Car: 1905 Darracq 200Hp
Driver: Mark Walker
Class: Class 5 – Edwardian and Veteran Cars
Time at 2015’s event: 52.07 seconds
Overall position in class: 1
Despite a distinct lack of front-wheel brakes, the legendary 25.4 litre 200-hp V8 Darracq Land Speed Record car certainly put a stop to its rivals at 2015’s event.
Built in 1905 by French designer, Paul Ribeyrolles, specifically to break records, the Darracq has one of the earliest V8 engines. With an estimated power output of 300bhp, but no bodywork or floorboards, only two forward gears, no reverse gear and no front brakes, there is little to slow it down.
It was no surprise to see Mark Walker scoop the class win, given his reputation with the Darracq. At 2016’s event, he’ll be looking to defend his reign in the top slot against some formidable opponents!
Cars: Team Broadspeed Austin Mini Cooper S
Drivers: Graham Hill and Paul Stanworth
Class: Class 18 – Production Saloon Cars from 1950 to 1967
Times at 2015’s event: 53:31 seconds (Graham) and 53:75 (Paul)
Overall position in class: 8 (Graham) and 9 (Paul)
Part of the renowned privateer outfit Team Broadspeed, these two cars usually outran the factory works Coopers and competed in period at various events, including a number of Chateau Impney sprint events in the sixties.
During the 1960s, the cars were mostly driven by John Handley and John Fitzpatrick, two very successful drivers of the era. At last year’s Hill Climb, Graham Hill and Paul Stanworth took the wheels and brought the Minis back to their old stomping grounds, which were two of the most popular cars in the paddock.
Car: Austin Healey Speedwell Sprite
Driver: David Wylie
Class: Class 12 – Pre-1961 Sports and Sports Racing Cars up to 2200cc
Time at 2015’s event: 47.28 seconds
Overall position in class: 2
The 1961 Speedwell Sprite won a string of rallies in the 1960s, driven by Adrian Boyd. The car (505 BZ) was bought for him by his father who wanted to celebrate Boyd’s achievement of winning the Circuit of Ireland International Rally in 1960 at the age of just 19 – a feat that has never been bettered.
Sold countless times until the 1980s, it was eventually bought by Mike Wylie, former RAC scrutineer and husband of Boyd’s sister, Margot. At the 2015 Hill Climb, it was driven by Mike’s nephew David, who narrowly missed out on a class win, and will be looking to even the score this July.