2016 TR Register / Revington TR Hillclimb and Sprint Championship.
Mid Season Report by Roger McEwen
This season we have 32 registered Entrants in the Championship of which seven are non-TRs. 17 events out of the 25 in the calendar have been completed and Nick Smith is leading the Championship in his Tuned Roadgoing TR6, closely followed by Jim Giddings in his Modified TR7 V8 and Tony Browne in his Modified Dolomite Sprint. However with only five events counting towards the Championship and with eight events still to go anybody could still win the honours.
Tom Purves at Hullavington
The season started early with a Sprint at Hullavington and it was bitterly cold and very windy. This was possibly the last motorsport activity at this venue as it is being sold for redevelopment. Dale Huxford took maximum points in his Modified Spitfire MkIV, followed by Jim Giddings and Tom Purves in his immaculate Roadsport TR3A. Easter Monday was the Croft Sprint, new to the calendar in 2015, and only three competitors entered: Tom Key in his Tuned Roadgoing TR6, Jim Johnstone in his powder blue Modified TR6 and Bob Barnard in his similarly coloured Tune Roadgoing TR4.
Dale Huxford and his thermals at Hullavington
The first BIG event of the year was the Hillclimb at Gurston Down near Wilton, and on the opposite side of the hill from the Fovant Badges. We had 13 championship entrants and it was certainly unlucky for Roger McEwen in his Tuned Roadgoing TR6PI, known as 'the witch', that broke a drive shaft on the start line of first practice. Some great clubmanship from Alan Yeo and others enabled the TR6 to get a lift home on the back of a trailer. Nick Smith took the honours followed by Dale Huxford and Tony Browne with Andy Bradnum putting in a very fast time in his resplendent Modified GT6 MkIII. It was also first time out in the Championship for Matt Feltham in his Tuned Roadgoing TR4. Not satisfied with that great competition the next event was at Goodwood, probably the most famous of all the venues. Six competitors entered with Nick repeating his maximum points breaking the 2B Bogey time although Jim Giddings recorded the fastest single lap time of 103.7 seconds. Bob Mead was out for his first Championship event in his Tuned Roadgoing TR4 although he had registered the previous year.
2015 champion Nick Smith
There were no entries for the Werrington Hillclimb in Cornwall, nor the Ty Croes Sprint on Angelsey over the May bank holiday weekend. However six entrants ventured to the Isle of Man for the Manx Classic, organised by the Manx Motor Racing Club. This event consists of the Governor's Sprint, the Creg Willey's Hillclimb and the Lhergy Frissell Hillclimb held on three consecutive days on closed roads of the TT Course. Bob Barnard won the class for pre 1968 over 2000cc cars, breaking the record for Creg Willey's. Tony Browne won the class for pre 1981 1500-2000cc cars and Nick Smith won the class for pre 1981 over 2000cc cars also breaking the Creg Willey's record. A fantastic experience for those who attended.
The MIRA Sprint is attracting more entrants from the Championship each year, being in the middle of the Country and a great venue. The circuit uses the 'Handling Course' which has a special Dunlop high grip surface that makes for very fast cornering. Nick took the honours again closely followed by Roger McEwen and Bob Barnard as non of the V8s had entered this very fast venue. Mandy Small put in a very competitive time at her first event in her TR7 and will be chasing Sam Browne for the Lady's Award.
Flaming June saw an unfortunate clash of events with organising clubs trying to balance the calendar without success. Harewood Hillclimb had only two entrants with Jim Johnstone taking the points from Bob Barnard. Abingdon Sprint is an incredible event having raised over a quarter of a million pounds for charity over the last 20 years. On the Saturday are two sprint courses and an autosolo, and on the Sunday a single venue multi-stage tarmac rally. Competing in two sprints on one day is non-stop motorsport and excellent value for money. Dale Huxford took the ten points followed by Nick Smith and Martin Paine, new to the Championship in his left hooker Roadsport TR6. Unsurprisingly Jim Giddings took fastest TR in his TR7V8, closely followed by Rod Warner in a similar machine.
