A CRACKING weekend’s motorsport action was enjoyed by big crowds as The Spire FM Midsummer Speed Fest filled two packed days of hot competition at Gurston Down Speed Hillclimb, writes Luke Clifford.

After appearing at the Wilton Wake Up car show and cutting the ribbon for the Walk for Wards, the Earl of Pembroke, pictured inset, entered the Chairman’s Invitation class in his superb black Honda S2000 on Sunday. He demonstrated his talent behind the wheel as he dipped below 40 seconds (39.51) on his first timed run to go almost a second faster than top touring car ace Matt Neal had achieved in his similarly-powered Honda Jazz in April.

“I have raced at track days on circuits before where you can improve every lap, but this is very different. If you don’t get it right you have to wait for your next run,” said Lord Pembroke.

“It’s been great fun, they are a very friendly group and I am definitely going to come back again.”

The heat helped produce faster times, and Miles Horne from Fordingbridge, driving his Peugeot 306 GTi, had a great return of 39.89 and 39.51, finishing fifth in class overall.

Stapleford's Stephen Moore returned to form, after spinning off in cold practice in May 2013, clocking 33.98 to finish first in class overall.

Adrian Lewis from Salisbury in his Westfield Megabusa did another personal best of 35.41 in his first timed run and finished seventh in class. Steve Holley from Salisbury was racing on Saturday in his TVR Griffith and came third in class with 35.42.

Hugh Kemp from Wylye, in his Palliser WDF3 in the Historically Interesting cars, came first in class by a long way, doing 35.98 in his first run and 35.68 in the second.

n The next event at Gurston Down is on July 19 and 20, with rounds of the TTC Group Midland Hillclimb Championship and the Gates of Brockenhurst Gurston Down Hillclimb Championship.