Gary Thomas – My 2014 Season (Part 1)

A run down on my season driving a 1400cc Suzuki engined Force hillclimb single seater in hillclimbs and sprints.

1400cc Suzuki engined Force hillclimb single seater

1400cc Suzuki engined Force hillclimb single seater

After a few minor tweaks to the car by myself and Ian Dayson of Force Racing Cars I entered my first events in the first weekend of May.

I have long wanted to drive Werrington Park hillclimb and had my entries accepted for both Saturday and Sunday. I had a long, typical Friday, drive from Nottingham to Launceston and arrived after 11.00pm. I slept in the back of the towcar and woke early to walk the hill.

The weekend was very well organized by the Plymouth Motor Club and I got to see CIM members Craig and Phillip who were marshalling on the first day.  Also met Ken, the Rector of Werrington Church as the top holding paddock is right outside the rectory. Fourth overall on day one and second on day two, whilst also going under the existing class record was a decent start to the season but no time to enjoy the moment as I was back on the road in preparation for the next event which was the next day, Bank Holiday Monday, for the first running of the new figure of 8 layout at Curborough Sprint Course, near Lichfield. This was a members only event and I managed to set the first ever FTD (fastest time of the day) for the new layout.

Mid May saw a sprint weekend at Snetterton on the 100 circuit as an obligation to my Norfolk based sponsor, Langor Bridge Garage. As I wasn’t registered for the British Sprint Championship, which was running at this event, I was part of the National B meeting and set FTD on both days and would have qualified for the British Championship run-off had I been registered.

I then entered one of my favourite events at Crystal Palace. The sprint is run on a short section of the former race track, which is now much narrower than when it was last used for racing. Sevenoaks & District Motor Club do a fantastic job in organizing this once per year event and they usually enjoy good weather and decent sized crowds of spectators. I competed on day one of the two day event and felt blessed to be back home for day two as the event suffered its first wet day. As I had no one else in my class, I had set myself the target of beating my own outright track record and I had the excitement of achieving this and then recently seeing the event on TV as a novice was shown competing in his very first motorsports event.

Another venue new to me was the Abingdon sprint, competed over two different tracks in the same venue. Atrocious, heavy rain stopped the event early in the day, but on the restart good wind and sun got things dry. Steve Luscombe, CIM’s Executive Officer, was also competing there in his Midget. We both had good days and I missed FTD by 0.35 second to a 2 litre race car, which was frustrating! The awards were presented by former Grand Prix winner John Watson, which caused real excitement for some of the competitors.

John Watson

Five-times F1 Grand Prix winner, John Watson

In the middle of June Gail, my wife, and I set off for a two-part weekend by competing at Barbon hillclimb in Cumbria, followed by Prescott hillclimb in Gloucestershire. Wow! What a weekend! FTD on both days, a fantastic B&B near Prescott, and our own Jake Sanson was doing the Prescott commentary so CIM got plenty of mentions.

In early July I paid my first visit of the season to my favourite venue, Shelsley Walsh. After a shortened practice, second overall was a good result on this power hill despite a mistake from me on my final timed run – hillclimbing really does not allow you to get away with errors.

Onto Blyton Park for a two day event. A class win and second overall was a good result on day one, but day two resulted in FTD for me despite a car that was now starting to run very poorly! I had the opportunity to use my winner’s speech to point out that God must exist for me to get FTD with a car as sick as mine was!

A Christian’s First Season in Motorsport

Rupert Howe, Rookie

Rupert Howe – Rookie

In the beginning…

From an early age I was taken to historic motor racing meetings by my father who, having driven a bit in the 60s, liked to see the cars of his era and earlier race. Watching these races I had for a long time seen that the best racers are in a league of their own, getting the throttle down earlier and more smoothly than the average drivers and pushing their cars closer to the edge of adhesion. I had also noticed the more pedestrian looking drivers towards the back of the field and thought, surely I can do that.


The formula I decided to race in is Classic Formula Ford 1600 (cars must have been built before 1982) and the car I drive is a Royale RP26. I was a complete novice having only been on a go-kart track for the occasional birthday or stag do. My technical knowledge was basically nil and I had to rely on advice from the other Continue reading

Living Out the Kingdom of God (Matthew 13)


From An Elder – David Devenish

Jesus’ teaching described two main priorities after his death and resurrection: That he would build his church (Matt. 16) and that his followers demonstrate the Kingdom of God. (Matt. 6:3) On Sunday we focussed on the second part, living out the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God isn’t like the United Kingdom, it isn’t a future hope. Instead it is living under, demonstrating and bringing the practical ruling of Jesus Christ in everything we do. When Jesus taught on this subject, he generally spoke in parables, stories which had a deeper meaning Continue reading