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Ferocious competition and a new ladies' record

This weekend of two one-day meetings was spent waiting for rain that fell everywhere around but fortunately not at Loton Park!

Many seasoned competitors were alarmed by the number attending the new drivers’ briefing on Saturday morning some of whom were later reported to have boasted about not walking the hill! The upshot was an inevitable series of delays, some prolonged, through first practice on Saturday. Happily, the meeting then ran more smoothly.

As expected, the 16 Formula Fords provided fierce competition and more excuses than had ever been heard previously in a hill climb paddock! Prior to the event I commented that owing to the level playing field that is a Formula Ford class, the best driver on the day would win and, as Richard Summers took the honours on both days, it must have been him! Nev Rollason took second place on Saturday but had an unfortunate off after Museum on Sunday. Sam Lester was second 0.3 seconds behind Richard with Russell Haynes, on his first visit to Loton Park, an excellent third.

Class 1D provided exciting competition over both days. A new class record of 60.07 seconds was set by Tim Hardwicke in the Lotus Elise S1 to win the class on Saturday. Sunday’s winner Kim Adams, in third place on Saturday, went below the previous record with a 60.27. In the Modified Series Production Cars over 1400cc up to 2000cc, the same car won on both days but with a different driver on each; Steve Bailey on Saturday and Lucy McFarlane on Sunday! Graham Beale took the honours in the 25 strong Classic Marques class in the Ginetta G33 ahead of a highly varied and competitive group of cars and drivers.

Track conditions were excellent and PBs were achieved by many competitors and all those in the big racing car class. Sean Gould took FTD on both days with a fastest time on Sunday of 44.30 seconds, within a second of the outright hill record. Debbie Dunbar and Felix Summers became the fourth and fifth drivers of the wonderful DJ Firestorm of the 2019 season, surely a record for this type of car. Debbie reduced the Ladies’ record by over 1.5 seconds to 46.46 seconds and Felix achieved a 46.78 in his first drive in a big car.