It’s a little known fact that the British Hillclimb Championship is the longest continuously running championship in all of motorsport. Formula 1 started in 1950 but this championship started in 1947 and has run, without a break, ever since with 2021 due to be the 75th anniversary. Earlier this year we, at Footman James, decided to join forces with this enduring form of motorsport and, more specifically, to become the presenting partner of the class based championship – The British Hillclimb Cup.
With our head offices in Dudley, we are close to three of the biggest and best known hill climb venues with Shelsley Walsh being only a few miles from us, being the oldest ‘continuous’ motorsport venue in the world (excluding breaks for two world wars!) and Loton Park in Shropshire and Prescott in Gloucestershire. If you have never been there, give it a go, it is the most enjoyable day out in some of the most typical quintessential Worcestershire countryside. On a Summer’s day you will be captivated by the untouched and peaceful Teme valley. The venue remains close to its original condition and spectators can mingle among the competing cars and talk to the drivers.
Back in 1947, the country was still in post war recovery and just five venues made up the championship with two in England, one in Scotland, one in Northern Ireland and one in Jersey. Now there are 11 venues with rounds held over 15 weekends from May through to late September.
Hill climbs are typically less than a mile in length and Shelsley Walsh is considered to be one of the most testing with its 1000yds length and being particularly steep in parts. A real test of man and machine with the fastest competitors taking under 25 seconds compared to 38 seconds just after the war.
For this year we still await the recommencing of motorsport in the UK and we have now heard from the governing body that no British Championships can start until, at least the 1st August.
We are proud to be a part of this traditional British Championship and above is last year’s winner Wallace Menzies from Scotland in the beautiful Gould GR59 carbon fibre single seater.