April 21st Loton Park
May 4th Prescott
May 10th Barbon
May 11th Harewood
May 25th Gurston
June 8th Shelsley Walsh
June 15th Doune
June 22nd Loton Park
June 6th Harewood
July 17th Bouley Bay
June 19th Val des Terres
July 27th Wiscombe
August 2nd Craigantlet
August 16th Shelsley Walsh
August 24th Gurston
September 7th Prescott
September 21st Doune

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Ben Butterfield takes two wins, and Adam crowned Champion in rookie year!

The clans had gathered at the Lothian Car Club venue for a different kind of Highland Games. Not Braemar but the Burn of Cambus. This was to be Young Pretender versus the established Monarch of the Glen! But the Furness Flier had other ideas!

In a rain affected weekend at Doune, 2 litre flier Ben Butterfield took a maiden win after a rain affected morning qualifying. He then proved this was not a freak win by blitzing the over 2-litre runners in a very wet afternoon session. Then the bubbly was broken open after the final British championship run-off of the season as Adam Fleetwood celebrated winning the championship in his first year in the unlimited class and at the age of only 23!

Ben Butterfield revealed that his afternoon win was truly touch-and-go. "I touched the barriers with both right hand wheels on the lower reaches and then went off track out of East Brae damaging the plywood bottom of the tub" he said, and then added with a smile "but I still carried enough speed through!" Ecstatic Ben just has to be Driver of the Weekend after his double, but Adam Fleetwood easily qualifies as Driver of the Season in taking the title. His displays all season have belied his age. He always looked in control and drove with a maturity to more than match his rivals. Father Roger cracked open the best champagne as Adam's connections and co-competitors toasted his success under their awning in defiance of the wet conditions. They also sang happy birthday to Trevor Willis!

Saturday practise was affected by early rain clearing by mid morning. The only two into the 39 second bracket were Graeme Wight Junior and Ben Butterfield who gave a warning of what was to come. Allan Warburton arrived with the recently built Dallara having suffered a broken right-hand rear suspension after getting a bit over enthusiastic in a practice session at Kames Motorsport complex on Friday.

After the usual Saturday night end-of-season partying, Sunday dawned chill and bright but the weather then deteriorated. Everything was fine for the final practise session but not for the first time this season, morning qualifying was controlled by light rain that intensified just as the dual driven big single seaters hit the hill. The most significant non-qualifier was Graeme Wight Junior and this seemed to signal that his championship challenge was over and neither Roger Moran or Simon Durling qualified. Martin Groves made it through guest driving Tim Mason's Gould after Paul Ranson had taken an unscheduled diversion in the ex Tony Marsh car. David Grace was back in a run-off but surprised to do it in the Brown family OMS.

Come the run-off Adam Fleetwood could only finish fifth in the greasy conditions but this safe drive was enough for the title. Father Roger finished a super third . Martin Groves consolidated his rise up the top 10 with a super second and Trevor Willis indulged in his regular giant killing to go 4th. But the plaudits were for Ben Butterfield with his maiden win. Scott Moran had a failure on the hill and father Roger recovered the car with Graeme Wight Senior's Range Rover in the lunch break. He later told us it looks like a crownwheel and pinion problem.

By the time of afternoon qualifying the rain had set in bringing a form of equality to proceedings, but it made for miserable viewing for the damp spectators. In the run-offs the rooster tails of spray were spectacular and the mist was closing in. Simon Durling damaged his car to finish a pointless weekend and out of next seasons top ten numbers to end a disappointing season. Third last runner Adam Fleetwood made an amazing time in the conditions and looked to have sewn up another win. We had not reckoned on barnstorming Ben who took another .07 out of Adams time. Last runner Graeme Wight made a superhuman effort in poor visibility but it was just not enough to defeat either Ben or Adam. Down the hill they came and it was time for the bubbly to pop!

Next years top ten "numbers" welcome several fresh faces to accompany new Champion and number one Adam Fleetwood in Ben Butterfield, Mike Dean and Scott Moran (who must have been holding his breath all weekend waiting for his tenth position). At number 2 is Graeme Wight Junior who must be wondering what he needs to do to get back that number one. More power, more downforce, less weight are all in the equation that equals agility. Only Team Wight know the answer and they ain't telling! In May you would have thought he would be numberless in 2004 but Grovesy is sixth! Old Man of the Hills Roy Lane still there at number 7. Tim Mason and Roger Moran still near the top in 3rd and 4th. Trevor Willis consistent all season in the diminutive OMS now up to 5th. Someone have a whip-round and get him a V6 shoehorned in to really put the cat among the pigeons! And while we are at it can someone do the same for Ben Butterfield.

Butterfields victories made him the tenth different winner this season.

Seasonal highlight for your scribe was Juniors almost supernatural performance in getting a 24.56 at Shelsley. The best ever drive in a hillclimb? And Roy Lane still winning. Taking Raymond Mays all time BTD record and getting a 24 at Shelsley in the Midland Championship. If (Heaven Forbid) it turns out to be the last ever Shelsley, who better to be in the record books.

What will next season bring? Big Judd in a well known current V6 car? New chassis? Established sprint men on the hills in new car/engine combinations? New engine specialists. What about a hush-hush V10? And there's still a shed load of Cosworth V6's somewhere. The old season has only just finished. Can you wait for the next? Keep coming back to top12runoff all winter long.

If you have the stamina see you at Prescott on the 28th September for the Midland Championship and Gold Cup Finale and Soap Box Gravity Car Racing. A few more sprints at Curborough and its shutters down on 2003. Ben Butterfield will be in Deryk Youngs car, Dave Kimberley in Bill Bristows car, Mike Sidgewick in with Bob Penrose, and ??? In with ??? Car wait and see itll be very interesting if it happens. See you all in 2004. Finally, please get that cheque book out for Shelsley Walsh to secure many more happy weekends on the hill.

Report courtesy of Eddie Walder - wet through but loving every minute!

(Many thanks to Eddie who also did the Prescott report from Sept 7th. Toby.)

Round 33 Round 34
Ben Butterfield 39.41
Martin Groves 39.82
Roger Fleetwood 40.00
Trevor Willis 40.44
Adam Fleetwood 42.61
Tim Mason 43.16
Grame Wight Snr 45.27
Steve Owen 46.02
David Grace 46.20
Russ Pickering 48.16
Mike Fitzsimons 48.77
Scott Moran Fail
Ben Butterfield 44.12
Adam Fleetwood 44.19
Graeme Wight Junior 44.21
Martin Groves 45.48
Trevor Willis 45.78
Tim Mason 45.94
Rob Turnbull 46.09
Mike Dean 47.25
Roger Fleetwood 47.38
Bill Bristow 47.93
Willem Toet 48.52
Simon Durling Fail

2004 Top Ten Numbers 
1 Adam Fleetwood
2 Graeme Wight Junior
3 Tim Mason
4 Roger Moran
5 Trevor Willis
6 Martin Groves
7 Roy Lane
8 Ben Butterfield
9 Mike Dean
10 Scott Moran