The revival of the Chateau Impney hillclimb has been an overnight success, building from an idea for 2015 to a runaway hit in 2016.
With around 200 pre-1967 cars competing in an array of classes, this is a revival event that puts competition first and it is all the better for that.
The hillclimb in the grounds of the Droitwich hotel is a proper test and a strong crowd enjoyed the parkland setting over a weekend in July.
Just as they did in 2015, the Formula Juniors were at the head of the action, but this time Martin Jones took his 1600cc Brabham BT21B up the hill in 40.50s on Sunday morning for the fastest time of the day.
The SRC Challengers class, for drivers who hadn’t finished in the overall top 10 in the past 10 years, had one of the greatest battles in recent memory. Mitsubishi Lancer E9 drivers Scott Mccombie, Alasdair Graham and Ross Macdonald and Subaru man Iain Wilson were all in contention, but it was Mccombie who took the spoils, claiming two class wins throughout the year. There was just 10 points separating the top four drivers. Graham did however take the Group N class title, with Wilson the victor in Class 11.
Grant Inglis had a particularly good year in his Mk2 Escort, winning the closely fought Class 8 battle and also notching up the Scottish 2WD Championship with co-driver Robert Gray. Fellow Ford Escort drivers Andy Chalmers and John Mcilwraith took the Class 5 fight right down to the wire, but sensationally both men retired from the Galloway Hills Rally that ended the season. It was Chalmers who took the championship by just a single point.
Thomas Gray – 2015 SRC Junior champion – was impressive in 2016, notching up three class wins in his Ford Fiesta R2 with Dave Robson on the notes. Donald Peacock took the 205 Cup and the Class 3 title in a strong year, while Angus Lawrie powered his Vauxhall Corsa to the Class 2 spoils ahead of Grant Macrae. He startled a lot of people in his little Peugeot on his way to second in class and the SRC Junior title.
Caroline Carslaw guided her Fiesta ST to the Class 7 championship and the Ladiestrophy, while Matthew Thomson won the inaugural Subaru Cup for Gc8-specification Imprezas, despite some rapid pace from Elgin’s Scott Mutch.