The 2018 season will start at Shelsley Walsh over May 5th and 6th with the Midland Hill Climb Championship drawing some fast cars, new faces and never been seen before cars to the 113 year old hill. The single seater entry is nearly brim full as people test out their modifications from the winter months to see if they can advance, improve and lower their personal best times, while the production based cars will also be seeing if they can knock on the door of some quick times too. The Lotus classes are also busy with both historic and newer cars from the marque going head to head in the opening round of the Paul Matty Sports Car Championship.
However, there are some new combinations appearing at Shelsley for the first time. David and Allan Warburton have bought the hugely quick Gould 59 from race car designers Gould Engineering that Sean Gould took to 7th in the British Championship last year. With a 1600 bored out Suzuki Hayabusa engine in the back of the beautifully built car that weighs just 300kgs, David’s aim is to be getting into the all important Top 12 Run Off each time he’s in the car. David’s been coming to Shelsley for as long as he can remember and started hill climbing when only 17, partnering his father Allan in a 2.5 litre Caterham in which he’s managed to crack the magic 30 second bracket - a Shelsley ‘barrier'. The pair now live much closer to Shelsley after moving to Leysters, just a mile over the border into Herefordshire so their local hill will be targeted more.
One of the most popular cars ever seen at Shelsley in recent times returns too as Johnathen Varley has bought two-time British Champion Graeme Wight Jr’s GWR Predator. The car did have a 3.5 litre Ex-F1 V10 but Varley has put his BDG 2 litre into it as he learns the car. “It's going to take a little bit of getting used to moving from my 1977 March to a 21st Century modern car with full carbon, radial tyres, a semi-auto gearbox and massive aero grip, but I’m really looking forward to it. We have a new floor to come soon so that will give it even more grip through Kennel and Crossing at Shelsley.”
Varley’s car has been painted in his regular blue from Wight Jr’s red, but the car will be eagerly watched by many fans of the Worcestershire hill climb as he builds speed and confidence in the car - something that shouldn’t be a problem for the Telford based driver.
…And for something completely different, Will Gough will bring his Lotus Carlton to the hill for the first time. As a regular competitor Gough knows his way up the hill in his Sierra Cosworth but wants to see what more power will bring him. “As Shelsley is a power hill I thought this a good time to try out the 370bhp I have as standard with the Lotus Carlton. I’m sure it will be quicker…if my bravery lets me do it! I think many people will be interested in seeing the car too as it’s a 90s classic.”
Discounted advance tickets are available HERE up until the Friday before the meeting.