Wiscombe Park Hill Climb 2024

More info coming soon, but scroll to the bottom for some videos, times for the day & Ben’s account.

Race numberDriverCar LaunchSplitRun time
100Mark BrettBallamy Ford V8 SpecialPractice3.1626.0454.23
199Geoff PinchAllard K1Practice3.5732.165.38
99Jon LangleyAllard K1Practice3.631.5164.35
96Ben StevensAllard P1 FastbackPractice3.9130.9862.89
98James SmithAllard J1Practice3.2930.7761.42
97Simon WarburtonAllard P1Practice4.6638.0578.36
First timed run for the Allards
Jon warming his tyres up on the last corner
Mark Brett in the Ballamy Ford V8 Special
Geoff Pinch in the Allard K1

Ben’s account of the day

Wiscombe 2024 was my first competitive event in the Allard, in fact my first ever competition so I was a tad nervous to say the least. Last year at Wiscombe I’d barely covered 20 miles in the Allard so my few runs up the hill were very sedate as the engine was still being run in. I’ve now covered around 2500 miles and just a few weeks ago had attended a track day at Castle Combe circuit so now have a much better idea how much grip I have when cornering. Always better to learn this on a wide track with no trees / gate posts in the way!

Anyway the weather was perfect and after an early photo shoot (just in case anyone inspected a wall too closely on one of their runs) we set off for first practice.
I was incredibly surprised to post a time of 62 seconds, just behind Jon in the K1 and to be honest would’ve been happy with that as my best time of the day.

2nd practise was faster again, though I concluded that I didn’t have quite enough grunt in 2nd gear to take the hairpins without losing a lot of speed so this time on the 1st hairpin I tried to keep the revs up – bad idea resulting in a lot of understeer and nearly stuffing the front end into the wall. The 2nd hairpin I dropped into 1st gear and made much better progress despite a lot of noise and smoke (way more fun though!)

After 2nd practise Mark & Jon very kindly took a look at my car to check the timing. I have a strange rattling noise at around 3000rpm in 3rd & 4th gears and we wanted to eliminate pinking. I’ve posted on the technical forum here https://www.allardownersclub.org/forums/topic/strange-rattling-noises-in-3rd-4th-gear/ if anyone has any ideas. There was much banter over lunch with suggestions of sabotage, or penalties if they made me go faster. There was talk of adjusting tyre pressures to give more grip from Jon / Geoff, and much useful advice from the more seasoned competitors.

After lunch was the 1st timed run and I really felt I could make up more time on those hairpins, plus could probably be a bit braver in the Esses. This worked and I knocked some more time off, really wanting to get under 60s (and beat Jon).
On my third run however I missed 2nd gear off the start line and must have lost a couple of seconds so decided that I was very happy with my day, and it would be a crying shame to try and make up the lost time only to lose control and ruin the car. I made sure to enjoy the run, concentrate on my technique, and make as much smoke and noise on the last corner as possible (I know, I’m such a child!!).

Many thanks to Charles, Fiona, June & Pina for their cheerleading, with special thanks to Fiona who brought a couple of large tupperware containers full of delicious cookies & brownies to keep us fuelled up!

More images

All images below courtesy of Nigel Cole (Wiscombe Park Hillclimb Publicity Director)