Tuesday, 23 June 2015

I think I have been here before

For the third weekend in a row the BHC circus hit the road - this time to Doune in Scotland, where I first saw a hillclimb back in 1968. The first programme I have in my collection is from June 1968 but I know that I was at a test event in April 1968, but maybe there was no programme for that day - presumably the picture on the cover of the June programme seen below was taken in April - interesting that the numbers on the nose and on the side are different (!!) - the picture is of either Gray or Agnes Mickel I think!!

Inside the programme is a fascinating piece entitled "Hill Climbers", obviously written to inform the new spectator - I quote from it:

"What sort of people travel considerable distances, towing trailers or driving transporters, sometimes to stand about in wet conditions, to spend a mere minute or so actually competing in a speed hill climb?"

"Where else in motor sport can you find drivers from the youngest novice to veterans with over forty years' experience....competing in one meeting? Where else do you find, in one paddock, modified Minis, Vintage models, recent Grand Prix cars, latest GT and Sports cars (similar to those at Le Mans) and 'specials' of all types and sizes?"

"The atmosphere at a hill climb compares with a garden party rather than a serious motoring event. This is not cut-throat motoring and regular hill climb drivers are friendly people who compete for enjoyment rather than reward....make no mistake however - hill climb competitors are very fine exponents in this specialised form of motor sport - the effort and concentration required is very considerable indeed."

I can still recognise some of that - and I would love to see a Porsche 919 tackle Shelsley Walsh!!

There were just 50 competitors at that meeting - and the Best Time of day went to Sir Nicholas Williamson in his 1.6 Brabham BT21C at 48.84 secs. Sir Nicholas of course went on to become Champion in 1970 and 1972. Also appearing but only managing one run at 51.99 secs was David Hepworth, who was to be Champion in 1969 and 1971,  in his magnificent 4.5 litre Brabham Traco - and this fascinated me at the time as I had no idea what a "Traco" was! By the time of the September meeting his self-built Hepworth FF was ready and so it was my only chance to see this ex F1 BT19 (?) in action.

Other familiar names and points scorers in the BHC who were competing were Mike MacDowel in a lightweight Jaguar E type, Kenny Allen in a Mini Cooper, Iain McLaren in a Lotus 7 and the Mickels in their Lotus Buick. The Fisher GT, the predecessor of the Fisher Spyder currently climbed by Peter Speakman, was there as were a small class of Vintage cars including a Nardi Danese and the slowest runner, M J Mutch in a Darracq (83.19 and 83.05)!

Before I got to Doune last weekend I took a trip over to the Rest and Be Thankful which was opened as a hill climb in 1949 when a crowd reckoned at 12,000 covered the hillside above the course and as you can see in the photo below (in typical Scotch mist), they would have had a magnificent view of the cars climbing up to the final hairpin (off to the right in the photo).

The Rest was added to the BHC in 1950 and was a round until 1969 after which the 1970 round was cancelled owing to safety concerns, and the last meeting was held in September 1970. I will cover the Rest in more detail in a later blog, but now let's get down to the business in hand.

In 1992 Graeme Wight Jnr featured in his first BHC run off at Fintray in a 1.6 Pilbeam MP52-BDA and with a time of 29.30 seconds he racked up an 11th place finish.  The car seen below in father Graeme's hands at Doune in 1994.

Two years later at the same meeting, but this time in a Hillclimb Super Sports Vision V85, he scored his first BHC point with a 10th position in 28.77 seconds. In 2001 and 2002 he won the BHC in a Gould GR51, though ironically he clinched the first of those titles in a borrowed car -  Karl Davison's Gould GR37 at Loton Park. (This was one of Jerry Sturman's trick questions a Xmas Quiz a few years ago!!).

In 2004 he scored 10 second places in the first 14 rounds to the dominant Adam Fleetwood (28 wins in a season!!!) before an accident at Loton Park but he returned in 2005 with the sensational looking and sounding V10 engined Predator which eventually gave him a win at Doune in 2008 (with different engine). In 2009 the first of his Raptors appeared with a 1.6 Suzuki engine and driven by Lee Adams it finished 6th at the September Doune. More mid-order places for Lee followed at Doune in 2010 and Graeme then scored his last BHC points as a driver at Loton in September of that year. In total he scored 52 run-off victories out of 154 appearances averaging at just over 7.4 points per run.

