Gurston Down August 23rd / 24th 2008 Results

Gurston Down Saturday 23rd / Sunday 24th August 2008

Another new Class Record!

For the third weekend in a row the weather looked likely to be significant. Saturday was forecast to be dry, just like our earlier visit to Gurston and indeed it was, giving plenty of opportunity for practice. I went first and recorded a time of 34.87 seconds, only a second outside the class record but the car felt unstable. This may have been partly due to the chaff and corn still left on the track from previous days’ adjacent harvesting but Fen agreed that the car set up felt wrong so I altered the toe-in to the pre-Shelsley settings and our second runs were fine and slightly quicker. We realized, though, as at Wiscombe Park, that in order to get a really competitive time we needed to be changing down to first gear for the slower corners – Karousel and Ashes. I tried this on my third run and did 33.03 secs, nearly ¾ second inside the class record. Fen also tried this out and also did an unofficial personal best of 37.29 seconds.

It boded well for Sunday – except for the forecast…..heavy rain overnight but clearing by dawn and then basically dry. It certainly rained hard overnight and we were encouraged that, as we left Somerset at 6am to return to Gurston, it had effectively stopped. Unfortunately that was not the case at Gurston where it was definitely still raining so we had a soggy ½ hour changing to cut slicks for the final practice session. We both took the practice runs but achieved nothing other than a lot of water, mud and grass to be washed off the car!

By the time we got to the first timed run the track was drying fast and single-seater drivers at the end of the final practice run confirmed that our choice of slicks was correct. It was certainly slippery in places but I managed a time of 34.56 secs to lead the class. Fen did a steady 37.9 to be in third place.

As our second timed runs were not due until after lunch we relaxed and enjoyed watching other runs including an interesting Top 12 run-off. Roger Moran went up first, recording a competitive dry time. Paul Ransome followed but a puncture meant a long delay while his car was returned to the paddock. Unfortunately whilst this was happening the rain started so the rest of the run-off competitors had to make quick decisions about tyre changes! And then it stopped raining……enough so that Martin Groves, running last, had a dry track and won the run-off..

Anyway, back to the Audi. There was no more rain, fortunately, so we were able to fully commit for 2nd runs. I went first and recorded a time of 33.70 seconds, a new class record by 0.18 seconds! Geoff Twemlow did a huge personal best of 35.73 seconds – well done. Fen was up in the next batch and was determined to improve and even try to catch Geoff. She managed a great personal best of 36.53 seconds and although disappointed that it was not quicker (!) still felt reasonably satisfied.

And even more satisfied was Scott Moran whose 2nd place in the second Top 12 run-off was enough to confirm him as British Hill Climb Champion for 2008. Congratulations!