Safety First - Some thoughts by Gordon Iles (Wiscombe Park Competitor)
Gordon Iles is a well known and very enthusiastic competitor on the hills in the South West, particularly at Wiscombe Park. Over recent years he has campaigned with great success in his distinctive dark blue Vauxhall Tigra in Class C2.
However his article relates to his serious accident at Castle Hillclimb, near Lostwithiel, in August 2019. The engine let go in a big way, just before the fast top left hander, with the result that oil poured under the car onto the rear wheels – the result was an instant spin followed by rolling over.
Sadly the Tigra was a write off, but he emerged completely unharmed, which is the point of his article. He has now rebuilt the surviving components into a Corsa bodyshell and incredibly won his class in its first outing at Clay Pigeon sprint in early October!
The YouTube video shows Gordon and the Tigra in action at Wiscombe Park. Always competitive ..... and always great fun.
Gordon's words below give an insight into how the safety regime has changed over the years - and how it probably saved him from serious injury or worse.
SAFETY FIRST – by Gordon Iles
"Since taking up motorsport as a hobby, I have been asked many times if I worried about crashing and injuring myself. If I thought about having an accident each time I competed, I would have stopped years ago!
I have had my fair share of mishaps over the years, some of which were pretty spectacular. Fortunately, with today’s latest vehicle and personal safety devices, I have come out of these incidents unscathed.
Many of you will recall, as do I, competing in the late sixties when the only safety gear we had to wear was a helmet. I am sure that some of you will have competed back then in t-shirts and slacks with no thought of wearing fireproof overalls.
Health and Safety now plays a big part in our lives today, and within motorsport this is especially important. I, for one, am glad that my race cars have been fitted with sturdy roll cages and my personal racewear passes the necessary standards. I must admit that when it became compulsory to wear the Hans device when competing, I thought it was rather constricting. I was not alone, and having talked to some of my fellow competitors, I gathered that some had swapped classes for that reason. Although I fussed at first at having to wear this brace, I am glad that I was wearing the Hans when the car rolled after an engine blow-up.
Over the last ten years I have appreciated the necessity of having a sturdy roll cage fitted. Although this was an expensive outlay when building the car, it has been worth the cost.
In my class it is obligatory to have a roll cage, and I like the idea of something protecting my upper body just for peace of mind. I also have 75mm multi-point harness straps fitted which, in conjunction with the Hans device, spread the load over the shoulders. Believe me, these safety features have definitely been put to the test.
The Hans device, helmet, roll cage and seat harness played their part in protecting me, and I came away from quite a few accidents without a scratch or bruise, which is more than I can say for the car.
One of the big issues at present is the cost of competing, especially in grassroots motorsport. It can often be more expensive to buy safety gear than to purchase a car. If the sport is to continue at club level, it is necessary to attract younger new competitors, and cost will be one of the governing factors. It’s a dilemma that will be discussed for a long time.
At present the compromise is to compete in the road going classes which require neither roll cages nor the Hans device or even six point belts – although certainly a roll cage for a soft top should be a must".
2019 Wiscombe Park Championship - Introduction
The Wiscombe Park Championship is sponsored by Tillicoultry Quarries and is open to all regular competitors from all categories and classes, and has a scoring system which rewards outstanding performance in each class. Thus the smallest road saloon can compete against the fastest single-seater. All events at Wiscombe which are open to B licence holders are included in the championship - nine in total and the scores for the best six rounds count.
Other championships also include events at Wiscombe and it is possible for a competitor to enter more than one championship at the same time.
2019 Wiscombe Park Championship - Awards
The 2019 Wiscombe Park Championship - Final Positions
Below are the top ten and final positions following the MG Car Club round of the "2019 Wiscombe Park Championship sponsored by Tillicoultry Quarries". Many congratulations to Ian Ingleheart on another truly special year at Wiscombe Park Hillclimb.
Date posted 22nd Sept 2019
Three is a popular number with competitors this year -
Three generations – of the Clarke family competing
Three brothers – the Wrights
Three Blakes on the Championship list
The Wright brothers at Wiscombe
The Clarke Family
Wiscombe Park Outright Class Records -
The Championship points are calculated against 'outright' class records and these may vary to the class records used by other championships - e.g. ASWMC and DEWS Championships. Click on the pdf icon to download a complete list of class records for Wiscombe Park.
Four times Wiscombe Champion - Ian Ingleheart
Championship 'Roll of Honour"
2002 M Coles
2003 M Collard
2004 Geoff Mogford
2005 Ed Hollier
2006 James Forysth
2007 Ian Gaskell
2008 Martyn Pike
2009 Jonathan Wright
2010 Mike Lee
2011 Craig Moore
2012 Craig Moore
2013 Mark Shillaber
2014 Mark Shillaber
2015 Ian Ingleheart
2016 Anthony Wright
2017 Ian Ingleheart
2018 Ian Ingleheart
2019 Ian Ingleheart
2019 Wiscombe Championship Resources
2018 Wiscombe Championship Resources
Click on the PDF icon to download the
2019 Championship Regulations
Click on the PDF icon to download the 2018 Championship Results
Awards Evening: The Wiscombe Park Hillclimb Championship sponsored by Tillicoultry Quarries.
A great evening at Wiscombe House - Thanks to Nigel Cole for the great photos on Flickr and the excellent report on last Saturday's Awards Evening at Wiscombe House. Click on the links below to explore the photos and read the report on the night's events.
Flickr Photo Album Link
Uphill Racers Report Link