Firle Hillclimb

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Sir,

Following your recent series of articles on disused continental circuits may I make a small contribution to no longer used English competition venues. In 1968 I visited the Firle hillclimb course in East Sussex to watch a friend, Tim Westbury-Jones, in his road-going Lotus Super Seven, continue his season-long battle with Mallock U2s, a number of which he regularly defeated.

On moving to the area I had to find the venue again. Several abortive journeys were made exploring semi-disused downland roads until a local resident directed me precisely to the course, actually some three miles east of Firle. The hill, about a third of a mile long, is surprisingly steep, but other than the road surface having deteriorated badly and the site now being heavily wooded, it was just as I remember it 30 years ago.

From my MOTOR SPORT magazines I have found some references to events at Firle from 1949 onwards with some published results but these references end in 1967, and by 1972 the RAC ‘Blue book’ no longer listed Firle as a competition venue. The course is a public by-way of the `no through road’ variety ending at the car park high on the downs, and although insignificant compared with Reims or Zandvoort, it is nice to know that this small contributor to English motorsport is still in existence, and accessible.

I am, yours, etc. Alan Wood, East Sussex