Eureka! Franklin hits a high note

David Franklin set a new Classic record during the three-day festival of hillclimbing at Shelsley Walsh in August. Aboard the glorious Ferrari 212E of Carlos Monteverde, Franklin thrilled a huge crowd by blasting the 1969 European hillclimb car up the side of the Teme Valley in 29.70sec.

"I'm very lucky that Carlos allows me to bring the car to events like this," admitted the former British hillclimb champion. He then trimmed nine-tenths from the previous mark held for nine years by the Brabham BT21C of Tim Barrington.

Against the backdrop of the race to raise funds to secure the venue's future, the annual Festival was a huge success, with thousands of fans lining the historic hill to witness the action. However, during Friday's practice runs there was a bit too much action when Brian Gray vaulted his Hardy Special over the bank at the Crossing and was lucky to escape unscathed after being thrown out.

Mac Hulbert and R4D continued their stunning Shelsley form to win the ERA class, although they were a little outside their record-breaking pace of five weeks earlier.

Having won the Classic class on Saturday, Franklin stayed for Sunday's event and added victory in the nonroad going Ferrari/Maserati class.

Other notable classes on Sunday included the Shelsley Specials, which was predictably dominated by the Gould 84G of Sean and David Gould, while the 'Snapshot of 1973' class fell to the Chevron B25 of local driver Keith Harris.

To wide appreciation from the crowd, Chris Drake became the first man to compete at the hill in a 250F Maserati, while the versatile Martin Walford split his time between the rare Scirocco F1 and the Jim Robbins Special, a veteran of five Indianapolis 500s in the early 1950s.

In the British championship runs Graeme Wight Jnr got to within 0.03sec of the 24.53sec record he had set in June.