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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The opening round of the 2003 Tran-X British Hill Climb Championship may have had an expected outcome at the top, but only at the very top with 2 time champion Graeme Wight Jnr winning a damp and then dry run offs. The revelation of the day was Adam Fleetwood who took a 3rd and a very close 2nd in the brand new GR55 Gould with the lowly slung 3.3 V8 in the rear.

For a car Adam Fleetwood drove at Curborough only on Wednesday before the meeting for the very first time, he is a star for not just the future, but today.

David and Sean Gould had been working all hours God was sending to get the first two GR55s out of the workshops, but they did it and were relieved to see their new car get second in the championship coming out of the first meeting.

Wight Jnr was the one however to get out from the weekend with a maximum score from two wins. In damp conditions for the first run off he won by a full second, but as last runner of the day in the second one, he knew Fleetwood's time and therefore could see the blue Gould was quickest. Wight Jnr had to do it.. but got it all out of shape at the first corner up the grass bank out of sight of the paddock and the assembled masses. "I then had to really push, but not too hard.." He did indeed, getting the car through Keepers and up the straight quickly. However, he lifted up the straight as he was not sure that the front wing had been damaged in the minor off. "I lifted, but then I got back on the power quickly! I ended up doing 129mph not 135 mph up the straight." But in the end it was just enough to win Round 2 by 0.21 seconds.
Wight Jnr did say things at the beginning and end of the day though that were interesting.
Morning. "It's good that there are some other cars now in the championship that are on a par with mine as then people will not say I've only won the title in the best car."
Wight Jnr is doing himself a disservice in this comment as some other cars are better in other areas, but he was the one who still drove the car to the victories over the past two victories&a car that is not easy to master due to its immense capabilities.
Evening. "I am very very impressed with Adam (Fleetwood) and it is great that he is here to push us both along throughout this season."

Family Fleetwood had a completely new start with new everything after the two seasons in the OMS 1100. The brand new ice blue GR55 may have a little more power than the 2.5 V6 of Wight Jnr, but for the youngster to jump over from the 1100 class into -probably - the most agile hill climb car in the world, was extraordinary to witness. He almost had nothing to lose due to the jump in machinery, but he undertook the job with his head down and not getting wrapped up in other's talk.
"I didn't expect to be up there after only having driven it for the first time last Wednesday, but I can throw it around just as much as I would want to at the moment. What I do have to say is that I have the most amazing respect for the F1 drivers now."
Roger Fleetwood said, "You should have seen him after the first run he did at Curborough last week. He was just speechless with what the car could do. It is just awesome. The engine is awesome too and my thanks go to Leo, Si and Adrian for getting it all together."

Five time Hill Climb Champion David Grace made a return to driving on the hills as a guest driver in Simon Durling's GR37XB, the chassis in which he took three of his titles in even though it has now been massively modified. He said he had to learn how to drive his old car in a very different way, as well as adjusting to radial tyres in the same leap. "You can lean on these tyres so much more than the others. The negative camber on the fronts mean that through the quick corners with the tyre square on the road it has its maximum footprint and just enormous grip." There was some sort of problem with the car on the final run with David taking 7 bites to get off the line. Something was wrong, and whether or not things were connected, the engine dropped a great deal of oil all over the undertray at the top of the climb. The reason as yet is unknow, but poor Simon Durling never got a chance to take his second run off run.

Roger Moran lost the engine in the morning and when he dipped the clutch to bump it, the rears locked and round he went on the slippery surface, but the majorly modded MP88 was third in the afternoon only to Adam Fleetwood and Wight Junior. "The problem is that the engine will not tick over and so if you are not in gear or on the throttle it'll just die."

Tim Mason teetered up in the wet morning unfortunately slow enough not to qualify whilst in the afternoon a major cooling hose popped off early in the run to gush ethelene glycol all over the rear left wheel at a point in the afternoon when it was thinking very hard about raining again. "I didn't know about the hose and of course thought it was the track getting slippery." Not a day to remember really.

Ben Butterfield was the man so close and yet so far to a maiden Championship win in the morning when the track was wet. The 2 litre Dallara was second only to Jnr. "I like it when it is slippery as it gives me a chance to get in amongst them!"

Roy Lane got his GR55 home very late on Friday night with his 4 litre Judd in the back of it and appeared at Loton with a half painted car. He was super smooth in the morning run off to get 5th, but had mechanical problems in the afternoon. 2003 is the first time we have not seen Roy in a Pilbeam since& the March 6 wheeler? Answers on a postcard please&

Trevor Willis in the OMS 2 litre sped up to 4th and 6th. The engine has been rebuilt over the winter to now have a methanol head on it which may well only give it an extra 5 bhp, but the torque curve has really filled out so expect more giant killing from the tremendously talented driver.

Talking of talented drivers, Martin Groves has jumped out of the ATOL of last year& into the Paul Ranson Pilbeam MP82 (2 litre) for this meeting at least, and qualified fastest in the wet class runs. He just steamed up so much visibly faster itwas breathtaking. Alas it was not to be as there was a problem with the car after Paul had got the top and he never had a chance to have a crack at them. Shame as he is way ahead of every car he has driven so far. If he got into a GR55 then the goal posts would move a long way.

Willem Toet is back in a Pilbeam MP72 with a 4 litre in the back for most of this year's rounds and was out to emulate the Shelsley Walsh win that he took in Karl Davison's Gould a couple of years ago - again in wet conditions. However, he overshot at the top of the main straight, but still scrambled back on to get 10th in the morning. In the afternoon he bagged a 6th.

Mike Dean's Blue Gould now has a high nose configuration. Paul Haimes and Alan Warburton are still in their 2 litre Dallara but still Haimes qualified in the dry afternoon run off for a point ahead of Chris Merrick's MP72.

Man of the Meeting was Tim Wilson after winning the 1600 class in a 1200cc OMS being only a smidge outside the class record, but Adam Fleetwood takes the new top12runoff.co.uk Man of the run off award.

Prescott is next on May 4th

Round 1 Round 2
Graeme Wight Jnr 56.42
Ben Butterfield 57.45
Adam Fleetwood 57.55
Simon Durling 57.87
Roy Lane 57.95
Roger Fleetwood 59.41
Trevor Willis 59.47
David Grace 59.68
Mike Dean 60.34
Willem Toet 61.36
Paul Ranson 72.00
Martin Groves No Run
Graeme Wight Jnr 47.00
Adam Fleetwood 47.21
Roger Moran 47.61
David Grace 48.53
Trevor Willis 48.64
Willem Toet 48.81
Ben Butterfield 49.15
Tim Mason 49.57
Deryk Young 49.68
Paul Haimes 49.71
Chris Merrick 49.94
Simon Durling No Run