This year’s Classic Nostalgia will be remembered for two things: the fabulous atmosphere in the paddock and on the hill throughout the weekend and also the weather forecast coming into the weekend with the amount of rain that fell that week. Indeed, some events locally were cancelled while we prepared but in the end the sunshine was warm and strong before that damn rain came for the second year in a row. We may have been unlucky with some meetings of late but there was much fun had and memories made.
The action was on and off the race track with lots going on but for the record books, Best Time of Day on Saturday was taken by Richard Brown in his Mallock MK17 achieving 31.25 seconds while hot on his tail was son Tom in the same car with 31.86 seconds. Richard knows his way up Shelsley as he used to hold the outright record when he brilliantly did 25.34 seconds back in June 1992. Third went to Shelsley regular Nigel Elliott in his turbo charged Triumph TR7 V8 with 32.44 seconds.
Ralli22 brought together the best collection of rally cars that will be seen at any event in the UK this year with the Prodrive built Subarus sparking memories of McRae, Sainz, Burns, Kankkunen and Solberg up our little tarmac stage. It was rumoured to be about £8m worth alone in that corner of the paddock.
The ESSO Delta Integrale was a show stopper too together with Tony Worswick's much admired Ferrari 308GTB and the most famous of all MG Metro 6R4s, the ex Tony Pond RAC car which competed in the Group B class. The WRC category was hotly contested between competing Subarus, Mitsubishis and David Wright's ex Carlos Sainz Ford Focus WRC. A small number of famous 1970s cars also competed including the ex Bjorn Waldegaard Porsche 911 RSR.
The wooden barn housed the Subaru WRC that Petter Solberg and Phil Mills used on the Monte Carlo Rally in 2003 to kick off their championship winning year. Resplendent with its fluorescent graphics against the deep blue paint it looked stunning.
The winning times over the weekend for the rally cars
Group B. Ali Serpen.
Computer Vision Metro 6R4. 35.86 seconds
Group A1. Tony Shields.
Best Time 38.02 seconds
Group A2. John Clayton
Mitsubishi EVO 9
Best time 32.84 seconds
WRC. Niall Moroney
Subaru Impreza WRC
Best time 32.89 seconds
Best Time Overall
Mitsubishi EVO 9
On Sunday, Best Time of Day was taken by Mark Harrison in his lovely ex Derek Warwick Formula 2 Toleman TG 280 with 30.85 seconds to get his name in the record books while only 0.15 behind was George Brown in the family Mallock MK17 with a 31.00 second run with older brother Tom, who we haven’t seen for a while, was third in the same Mallock on 31.96 seconds.
The MHD Watches Hero of the Day Award went to Philip Stader who was all arms and elbows with his MGB V8 into a slippery Bottom Ess as caught by his on board camera. He took home a brand new MHD CR1 watch thanks to Matthew Humphries.
In addition to the runs up the hill there was a Concours on Sunday with the four classes judged from an excellent array of cars. The outright winner was a 1959 Facel Vega owned by John Fletcher while the class winners all had a run up the hill to celebrate.
The winners of some Autoglym car care products in the Concours were:
Best in Show
1959 Facel Vega owned by John Fletcher
Best Pre War entry
Winner – 1934 Lagonda M45 owned by Mark Yeomans
2nd – 1937 Railton Cobham owned by Max Hunt
3rd – 1937 12/4 Riley owned by Phil Edwards
Best 1940 – 59
Winner – Morgan Plus 4 owned by Malcolm Lamb
2nd – Jaguar Mk 9 owned by Mike Tunney
3rd – MGA owned by David Humphries
Best 1960 – 85
Winner – Mini Cooper S owned by Derek Wilkins
2nd – Ford Escort owned by Simon Howles
3rd – Jaguar MkII owned by Richard Cook
Best 1960 – 85 Sports/GT
Winner – Triumph TR4 A owned by Eric Winters
2nd – Sunbeam Tiger owned by Andy Todd
3rd – Porsche 911E owned by Philip Sloper
The Retail Village had goods ranging from motoring books to handbags and luxury hampers to car polish and the Shelsley Shop did very well thanks to the ever faithful work by Rosemary, Drene and Janet.
The Courtyard was full all day as visitors were treated to entertainment on both days which included music from Vintage Jazz Revival, Steve Bishop and Chris ‘the Bishop’ Lydon and dancing from Coolmoves. On Saturday evening the entertainment continued as the Spitfires performed their mix of covers of Rock & Roll, Blues, Jazz, Soul, Rockabilly and timeless Pop.
One of the competitors said, “It was better than Goodwood because the number of spectators was just right for the venue. It made the whole weekend feel very special.”
As many saw, the wet track made tackling the hill very difficult under the trees at Bottom and Top Ess. Unfortunately on Saturday Peter Tomlinson, Chairman of Worcestershire County Council, long-time member of the MAC and an avid supporter of the Club, had an off at Top Ess in his MGC Sebring Roadster but fortunately without injury. Once back in the paddock he joked how he might’ve made the front page of the news on Monday.
Peter said afterwards, “Please would you convey my sincerest thanks to all who helped me on Saturday, from the medics who asked all the right questions before lifting my crash helmet off, to the marshals who comforted me and got me out of the car, to the one who kindly gave me a card with details of Holdens at Bromyard with the words 'You might be needing this’. Dave Nursey brushed off any thoughts I had that my car was doomed by saying “No problem, Russ will fix this”, and to Richard for his expert handling of rescuing the car without causing any more damage, and to you and your staff for the tea and sympathy. This was a side of the organisation I had no intention of ever experiencing, but like everything else about the MAC and Shelsley it worked like clockwork with empathy built in. Finally, apologies to all the other competitors who were delayed by my misfortune, the reception I received from so many when I eventually returned to the paddock was heart-warming and typical of the camaraderie which exists at Shelsley and elsewhere in the hill-climb world.”
The next weekend of action at Shelsley Walsh is for the Reg Phillips meeting on Saturday 6th July with the Vintage pre-war cars in association with the VSCC on Sunday 7th July that always gives a superb spectacle.