• Facebook
  • Flickr Social Icon

© 2019 by Wiscombe Ltd. 

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

Full details of the final 2019 Championship positions for all 60+ competitors are available for download.  Please click on the pdf icon to download the complete list. 


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