In 2011 and 2012 Lee Adams finished in the top 10 of the BHC (5th and 6th) giving the Raptor its first victory at Harewood 2011 and following up with 6 more over the 2 years.

And now there are three of them and they were all together at Doune which must have made Graeme proud. I missed the official photocall on Saturday but as they were lined up next to each other in the paddock I was able to get them poised and eager to be unleashed to make their appearance in the second run-off - just to add the icing to the cake they had all qualified and then Jos Goodyear set BTD on the last run.

So what do you call a group of Raptors - a 'flight', a 'velocity' (veloci(ty)raptor) or how about a 'Brunel' (but maybe I am getting my GWRs mixed up there!!).

There was one other raptor at Doune on Sunday as well but he was staying well away from the noisy ones down below.

Cornishman Geoff Twemlow is a regular visitor to Doune though this year tow-car problems left him stranded near his home, but we had several long distance travellers with us - the Le Cheminants from Guernsey had had a short break after Loton Park but were due to head home after Doune - via Peppa Pig World and maybe the West Midlands Safari Park (must get animals mentioned in the blog somewhere), Derek Kessell had made the trip up from Saltash, where Devon meets Cornwall, for the first time with his Maguire Mini

while Alex and Jenny Howells were there with their Hillman Imp (Jenny pressing on across the Meadow here)

Although it is road-legal they had trailered it up as it would have been a bit noisy to drive all the way from their base in Lymington in Hampshire, but they did take it on a trip to Tesco while here! They were also about to go off and explore Scotland for a week but leaving the Imp in the care of Jock Ramsay.

Talking of animals, some of you will no doubt recognise that this is a Reliant Kitten Estate (this is one I used to own)!!!

And some of you may also recognise this as a Reliant Kitten Estate - obviously they are the same model of car!!

But don't blame current driver Richard Mattosian for how it looks as here is the same body back in 1983 at the same race meeting as the David Enderby VW Karmann Ghia pictured in my last Loton blog.

I was interested to see that the signwriting on the bonnet of the car now is similar in colour to the whole car when Ginger had it - I meant to ask Richard whether or not that was deliberate?

Ginger Marshall is still racing, these days in the Open Sports Car Championship in England where he drives the Bowlby clubmans car designed and built by Ben Bowlby who is chief designer of the revolutionary front-engined Nissan LMP1 car that raced at Le Mans this year.

There was a different look to Doune this year of course with the new wooden barriers on the outside all around the Meadow section and up and over East Brae following Wallace Menzies' off last year and ironically it was wife Nicola who tested them with a big off late in the day which punched a substantial hole in the wooden barrier. Fortunately she was not hurt and was quickly out of the car and walking. I have not been a frequent visitor to Doune recently, only in 2002, 2013 and this year and I was amazed at the transformation at the top of East Brae.  Here is a picture taken of Simon Durling having gone off at the top of East Brae in 2002 - I think the track is actually somewhere between the vegetation in the foreground and the car!!

And here is a picture this year of a very similar car - a red Gould GR37 (but this is #5 as opposed to #1) - of Ross Napier taken from roughly the same location

The trees have grown a lot in 13 years but more noticeable are the conditions in the vicinity of the track and obviously the larger run-off area that helps wayward drivers carry on up the hill rather than find themselves buried in the undergrowth.

There were a number of 'offs' during the day as well as Nicola Menzies' one - Simon Jenks had an argument with a barrier and bent the front of his Caterham and this also led to a half hour wait while the barrier was fixed (in the case of Nicola's off they took out the broken bits of barrier and pushed a couple of giant straw bales in to plug the gap); Donald McCaskill went into the barrier on his second run and apparently the big splitter on the front of the Mitsubishi got jammed in the barrier. Maybe a good job he did not go in backwards as I reckon a whole family of rabbits would have set up home in his diffuser as quick as you could say 'Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V supported by Dyce Carriers Ltd. and Barratt Homes'!!

Late in the afternoon Mike King's Renault Clio was not looking quite so pristine as it did earlier below, as his father Jim bunny-hopped across the Meadow, as Mike managed to spin it through 180 degrees between Oak Tree and Garden Gate and, much to the amusement of watching friends and relatives left an 'X marks the spot' set of tortured tyre marks on the tarmac. Not sure who was going to drive it home later!!

