A look back on the 2023 Season
A GLANCE IN THE REAR-VIEW MIRROR AT THE 2023 SHELSLEY WALSH SEASON
A chance to look back on another action packed competitive season at Shelsley Walsh by our MAC news editor Geoff Robinson...
PRACTICE DAY - 15th April
Our Practice Day featured around 125 cars as drivers reacquainted themselves with their machines and the hill. On a day of mixed conditions, the big single-seaters were represented by the likes of Trevor Willis, Alex Summers and Dave Warburton. The title 'rare car of the day' went to the Bellamy Ford V8 Special driven by Mark Brett.
SEASON OPENER - 16th April
The Paul Matty Lotus Championship competitors returned to Shelsley and Anthony Shute in the one-off Lotus Expose and Iain Stallard in the Lotus 61 both hit the ground running with class wins. Pre-war Austin 7 cars were on show in the Bert Hadley Memorial Speed Championship: a class win here for Nick Allen. Tom Weaver clocked a 27.96 in the Empire Evo and Tina Hawkes was on the comeback trail, coaxing the Force PC to a 28.84.
SPEED INTO SPRING - 6th & 7th May
The opening day was our wettest for a long time. Several invited car clubs included 30 drivers from the Classic Marques Championship, 29 in the Fassis Classic Speed Championship and a further 20 in the MG Car Club Speed Championship. Terry Graves secured wins in both run-offs and Jack Cottrill took BTD in the Dallara Cosworth with a time of 25.49 seconds.
BEST OF BRITISH - 3rd & 4th June
We hosted a series of Interclub classes on the Saturday including the Pirelli Ferrari Championship where Pauline Goodwin showed all her experience by taking a class win in her 328 model with a time of 37.48. A big crowd on Sunday saw rounds of the British Championship, the British Cup and the Midlands Hillclimb Championships. The 1100cc Racing Car class featured 18 cars and was won by Stuart Bickley in the Force TA ahead of Dave Tatham in a DJ Firehawk. Richard Spedding took the 1600cc class in a blistering time of 24.34 and Wallace Menzies increased his lead in the British Championship by taking wins in both run-offs.
BIKE BONANZA - 1st July
The first ever Bike Bonanza proved a popular addition to our calendar with a wide variety of machines ranging from a Honda C125 Cub ridden by Jason Dennis through to Paul Jarrett’s KTM. An addition to the bikes were sidecars and the three-wheel Morgans. Simon and Jayne Foster took the honours on their Honda F2 in the sidecar class and the Morgan class was won by Hamish Bibby.
VINTAGE MEETING - 2nd July
The annual visit of the VSCC was, as usual, a colourful affair with plenty of smoke and enthusiastic climbs of the hill. FTD was a run of 32 seconds by James Baxter in the Cooper T90 but, as this was not a pre-war car, the true FTD was taken by Ian Baxter driving his Alta. Four generations of the Dent family competing in the Cooper 500 class but the fastest 500 driver was Finlay Mackintosh with. Time of 37.42.
CLASSIC NOSTALGIA - 22nd & 22rd July
Huge numbers of spectators descended on Shelsley for both days of Classic Nostalgia (despite a wet Saturday). International rally legend, Stig Blomqvist posed for photographs with the Audi Quattros and the courtyard buzzed with the sound of live music. Amongst the many rare and unusual cars was the 1971 Ford Escort RS1600 Broadspeed owned by Derrin James. This car has undergone an 8-year restoration and its original driver, John Fitzpatrick was delighted to see it back on the track. Winner of the Classic & Sports Car Concours D’Elelgance was the 1935 Lancia Augusta owned by Jason Fox.
CHAMPIONSHIP CHALLENGE - 12th & 13th August
More mixed weather failed to deter the crowds as hard-core motor sport returned in the form of the second visit of the year of the British Hill Climb Championship along with the Midland Championship. The hill was packed and the large screen in the courtyard also drew huge crowds as Alex Summers took maximum points in the first run-off followed by Matthew Ryder claiming a win in the second one. The Top Ten Challenge (Tin Top) was a popular new addition, and the Subaru Legacy driving duo of Steven Darley and Damian Bradley stunned the crowds with their flat-out driving styles as they took first and second places in both run-offs.
HARVEST FESTIVAL - 16th & 17th September
Our final hill climb of the season provided us with fine mix of car clubs. Over 20 Austin Healeys took part in their championship with Richard Mason securing 1st place on Saturday in his ‘Big Healey’ 3000. Stephen Casson was runner up in his Healey Lenham Sprite. On Sunday, Stephen and Richard swapped places with the Sprite grabbing the top spot. The Porsche Speed Championship also appeared with Tim Barber the quickest, crossing the line in 31.93 ahead of Andy Fagan in his Boxter doing a 32.84.
The Club management team are busy planning another full calendar of events for 2024 and we do hope you will come and see us again for another exciting year of Hill Climb action.