Wiscombe Park held the biggest meeting of the South-West motorsport calendar when it hosted the prestigious British Hillclimb Championships, writes Nigel Cole. 

It was clear from early on Saturday morning, the weather was going to play a big role in the weekend’s proceedings. 

After lunch, the drivers reported that the hill was almost dry, and the times tumbled with each run. There was an exciting finale to the day in the Top 12 Run Off – three times British Champion, and current Championship leader, Wallace Menzies, set a new outright Hill Record – 32.93s - beating the previous record set by Alex Summers last year, by just one hundredth of a second!

On Sunday, the hill was drenched in heavy rain which did not abate until early afternoon. The drivers of the fastest cars had to run on wet weather tyres, resulting in times around seven seconds slower than those achieved on Saturday.

The Top 12 Run Off again provided the exciting conclusion to the day. And it was all eyes again on Wallace Menzies who looked on course to top the times, until he made a very uncharacteristic mistake at the final hairpin, Martini, only yards from the finish line.

Wallace realised that he had carried too much speed up Castle Straight – the fastest part of the course – and was not going to make the hairpin, so he took to the escape road. This handed the win to 2015 British Champion, Alex Summers, who has finished runner up to Wallace Menzies in the last three Championships.

The outstanding performance of the weekend was by 18 year-old Plymouth racer, Alex Coles. He is currently the BHC Cup Champion – a national championship which he won aged 17 in his first season of motorsport. He clinched the title with two rounds in hand and set numerous hill records. This season, he is sharing an OMS 28 single seater racing car with his father, Neal, in the British Championship.

On Saturday, he qualified for the Top 12 Run Off for the first time and finished 8th collecting his first points. He repeated this feat on Sunday, and finished a highly respectable 10th in very difficult conditions.