Chateau Impney Hillclimb 2019

3

By Chris Pollitt

Words and pictures: Seth Kennedy

Last weekend was a particularly joyful one for many British followers of sport, particularly when it comes to bats and balls. There were other ways of spending time out in the gorgeous summer weather though. If the chatter of chain drives and valve gear and the occasional whiff of Castrol R is more your cup of tea then there was nowhere better than Chateau Impney.

Chateau Impney, hillclimb, hill climb, sprint, motorsport, classic motorsport, Impney

A short hillclimb course was developed in the grounds of this grand 19th Century French style house in the 1950s and events run there through to 1967. In 2015 motorsport returned to the site utilising roadways that doubled the length of the original course. This past Saturday and Sunday was the fifth running of the revived hillclimb at this Worcestershire venue. It was busier than ever with even more to see and do but it still managed to keep its very relaxed and easy going atmosphere.

Chateau Impney, hillclimb, hill climb, sprint, motorsport, classic motorsport, Impney

Chateau Impney, hillclimb, hill climb, sprint, motorsport, classic motorsport, Impney

Most of the hillclimb entries are pre ’68 with a large and spectacular make up of vintage machinery. Cars competed in various classes with engines below 500cc to the giant Fiat S76 with over 28 litres. The drivers of several aero-engined goliaths also made heroic sprints up the course. 1950s sports cars included Allards, Lotuses and a Kellison, a swoopy but quite wide American fibreglass body over Plymouth underpinnings. Perhaps the most unusual racing cars I spotted in the paddock were the pair of front wheel drive DB Panhard single seaters with bulbous front bodywork covering the forward mounted engines.

Chateau Impney, hillclimb, hill climb, sprint, motorsport, classic motorsport, Impney

Chateau Impney, hillclimb, hill climb, sprint, motorsport, classic motorsport, Impney

Dotted around the site were car clubs and other special displays. The 60th anniversary of the Mini was celebrated with rare variants by Wood & Picket and Broadspeed on show amongst the more familiar versions. A near-complete set of Italian Job vehicles were parked close by too – including a Ford Thames camper, Alfa police car and six wheeled coach, though I didn’t spot a Lamborghini Miura.

Chateau Impney, hillclimb, hill climb, sprint, motorsport, classic motorsport, Impney

Chateau Impney, hillclimb, hill climb, sprint, motorsport, classic motorsport, Impney

In order to attract and entertain a wide range of spectators, there were demonstration runs up the course by a selection of more modern vehicles, particularly all manner of rare supercars.  This year saw the return of a group of rally cars too, from Group B monsters such as the Ford RS200 to 1990s Toyota Celica GT4s and modern WRC versions.

Chateau Impney, hillclimb, hill climb, sprint, motorsport, classic motorsport, Impney

Chateau Impney, hillclimb, hill climb, sprint, motorsport, classic motorsport, Impney

It has been a pleasure to watch this event grow in stature over the last few years and improve in various ways to provide a better experience all round. It must surely be attracting many people from the Droitwich area who might otherwise never see such cars at all, let alone watch them being driven to the limit and beyond. While the organisers continue to achieve that and retain the 1960s club racing atmosphere, the Chateau Impney hillclimb should be high on any petrolhead’s agenda

Chateau Impney, hillclimb, hill climb, sprint, motorsport, classic motorsport, Impney

Chateau Impney, hillclimb, hill climb, sprint, motorsport, classic motorsport, Impney

Enjoyed this article?

Sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive the latest articles, news, classic cars, auctions and events every Thursday - compiled expertly by the Car & Classic team

Article's featured image

1972 Bond Bug – Project Profile

Plastic, as they say, is fantastic. Or at least it was in the 1970s UK car market. Okay, not plastic per se, as we are of course talking about fibreglass. But whatever, we wanted to use that opening line. Anyway, we digress. Let’s get back to the car at hand, namely a 1972 Bond Bug. […]

Article's featured image

London Concours – Pursuit of Speed

The London Concours, presented by Montres Breguet, has announced its The Pursuit of Speed display; which will feature some of the biggest hitters from the automotive world. From the still magnificent Jaguar XK120 to the absolutely iconic Mercedes 300SL ‘Gullwing’ and on to the latest Bugatti Veyron and Chiron. ‘The Pursuit of Speed’ is a […]

Article's featured image

1936 Riley 15/6 Kestrel – Classified of the Week

Of all the now long passed names of the UK automotive landscape, there is one that still stirs the soul. A company known for flamboyant and exciting design, and a company that took luxury very seriously. We are of course talking about Riley. And while its bicycle-based beginnings might not be the most obvious link […]

Article's featured image

Land Rover Series 1 – Survival Tactics

Classic cars can often be thought of as being delicate and fragile. After all, these cars that were built many decades ago weren’t screwed together with machine and with modern techniques. Instead, they were assembled by people called Charles or June and while they built the cars to the best of their abilities, the vehicle’s […]

Article's featured image

Eagle GT – The Ultimate E Type

When it comes to making classic cars harder, better, faster and stronger, there are few in the game as prominent as Eagle. This British company has forged a path for itself by taking one the world’s most beloved classics – the Jaguar E Type – and bringing it up to date. An Eagle E Type […]