Stuart Wing - HarvestFest13-09-20Stuart

Shelsley Walsh Newsletter

September 2020

2020 at Shelsley Walsh has given us some truly fantastic days of speed hill climbing, fun days and spectacle with five weekends of what would normally have been a seven weekend competitive season but thanks to all of the MAC Members and friends of the hill it all came together.

 

Members’ opportunity to drive Shelsley, spectate once we were happy we had taken extra measures to keep people distanced plus some thrilling sport on the hill with some of the fastest hill climbing we’ve seen for over seven years. We also had a brand new set of Top 10 Run Offs for Tin Tops, MAC Members and Sunrise Championship runners too to give those that extra thrill of being in the spot light during which many set new personal best times.

 

YouTube has sent the word of Shelsley Walsh far and wide to all corners of the globe and we know you’ve all enjoyed the chance to watch Shelsley from afar or even watch yourself on the hill to see those lines!

We are already working on plans to enhance 2021 for MAC Members so stay tuned with our social pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as here on ShelsleyWalsh.com.

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Shelsley Walsh 2020 in numbers

  • 30,000+ views on the Shelsley Walsh YouTube channel  

  • 4,662 competitive runs up Shelsley Walsh

  • 200 Arrive & Drive runs

  • 115th year of Shelsley Walsh 

  • 50 helpers over two Working party days

  • 11 days of competitive action

  • 7 Top 10 Run Offs, one of which for Motorcycles

  • 5 days of YouTube broadcasting

  • 2 class records - Robert Kenrick - 1100 class 24.58 secs and Sean Gould - over 2 litre class 22.73 secs

  • 22.71 - the second fastest ever run up Shelsley by Alex Summers

  • Countless smiles from drivers and spectators in beautiful summer sunshine

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John Watson visits Shelsley

Five time F1 Grand Prix winner John Watson was a welcome guest at Shelsley Walsh in September when he was in the area. Having heard about the hill but never had the chance to visit he was blown away with the speed of the quickest cars, the challenge of the hill and the attitude of all the drivers on the day. 

 

After having a swift run up the hill in the course car ‘Wattie’ watched from the Bottom Ess slot and was soon giving advice to the going past. ‘Wrong gear’, ‘More gas’ or ‘I had one of those once’ was an oft heard expression. He didn’t quite see a 22 second run from Gould or Summers but he did vow to return along with David Addison, Wattie’s co-commentator in the TV booth for the GT3 races around the world.

 

Watson won the first F1 race for Penske at Austria in 1976, the first and only Penske F1 victory before winning the first Grand Prix in a full carbon tub car at Silverstone 1981. Later that season he suffered a huge crash at Monza that snapped the car in half with the engine going one way and the tub going the other…but John hopped out and was OK. That really was the first example that carbon tubs were strong as well as stiff to not flex under load. 

Alex Summers 22.71 seconds

After 4,661 competitive runs in 2020 it fell to the very last one for Alex Summers to do the fastest time up Shelsley Walsh this season with an amazing 22.71 seconds in the DJ Firestorm Cosworth V8. The stunning commitment, the theatre of the very last run, the broadcasting of it all on YouTube and all in a car that wows the crowds with its sound and menacing looks laid for a perfect story to cap off 2020. With the outright record set by Martin Groves in August 2008 of 22.58 seconds and no 22 second runs since 2014 with Jos Goodyear, Shelsley has seen Sean Gould and Alex rattle off a thrilling number of fast times of late.

 

Summers was still letting 22 seconds soak in a couple of days later. “I was sitting on the line and I saw Trevor’s time in front of me (PB for Trevor at 23.10) and I thought ‘Ah, that’s rather good’ so I thought that there was a good time in the hill there and then. You’ve seen the splits and I’m very happy to get to Bottom Ess so well (quicker than Groves’ record) even if I lost 0.15 through the Esses over my previous best split the same day. If I could take that best Esses split forward with that last run then I’m getting closer to Martin (Groves’s) record.”

 

All the more impressive was Alex was on tyres from June 2019 but what appeared from the rush of fast times towards the end of 2020 was that the track is not as bad as some thought for a record to be on the cards.

 

“Yeah, there’s proof the hill still has the time in it as well as the car still having lots of potential too after three years with the V6 in the back of the Firestorm. We still have another 1500 revs to go (to 14,500rpm) from where we’re at as well as some electric stuff we can fine tune too but overall the proof is that the car will do it.”

 

“What I must say is that if it wasn’t for Sean Gould doing the times earlier in the year then things might’ve been different. There’s nothing like that competition bit of pressure and people such as Sean, Trevor Willis, Martin Groves’ time in the first place keep the fire lit underneath me. Thank you for pushing me.”

 

Sean Gould said, “It’s been a great season for me to get into the groove with my car that is only in its second season. I had to get up to full speed with it while I also am so happy to have supported Shelsley by being there and I hope putting on a show through YouTube and at the track. The GR59 is more than capable of taking the record but I’m gradually getting up to speed with it; it’s quick! Over the winter nothing will stand still technically with a few more ideas we have here at Gould so 2021 will be very exciting.”

 

All of this now means the ’22 Club’ is now made up of Martin Groves with 22.58 seconds, Alex Summers 22.71, Sean Gould 22.73, Scott Moran 22.83 and Jos Goodyear 22.86 and all with six time Champion Moran in the same car as Gould next year too. The race is on for the Shelsley record!

 

The on board of Alex’s run is on all three of our social media channels but here is the direct link to Facebook. ​

Holiday at our  Shelsley Walsh  Cottages 

The perfect chance to spend time away in the English countryside right at the base of Shelsley Walsh is now available. After the MAC purchased the cottages at the base of the hill last year, an extensive ground-up maintenance has taken place and brand new furnishings added to both properties so now the two stunning cottages at Shelsley Walsh hill climb are ready for your break away in the glorious setting of the Teme Valley.