I don't know whether the long day was getting to drivers, or maybe a little damp was seeping up through the surface, but just a few cars later and it was Stuart Sugden's turn to do a wall of death along the barrier at Oak Tree and come to a halt, but this time without the spin and so ended up facing the right way. After a quick turn at Garden Gate he crabbed his way back down the track - I think left handers were a bit of a challenge - his pristine GWR Mini was a bit ragged at the edges and the beautiful carbon splitter at the front (seen here pre-shunt) was hanging at an odd angle.

Among those watching was the afore-mentioned Donald McCaskill who would probably be on hand to give Stuart advice on the size of his diffuser - obviously not man-enough for the job compared to his!!!!

Favourite cars of the day - well I have mentioned two already - the McCaskill Lancer and the yellow peril of a Mini - more views below:

There were a lot of candidates for the third one - but I have always liked the clean lines of the Pilbeam MP43 and so the David Seaton / Doug Thompson one gets my vote.

A final link to the past - this 1976 photo shows Doug Thomson with his 250 cc Motus Mk7 which he took to the top in 49.97 secs! Looks similar-ish to the Pilbeam (4 wheels and a hole in the front) - do you think he just stuck it in a Gro-bag for the last 39 years!! Look at the size of the timing strut!

And you probably thought (or hoped) that that was it for this post but I cannot go without mentioning yet again the Multi Car Hillclimb Challenge of David Finlay and Alisdair Suttie - this week they were in a Ford Fiesta ST with Mountune engine tweaks and we caught up with them in the paddock with Brian Fraser, one of the Blood Bike riders, and his Honda.

Brian is an ex-lifeboat coxswain and he has spent two and a half years getting the blood bike on the road and has a file of paperwork 2 - 3 inches thick dealing with all the red tape / insurances etc that he has had to get cleared before being able to start. It is not just blood by the way that they will volunteer to collect as in remote areas it could be paperwork or medication delivery that they undertake. Just a reminder that the national website for information on how to support the charity is here while the Blood Bikes Scotland website is here. Remember these guys are all volunteers and there is no funding from Government or the NHS so every little helps.

Here is a close up of Brian's Honda for all you two-wheeled aficionados.

Well that's it for a couple of weeks but then we have the double header at Barbon and Harewood, moved from May and so let's hope we get better weather than we have been accustomed to for that weekend.

Apologies if this blog gets longer and longer - maybe you now feel just like Alistair Crawford did on Sunday as he waited for the barriers to be repaired.............Bye for now.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Sorry, I can't hear the cars for the noise!! (Version 2!!)

(Following receipt of extra information I have updated this post)

The Avro Vulcan is an iconic British plane - the example below was photographed at East Fortune Museum near Edinburgh just last year.

 - first delivered to the RAF in 1956 a total of 136 were built but only 1 is still flying, based at RAF Finningley in Yorkshire. Unfortunately this is the final year when she will be flying and she will make a number of appearances on this farewell tour.

On 6th June, on my way to Shelsley, she flew overhead as I was driving near Alcester and I now know that she was putting on a display at the Throckmorton airshow. On Sunday 14th June her schedule consisted of the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power in Cheshire, the Welshpool Air Show and Festival of Transport and the RAF Cosford Air Show and, if you know your geography, you will realise why she suddenly appeared in the skies over Loton Park. 

At that point I felt sorry for the competitors who were driving up the hill because I do not think anybody was watching them as the Vulcan flew around! Later in the afternoon the Battle of Britain fighters flew over, a couple of biplanes were seen for a long time as they plodded across the sky and, if you were really sharp-eyed (though you could not miss the noise), a Eurofighter Typhoon lit up its after-burners as it climbed into the heavens.

We have had a number of  animal references in this blog so far but I was not quick enough to grab a photo of the deer that made its appearance as Clive Austin was making his first run in Sunday - not sure if Clive saw it either and he did not get a re-run, so maybe it was just chasing him away from its territory, but it gave the marshalls at the exit of Keepers a bit of a shock. It reminded me of the time at Shelsley Walsh when a Porsche (I think) braked hard as a pheasant ran across the track. In that case a re-run was awarded - to the Porsche, not the pheasant!!

