Har­ris’s out­ing

Motor Sport News - - Historics - Chateau Imp­ney drama drama, p33 Photos: Paul Lawrence

The first of the re­cent run of ‘con­tin­u­a­tion’ lightweight Jaguar E-types to race made its com­pe­ti­tion de­but at Le Mans on Sat­ur­day. Top Gear pre­sen­ter and jour­nal­ist Chris Har­ris con­tested the Jaguar Clas­sic Chal­lenge race in chas­sis num­ber 15 of the six cars built to 1963 spec­i­fi­ca­tion. The car re­tired with a mis­fire. It is owned by the Strat­stone Jaguar deal­er­ship.

went to EMC In­stone’s 35hp Daim­ler in 77.6 sec­onds. By the time of the fi­nal pre-war event, in June 1939, Ray­mond Mays had trimmed the hill record to 37.37s with his ERA.

For eight years now, the cur­rent record has stood at an in­cred­i­ble 22.58s, tes­ta­ment to the tal­ent and brav­ery of Martin Groves in his Gould. Over the years, the top driv­ers in this ex­act­ing branch of the sport have pit­ted them­selves against this rib­bon of as­phalt, as lit­tle as 12 feet wide in places, which rises 328 feet at a max­i­mum gra­di­ent of one-in-six.

Over more than a cen­tury, Shel­s­ley has been a shin­ing light, not just in hill­climb­ing but in motorsport in gen­eral. It is the most Bri­tish of venues in a glo­ri­ous set­ting where the her­itage of this in­cred­i­ble place is ex­pertly man­aged by the Mid­land Au­to­mo­bile Club. The Nostalgia Week­end will be a fit­ting cel­e­bra­tion of a na­tional trea­sure.

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