Dunne claims new mark
Over 90 Jersey and Guernsey cars, karts and bikes turned out to celebrate the 72nd running of the Liberation Day hill climb last Wednesday.
The Valla-sponsored event was first held on 9 May 1946, and had just eight cars and 11 bikes take to Bouley Bay hill, with the fastest time of the day being 61.5 seconds. The only similarity between the first and 2018 events were the large numbers of spectators.
Only one record fell in the bright warm sunshine, as a keen breeze kept the track conditions cool, but there was the usual exciting competition throughout.
The record honour fell to a Sarnian, John Dunne, in his beautifully-prepared Mitsubishi Evo5. He took a further tenth of a second off his road going production class unlimited time, with a run of 46.00 seconds.
The fastest time of the day was also recorded by a Guernseyman, Nick Saunders in his EI Sturdza Racing car taking just 41.11 sec to get up Bouley Bay hill – just beating on-form Jerseyman Glyn Moignard in his OMS to take the up-to-1.6-litre racing car class.
Both drivers certainly displayed good form ahead of the National hill climb in July.
The rally car classes also had a good day out and kept spectators fully entertained with a display of full blooded power slides and hand-brake turns from the off.
The main class, up-to-two-litre, was won by 2017 Roberts Garages Jersey Rally winner Steve Leonard in a Ford Escort, with his 48.28 sec effort beating a very fast and spectacular John Le Brun (BMW E30) whose best time was a nifty 49.94 sec.
Grant Collins also got into the sub-50-sec category in the four-wheel-drive rally class, with a best run of 49.95 sec. Simon Le Noa took the unlimited class in his Anglia Angry Box, with a best time of 47.27, taking the class from Sarnian Dale Crowsley in his Mazda MX GT. Crowlsley did, however win the prize for the most spectacular spin at the top bend!
The current keen competition and large entries in all the rally classes bodes well for this year’s Roberts Garages Jersey Rally with some tasty battles already in prospect.
The road-going specialist production class featured the battle of the Caterhams, with the recently returned Brandons taking top honours. Son Mark won the class with a best time of 47.86 sec, with dad Ian taking second with a best time of 49.03 sec.
Two other drivers, Richard Wilson and Richard Buchanan, both broke the 50-second barrier, with best times of 49.22 and 49.7, respectively, in what is turning into an extremely competitive class.
Dan Bichard, in a Honda S2000, won the road-going production class having been chased all day by a large field of Mazdas.
The large bike field also produced a good day of racing, with many PBs being set.
The largest and probably the most competitive class for up-to-500 cc bikes was won by Oli Holmes on his KTM, with a best time of 43.46 sec beating Dan Lagadu on a Husqvana who’s best time was 43.94. Third went to Adam Vibert (KTM) with a best time of 44.29. Special mention goes to Jack Claydon (KTM), competing in this class for the first time he managed a quick best of 46.56 sec.
Sam Bingle, in the up-to-250 cc class, was on good form but the cold conditions meant, despite some on-the-edge riding and a best time of 45.92 sec, he did not quite take the class record
The historic classes also had a big entry and some keen battles for class honours.
Graham du Feu won the historic up-to-500 cc class on his Manx Norton after a battle royal with Paul Machon on his Aermacchi Ala Doro. Gordon Le Feuvre took the over-500cc class on his Triumph T140.
Oli du Feu came out on top in the Post Historic class, with a quick 52.02 run on his Yamaha TZ ,just pipping Alan Bertram on a Honda CB350.
Fastest kart of the day was Nigel Davis in an Anderson Rotax, with a 43.6 run.
A club spokesman thanked all the officials and marshals who turned out to make the day happen, the sponsor Valla, St John Ambulance, Normandy Rescue and the residents on the hill.
Full results can be found at www.jerseymotorsport.com.
The next hill climb is the Valla National on Wednesday 18 July.