‘Expect hill record to fall when National returns’

THE classy visitors are set to come roaring back to Guernsey next month for the National Hill Climb’s grand return.

Lee Poole set a new class record in the Road Going Series Production Cars Up To 2000cc, in which four drivers went under the previous best. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 30968630)
Lee Poole set a new class record in the Road Going Series Production Cars Up To 2000cc, in which four drivers went under the previous best. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 30968630)

The usually-annual showpiece has the green light to go ahead on Saturday 16 July, following two years out due to Covid, and domestic No. 1 Nick Saunders fully expects Scott Moran’s Le Val des Terres record of 26.99 to go if the weather is decent.

‘The top five or six seem to have made a massive step forward,’ he said.

‘Wherever they go, they seem to beat the record quite easily.

‘I’m expecting the times this year to be really quite impressive. I expect the hill record to be lowered by quite a bit and it wouldn’t surprise me if we saw 25, to be honest.’

Saunders will enter hoping to lower his own personal best from 27.26, though he does not fancy his chances in a field provisionally featuring not only Moran but other national stars like championship top-two Alex Summers and Wallace Menzies.

But he certainly had what it takes to triumph in Saturday’s regular Guernsey Kart and Motor Club fixture.

It could be considered the calm before the storm – that is not to say the weather was pleasant, as an untimely downpour meant competitors got four timed runs at most, many settling for one or two.

Saunders only needed one to make an impression.

He threw down a very decent 28.36sec. opener in drier and sunnier conditions, then made the wise decision of saving his car for the big day.

Tim Tulie opted for the same ‘one and done’ approach in taking second on 28.92, while Ian Le Messurier posted 29.70 in winning the top Sports Libra class. Jackie Le Cheminant took women’s honours with 31.63.

‘The day started out really well – the weather was so nice when we got here compared to what the forecast was going to be,’ Saunders said.

‘We were lucky to get two runs, then unfortunately we had that heavy shower, which destroyed the conditions.’

Leigh Digard reigned supreme among the two-wheelers, clocking 34.76.

Andy Mechem went second quickest with 35.01 and Anthony Poynder followed at 35.26.

Thankfully, the rain-stricken event was not a washout where records were concerned.

Chris Law inched down his own quads record to 32.00.

Meanwhile, no fewer than four drivers went under Mark Bichard’s record in the Road Going Series Production Cars up to 2000cc.

After one run Jamie Le Page had the upper hand and record with 37.21, but friendly rival Lee Poole responded with a 36.94 to ensure his name would be the one in the book at the end of a short day’s competition.

That popular class also featured GMC&CC vice-president Marc Maubec’s return to hill-climbing after a long absence, together with the debut of daughter Holly.

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