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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Well what a day out in the Gloucestershire countryside. A duff forecast from Michael Fish inducing everyone to arrive with woolly jumpers leaving us to depart red as lobsters and having been witness to two records.

Graeme Wight Junior continued to do exactly as he said he needed to do at this point in the season by getting the points in the bag before the others started to get settled into their new cars. Two wins at Prescott for Graeme Wight Jnr and a record on the last run of the day means he has a full quota of 41 points from the first two rounds. Yes, he is still winning, but as with Michael Schumacher in Spain, the others are getting closer and are already snapping at his heels with their frustration of his dominance of recent times. This however is something that the reigning Champion is looking forward to&

"Its just as well that I won today as I forgot the trophy from last year so I felt a bit guilty and so had to win today!" said the Scot although the assembled crowd missed the dry humour.

With a new speed trap positioned on the approach into the Orchard corner, Wight Jnr was always the fastest by a considerable margin all weekend. The trap would register 107mph, but in truth he was a little faster beyond the trap at 110mph according to the data in the car.

"The engine is just so good at the moment it really is the best part of the package." Was another reason for his wins, but from the outside his morning run was very punchy, positive and meaningful. It was in no way lurid or ragged. The clatter of gears through back pressure of the engine as he changed down into Pardon showed he judged the braking to a T, but then on the exit of the corner, with the clock in the foreground, he was well on the power before 20 seconds had appeared on the display. He may have only broken the record by a hundredth, but they all count - particularly on a cold day.

Tim Mason screwed the coolant pipe back onto the radiator after his Loton Park mess up to be the only one to get close to Junior all weekend. It was much more the Tim we know rather than the one we saw at Loton. The Inkberrow driver is really running on a budget this year and what he is doing is very good indeed with the 'old' GR37.

"Everyone was tutting at me after Loton when the coolant came out of the car, but it was only water - I haven't enough money for ethylene clycol!"

Now we come into who did best behind Wight Jnr and Mason. Where shall we start? Well Scott Moran's morning run was fantastic. A punchy and convincing run from the Shropshire Star even if you didn't look at the clock. Superb throttle control on the double declutch change down with an engine that is not one of the easier engines in the paddock to control. 8th place from the morning and then a 4th from the afternoon meant Father, Roger had no option but to get stuck in! He did but the tension from the spectator area was brilliant as he was up against his son's time. Nothing like competition from within the same car&.!

David Grace had the second of his drives in Simon Durling's GR37XB V8 for a 3rd and and fifth. The five time champion still has his tremendous speed that we saw from the Mallock, the MP43, the MP58 and of course the original Gould chassis that is now Durling's. We believe this may be the last of the drives he is having in the car for a few meetings, but we look forward to his company at hill climbs throughout the year. Grace did hand the prizes out at the end of the day.

Simon Durling spun in the morning and then was 10th in the afternoon. Not a good day at the office for the 4th man in the hunt last year. Maybe the 'fluster factor' of sharing upset his quiet rhythm of normal.

Ben Butterfield was the best 2 litre runner just 0.02 behind Lane in the morning for 6th and then a smidge back of Mike Dean's Gould for 7th in the afternoon. BB is quick and a run in a big car will keep many others on their toes.

The Fleetwood team did not have a good Sunday after an excellent Saturday. The new Gould flew up with Adam in the damp and cold conditions on Saturday, but Father Roger had an off exiting the left from the Esses and smote the bank on the right. Never again will he hold on to the wheel as it whipped around dislocating his thumb which b****y hurt! With suspension adrift, Adam never got a run all day which was a shame, but they car was going back with David Gould anyway to Newbury and it'll be ready for Barbon.

Trevor Willis was at the back of a tightly bunched group for 9th in the morning and then 8th in the afternoon to be 'just' 0.43 back of 5th place Grace. Now on methanol the car has a bit more top end but quite a bit more torque.

Mike Dean was a star! The car now with the full high nose is really getting underneath him. 6th in the afternoon behind very illustrious names makes him up there for man of the day in our view! Well done Mike.

Willem Toet went barrelling into Orchard in the morning and lost it, only to recover the car in time to make Ettores as a left hander. Throttling off on entry speed in the afternoon into the same corner for his sole run off of the day, he then squirted the car up the rest of the way. Interesting to see the pictures of Toet's MP72 and it's attitude to the road at the front. Very level on the front end. Downforce or suspension work has been good.

Mark Budgett got into both run offs and was not really expecting it until watching the first class runs unfold.. the 1100cc with now 180bhp started off doing 91 mph into Orchard, but then it got a little slower on every run, eventually letting go on him in the afternoon run off with a spin and a some grass inspection. Will lose out to the big cars at Barbon and Harewood, but will attack class records with his dirty laugh&.

Martin Groves could only try and ring the neck of the 2 litre as much he could but it was not quite enough. The fastest qualifier from Loton just failed for a point.

Man of the meeting? Not easy that one.

Wight Jnr for getting a record and winning the final run off by over a second.
Scott Moran for 4th and beating a 5 time champion
Mike Dean for getting up there
Mark Budgett for getting into both run offs
Richard Marshall for the class record (Peugeot 205)

Next meeting in the Tran-X British Hill Climb Championship is at Barbon Cumbria on Saturday 10th May with Harewood the day after. Reports by email and then up on the web Monday.

