2014 Pirelli Ferrari Hillclimb ChampionshipPirelli Ferrari Hillclimb Championship

Round 4



1st Richard Allen
2nd Phil Whitehead
3rd Brian Jackson
report by Lorraine Hitchman
photography by Richard Preece/Sarah Bailey/Lorraine Hitchman

Day two of the double-header weekend dawned bright and breezy.

The BARC advised us that the Ferrari class would be running almost last today which was a shame after running so early on the previous day which had allowed us the opportunity for an early finish and early celebratory drinks on Richard Allen after his spectacular win.

The Ferraris roared into Harewood from 8am with Lorraine Hitchman lining up cuckoo style in her Porsche 996 C4s after the wipers of her 328 packed up on the journey to Harewood which necessitated its retirement. After valiant efforts by John and Ann Swift with the Clerk of the Course, it was established that the regulations would not allow a three-up drive in the only surviving Hitchman Ferrari. However Peter Rogerson tried a frank chat with Simon Clark, chairman of the BARC and former Ferrari owner and competitor and hillclimb championship in the past. He was kind enough to allow Lorraine to run her everyday car for the day for a bit of fun on the hill. The first time a Porsche has been run as part of the Ferrari Challenge!

The practice runs took place without too much incident except for muddy conditions meaning mass cleaning in the paddock. Richard Preece created the first incident running the first practice with the bonnet of his 355 unsecured. He still managed a 80 second run.

Most notable was the rivalry appearing between Philip Whitehead and Richard Allen (both in 355s). Phil was posting great times and Richard, clearly rattled and keen to be victorious as per yesterday, made a couple of unforced errors, leaving his gear blocker in on P1 meaning he only had 1st and 2nd and spinning at Farmyard after over-egging it. Disappointed Richard pointed out that he was up on Philips split times prior to the pirouette!

Other dance moves of a similar nature had been executed beautifully by Allen’s spin. This was all rather alarming when we had watched James Spicer (son of Ferrari man Mike Spicer) spin and crash at the final corner and sadly wreck his lovely Westfield the day before.

Lorraine went out as car 1 in batch 1 in dry conditions for the first of the competitive runs and after some expert advice from Richard Preece set a surprising time of 71.81.  Sadly the heavens threatened as the Ferraris lined up and rain fell lightly as the first car launched off the line. Mark Wibberley (360 Spider) showed best in the Ferrari class posting a 72.64 secs, followed by Brian Jackson (308GTB) with a 73.47 and Shaun Smith (328GTB) on a 73.51. Richard Allen, the victor of the previous day must have had too much wine celebrating the night before with us all…

Come the second runs and off went Mrs Hitchman again who bagged an even more surprising time of 71.30 which became the time to beat to restore the honour of the Ferraris. Unfortunately just before the Ferraris ran there was a medical emergency with a spectator in the paddock and the course ambulance was called into action. This created a severe delay and grumpy competitors debated why anybody spectating didn’t also have to have valid medical certificate, other suggestions about pressing the ice cream van into use as a stand-by ambulance were also made and one other comment of – well didn’t they read the sign, motorsport can be dangerous.

The delay in the start of the second timed run actually created more favourable conditions and the sun came out. Times improved dramatically as everyone hit the hill with gusto. The German pretender was finally put back in place by the glorious prancing horse when (finally and thankfully) a skilful Phillip Whitehead posted a 69.86. Not to be outdone Richard Allen pulled it all together and posted a fantastic 68.85 and Brian Jackson came in joint third with Richard Preece with a 71.37. Brian pipped Richard to the final scratch 3rd place with a quicker first T1.

Chris Hitchman came in fourth on scratch, which was a great drive as he had never driven Peter’s 360 before or raced up a hill. The surprise performance came from Peter Hitchman though who after a disappointing performance throughout the day, pulled a stonker out of the bag and landed a 77.01 giving him the handicap win off 79.00.

With the PEP factors applied Brian Jackson again scored the maximum 20 points, followed by Richard Allen and Phil Whitehead.

Lorraine was quite chuffed with her fluky performance as she was in her road going everyday car which she had never driven in anger or raced before, but can’t wait to get back into her beloved 328 GTS!

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