 

Named Segrave after Henry Segrave’s success at Shelsley in the late 1920s and Campbell after Malcom Campbell’s numerous visits to the hill in the 1930s. The pair of drivers regularly traded outright Land Speed records from 1924 to 1935 when the mark was moved from 146 mph to 301 mph. There are still trophies awarded to successful drivers at Shelsley Walsh each year that were originally awarded to Segrave and Campbell.

View the Campbell Cottage

View the Segrave Cottage

Gould in a Gould

Sean Gould has been driving hill climbs on and off since the early 80s with quite a break in-between until the latest GR59 appeared a couple of years ago, but now he’s come into a fantastic purple patch with the 4 litre Judd V8 behind him. Quick in his debut season in 2019 with records taken, his focus was upon a championship challenge in 2020 but we all know what happened to a disrupted season. However, Sean was out as soon as he could at our MAC Members’ day on July 18th getting his eye in, building the speed in the car.

 

Come September he was on stellar form with a 22.73 second run even though there was a wiggle in between the Esses that cost him time and probably the difference between the record and the 22.73 he ultimately did. 

 

Sean Gould said, “It’s been a great season for me to get into the groove with my car that is only in its second season. I had to get up to full speed with it while I also am so happy to have supported Shelsley by being there and I hope putting on a show through YouTube and at the track. The GR59 is more than capable of taking the record but I’m gradually getting up to speed with it; it’s quick! Over the winter nothing will stand still technically with a few more ideas we have here at Gould so 2021 will be very exciting.”

The very first Tin Top 10

Our late August meeting had a brand new Run Off to cap the day off in the shape of the Tin Top 10. The spoils went to Damien Bradley and Steven Darley for a 1-2 finish with their Subaru Legacy that was bought of a lady in total bog standard form…but that was a long time ago. 

29.19 seconds was Bradley clocked an impressive 29.19 seconds from 29.44 of Darley ahead of a returning Roger Banks' 31.34 in his class record holding Audi A4 V8.

Bradley pulled a massive 122mph over the finish line with the 700+ bhp 4WD Legacy, something he'd been aiming for since his first competitive visit to Shelsley in July.

Richard Brant in the rapid Renault Clio was fourth ahead of Peter Flanagan's Mini Cooper GP and Olly Wright in his Peugeot 106GTi.

We will aim for another Run Off with roofs next year! 

Harvest Festival Shelsley

The aptly named Harvest Festival weekend over September 12th and 13th was just brilliant with the sun shining and a dry track giving some very quick times indeed, so much so that Robert Kenrick and Sean Gould broke the 1100 and unlimited capacity class records and then a real showdown between Alex Summers and Sean Gould with sub 22 second runs being traded between them amongst some great views and a relaxed atmosphere as MAC Members and Spectators. The weekend set the scene for the following weekend at the Autumn Speed Finale that had a full entry both days as is now par for the course and again some personal bests then set by so many drivers throughout the two days.

 

Peter Tomlinson 

I was privileged to be at Bottom Ess when Alex did that 22.71 run. When the time came up on the screen everyone broke into spontaneous applause. What a brilliant way to finish the season. Thank you MAC and Shelsley for having the strength of character and determination to keep this unique sport on this historic hill alive in such dreadful circumstances.

 

Gordon Lang

How lucky have we all been to have witnessed Alex & Sean battling over the last 2 weekends? Can't wait for it to start again next year, hopefully in better times with all the top cars and drivers back, thank you Shelsley, see you next year as 2 new members.

Maggs Day Centre

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The Harvest Festival weekend had tables in the wooden barn and the Member’s tent for donations of food and supplies for the Maggs Day Centre in Worcester for those who are less fortunate than ourselves in terms of somewhere to live and sleep. By the time the car was loaded up to go to Worcester it was down a bit of the suspension to say the least! 

With the difficulty of events and attending them this year the guys at the centre are concerned that some donation won’t be as big as in previous years, but were heartened and extremely thankful of the time, care and donations made but so many at Shelsley. 

New drivers at Shelsley Walsh 

New drivers at Shelsley has been a great thing to see this summer with a whole host of drivers attacking Shelsley for the first time in all sorts of cars of all sorts of ages. Tom Weaver has been coming to the hill for many a year but he sat in a Formula Ford for the first time this season and immediately got the buzz as did Max Hawkes in their family Formula Ford, getting down to a 36.41 second run in September. 

 

Alex Bones brought his Audi A3 with now 500bhp three times to the hill and managed to get to a very respectable 32.77, John McQuillan had done the Driving School and naturally wanted to jump into competition with his Mini Cooper as did Adele Hunt while James Evans used the 4wd Subaru Impreza for his first year on the hill too. The flash of colour Kevin Knight brought to the hill was brilliant too in his Russell Brookes look-a-like Talbot Sunbeam. Rallying heaven…

 

Don’t forget that Alex Summers started in the Formula Ford class and look at him now!

2021 Dates

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The latest 2021 dates for your diary are all up on the website here so ink them in well ahead! 

Members’ Day

Our final day on the hill for people to try out their own cars went well on September 25th after a little bit of damp on the track in the morning but enjoyed a trouble free day of running. Everyone had a great time - sometimes warmer in their cars than out of them, but all with huge smiles.

Photoshoots at Shelsley Walsh

We’ve had two photo shoots at Shelsley Walsh recently with the 130R Performance crew using the hill in both direction under sunny skies for some great pictures while Car Mad Dad came along in his BMW M2 to get a feel of what it would be like. How good are these pictures of the Mini? A great sense of speed.

 

For Car Mad Dad, search on YouTube 'Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb BMW M2 Competition'