It was a thrilling weekend of racing at Shelsley Walsh Championship Challenge, as fifteen British Hill Climb Champions were reunited to celebrate the 70-year anniversary.
The Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb is the oldest motor sports championship still in continuous use, as it started in 1947. It was a double celebration on Saturday 12th August as the Shelsley Walsh racecourse also turned 120!
It was fascinating to see ten cars that have won the championship, alongside four constructors who have been involved in the British Hill Climb championships for 40 years.
In terms of results, all-round champion, Trevor Willis, retained his lead and wowed the crowds driving his first OMS race car, the OMS-Vauxhall 2000V. However, Will Hall, who has been racing for 27 years, took Best Time of Day at 23.21 seconds.
Just behind Will, at 23.42 was Scott Moran in his Gould GR6 1X (2nd Place) and behind that (3rd place) was Will Hall again in his Force WH X T E C, at 23.68 seconds! A very good day for Will Hall, indeed.
The atmosphere between the drivers was fantastic, as they shared stories and jokes from the past with crowds through interviews over the weekend.
We were lucky enough to get an interview with 2003-4 champion, Adam Fleetwood. Adam’s interest in hill climb racing came from his dad, which he began racing in the late 90s. Currently the Creative Director of Wotsit Digital Ltd he still thoroughly enjoys a hill climb or two.
He describes how Shelsley Walsh is different to any other racetrack:
“Shelsley Walsh is extremely steep, it’s unique in the fact that it is the oldest racetrack in the UK. You need a lot of bravery to tackle it, it’s fast and there certainly is no room for error”.
Evans Halshaw customers had the best view of every race inside the enclosure, on the grandstand, which overlooks the starting line.
Alongside a fantastic position, Evans Halshaw Club members had a hot breakfast, unlimited drinks, a BBQ lunch and afternoon tea. It’s safe to say there was some happy faces, relaxing and watching the cars zoom by.
During lunch on Saturday and Sunday, the crowd was treated to a marvellous parade of selected cars driven by the champions.
Included in the parade was 1978 champion, David Franklin, who drove alongside his wife Debbie in his Ferrari, 1988 champion Charles Wardle in a Pilbeam MP43 sportscar, Scott Moran driving his winning Gould and many more.
As part of the celebratory weekend, organisers of Championship Challenge held a huge party with a delicious buffet, a bar and plenty of fantastic music which certainly got guests dancing.
To top off the weekend, a birthday cake was presented and delivered around the paddock for drivers and commentators to enjoy.
Happy anniversary to Shelsley Walsh Championship Challenge!