WITH the retirement of the P99 four-wheel-drive Ferguson-Climax and Peter Westbury’s attentions being distracted by his own four-wheel-drive project, the 1965 R.A.C. Hill-Climb Championship has been a battle between the more orthodox machines, chasing rather unsuccessfully the records left from last year. The first three events, at Loton Park, Prescott and Wiscombe all followed a regular pattern, Tony Marsh with his Oldsmobile V8-powered Marsh Special winning from Peter Boshier-Jones’ supercharged single-cam 1.3 Lotus 22-Climax.
The fourth round at Barbon Manor sew the pattern change, the more nimble Lotus of Boshier-Jones taking the 10 points, with Marsh being pushed down to third place by Peter Meldrum’s Allard Dragon-powered Lotus 20. The first record to fall was at Shelsley Walsh where Marsh ascended in 32.94 sec., followed by Meldrum and John Macklin (3.5 Cooper-Buick)—Boshier-Jones non-starting. Moving to Scotland in June for Bo’ness and Rest-and-Be-Thankful, it was again Marsh who initially set the pace but at the bumpy “Rest” his non-appearance afforded another win for Meldrum, followed by Boshier-Jones and Tony Griffiths (2.5 B.R.M. 4-cyl.). The Jersey M.C. & L.C.C.’s Bouley Bay Hill-Climb in July was another Marsh benefit and another now course record. Boshier-Jones and Meldrum again took second and third places, respectively, and Macklin pushed Griffiths down to fifth place.
Longleat, a new hill in the series and the first B.R.S.C.C. event, was ripe for a new record and Marsh proved to be the right man for the job, ascending the ultra-fast Wiltshire hill in 36.76 sec. Again it was the two Peters, Bushier-Jones and Meldrum, who followed the winner with Griffiths back in his customary fourth place. The following week (August 7th) at the Great Auclum Hill-Climb, Marsh gave the meeting a miss, feeling, perhaps wisely, that his car was not suited for the tiny banked course and left the current record-holder, Boshier-Jones, a clear run and the opportunity to better his time, a feat which he achieved with considerable ease from Macklin and Meldrum. When one uses the term “with ease” it must be remembered that the time difference of 19.099 sec. for Bushier-Jones and 19.515 sec. for Macklin must be considered against such a short hill. The last qualifying event to catch our press schedule was the Ulster A.C.’s Craigantlet Hill-Climb on August 14th. The fact that only Meldrum and Griffiths bothered to make the trip to this very long and fast hill must put the Irish venue in a very weak position if the R.A.C. decide to trim down the number of qualifying events for next year’s championship. As expected, Meldrum took the honours, but Peter Westbury’s record remained intact and Griffiths collected another nine points, but at the expense of bending his B.R.M. on his second run. With four more events to be run Marsh leads with 81 points from Bushier-Jones with 75 points, Meldrum with 69 points and Macklin with 59 points.—E. L. W.