Wiscombe Park – NHCA Arnold Gimblett Speed Hillclimb

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Riviera Guy
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Wiscombe Park – NHCA Arnold Gimblett Speed Hillclimb

Post by Riviera Guy »

It was another great day of hillclimbing at Wiscombe Park on Sunday 12th September 2021 – this time it was the all bike National Hill Climb Association Arnold Gimblett Speed Hillclimb.

This event has been a regular event on the bike racing calendar since 1969. A massive 106 entries comprising bikes, trikes and sidecars battled it out for honours. Wiscombe was treated to a dry day with sunny intervals and the morning comprised of two practice runs. There was originally going to be a morning timed run as well. However, after a couple of incidents, it was decided to have an early lunch with two timed runs in the afternoon finishing with the Top Ten Run Off.

Those experiencing morning problems included the highly experienced sidecar pairing of Simon and Jayne Foster – they lost the back end of their Honda F2 combination and nose dived the bushes just inside The Gate. Fortunately the 2018, 2019 and 2021 NHCA Sidecar Champions were unhurt, and although the bodywork of the sidecar was damaged, they were still able to run in the afternoon without the body, as there was no mechanical damage. The spectacular Alex and Isaac Warren on their Suzuki trike also took a tumble at the end of Wis Straight. Alan Jolly – KTM SM - had a moment in the demanding Esses and this forced his retirement from further competition for the weekend. Fortunately no serious injuries to any of the riders...other than perhaps ego’s and the machinery!

The timed run’s were fast and furious with some spectacular riding on a very varied range of machinery. NHCA Secretary, Peter Isaac, who was riding his Velocette, one of the oldest bike’s on the hill, commented that by mid afternoon, the hill was in near perfect condition. Peter has been maintaining, modifying and riding the Velocette “special”, based on a 1950’s production 500cc Venom, for over 50 years and estimates that he has completed in excess of 600 runs up the Wiscombe hill. The afternoon was incident free except for when a three wheeler became a two wheeler. As Mark and James Foster, on their 1070cc Foster BMW sidecar, left Sawbench and accelerated up Castle Straight, the wheel of the tray made a break for freedom! Fortunately, they came to a safe halt. In the post mortem by them at the Sawbench recovery area, it appears that the wheel assembly had sheared. Unusually, the wheel of the tray is linked to the bike steering and turns in unison to assist with cornering.

The day was rounded off by a Top Ten Run Off. Not surprisingly, it was very close, but was finally decided in favour of the current NHCA Champion, Tom Short – KTM with the Fastest Time of the Day of 40.39s. Second was Noth Devon’s Paul Jeffery – KTM SMR 40.46s and third, Tommy Hodges Team GV KTM SMR 41.35s. Both Tom and Paul bettered their qualifying times proving the hill was getting quicker. A KTM is the bike to have for hillclimbing with the Austrian manufacturer filling nine of the top ten places. It was also a battle between two well know South West racing families as well, the Hodges from Taunton versus the Short’s from Bideford and Brampford Speke.

That was an exciting show from the NHCA, their biggest event of the year. The bikes will be back at Wiscombe on the 25th and 26th September for the Wildlife Autosport when they join the cars, before their season finale, the all bike meeting at Hartland Quay, Bideford on the 3rd October. Keep up to date with all the latest news on the NHCA website www.nhca.co.uk and FB page.

Top Ten Run Off

1. (1) Tom Short – KTM 40.39 FTD

2. (4) Paul Jeffery – KTM SMR 40.46

3. (777) Tommy Hodges – Team GV KTM 41.35

4. (757) Glyn Poole – KTM 41.49

5. (771) George Hodges – Team GV KTM 42.63

6. (6) Jamie Mitchell – BRC 42.69

7. (10) Peter Short – KTM 42.83

8. (7) Callum Short – KTM 43.52

9. (9) Stu Mills – KTM SDR 44.22

10. (711) Mark Short – KTM SMR 44.45

A selection of my photo's from this event are available to view on the Wiscombe Park Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/WiscombeParkHi ... 9262797138

https://www.facebook.com/WiscombeParkHi ... 3542623710
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Robbo87
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Joined: Feb 13th, '09, 19:42
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Re: Wiscombe Park – NHCA Arnold Gimblett Speed Hillclimb

Post by Robbo87 »

Good pic's there Nigel, ta for posting the links. I recognise a few of the surnames from when I had a play on the hills many moons ago - it's in the blood you know!
What are the sidecar outfits doing time-wise at Wiscombe nowadays?
Riviera Guy
Learner Driver
Posts: 23
Joined: Jun 27th, '17, 13:05
First Name: Nigel

Re: Wiscombe Park – NHCA Arnold Gimblett Speed Hillclimb

Post by Riviera Guy »

Hi Phil, Thank you, I am glad you liked the photo's. It was a great meeting.
Here are the times for the meeting:
https://www.text2kml.co.uk/JSTEST/?fbcl ... hUNO91EFmM
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