Fantastic finish to Shelsley Walsh season
The final competitive events of the year took place with a capacity entry list at Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb, hosted in perfect conditions over the weekend, where several championships also reached their conclusions.
Burntwood driver Steve Barnard clinched the Midland Speed Championship title in his space-frame Audi TT for the second year running and commented: “This has been a fantastic year for me as the car has run faultlessly and I won by quite a margin which proves that last year’s win was not just a fluke!”
The ever-popular Paul Matty Sports Cars Lotus Championship was won by Tony Shute who exclaimed that his wonderful Lotus 69 racing car was merely ‘a chassis and 11 banana boxes of bits’ only two years ago, so his patient rebuilt and hard fought season’s campaign has been a real success.
Championship organiser Paul Matty, said: “This all started 26 years ago when myself and four friends took part in a driver school and it has grown steadily ever since, now attracting well over 20 competitors in a wide variety of Lotus cars, both sports and racing versions.
“The championship is decided on a unique handicap basis that we have created ourselves, simply to ensure a fair comparison as the Lotus cars taking part are all so very different and this is the first year that we have ever had an equal tie for second place, for drivers David Hamillton and Geoff Stallard.”
Guests over the weekend were competitors in the Morgan Sports Car Club Techniques Speed Championship and the title for this year went to classic vehicle restorer George Proudfoot, aged 73, of Fareham, in his beautiful 1939 Series One, which he has owned since the mid 1970’s.
Steve Small won the The Revington TR Register class in his TR7 V8 and Geraint Evans took the honours in the Porsche Club Speed Championship class in his 911 Carrera.
David Snelson won the Pirelli Ferrari Hill Climb Championship class in his Ferrari F430, with Graham Beale and Matthew Eady respectively winning rounds of the Classic Marques Speed Challenge.
Other class winners on Saturday included Andrew Till in an MG ZR105, Dave West in a Peugeot 106, Chris Berrisford in a Subaru Impreza, John Bradshaw in a Westfield, Mike Gallery in a Mini Cooper, Paul Jones in a Lotus Exige, Duncan Andrews in a Porsche Cayman, Chris Jones in a Force TA, Russell Haynes in a Zeus ZR163, Chris Green in an OMS 28 and Fyrth Crosse in his Dempster Ensign.
Sunday saw class wins for Roy Standley in a Mitsubishi Lancer, David Warburton in a Caterham 7, Tim Dennis in a Mini Cooper, Darren Balster in a Peugeot 205, Ash Mason in a Westfield, Darren Gumbley in a Force TA, Michael Tregoning in a Pilbeam MP88 and Hugh Whitcomb in a Mini Cooper.
Best time of the day on Saturday went to Chris Green with a time of 27.05 seconds in his OMS 28 and on Sunday, Richard Hollingworth posted a best time of 27.09 in his DJ Firehawk.
Mark Constanduros, commercial manager of hosts Midland Automobile Club commented: “As the season closes we look back on yet another tremendously successful year for the club, with entries over subscribed for all of our competitive events and with fantastic feedback on the highly successful Classic Nostalgia weekend.
“We obviously have a great deal to live up to next year, but the MAC team of staff, members and volunteers here at Shelsley Walsh is already making further big plans for the future!”
MAC stalwart and regular competitor Keith Harris, who took best time of day on both days of the Classic Nostalgia weekend in his Chevron B25 and B19 cars reflected: “The time and effort put in by everybody at Shelsley Walsh is a true credit to the club and its organising teams, and this Autumn Finale weekend has been the perfect ending to a great year of outstanding events.”