Speedscene Magazine, June 2019
A HISTORY OF THE BRITISH HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP – VOLUMES 1 & 2
The Formula One Register with Jerry Sturman
Volume 1 410pp £75 & Volume 2 373pp £75 (£125 for both volumes)
These two large volumes chart the history of the British Hillclimb Championship from 1947 to 2000 and 2001 to 2018. They form a reference work with impressive levels of detail and completeness.
The format is straightforward and is organised by year. Each season begins with a brief preamble which highlights any significant changes to drivers, cars and sponsors. Every round of the championship is reported in a few paragraphs followed by the Top 12 results, which have chassis numbers for most cars from ERA to OMS, including much information not available anywhere else. A final championship table, showing scores by round and driver completes the entry for the year. There are no photographs, but there are course maps for every venue visited and there are two comprehensive indexes – by driver and by car and individual chassis number. For the early years (up until around 1962) information is a little sparse and the reports often run only to a couple of paragraphs whereas in Volume 2 the reports are much fuller. The scoring system for the early years has proved to be hard to confirm so the authors have made their best estimates.
Being a reference work it is hardly bedtime reading. However, it is surprisingly easy to pick a year and, starting with the first round, follow the narrative and results as the season unfolds, quickly gaining an insight to the competition that took place. Indeed, it is the early years that are the most eye-opening for those more familiar with the competition’s recent past. For example, it was quite common for drivers to make multiple entries so that at Rest and be Thankful in 1954, Michael Christie took all three podium places in three different cars while Les Leston came home sixth and ninth! A number of names better known for their later circuit racing exploits also appear including Stirling Moss, Peter Westbury, Mac Daghorn and even Tico Martini, who won both Channel Island rounds in 1962.
As an unrivalled work of reference, these two volumes are a must for the historian and die- hard enthusiast alike. As a comprehensive summary of the British Hillclimb Championship it is, and will probably remain, unique.