Does anyone have a web address for Barbon?

COMMENT by Toby Moody
(Not the view of the British Hill Climb Championship)

People come and go in speed hill climbing as in any other sport. I was brought up watching different drivers and a whole host of DFVs and Hart 2.5 and 2.8 engines - UNSILENCED!
AD-O only won the championship once, but was always stunningly fast at Shelsley. 26.08 in August 1983 stood to proves that - a record that was not beaten until July 1990 by Martyn Griffiths who was quick with Hart and then the first of the DFR V8 engines in the back of the MP58. Martin Bolsover was quick in anything and ended up clinching three titles - the last of which in the Pilbeam MP43 with a 2.5 Hart in the back. God he was quick&. David Franklin won the Sprint and Hillclimb Championship in the same year, 1978 when the Sprint championship meant something. Chris Cramer won with a V6 in the late 70s, and then won in 1985 with the Gould 84G.
James Thompson was one of the revelations - one which may never happen again. To win the Championship before he was 21 years old was stunning. I remember I had a poster on my wall of him sideways into the Bottom S at Shelsley. Total car control all of the time&
Charles Wardle won it once in 1988 but lost it to Ray Rowan the year after in his self constructed Roman (Rowan /Toleman). He blitzed them and went off to go and run a race team - something he does to this day.
Roy Lane's experience shone through to take the title in 1992 and 1996 after 1975 and 1976 and is still rattling cages today with the new Gould! Priaulx had presence in and out of the car. He was young, but had a very level headed way of approaching things. Yes, one could say he was using hillclimbing as a means to an end, but we knew that at the time, and here we are eight years later and he has a drive in the ETCC with BMW GB. I never forget the record he set at Harewood in 1995. The thing just slithered, danced even, up the hill. It looked easy& but of course it wasn't.
Grace held records with the Mallock that stood for years. He had / has a tremendous ability to be cool when he needed to and lark around to have the juxtaposition in his own mind to level up the weekend. Remember that when he won his three titles in the Gould, he never had datalogging. He just got in it and drove it.
Mark Colton should have won the championship - we all know that.
Roger Moran won in 1997, with the MP72, but soon the carbon cars were coming and a different engineering style came to riding the bumps.
Graeme Wight Junior was always quick and the Scots were always telling us 'down south' but you never believe people until you see the proof in the pudding yourself. They were right and taking the Doune record by 1.49 seconds from Priaulx says it all.

So - the point? Well there are others who could have won rounds if they had the right car. Likewise there are others who shouldn't have won rounds due to a car advantage but that is a fact of motorsport and will always be. However, the driver has still got to drive the car!

So who do you think will be in the top 12 run off in a 2 or 5 years time? Or at least who would you like to see there?

In alphabetical order a selection& who else do you have in your mind? Email me and let me know.. [email protected]

This will be a very open and at times

Mark Budgett - Yes it has the grunt, but to peddle anything with 180bhp into run offs is pretty impressive. Has to lose some ballast though&(Joke Mark, Joke)
Ben Butterfield - Thinker. Keeps his head down. Just loves the whole weekend.
Adam Fleetwood - Got the kit now after easily being on top of the 1100. Got the speed. Champion one day.
Martin Groves - probably got the quickest reactions and best car control around. Enjoys the whole weekend. Would outdrive the others to the title: without datalogging too..
Scott Moran - proven rally speed. Still bedding in with a big car, but proved he is climbing the metaphorical hill at Prescott.
Adam Steel - What he does in that Martlet is incredible
Trevor Willis - Another 2 litre giant killer in the OMS.
Tim Wilson - Again, what he does in the 1200 OMS is amazing. Will be watching Fleetwood's progress through the transition to the big class.

I have missed some out - let me know who they are.

All pictures by Toby Moody and John Charters except Durlings Spin by John Maycock. (Note the attitude of many of the cars through Orchard corner, particularly the angle of the front wing against the track. Compare Mp88 with Gould, and then look at how hard Trevor Willis is leaning on his 2 litre OMS with the outside front scrubbing against the track, whilst the inside of the left hand wheel is harder touching the ground.)

(John Charters has MANY more digital pictures of many competitors if you wish to contact him, with a request, then send an email to and we will rummage around...)





Round 3 Round 4
  Speed Split Time
Graeme Wight Jnr 107 24.?? 37.99
Tim Mason 98 24.23 38.48
David Grace 99 24.56 38.81
Roger Moran 100 24.30 38.96
Roy Lane 93 24.50 39.51
Ben Butterfield 95 24.80 39.53
Mike Dean 96 25.09 39.87
Scott Moran 97 25.12 39.92
Trevor Willis 93 25.02 39.95
Mark Budgett 89 25.30 40.23
Jim Robinson 89 25.90 41.42
Simon Durling Fail    
  Speed Split Time
Graeme Wight Jnr 106 23.6? 37.41 Rec
Tim Mason 100 24.14 38.52
Roger Moran 99 24.24 38.63
Scott Moran 98 24.47 38.95
David Grace 95 24.71 39.27
Mike Dean 97 24.92 39.58
Ben Butterfield 94 24.94 39.61
Trevor Willis 96 24.93 39.73
Willem Toet 83 24.64 39.79
Simon Durling 100 24.86 39.83
Martin Groves 93 25.38 40.09
Mark Budgett 90 Spin