Shelsley Walsh Newsletter
Dear Friends of Shelsley Walsh,
We hope you are all doing well and keeping safe during these times of lockdown and social distancing but we thought we’d give you some Shelsley Walsh articles and stories to go along with. We’ve also got some hill climb cars to colour in for the aspiring hill climbers of the future or maybe of today too.
For competitors who are hungry to fire up and attack the first '64 feet' of the season, you’re just as keen as the fans of speed hill climbing are to see it all happen too. If you’e entered a meeting you will have already received an email outlining your entry is safe here for whenever we get going again - you’re automatically on the entry list.
We’re thinking of plans as to how we may be able to get going again, but until then we have to wait until the Government and Motorsport UK allows us to.
In the meantime, stay safe and we look forward to seeing you all here at Shelsley Walsh when it’s safe to do so.
The Team at Shelsley Walsh and the Midland Automobile Club
Sir Stirling Moss
As many of you know, Sir Stirling Moss died on Easter Day leaving a huge hole in the hearts of many motorsport fans the world over. He was the patron of the Shelsley Trust that kick started and drove forward the renewal of our 99 year lease at Shelsley Walsh in the mid 2000s. He came to Shelsley at either ends of his career but here’s Stirling presenting Graeme Wight Jr with a £1000 cheque for breaking the 25 second barrier for the first time at Shelsley after a 24.85 second run.
The money had been put up by Reg Phillips, the cheque having been written out for a while, but finally on June 2nd 2002 Graeme took it during the tremendous run of form he was having in the Gould GR59 V6 that ultimately took him to two British Speed Hill Climb Championships in 2001 and 2002.
Graeme is on the podium at the end of the day with Tim Mason and Rob Turnbull.
Pictures from Tim Robbins and John Charters
Colouring in Templates
We’ve been on to the constructors of some of the Top 12 cars and come up with something for all ages to colour in, so here’s a Gould GR59 of reigning Champion Wallace Menzies, a DJ Firestorm, an Empire Wraith and a Force WH to print out and colour in.
The Gould took outright records at Prescott, Loton, Harewood and Wiscombe in 2019 with Sean Gould and Wallace Menzies. Maybe you’d like to put a Formula 1 colour scheme over the top of a hill climb car…?
When we get going again at Shelsley, bring your drawings in as we’d love to have a look!
Top 12 Drivers Update
Will Hall was the fastest man up Shelsley Walsh in 2019 with a 23.18 second run in August and is always spectacular with his Force X-Tec that shuns the big V8 trend using a 2 litre turbo.
With Ian Dayson and 1989 British Hill Climb Champion Ray Rowan always at his side with the prep and engineering of the car, Will has gone from a lad coming to the hills with his Dad, Mike, to a championship contender, but what’s a foot for when the car next comes to the start line in 2020? “Mainly we’ve taken 30kgs out of the car to make it go quicker without more power. I’ve also taken 10kgs out of myself by going out on the mountain bike! We don’t have a huge budget but we had some unlucky breaks last season so over the off season we’ve made a cam cover that extends to join the tub to stop the sub frame breaking due to the sheer amount of torque the engine produces. That’s what lost me a run or two last year so I think that’s the thing that’ll give me that step up.”
Sean Gould had a great run towards the end of last year with a new outright record at Prescott in September with the ‘works’ Gould GR59 but were it not for a few niggles he believes he could have had more results in 2019.
“A pushrod broke towards Bottom Ess last August and that really hurt my chance of a really good run at Shelsley for the car. I was 0.4 secs faster than my previous best to that point when it broke so I’d say I was on course for a 22.7 or a 22.8 second run. The data backs that up from the car but I can only look forward to seeing what I can do when we get back hill climbing. I was as good as flat through Crossing on the data…”
The engine is different from the British Championship winning Gould of Wallace Menzies as it has a 4 litre Judd V8 that has had a brilliant track record at Le Mans and the WEC in LMP2, although now it’s capacity is a little more than the initial 3.5 litres. “It’s more money to start with over some other engines but it’s bullet proof and won’t need a rebuild for about six years. The centre of gravity is a bit lower as the V angle is a bit wider than an XB Nicholson McLaren but it’s very usable.”
No matter how many times you hear figures of big power, one is always in a little disbelief when people say that 680bhp is ‘usable’ up narrow hill climbs, but seeing what Sean Gould did last year, it’ll be very interesting to see how things go in his second season in the car.
See more pictures of the Gould GR59 on our facebook page.
10 Years Ago
Martin Groves won the June meeting with 23.15 seconds and then the August meeting with 23.39 seconds. Derek Bell came to Shelsley in a Bentley Continental and also drove Ash Mason’s Pilbeam MP88 Judd V8, the 5 time Le Mans winner. Wallace Menzies was building experience with his DJ, Oliver Tomlin was going well into the 25s with the Pilbeam MP88, Graham Wynn was in the Force Sportscar, The Moran Gould was yellowy/orange, Trevor Willis had a carbon unpainted nose and Richard Spedding was in the orange Force.