Wiscombe Park hillclimb season opens in motoring style

Andrew Forsyth - OMS CF04 - Wiscombe Woolbridge Spring

Andrew Forsyth - OMS CF04 - Wiscombe Woolbridge Spring - Credit: Nigel Cole

The opening event of the Wiscombe Park 2022 speed hillclimb season provided plenty of thrills and spills for a big crowd.  

With an entry of 130 drivers, the biggest classes were for road going cars, with all looking to score points towards the first two rounds of the nine-round Tillicoultry Quarries Wiscombe Park Championship.  

The man that came out on top was Plymouth engineer and previous four-time champion Ian Ingleheart in his Westfield Cosworth SE. Running Ian close, finishing second, was Dorset garage proprietor Rod Thorne in his Pilbeam MP43 sports racer. And it was last year’s Championship runner up, and multiple record holder, Steve Wareham in a 1970 Morris Mini, who finished third. 

On Sunday, aa number of drivers completed Class doubles – setting the quickest times on both Saturday and Sunday, including Steve Wareham, in Class A1. Matt Vann – Audi TT (A3) Ian Ingleheart (B2) Martyn Pike – Ford Escort Mk1 (C2) and Steve Clarke – Subaru Impreza (C3) all repeating the feat. 

The fastest times are always set by the single seater racing cars and it was Dorset driver Andrew Forsyth who set a blistering pace on Saturday. He led Class E2 with a time of 37.57s after the first of two event runs. On his second run, as he blasted out of the final hairpin at Sawbench, a broken drive shaft ended his day. However, he had done enough with his first run to clinch the Fastest Time of the Day award.  

To enable Andrew to compete on Sunday, his fellow competitors rallied around in the paddock, and helped him repair his car. Hillclimbing is like that – furious competition and rivalry on the track, but in the paddock, if someone has a problem, the drivers all help each other out. 

With his car repaired, Andrew set an opening time of 37.55s, and then bettered that with a 37.32s run to again set FTD. Three weeks ago, at Gurston Down near Salisbury, he also completed a weekend FTD double, taking an early lead in the Gurston Down Top Ten Challenge Championship. 

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The next Wiscombe Park event is the 500 Owners Association / Vintage Sports-Car Club weekend – May 7 & 8. 

Ian Ingleheart - Westfield Cosworth SE2

Ian Ingleheart - Westfield Cosworth SE2 - Credit: Nigel Cole

Steve Wareham - Morris Mini

Steve Wareham - Morris Mini - Credit: Nigel Cole

Rod Thorne - Pilbeam MP43

Rod Thorne - Pilbeam MP43 - Credit: Nigel Cole