There were loads of Porsches at Loton at the weekend for 2 rounds of their Championship - one on Saturday and one on Sunday - in total they got 8 runs altogether which must have made a few of the others a bit envious as there were only 2 practice runs on offer for everybody on Saturday owing to the dreadful weather conditions. I got there at about 1430 and, apart from the Porsches, everybody else had gone off to get dry or were working on their cars under their gazebos.

David Hilton's bright red 996 lit up the gloom for me as times ranged up into the high 70second mark.

Clear winner (on scratch) of the Porsche class on both days was record holder Paul Howells who lowered his record to 56.62 on Sunday, having been 7 seconds slower in the damp conditions on Saturday.

The first thing I saw on Sunday morning was another Porsche which had decided that it did not want to play and had decided to hide in the grass on the approach to Triangle.

As you can see the marshalls easily spotted him and returned him to the straight and narrow but one lesson I hope it learnt was that there is no point trying to hide unless you are camouflaged as this clever little Force showed later on in the day, though even it was quickly found and returned to its owner!

One driver who has impressed on his visits to the Midlands climbs this year is former Maltese hillclimb champion, Zach Zammit who has been using one of the very effective Empire Evo chassis.

While obviously lacking the experience of the hills of the locals he has set some pretty quick times and in the wet on Saturday he was third quickest in the competitive 1600cc single-seater class (in a 1400cc car) - ahead of such as Richard Spedding, Tina Hawkes and Sean Gould. Very impressive as he had not competed in the wet in Malta!

This is the last time we shall see Zach in this car as he was due to be sending it back to Malta to prepare for the season over there. His previous mount was a Ralt RT36 with a 2.2 Honda in the back (see picture here) and he told me the roads were a lot bumpier over there and all were public roads with all the elements of dropped fuel etc. like  we have to contend with on the Channel Islands and at Craigantlet.

He does, however, hope to come back later in the year and maybe share a car at some of the climbs.

As in all forms of motor sport the deciding element in finding out who has won a hillclimb is speed, or to be more precise, average speed over a set distance, but of course it is not always the car which has the highest top speed which wins if that speed cannot be used effectively by linking the quick stretches together with effective and efficient cornering. At Loton I spent a while at Triangle Corner which is where the original hillclimb began when it was opened and which really marks the start of the final ascent to the top of the hill after the twists and turns and rises and falls of the loop through Hall Corner, Loggerheads and Fletchers Dellow have been negotiated.

Hitting the apex at Triangle proved to be remarkably difficult, though some got it pretty much spot-on.

For others, however there was a wide margin of error!!

While Will Hall showed what to do if you were just a little bit quick!

And in the saloon and sports classes there was a variety of styles!

Understeer from Tony Batterbee who won the tyre-squealing award for the day and a touch of oversteer from class winning Mark Spencer.

While even if you got Triangle right there was always Keepers waiting to trip you up

Walking around the paddock at a hillclimb these days one is aware of many smells - the burger van usually being somewhere near the top of the olfactory awareness, but one other element is burning rubber as drivers use hot air blowers to soften the top layer of rubber on their tyres and scrape it off to leave fresher rubber exposed for the next run. Now the challenge must be to find the most efficient way of doing that - do you, as Trevor Willis demonstrates here, scrape across the tyre or do you, as I have seen Wallace Menzies do (sorry no photo), do it around the circumference of the tyre?

Is there any rubber specialist out there who can tell us the answer to that one - just wondering??

The sun shone brightly on Sunday afternoon at times and the paddock was a glorious site with the cars shining brightly, and free from the cover of the gazebos, enabling the full colour of a British hillclimb paddock to be on show.

Not so many red single-seaters in this picture but they were there still there, spread throughout the paddock. A new livery for Richard Spedding's Raptor, meanwhile, relieved its previous virginal white

while I am still trying to decide what colour can describe the livery of Nev Rollason's car!

The umbrellas were out again on Sunday afternoon, this time to protect the drivers from the heat of the sun as they sat in their cars waiting their turn, but Tony Hunt has his own solution to the problem - a silver crash helmet which must keep his head a bit cooler though sometimes even that cannot stop the damned flies getting in!!!

And while we are on the subject of helmets I presume it is the Elf and Safety people who have demanded that drivers must wear their helmets in open top cars as they return down the hill - in the past it was the only way to identify drivers to the spectators and it was great to see drivers acknowledging their friends and family who were watching while the spectators had fun deciding whether the prevalence of baldness among the drivers was because their hair was being forced out as they sped down the hill or if there was another reason for the majority being tonsurally challenged!

