After Covid-19 restrictions lead to the cancellation of our Anglesey double-header with MG Car Club early in the year, Longton and District Motor Club came to our rescue with a replacement weekend that formed the final two Championship rounds at this popular and dramatic circuit.
On Saturday, the sprint ran on a 1,661meter section of the National circuit. The weather was squally, with high winds and torrential rain – not unusual conditions at this circuit where the prevailing weather literally blows in from the Irish Sea. Thirteen drivers braved the wind and rain for the penultimate round of the Championship.
This season saw a welcome re-appearance for David Hilton and Tim Barber in this competition after an absence concentrating on hill climbs in their 996 GT3. Their remarkable successes this season on hills and circuits in Class 1 must surely encourage them to enjoy more of the sprints in the future. A fastest time of 67.12 put David in second place while Tim put in an exceptional 64.15 for a Championship FTD.
Losing Graham Rose from this class at the beginning of the season and other drivers bowing out for the latter rounds meant that Karl Lupton was sole driver in Class 3 at Anglesey. His first timed run in his supercharged 968-engined 944 proved to be his fastest on the day with a 71.44 finish.
After dropping into Class 4 Graham Rose (968-engined 924S) has had some ups and downs this season but finished the season strongly at Anglesey with third place in 71.17. Wayne Eason has been consistently on form this season with his distinctive orange and silver 986 Boxster and proved his skill and experience again at Anglesey with a second place 70.95. Showing an impressive disregard for the horrible weather and making the most of his wet weather driving skills, Andy Fagan (Boxster S) was the only driver outside of Class 1 to achieve a sub-68 second finish on Saturday. He earned a well-deserved first in class with an impressive 67.80 finish.
Thomas Robinson and his lovely 911 Carrera 3 returned to the Championship at Anglesey to make up the full complement of three drivers in Class 5. His first timed run proved to be his fastest and he finished in third place with 72.92. Martin Leach (911E 3litre) proved to be unfazed by the wet conditions and put in an impressive 70.23 for second place. Bettering that time by just 0.24 seconds, Stephen Jory (944) demonstrated his class yet again as a consistently quick driver with a third run that just snuck into the sub-70 second category with a class winning 69.99.
The following day brought the final Championship round and a much drier day but with blustery winds. On Sunday, competitors drove on the longer International circuit at 3,109 meters in length.
Losing Thomas Robinson for this, the final round of 2021, Class 5 reverted to two entrants with Martin Leach saving the best till last after his final run of the season left him with 102.89 for second place. Despite an intermittent mechanical issue that ended his day a little early, Stephen Jory still managed to finish in first in class with 102.32. Stephen’s experience, innate speed and tidy driving style over 11 rounds earned him the Class Champion and second place overall in the Championship with 161.70 points.
Class 4 also had its share of mechanical gremlins on Sunday, with Hannes Tanzer knocked out of the round by a broken radiator while Saturday’s Class winner, Andy Fagan had to contend with a suspected drive shaft failure that only meant one timed run giving him third place in 101.83. Andy’s commitment and fearlessness has earned him three class wins this season in a very competitive class and he finished fifth overall with 159.63 points. Graham Rose must be one of the most experienced drivers in this competition and it shows in his measured approach typified by the neat slicing down of his times over the day to finish in second place with 101.15. A disrupted season following a catastrophic engine failure and changing class has meant Graham finished the season with 107.06 points, far lower than would have been predicted at the start of the season.
Wayne Eason is the only competitor running slicks aside from Tim Barber and David Hilton in Class 1. It has proved a successful move, particularly on Sunday where a superb third run gave him the class win in 100.50. Wayne finishes the season seventh overall with 157.43 points.
Karl Lupton again made up the entirety of Class 3 at Anglesey but despite a lack of competition within the class he still attacked the International circuit with enthusiasm and skill, no mean feat in a 360bhp supercharged, 968-engined 944. Karl finished the day with 98.85 and ends the season as Class Champion and in fourth place overall with 161.60 points.
Tim Barber and David Hilton have had a committed season with ten rounds under their belts in their Class 1. David ended his competition with a 99.92 finish on the International Circuit for second place. Although sometimes overshadowed by his shared driver, David is a consistently quick and experienced driver – his superb drive at Prescott this year demonstrated that clearly and he ends the season ninth overall with 152.34 points. Tim Barber is one of this Championships most passionately competitive drivers and he gives 100% every run. It is typical that his final run of the season should be one of the most impressive with a 94.58 finish for the class win and FTD, and a time that sits well in any class at Anglesey. Although he shares the same number of points for his eight best scores as Karl Lupton, on the Championship ‘countback’ procedure he has one more class win and a greater number of points overall and Tim, therefore, finishes as Class 1 Champion and overall in third place with 161.60 points.
Following on from the ending of the Porsche Club National Hillclimb Championship with the final round held in 2019 it was proposed to incorporate that hill climb focus into the 2021 Porsche Club National Speed and Hillcllimb Championship. As a result of that proposal, we therefore had a commitment to declare a Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Hillclimb Champion 2021. For anyone who has seen him in action this season, there can be no doubt that this is a thoroughly deserved accolade given the almost flawless performances he has put in on all six of the hillclimb venues we attended this year – with 121.02 points for hillclimbs, our Porsche Club Hillclimb Champion is Tim Barber. As he notes himself, ‘this has been my best season ever’ and it includes some extremely quick times – some of the fastest we’ve ever seen in this Championship. Well done Tim on an exceptional performance.
Finally, and last but not least, as well as the Hillclimb Champion we can declare a Championship winner for the 2021 Porsche Club National Speed and Hillclimb Championship – congratulations to Justin Mather for his third Championship win with an overall points score of 162.57. Justin last won this competition in 2019 and, before that, in 2013 so he is an experienced and worthy Champion. Driving his highly modified supercharged 942S Justin has racked up an impressive tally this season with six class wins and two third places in a large and very competitive class. Like Tim, he is an exceptionally quick driver with experience to boot. As Justin says ‘I’ve been very lucky this season, particularly at Goodwood, which could have gone any way but I got lucky and had a great season!’
Well done to Tim and Justin and to all the Class winners – we'll raise a glass to you on 20th November at the Porsche Club Motorsport awards dinner.