After nine rounds the finale of the Bugatti Owners Club FASSI Classic Speed Championship took place at Prescott Speed Hill Climb on Saturday 7th October. The weather was fantastic for the second year running bringing out a large crowd of spectators & a 31 car championship field for them to enjoy.
Morning practice went without a hitch & the stage was set for some fast times & close competition in the timed afternoon runs. All competitors were pushing on, chasing championship finale glory, & the red flags started to mount. Incidents at Pardon & Ettores corners culminated with irreparable damage to the crash barrier leading to the meeting ending prematurely at 4pm.
The FASSI championship field were frustratingly denied their second timed runs so the results were settled without a dramatic final run off. A disappointing end but safety must come first & this is all part of motorsport.
The battle for the FASSI championship overall ‘King of the Hill’ was between Alistair Clark in the Triumph Vitesse Mk2 & John Louch in the Austin A40 Farina. John needed to win the saloon car class on the day & hope that Alistair finished lower than second. John did what he had to do taking first place by just four hundredths of a second, but Alistair put in a blistering drive, taking 1.71 seconds off his handicap for second place ahead of Phil Fisher in the Hillman Avenger & overall King of the Hill honours (by just a single point!).
Having narrowly missed out on King of the Hill, John had the saloon car championship win to enjoy with last years King of the Hill Stephen Akers in the Mini Cooper ‘S’ in second. Third place went to Mark Hobbs in his Escort Mk2 with some impressive points collected in the first seven rounds before mechanical problems ended his season early.
Ben Cross won the sports car championship, narrowly beating his father Tim by just five points in their shared MG Midget. There was a three-way battle for third place with Ian Beattie (Jaguar XK120), Gary Cox (Reliant Scimitar Coupe) & Steve Phennah (MGB) all tied on 35 points. The tie break rule of the most first places, second places etc. separated the three with Ian coming out on top. A great achievement especially as he drives his open top Jaguar to & from every event.
The racing car class went down to the wire with Jeremy Rivers-Fletcher (Triumph Special), Peter Thurston (Mallock Mk4) & Ben Fisher (Mallock MkII) all capable of taking the championship. All three were denied a 12-point round win by the flying Brabham BT16 piloted by Ian Baxter with the day’s fastest time of 45.28 seconds. A great drive by Peter of 45.33 seconds saw him take second place on the day but Jeremys fourth place drive was just enough to see him over the line to take overall championship honours.
Scuderia FASSI returned to saloon class competition after our accident in July left our Fiat Abarth 695 SS at the body shop for two months. We took a sensible pace as we eased ourselves back in both mentally & mechanically. It was great to be back on the hill. Despite our enforced lay off we still managed a respectable championship 8th (Dave) & 10th (Leigh).
Thanks to all the Bugatti Owners Club / Prescott Speed Hill Climb staff, Tim Milvain for the task of handicapping (not easy!) and all the Marshals for their tireless efforts all year (especially for recovering our crashed Fiat!). A big thanks from Scuderia FASSI to TCM & his team at Middle Barton Garage for getting us back in the race for the finale.