Round 3 of the Bugatti Owners Club FASSI Classic Speed Championship took place at a very wet Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb on Saturday 6th May.
Shelsley Walsh is the oldest motorsport venue in the world still to run events on the original course and is older than Indianapolis, Le Mans or Monza. The hill is a steep 100m climb over its 914m length & a favourite venue for high powered cars.
The constant rain made for a very wet hill & challenging driving conditions for the 20-car field. As is often the case in motorsport the rain disrupts the usual order of things & this was to the advantage of Scuderia FASSI on the day.
While the more powerful saloons had to moderate their speeds & feather the throttle through the bends, the FASSI Fiat Abarth 695 was able to maintain foot to the floor with only a slight lift off into bottom ‘S’. This allowed both drivers to come in under their handicap times to take first place (Leigh Carter) & second place (Dave Fripp) in the saloon class. Alistair Clark bought the Triumph Vitesse home in third with a quick but controlled drive to come closest to his handicap time.
One of the great things about hill climbing is the camaraderie & friendliness that permeates the paddock. This was illustrated when Scuderia FASSI had a technical problem right before first practice. Without the intervention of Martin Saunders, who gave us a spare part from his Ford Escort, the Scuderia FASSI day would have been over before it began. We can’t thank Martin enough for his help.
The sports car class featured no less than three Reliant Scimitars with Ian Stainburn taking the class win in his Scimitar Coupe. Ian Beattie piloted his Jaguar XK120 to second place despite having only a half-moon windscreen to shield him from the rain. Third place went to Steve Phennah in the MG B Roadster.
The racing car class featured two lovely looking machines. Ian Baxter’s Brabham BT 16 was the fastest car up the hill on the day at 37.08 seconds & took the class honours from Briony Serrell’s Elva Mk7 in second.