Gurston Down Motorsport Hillclimb

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Gurston Down
Location Broad Chalke, Wiltshire, England
Time zone GMT
Coordinates W1:58:02, N51:01:55
Major Events British Hill Climb Championship
Hill Length 0.601 miles (1,058 yd)
Hill Record 25.42 (Martin Groves, 2007, British Hill Climb Championship)

The Gurston Down Motorsport Hillclimb is a hillclimb in Broad Chalke, Wiltshire, England, organised by the South Western Centre of the British Automobile Racing Club. The first practice meeting was held on 25 June 1967, when Patsy Burt, driving a McLaren-Oldsmobile set a time of 39.90 sec.[1] The first competition event was held on 23 July 1967.

The track currently hosts eight competitive events each year; three are two-day events, and five are single-day events. In addition, a Test Day is held annually just before the competitive season starts. The venue also conducts four Hillclimb School days each year, which follow the syllabus set by AHASS (the Association of Hillclimb and Sprint Schools).

The venue currently hosts two rounds a year of the British Hill Climb Championship during May and August, and one round of the Midland Hillclimb Championship in July. In addition to five rounds of the local Gurston Down Championship, the venue hosts rounds of the ASWMC and ACSMC championships.

Motorcycles also visit the venue twice a year, and run as part of two single-day events. The motorcycle riders are members of the National Hillclimb Association.

The farmland the course traverses is also used for pheasant shoots and the course itself has found a dual use as a gravity racing venue.

The course measures 1058 yards (967 metres), and rises a total of 140 feet (43 metres), although the first section of the track is downhill, a feature unique in British hillclimbing,[2] but not unknown elsewhere in Europe.

The course was designed in 1965 by Tony Marsh, who was still competing the course in the premier over 2000cc racing car class in 2007. In July 2009, the third round of the Gurston Down Speed Hillclimb Championships was dedicated to Marsh's memory following his death in May.[3]

The outright hill record is held by Martin Groves, who completed the course in 25.42 seconds on 26 August 2007.

Gurston Down Hill Climb past winners[edit]

Year Driver Vehicle Time Notes
1971 D. Hepworth Hepworth FF 35.06 sec [4] 30 August
1972 Richard Thwaites McLaren M10B 5.0-litre 32.85 sec [5]
1973 Mike MacDowel Brabham BT36X-Repco 5-litre 30.50 sec R [6]
1991 Round 5 : Martyn Griffiths Pilbeam DFR 27.64 sec R
2005 Round 9 : Martin Groves Gould-NME GR55B 3.5-litre 26.57 sec [7] 29 May
Round 10 : Martin Groves Gould-NME GR55B 3.5-litre 26.27 sec
2008 Round 7 : Trevor Willis 31.05 sec 25 May
Round 8 : Martin Groves Gould 26.50 sec
Round 27 : Martin Groves Gould 27.41 sec 24 August
Round 28 : Jos Goodyear 26.47 sec

Key: R = Course Record.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Motor, 15 July 1967; Autosport, 20 April 2006, Page 93.
  2. ^ Loton Park contains a downhill section, but away from the start.
  3. ^ http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/sport/4497690.MOTOR_SPORT__A_Major_Minor_day/
  4. ^ Motor, 11 September 1971, Page 40: First ever British Hill Climb Championship round at Gurston Down.
  5. ^ Autosport, 27 July 1972, Page 39.
  6. ^ Autosport, 30 August 1973, Page 29.
  7. ^ Autosport, 2 June 2005, Page 109.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°2′2.12″N 1°58′8.75″W / 51.0339222°N 1.9690972°W / 51.0339222; -1.9690972