Cannell can't quite top last year's show

CHRIS Cannell just missed out on beating the class record he set last year at Gurston Down’s Fourth Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend, writes Luke Clifford.

In his St Bruno Roughcutter 1700c, the Car & Commercial Services driver from Salisbury came close to that mark of 32.73 with a 33.28 in his second run on Saturday. Cannell got even closer on Sunday, despite the inferior weather conditions, with 33.10.

“I was doing about 95mph in the hollow and 105 at the bottom of Karousel before changing gear to get up and over Deer’s leap,” he said. Also in the same class is Geoff Hunt, a Gurston Committee member, driving his Lotus 22 1598cc.

Hunt said: “I have had this car for 38 years. I like to keep it to its 1973 spec with the original type of tyres.”

The paintwork is the original black with white strip down the middle and certainly looks an impressive car to watch up the hill.

Salisbury's Sue Hayes had an excellent second run in her Force SR8 2600cc. She managed a personal best of 31.93 in The Sports Libre Cars over 2000c Class.

She said: “I feel really good. My starts weren’t good today so I needed to know where I could break later and hold onto the throttle longer – it paid off.” Stockbridge's Roy Barker was aiming for the class record of 33.50, and Sunday's second run saw him win the class with 33.82 in his 2.3t Mitsubishi Evo 5.

“I was doing about 120mph at the bottom of Karousel, on my first run before I locked up the brakes, then I was in the wrong gear for getting up the hill,” said Barker. Steve Holley of Salisbury, in his TVR Griffith 5200cc, won his class with a time of 35.87, but then lost to Graham Beale by six tenths on Sunday.

Salisbury farmer James Dean’s car is a Raven 4WD built by his father David Dean, who was a test driver for Lotus in the 1960s, in 1973. It is one of only two left in the country.

James began restoring it in 2010 and is still trying different things to get better performance, but it was a proud moment for the family to see him race it at Gurston.

The fastest time on Sunday was Newton Abbot's Tony Wiltshire's. He did 27.67 in the Gould GR55 originally owned by Tony Marsh.

The next Gurston event is the Spire FM Race Day on July 21-22 when there will be a £1000 prize for the fastest driver.

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