Round 1

Bouley Bay, Jersey

1 April 2024

1st Dave Snelson (488 Spider)
2nd John Kennedy (California T)
3rd Rob Samuels (458 Speciale)
report by Steve Burns
photography by Steve Burns

For the season opening round of the 2024 CSA Service Group Ferrari Hillclimb Championship we headed across the English Channel to the famous Bouley Bay Hillclimb in Jersey, the Championship’s first visit here for a number of years.

Six drivers made the trip but sadly Steve Nunney arrived without his Ferrari as his 348 had developed an electrical gremlin whilst heading to the port, so five drivers were left to tackle the hill, John Kennedy commenting that he had never seen a course so steep!  Dave Snelson was lucky to arrive as his newly lowered 488 Spider apparently took quite an effort and a few planks of wood to load it safely onto the ferry.

Practice started with a few damp patches remaining in the shaded areas so most people adopted a cautious approach to their first Practice run, apart from defending Champion, Pauline Goodwin who was wringing the neck of her trusty 328 from the word go, recording the fastest time after PEP adjustment during the Practice run.

With the sun out and rapidly drying the track, all competitors got to enjoy 3 timed runs in quick succession, the Clerk of the Course sensibly deciding to delay the lunch break in order to get as much dry running in as possible, as rain showers were forecast from the mid-afternoon.

Pauline’s early fast pace proved to be her best, with a small improvement in her first timed run being her quickest of the day.  The others made steady progress throughout the day, with improvements in every session.

Dave Snelson was delighted with his 2nd official timed run, which broke the course record, previously set by Nick Taylor in 2015.  His 3rd and final timed run proved it wasn’t a fluke as Dave lowered it again by another 7 tenths of a second to 48.99s.

After 3 timed runs the order was Dave Snelson, 488 Spider (48.99s); John Kennedy, California T (52.68s); Rob Samuels, 458 Speciale (53.84s); Pauline Goodwin, 328 GTB (57.70s) & Martin Jones, 360 Modena (63.05s).  With PEP adjustments made, the order was Snelson, Kennedy, Goodwin, Samuels & Jones.

The Organiser’s decision to delay lunch until after the 3rd timed run proved to be prudent as the clouds gathered and rain descended at 2.30pm.  Whilst the shower only lasted for 5 minutes or so it was enough to wet the track making the offer of a 4th timed run a slippery prospect.  Sensibly everyone decided that discretion was the better part of valour and mutually decided to call it a day and spend the remainder of the afternoon enjoying the beautiful scenery offered by the Island of Jersey.

Overall, a great day was had by all, with the local competitors and officials being very welcoming.  Jersey might be a small island but it certainly has a vibrant and passionate core of motorsport enthusiasts.  We certainly added some noise and colour to the Bouley Bay Hillclimb on Easter Monday, which was appreciated by the large group of spectators who lined the hillside, cheering on the drivers.

Next event is Curborough Sprint Course on 21st April.

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