follows.
“Useful advice was given to Terry and myself by various entrants although I am sure someone mentioned a long run off. When I went to the line first brake pedal was rock hard and no brakes I thought must need bedding in but no it was a seized front master cylinder. I went very gingerly but decided to blast it down to the line and soon realised that the run off not that long, stamped hard on the brakes which freed the cylinder and luckily the Lola stopped.
Terry started on a low 30’s and I, at 38s, ended up roughly were Terry started. He finished in 28’s - not bad for Sprint tyres. Although a Westfield finished on 30.07 and made me think my efforts a bit feeble. But ‘live to run another day’.
We were made very welcome the track manager, Gary, who visited and welcomed us. Garages were well spaced which was just as well as they are quite small and we needed two for all our kit. There were lots of signs on social distancing and a great canteen.
As had been the case on my previous visit, a long time ago, the event was very friendly and accommodating. The only drawback was 4, ‘30 odd’ second, runs in the car but the motorbikes had a top 10 run off.
Terry had the oil filler cap come off on his last run and it sprayed a small amount of oil on to the rear engine cover which looked a lot worse than it was and the marshals’ concern for the track kept him there at the finish until the meeting was over. They gave him water and shelter from the sun and he used paper towels to clean the car whilst he waited.
Other than the initial brake issue the Lola ran perfectly but it will be Blyton before we are out again.”
Like the July ‘Summer Spree’ event at Shelsley the meeting was streamed live and should be available to catch up on YouTube soon.
The Warburton's prepare for a run (Instagram @ShelsleyWalsh)
Graham Porett re-discovers Shelsley (Instagram @ShelsleyWalsh)
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