Ottery St Mary driver all set for big day at Wiscombe Park

PUBLISHED: 08:46 06 May 2017 | UPDATED: 08:46 06 May 2017

Mike Lee in action at Wiscombe

Mike Lee in action at Wiscombe

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Torbay Motor Club have once again attracted a full entry to their Wiscombe Park hill climb on Saturday (May 13), writes Rupert Barker.

This year the meeting has the support of H R Owen Ecurie of Cheltenham who will bring a selection of their performance and luxury cars for the public to view.

Competitors in 120 saloons, sports and racing cars, and nearly 50 motorcycles, will battle at the East Devon venue for points in regional, club, venue and series-specific championships and the ACU National Hill Climb Association series.

The Tipton Garage and Alansway Body Repairs continue their loyal support for the event by providing the event’s recovery service.

The season-opening events at Wiscombe towards the end of April saw keen competition for early championship points and further intense action is in prospect on the 914 metre parkland track near Southleigh.

Class A2 sees local Ottery St Mary-based driver James Hudson (VW Golf GTi) looking to build on his steadily improving 2016 performances but he faces stern opposition from Jonathan Wright (also Golf-mounted) and Jonathan Langmead’s Lotus Elise.

Reigning ASWMC hillclimb champion Anthony Wright’s Audi is the favourite for the class win in A3, but nine other drivers in the class are all looking to challenge his dominance whilst class A4 looks likely to be equally fiercely contested, with the 13-car entry including turbocharged 4-wheel drive Ford Escort, Subaru Impreza and Mitsubishi Evo variants including the ASWMC championship sponsor, Bridge Tyres and Wheels’ Mike Potter. If the weather is dry however, watch out for Colyton’s George Koopman who has replaced his familiar Honda Integra with a 3.4 litre Porsche Cayman, whilst Nick Bayldon’s Porsche 911 will also challenge the 4WD dominance of this class.

Westfield and Caterham cars traditionally reign supreme in classes B2 and B3, but Roger Coote’s lovely Ginetta G4 and Robert/Paul Harewood’s shared MEV Exocet will be looking to upset the form book in the lower capacity class, whilst Rupert Lloyd’s Renault Spider provides the wild-card factor in B3.

In the modified classes, C2 features the Tout brothers, Russell and Gerald, in their rapid Ford Fiesta and C3 looks likely to be the domain of Jonathan Williamson’s Porsche 911; in C4 the Exeter father and son pairing of David and Jan Yeo feature in an all-Westfield/Caterham affair.

In D1 Yeovil’s Stewart Lillington is looking to claim the honours over Tom Pitfield’s DJ Firecat whilst in D2 Rodney Thorne’s mighty 5-litre Pilbeam MP43, fresh from his double overall victories in the opening April meeting, will face Tavistock’s Doug Bennett’s heavily modified Sylva Stryker and the intriguingly named Subaru Cliopreza of Neil Gould.

The absence of Saltash-resident and Wiscombe specialist Mike Lee from the racing car classes may leave the field open for either Thorne’s Pilbeam or South Chard’s Stuart Browne’s OMS to make a bid for FTD honours although Ottery St Mary’s Dave Gardner returns after a lay-off in 2016 with a 2-litre Pilbeam MP62 and will surely be in the mix for the top award.

In the one-make classes, three DEWS club, eight TVR Car Club, five Luffield MGs and 13 Classic Marques challengers will be aiming for top scores in their respective championships.

The following day’s event, Sunday’s Wildlife Wiscombe Hill Climb, promoted by Taunton and Burnham-on-Sea Motor Clubs, is also a qualifying round of the first four of the above championships.

Action on the hill starts with practice in the morning and the first of the competitive timed runs are scheduled to take place after the lunch break.

Admission is from 10.00 a.m. and the £10 entry includes free parking and paddock access; accompanied under-14s enter free. Discounted advance tickets at £8 are available on-line at http://www.wiscombepark.co.uk/

The gate opens at 10.00 a.m., with food and refreshments available all day.

Torbay Motor Club supports the Devon Air Ambulance Trust find out more about them at www.daat.org

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