Jim Johnston at Harewood
Neil Revington ventured to the Epynt Hillclimb near Brecon on the ranges and was the only TR contender. Following this was the Aintree Sprint, using part of the old GP Circuit. Martin Paine and Bob Barnard joined Neil, with Martin getting the 10 points, and Bob fastest time.
Shelsley Walsh is always a great event, more so because the organisers, The Midland Automobile Club, love having the TR Championship. There was ten Championship entries and an additional 2 TRs competing. Richard Durrant put in his first appearance of the season and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, quickly going up the long learning curve!! (pun intended).Nick Smith broke the class 2B Bogey time and took the ten points on offer although it was Andy Bradnum who made the most improvement over his previous time. Graham Ramsey appears to have finally sorted out the engine on his TR7 and recorded a very respectable below 45 time, only fractionally beaten by Alan Yeo in his Tuned road going Vitesse MkI Convertible.
Blyton Park was a new event on the Championship calendar, and only one week before the International and Track Day at the same venue. So it was that there was only one entrant, more sad that it was Martin Paine in his first season; but ten points is ten points. The International weekend clashed with the Shelsley Walsh Classic Nostalgia and so many TRers did not get the opportunity to see the Auto Union Type C V16 of Hans Stuck in full chat driven by his son.
Sam Browne in her TR4 at Castle Coombe
The July Castle Combe Sprint is over the short course, starting in the pit lane, a requirement from the MSA for all track sprints, and finishing just after the second chicane. Historically this event has often been wet but this year the weather was glorious. Steve Small is his wife's TR7 broke the Class 2A Bogey time as did Nick Smith for Class 2B. First timer Clive Letherby in his V8 engined Modified TR6 recorded a very fast sub 80 second time but not fast enough for the ten points which went to Steve. Jim Berry was at his first event having broken down on the way to Shelsley Walsh but failed to record a time, going off track on both runs. Jim used to race 505s where the need to stay on the black stuff was not an issue!
Waiting for the off at Castle Coombe
Three Sisters Sprint is held on a Go Kart track near Wigan and non of the northern contingent entered as so it was that Neil Revington in his TR5 took the ten points without competition. August welcomed our second outing to Goodwood with appearances from Dale Huxford and Jeff Hooper in his race prepared TR6. Dale broke the Class 3A Bogey to register ten points with Jim Giddings again taking the fastest time beating his time earlier this year by more than a second. Rod Warner couldn't manage an extra few hundredths of a second to beat Jeff Hooper, and the Class 1C entries of Tom Purves and Graham Ramsey were within two hundredths of a second of each other.
Alan Yeo at the triangle at Loton Park
Loton Park saw the emergence of the Master Chef, Nick Smith, who provided an evening meal of barbequed marinaded salmon, potatoes and salad to those who camped over the weekend. The Saturday was not a Championship event and only Neil, Bob Barnard and Roger McEwen took part with Bob winning a very nice Class Award. However the Sunday was more competitive with Nick Smith, Sam and Tony Browne, Chris Roberts and Alan Yeo joining the other three. This venue is notorious for giving Bob Barnard the handle of Hooligan, following his major off on the last blind bend of the course in 2015, having been warned at the briefing of the impending doom if you didn't brake early. To make matters worse the tyre wall housed a wasps nest that was decimated with the subsequent chaos of swarming wasps. This year things went a lot better with Nick and Bob fighting all day for the top points, Nick taking them with another broken 2B Bogey time, beating Bob by 0.39 seconds. It was an event of fantastic improvements, Alan Yeo smoking his tyre at every braking point to record a time faster than Roger McEwen, who then found another fraction of a second. Sam Browne in the Dolly Sprint recorded her first sub 80 time knocking more than 5 seconds off her previous best to record 77.44, a tad faster than Chris in his TR7V8.
Hooligan Bob revisits Loton Park
The Championship is still wide open to anybody, you only have to score five ten points to be in with a chance, and the Bogey system means that everybody has an equal chance regardless of level of tune or modification.