Here are a few pictures from Practice Day for the final round of the British Hillclimb Championship. It was in fact this event, three years ago, that marked the first ever “The Motor” forum meet, but on that occasion we went on the Sunday. Practice day has a very different feel to it, with remarkably few people in attendance. Indeed, the only car parking in use was The Orchard – which was far from full – although a few people had also parked up on the hill. With Piers incapicated, either from Swine Flu or the aftermath of his involuntary soaking at Drayton Park from the previous weekend, it was left to just me to attend the event and to bring this report.
In the paddock:
With over 160 cars entered. and 2 practice runs each, there was plenty going on. There were some seriously quick times, with several cars – mostly the Pilbeams – posting times around 39 seconds.
My favourite cars of the day, without question, were the brace of Audi Quattro Sports. Not only were they ferociously quick off the line, but the distinctive noise meant you could hear them for the entire duration of their ascent, no matter where you were!
The Noble had to be one of the quietest cars of the day, but relative silence did not come at the expense of speed, as it was also rather rapid.
There were a whole load of bikes also entered. Some were of the very definitely vintage category, but even the faster devices were posting times that were slower than the cars. Tight curves and challenging changes in camber ensured that anyone who did not heed these characteristics was unlikely to complete their ascent. Several riders found this out the hard way!
The marshalls had a busy day. Probably rather too busy. Sadly, so did the medical and ambulance services, with one competitor taken off to hospital, after crashing very hard into the tyres. The remains of his car showed how strong the single seaters are, but it was still not a pretty sight. It took an hour to sort out the recovery of the competitor, his car and then the track. Late in the afternoon, one of the bikers came off at exactly the same place, and although he was able to get up, once his bike had been lifted off him, he had a ride in the ambulance as well. The track was dry all day, so it was probably over-exuberance that was causing it, but I lost count of the number of trips into the gravel that I saw.
In the Car Park
With so few people in attendance, it is no surprise that there was not that much of interest to be found just parked up. Indeed, my own car seemed to be generating more (positive) comments than I might have expected. However, I did spot these:
A good event, as ever, at this famous venue. It would have been even better with the company of some Forummers!