Before I get into deep water I guess I should pick my three favourite cars at Loton. There were no Chevrons there, so that opens the field a bit, but there was the Ford Anglia of Glyn Davies.

 Graham Loakes' Lola T492 - Porsche has such an interesting history

having once formed the basis of a VW Karmann Ghia Special Saloon - but NOT it seems the David Enderby one which I photographed at Silverstone in 1983. Graham has done research into the history of the car and details can be found here.

 I also liked the subtle decoration on the Le Cheminants' OMS

In the Leaders' Championship, Colin Satchell made it 5 class wins in a row to retain his Championship lead but he had to come from behind to defeat his co-driver, Paul Drowne, by just 0.22 seconds, though just under a second away from Keith Murray's record. Ed Hollier got back on track with his 4th class win to remain just 5 points behind but has scored no extra points as he is competing against many of Jos Goodyear's records when the Raptor was normally aspirated - he was exactly 3 seconds slower than the record at Loton!

Alex Summers fell back a little when he was only fourth in class behind Will Hall but man on the move currently is Goodyear who has been undefeated since his noise problems at Prescott and picked up an extra point at Loton by beating Alex Summers' class record by just under half a second. His nearest rival was over 2 1/2 seconds behind him and if he keeps it on track there seems to be little to challenge him - Satchell will need to keep matching him for class wins and records.

In the BHC it was another good weekend for Scott Moran with a haul of 18 points for 2 second place finishes and he picked up a couple of points on Alex Summers who won the first run-off but slipped to 5th in the second one. Scott will not be at Doune next week, however, and so Alex should be able to extend his lead and, on current form, Trevor Willis should slip into second place. Trevor will want to get out of the rut of 3rd place finishes however. Two more at Loton made it 3 in a row, 5 out of the last 6 rounds (interrupted only by his off at Shelsley), and 7 for the season. The record number of 3rd place finishes in a season since we had two rounds per meeting is 10 and he would prefer, I am sure, not to beat that but to increase his existing overall record of 41 wins and 61 second places.

And finally an update on the Muti-Car Challenge - this week Alisdair Suttie was back co-driving with David Finlay in a Vauxhall Corsa VXR, which in its latest form seems enormous for a 'small' car which is presumably why the Viva is making a comeback to take over from the original Nova / Corsa range, but what happens when it becomes Tonka'd?

David had the upper hand on the hill with a 65.29 to Alisdair's 66.50, though I am sure they are not keeping a score......

Nest week at Doune it is going to be a Ford Fiesta ST with a Mountune performance pack for them and I look forward to seeing them and everybody else at the first hillclimb course I ever visited way back in 1968. Current plans include me taking a pilgrimage to the Rest and Be Thankful on my way there and so hopefully the Scotch mist will not prevent me getting some views of the old course.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Enter the gladiators

0800, Sunday 7th June 2015, and Shelsley Walsh awaits the arrival of the gladiators as the early morning sun bathes the world. The hill is still asleep, but is waiting to test itself against today's crop of hopefuls.

From the start,

 up through Kennel Bend and over the Crossing to the approach to the Bottom 'S',

where speeds of over 140mph can be expected, to the Bottom 'S' where the tyres on the outside are waiting to catch the over-exuberant (and there will be some)

and then rushing up the short chute to the top 'S' and disappearing onto the top straight, the hill is the fastest venue in the calendar and, because of that, it poses a greater challenge than many of the others.

While the hill prepares for the onslaught, in the paddock, in a scene that is timeless, the steeds are waiting for their riders

many of whom are returning from their reconnaissance of the conditions that lie in wait.

Meanwhile the keenest of keen spectators grab their favourite positions on the banks above the track

- just a few at the moment, but by the middle of the day the bowl around the Bottom 'S' will be filling up

until later when the competitors will be entering a cauldron of  humanity looking down and watching their every move.

And for some the challenge will be too much and they will retire down the hill for reflection, and maybe to appear again when their car and pride have been mended.

but for others the return will be one of triumph as they glory in a new personal best, class win or even BTD.

Today the hill will resist well and new records will be few - just the one in fact for Ben Tranter in his Formula Ford Vector who eventually takes 0.88second off the old mark. Ironic that a car which was designed by a Dutchman should be setting records for hillclimbing!!

