Two spectacular near-record runs by top drivers provided the perfect highlight for fans when Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb welcomed spectators to its track for the first time this year for two days of exciting action at the weekend.
Former British champion Alex Summers clocked a time of 22.83 in his DJ Firestorm to break the ‘23 seconds barrier’ but was pipped by racing car constructor Sean Gould in the latest Gould GR59 model who crossed the line in 22.73 seconds. The outright hill record is held by former British champion Martin Groves with a time of 22.53 seconds, set in 2008.
Clerk of the Course, Dave Nursey, said: “Having competed myself on Saturday and then officiated today, it is very rewarding to get such positive feedback from all concerned and this weekend has truly been hailed a great success, with competitors, organisers and spectators adhering so well to the current strict Covid-19 conditions throughout the venue, and the two sub-23 second runs were a real bonus and absolutely breath taking to witness.”
Further praise was also heaped on organisers Midland Automobile Club by regular competitor and Lotus championship sponsor Paul Matty, who commented: “The MAC were the first club to stage competitions in these difficult times and my word, what a simply brilliant job they have done!
“This coming weekend (19th & 20th Sept) sees the last of five rounds of the Paul Matty Lotus Sports Car Championship and we have been very fortunate to have staged them all here at Shelsley Walsh. We usually visit venues across the country, so I would like to apologise now, as our great bunch of competitors may be even more rowdy than usual at the end of the day.”
Midland champion in 2019 Robert Kenrick made a rare appearance but admitted to struggling to get to grips with his diminutive but spectacular GWR Raptor racing car, saying: “I am trying to build confidence in the car as I know it can go much quicker but struggled with the low sun in my eyes on the class runs, however I am here again next weekend, so I’m very much looking forward to that.”
One pair making their competitive debut at the weekend were father and son Nick and Max Hawkes, from Pershore, who shared their Van Diemen Formula Ford racing car, but the short journey home may have been somewhat quiet as 17-year-old Max managed to beat the time of his father!
This next weekend sees the club host two days of its Autumn Speed Finale with a wide range of sports, classic and racing cars competing, alongside guests from the Pirelli Ferrari Hill Climb Championship, the 500 Owners Association, the Porsche Club Speed Championship, the Dews Mini Speed Championship and members of the Welsh Hill Climb & Sprint Championship.
Pictures from Paul Lawrence, Tom Gay, Rob MacDonald, Nigel Mee and Shelsley Walsh Instagram @ShelsleyWalsh