Competitors at this weekend’s Loton Park Hill Climb will literally be trying hard to ‘keep it on the black stuff’ as the whole track has been completely resurfaced for the first time in well over two decades.
Organisers, Hagley Car Club has invested around £150,000 in stripping and re-laying the mile-long tarmac track which runs through the deer park of Sir Michael Leighton’s stately home at Alberbury, near Shrewsbury, and drivers will have their first chance to try it out this coming Saturday and Sunday.
Contractor for the project was club member and regular Loton Park competitor John Cottrill, who said: “Having driven here on many occasions in my Pilbeam racing car, I was well aware of the irregular bumps and camber along the track, especially on the so-called Cedar Straight, which has caught many people out over the years!
“We have tried to iron out the bumps and provide a consistent yet great surface for motor racing, but the actual proof will be on feedback from drivers themselves taking part in this weekend’s two events.”
Hagley Club secretary, Martyn Silcox, added: “This has been a significant investment and plenty of hard work by the club and its members, but will hopefully create better track conditions for many years to come, here at Shropshire’s premier motor sport venue.”
Guest invited clubs attending this weekend include the National Hill Climb Association for motorcycles, the Ferrari Owners Club, Reliant Sabre & Scimitars, Downton Minis, Morgans Sports Car Club and the Jaguar Drivers Club.
Local drivers include Mary Elliott in a Mazda MX5, Richard Jones in an Austin Mini, Graham Godfrey in an Audi TT, Brian Marshall in a Porsche 944 Turbo, Mike Reece in a Subaru Impreza, Steve Bailey in a Rover Metro, Jez Rogers in a Westfield Megablade and Becky Manton in a Fisher Fury.
The action starts at 9am each day with practice and qualifying each day, followed by timed competition runs with full commentary in the afternoon. Full facilities and parking are on site and children under 16 are admitted free.