Thursday, May 8, 2014
Torbay Motor Club’s hill climb at Wiscombe Park on Saturday (May 17), looks set for a thrilling contest, with a capacity entry of 130 cars and nearly 50 motor bikes filling another record entry for the Devon club’s first speed event of 2014.
Sponsored once more by loyal supporters, The Tipton Garage and Alansway Body Repairs, the competitors are entered in regional, club, venue and series-specific championships in a wide variety of saloon, sports and racing cars, with the motorcycle riders contesting the National Hill Climb Association series.
The season-opening events at Wiscombe on the final weekend of April saw keen competition for early championship points and further intense action is in prospect on the 914-metre East Devon track near Southleigh.
The event has drawn competitors from as far afield as Surrey, Hampshire, Wales and the Midlands; Torbay Motor Club members will be strongly represented, with 20 per cent of all the entries coming from the host club.
Local drivers in the production car classes include Lyme Regis resident Ryan Moore (Ford Puma) and Newton Abbot’s Les Connett in a Seat Arosa Sport; a tight tussle between Tiverton’s Mike Ford (Elise) and Exminster’s Jonathan Langmead (Elan S3) is in prospect, with Honiton-resident Robert Thomson (Vauxhall Nova) looking to spoil the Lotus party in the up to 1800cc class. Colyton’s George Koopman wheels out his Honda Integra again this year, although the Mk 2 Ford Escorts of Gary Pitt and Richard Sanders will provide stiff opposition. The over 2-litre A4 class always provides spectacular action and Yeovil’s Simon Neve (Mitsubishi Evo 6 RS) is up against two BMW 328is, Roy Bray’s Ford Escort Cosworth and three Subaru Imprezas, including Bridge Tyres and Wheels’ Mike Potter, the ASWMC and Wiscombe championships sponsor. Westfield SEi machines look set to dominate class B2, with Exeter father and son pairing David and Jan Yeo out to see off the similarly–equipped pairing of Lyme Regis’ Paul and John Sullivan and Exeter’s Ian Hodgson. C2 looks likely to be one of the most closely-fought classes, with Gordon Iles (Vauxhall Tigra), Newton Abbot’s Andy Stoddart (Vauxhall Nova) and Honiton resident Duncan Beer (Ford Escort Mk3) facing the ever-popular, and very spectacular, Martyn Pike (Feniton) in his Mk 1 Ford Escort. Reigning ASWMC hill Climb Champion Colin Satchell is looking to repeat his 2013 successes, once again sharing his Peugeot 205 GTi with Paul Drowne, and it is hard to see anyone else taking the top slot in C3 from him.
Class C4 is a mainly Teutonic affair, with three Porsche 911s and the rally-liveried Audi Quattro of Tim Clarke and Andy Trayner in the frame to share the awards. Class D2 should be a straight contest between Rodney and Hayley Thorne’s 5-litre Pilbeam MP43 and the spectacular, aerodynamically modified, Sylva Stryker of Tavistock’s Doug Bennett. Craig Moore from Lyme Regis is the sole entrant in the rally car class.
The racing car classes look more open and difficult to predict than for many a year and, in the absence of Ottery St Mary’s Ed Hollier, Saltash-resident Mike Lee, Newquay’s Ian Tucker, Neil Coles and South-Chard resident Stuart Browne will all challenge for victory in their OMS machines.
The unknown quantities are the Force machines of Simon Clemow and Peter Sexton, either of whom could spring a surprise for Fastest Time of the Day.
In the one-make classes, six DEWS club, eleven TVR Car Club and thirteen MGs will be aiming for top scores in their respective club championships.
The NHCA motorcycle riders round out the entry, including four 1300cc sidecar combinations and most of the top ten riders from 2013, all competing for honours in this year’s championship. The event is a qualifying round of the two regional, two local and three marque hill climb championships: The Association of South Western Motor Clubs Bridge Tyres and Wheels Point S 2014 Hill Climb Championship, The Association of Central Southern Motor Clubs Hamilton Classics 2014 Speed Hillclimb Championship, The Bridge Tyres and Wheels Point S 2014 Wiscombe Hill Climb Championship, The 2014 Torbay Motor Club Speed Championship, The 2014 TVR Car Club Speed Championship, The 2014 Luffield MG Speed Championship and the 2014 Downton Engineering Works Social (DEWS) Club series The 2014 Classic Marques Speed Challenge and The 2014 Alpine Renault Championship.
The action starts with practice sessions in the morning, followed by the first of two competitive timed runs after lunch.
Students from Newton Abbot College have once again been invited to demonstrate their Greenpower 24 entrant ‘Team Lucy’. The diminutive lightweight electric racing car, built and run by the students under the watchful eye of John Musty, and sponsored by Torbay Motor Club, will run downhill on the section in front of the main spectator area during the lunch break and will also be on display in the main paddock.
The following day’s event, Sunday’s Wildlife Wiscombe Hill Climb, promoted by Taunton and Burnham-on-Sea Motor Clubs, is also a qualifying round of the first four of the above championships.
Entry on the day is £7, including free parking and paddock transfer; accompanied children under 14 are admitted free. The gate is open from 10am, with food and refreshments available all day.