With a capacity ninety-car entry and as a qualifying round of no fewer than twelve regional championships the only potential dampener in the days leading up to the event was the weather.
Those good folk at the Met Office were forecasting rain, rain and more rain, hardly ideal in terms of drivers getting the most from their cars or organisers attracting lots of spectators. Thankfully they got it wrong (again) and whilst cloud was a prominent feature of the day, the weather stayed dry.
There was also a lack of any dazzling sunshine and whilst that may have disappointed some of those spectating it helped make for some perfect driving conditions. That helped keep pressure on the drivers with many classes not decided until all final runs had been completed.
Similarly the FTD was only determined once Jim Macdiarmid had completed his final drive up the 890 yard long 1:12 incline stopping the clocks on 24.20, a hundredth of a second faster than Ben Lovell. Lovell had set best time on the second timed run but having put his OMS SC4CF onto the grass on the inside of the Lafone hairpin on his final run he failed to improve his earlier time. That left the way open for MacDiarmid to snatch top honours after timing his run to perfection.
There were lots of close contests throughout the classes, in particular Class 3B where six hundredths of a second separated the Ford Escort Mk2 of winner Richard Hargreaves and the Peugeot 106 of runner-up Andy Larton. Records were broken too, amongst others Mark Purdham set a new benchmark in Class 3G.
For the most part the day was incident free but a spot of bale bashing at the Lafone hairpin by Dave Exton in his Toyota MR2 Mk2 gave the marshals the chance to flex their muscles! In real terms it all added to the day’s entertainment, hopefully leaving the spectators wanting more and returning to the hill on July 4th.