Loton Park Hillclimb – 14th-15th April 2018
Hagley and District Light Car Club hosted the first 2 rounds of the MTWC Challenge Series for 2018. An unfortunate clash with the BHR Meeting at Mallory Park meant that there were fewer entries than normal. However, a good weekend of sport was enjoyed by competitors and spectators alike.
But it wasn’t without its dramas!
Words from Rob Pike:
As a result of the very wet weather recently, the camping area was in a pretty poor state and lots of wheel spinning and mud flinging took place on Friday evening whilst everybody got set up.
The weather forecast looked pretty grim, but luckily, Saturday was remarkably sunny and warm for much of the day, which lent itself to some very respectable times being laid down. There was just a little outburst of rain on Sunday morning.
HDLCC decided to merge standard and TM with the 5 speeders to make one group of 4 cars consisting of Tony and Lily Quinn in the Matchless Supersports, Club Chairman Adrian Murray- Leslie in his beautiful Blackburne-engined 2 speeder Super Aero with Paul as passenger, Austin Smith with Julia Perry, and Rob Pike and Petra Rarko in their 5 speeders both running in racing spec after Rob’s winter upgrade to stage 1 tuning and 18-inch rims.
The racing class consisted of Cathy Quinn and Maggie Bridge in Cathy’s red 2 speed racer, Chas Reynolds and Steve Ash, Danny Hodgson and Bronte Pearson in the F2 racer, Tony and Charlene Pearson in the absolutely splendid looking silver racer, and Alistair Rew being much more sociable recently for some reason, by carrying Becky Washington as passenger instead of his usual ballast!
Saturday practise began with word of a slippery track which proved to be correct so everybody was slightly cautious but got through both practises cleanly with just a few red flags caused by the motorcycles and the odd pheasant. The afternoon sun dried the track well and Chas threw down the gauntlet with a run of 68.42, which was followed by a quick 70.28 from Alistair and Becky. The Pearson crew followed, with Danny and Bronte taking 3rd, Tony and Charlene in 4th as Tony was still getting to grips with the new car, and Cathy driving very cleanly and confidently in the Matchless racer.
In the other class, Tony and Lily set a great time of 75.53 which was less than a second off Roger Orford’s 14-year-old class record, and was followed by Adrian, who at some stage did a massive wheel lift at Triangle which is depicted above. His poor passenger Paul was wearing different leathers later on, but any connection between these events is unfounded. Austin Smith and Julia set a new 5 speeder record of 68.94 to beat the previous time of 69.24 laid down in 2014 by Mark Reeves in the factory racer. Unfortunately, Austin only had a few seconds to celebrate as Rob and Petra followed him up the hill, setting a time of 68.32 to take the class win on the last run of the first day.
After the usual evening social gatherings at various tents and campers, we all woke to a dry but misty Sunday morning, with Tony Pearson up the earliest, fettling the 3 speeder. Phil Reaney wisely decided to insist on all competitors doing a practice run because the track was green again. By the time the Morgan runs came up, rainfall had started, so improvements and record breaking would be out of the question for the rest of the day. Finishing order for the racing class was the same as Saturday in the first runs, with Chas setting fastest time in class of 72.20 which was impressive considering the conditions. In the Standard, TM and 5 speeder class, Austin set the best time of 74.05, followed by Rob on 79.48, Tony on 85.95. Adrian unfortunately over heated on the start line and did not continue.
Following lunch, there were fewer competitors as Chas had to go and play his Tuba, little Ellis Hodgson had been unwell overnight, and for various other reasons, there were just the 5 speeders left to battle and try and see what they could do. Austin and Julia went up the hill first to set a time of 73.03 and Rob and Petra managed a 72.07 to take the class, and Chas’s first run time of 72.20 took the racing class honours.
This report wouldn’t be complete without thanking Phil Bridge, Sue Clews, Tony Pearson and John and Jackie Scruton for such hard work to make the event run smoothly for us and to try and get our runs in ASAP on the Sunday, and of course our usual support and help from Phil and Lesley Reaney for helping us ACU types fit into the MSA organisation of the event.