For many people Shelsley is THE place to hillclimb in Britain - its history, the sheer raw challenge that it sets - it is a hill that goes UP all the way - none of this downhill stuff like Gurston or Harewood - this is hillclimbing for the bravest -  and yet for others it is boring - too straight, not twiddly enough, only the big powerful cars have a chance of winning. You will all have your own views and all will have validity and all will be respected. Me - I love the place - the sheer speed as the cars fly up towards Bottom 'S' is surely what motor sport is about - in the same way I don't like the new Silverstone with its contrived 'loops' and twists - give me the old speedbowl any time - one of my favourite memories is of Mike Thackwell throwing the Sauber sportscar throw the old Stowe and Club on a qualifying lap. Goosebump time.

Getting there at 8 o'clock on Sunday was something I especially wanted to do - just to see the place before the crowds arrived, to feel it waking up and to reflect upon its place in British Motor Sport history - and there in front of me were surely some ghosts - or had I been transported back over the years?

This is just so evocative of what Shelsley is all about - the paddock shelters with their numbered plates, the church in the background, even the advert for Bo'Ness. Only the modern fire extinguishers date this photo to 2015 (thanks to Tony Bunker for the suggestion for this shot). 

And yet just across the way was the future?

The hybrid BMW i8 was David Finlay's mount for this event - the third different make for him in the Hillclimb Multi Car Challenge - driving solo this weekend as regular partner Alisdair Suttie was working, he had only collected it at 1 o'clock o Saturday morning from BMW in Farnborough when  it had 380 miles on the clock, so he was hoping that he would be returning it in the same condition 48 hours later. His first practice run was a 37.61 and he then set some pretty consistent times - 35.53, 35.27 and 35.38 to set what I suppose could be considered a new record for cars of that type. And there was not a scratch on it after it was all over. Thanks David for showing us the potential of hybrids and maybe it will encourage others to develop such cars for hillclimbing. Can't wait to see what you turn up with for the rest of the year - personally I look forward to the Perodua Axia!!

On my way to Shelsley I used the route between Banbury and Stratford and about halfway between lies Sunrising Hill, at the top of which is Sunrising House

.and, as all students of Shelsley history know, the Midland Automobile Club organised hillclimbs on this hill in 1903 and 1904 before moving to Shelsley in 1905 while the club's crest is derived from Sunrising, being designed by a Miss Allday in Birmingham Art School.

I walked up and down Sunrising Hill and took a number of photos which will appear in my usual Flickr site. Today of course it is a well surfaced road which cars towing caravans take in their stride, but having walked up it I can vouch that it is quite a haul, the average gradient being about 1 in 9 which the photographs do not show in all its steepness.

To read all about Sunrising Hill and the history of the MAC there is nowhere better than the book produced for the MAC's centenary in 2001 while you should also try and grab the Simon Taylor written history of Shelsley Walsh, both available from the MAC website or on your next visit to the hill.

Now its time for my 3 favourite cars from the weekend. One is obvious - just because it is a Chevron B19 - the immaculate version of Richard and Amanda George - the 2-litre sports cars from Chevron and Lola have always been some of my favourites.

Secondly John Hewett's Lyncar Atlantic,

which instead of a 1.6 Formula Atlantic engine installed has a rather larger 5.0 litre Rover V8!! And it is a lovely colour (and not red or black!!). And finally, and I know it is a re-creation of the original, the Freikaiserwagen is my third choice.

So just a week to go to Loton Park and the next round of what is looking to be quite an open championship this year. Alex Summers is still leading, but he did not win a round at Shelsley and has only won 2 of the rounds so far which may act against him when scores are dropped later in the season. However, the GR61X is still the car to beat as co-driver Scott Moran has also won 5 of the ten rounds. Jos Goodyear had his best weekend of the year so far, winning the first run-off and he was only 0.63 secs behind the winning time in the second one, principally caused by a momentary hesitation as the car left the line.

In the Leaders Championship Ed Hollier did not win his class, for the first time this year, losing out to Eynon Price, while Colin Satchell continued his winning streak and now has a 4 point lead over Alex Summers.

We had Oli Wright's meerkat at Gurston Down on the back of his Caterham and at Shelsley we spotted this little chap helping Alex Brown to steer the Fairley Mercury in the right direction:

Do you think he has been homologated??

And finally a caption competition!!