Richard Spedding won his first ever Shelsley Walsh at the Best of British weekend with a stunning time of 23.88 seconds set on the very last run of the day as he wowed the crowds in his small and svelte GWR Raptor with a quite incredible 1340cc supercharged engine. With a track that wasn’t quite dry the bravery of all of the runners throughout Sunday was a testament to their commitment and belief in the speed and agility of their modern hill climb cars.
“I never knew what it meant to win at Shelsley until I crossed the line and saw that I’d won. It’s so special to do it here and now I’ve done it, it means so much. It was almost a shock as the favourites are the favourites and I’ve never considered myself as one of those drivers, but today I’ve done it and that means we’re getting so much better with a smaller car. The win is still sinking in; I’m having to pinch myself I’ve won at Shelsley! A brilliant weekend.” Said Spedding.
Winner last year, David Uren got second Best Time of Day with 23.93 seconds, just 0.05 seconds back of the winner, while first placed man in the first Run Off, Wallace Menzies bagged third overall in 24.07 seconds.
Even though it was wet, there was a brand new outright record set up Shelsley Walsh for a wheelie! 12 times trials World Champion Dougie Lampkin did an incredible 69.56 seconds on his rear wheel and tried to beat it a few minutes later but couldn’t quite get the bike into sixth gear on the finishing straight as much as he tried. He also rode up the paths and spectator areas on his trials bike showing off his near impossible gravity-defying feats that has made him one of the best in the world.
The Midland Hill Climb Championship Man of the Meeting was Zach Zammit who won the 1600cc class on only his second visit the hill in the Empire Wraith, a shade ahead of David Warburton while a new Shelsley award for 2019 went to James Baxter who got into both run offs in his Gould V6 for the very first time at Shelsley. He won the MHD Watches ‘Hero of the Day Award’ for his efforts as normally he’s driving older cars from the pre-war ages which is how he’s also the pre-war car record holder at Shelsley in ERA R4A. James won a brand new MHD CR1 Watch. “I will wear it and remember this weekend for a long time. A fabulous time racing a fabulous car.”
Never-been-seen-before at Shelsley Walsh was the BAC Mono single seater supercar that was actually in camouflage with some new parts running as development by former Le Mans 24 hour podium man, Anthony Reid. Alan Jenkins was on hand as part of the BAC Mono team and lapped up the chance to see Shelsley in full flow, the former McLaren F1 engineer for Alain Prost and Ducati MotoGP designer has been all over the world in motor sport but lapped up the atmosphere and competitive nature of Shelsley.
The next meeting at Shelsley Walsh is Classic Nostalgia in two weeks time on June 15th and 16th with a huge array of Rally Cars amongst the retro cars, the highlight of which will be one of the biggest gatherings of Subaru Impreza World Rally Cars seen for some time in the UK .
Images courtesy of John Charters, Rob MacDonald and Stuart Santos-Wing.
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