Wiscombe Results 100508

Wiscombe Park 10th May 2008

Wiscombe 2008 - A Proper Harry Foster Tribute - A personal recollection by the Chairman

I arrived at Wiscombe at about 7.30 am having left home at 5.00 am. Pulling into the top paddock I first encountered JB and James Gray ‘deep’ in breakfast. Driving in a little further in Simon Frost and Mark Palmer were encouraging a morning barbeque with a blow-lamp, ready for bacon and eggs ! Driving down the hill into the bottom paddock there were scattered 500’s, under cover and wet with dew.

The sun was just struggling up over the tree lined valley and by 8.30 am it was hot. This was going to be a good day. After what seemed like a hugely extended period of wet weather at many events last year, how refreshing it was to enjoy the fairly certain prospect a roasting day, rain had been encountered near Yeovil, on the way down, but the wind was taking this away.

I am nervous that the Club has not coaxed enough people to marshal, will this jeopardise the day ? Despite numerous reminders at the AGM, magazine flyers, e mails, phone calls etc. we really need to do better at ‘our’ only annual Club event. As engines started, and signing on commenced, old faces smiled hello, this was going to be a great day, and a proper way to pay tribute to Harry Foster, who embodied so much of what this Club is all about.

I am currently reading Mick Wall’s revealing portrait and memoir of John Peel, the radio 1 and 4 ‘DJ’ which recounts John’s life. At the turn of nearly every page it just fills you again with his laconic, friendly and relaxed style, remembered and enjoyed, and gives a nudge to fond memories and times; listening whilst driving late at night coming back from somewhere in the early hours, the winters night sat ‘with’ Peel blaring in the kitchen, listening to some obscure but thumping new band or African tribe rhythm.  This day at Wiscombe promises to lodge itself in the same category, one of those ‘stick forever’ moments like a Peel memory, how will it turn out ? The car is wheeled off the trailer with the help of two unknown friendly pairs of hands, and off for a cup of tea.

With the relaxed, keenly interested scrutineer handing me a sticker, our class practice run approaches. Wiscombe is notoriously slippery early-on, and first practice is for me quite cautious, Simon Frost however, sharing Nigel Ashman’s Mk6 with JAP goes for it, setting, I recall a 52 second-ish time, no pressure for Nigel then!


The Staride of Jan Nycz


Cooper Mk VI of John Dent.


The day progresses with little fuss, just good bonhomie, relaxed chat, tea and spectating, to see how various people tackle the start, Wis Corner and The Gate, then it’s just listen to the engine noise, the commentary and watch the clock for times as the cars go out of sight and up the hill.

A quick order sets up between Ashman, Frost and Fowler. Mike has an annoying clutch trouble and the paddock hunts straight plates. John Dent changes an engine and Alistair Dent tries to clear a misfire. Darrell Woods feels his car has a slight clutch slip but gets it quickly sorted. Humphrey is as ever smiling and seems to be having a mechanically trouble free day, enjoying the moment.

Lunch time is a relaxed affair, with the onsite catering which is of a really good standard, doing great trade, especially the ice creams. The bar is busy for the spectators.

As timed runs start, an ‘off ‘ by the replica Jaguar delays things, another oil spillage by one of own causes an extended delay, we really need to concentrate on avoiding this ! George Brough does his parents proud as he storms up with the first time in Jon’s car at about 52.5 seconds, just ready to take his driving test the following Monday. On this basis we need to see a lot more of him, he’s obviously got the right set of genes from dad.

Jan Nycz suffers a broken split link in his chain at one point which is quickly repaired, and then suffers further with grace, a narrow beating by Darrell Woods who overhauls Jan for the first time on the hills ever.

Pre 1954 Results

Pos Name Car Run 1 Run 2  


No time: Alistair Dent - Hornet



1 Nigel Ashman Cooper Mk VI 49.88 48.63
2 Mike Fowler Cooper Mk V 49.50 49.09
3 Simon Frost Cooper Mk VI 50.34 52.65
4 George Brough Cooper 52.18 51.77
5 Darrell Woods Creamer 55.88 52.43
6 Jan Nycz Staride 53.56 52.80
7 John Dent Cooper Mk VI 54.02 53.39
8 Humphrey Collis JLR 55.04 54.87
9 James Gray Comet 55.93 56.21
10 Colin Rawlinson Smith Buckler 58.27 57.40
11 Gillian Jones Hornet F 61.86
12 Tony Hodson Cooper F 70.85


Mark Palmer prepares his Mk IX.

Post 1954 Results
   Pos    Name Car     Run 1       Run 2     Our thanks to Philippe Giron and
Mark Palmer for the photos.
1 James Holland                         Cooper Mk VIII         52.46 52.03
2 Nigel Challis Cooper Mk VIII 54.71 53.90
3 Mark Riley Smith F 54.23
4 Martin Sheppard Cooper Mk XII 55.48 F
5 Mark Palmer Cooper 58.40 56.12
6 Mike Gilbert Cooper Mk XII 57.43 56.66
7 John Jones Cousy 58.18 61.09
8 Patrick Riley Smith F 64.13

Post '54 winner, James Holland in his ex Henry Taylor Cooper Mk VIII


The day ends with James Holland taking the post ‘54 class win and Nigel Ashman with a 48 something in the pre ‘54 what a fantastic time and win. John Dent collects the best trophy of all from somewhere on the run, a protected species; an English bluebell for bravery and commitment to Club, Queen and Country, that’s competitive driving for you !

The day ended with a barbeque arranged by Carol Foster with the VSCC and about 60 -70 people sat around feverishly waiting for the coals to glow and food to cook. The local brew is all too enjoyable after this hot day. We sit about, munching Doritos and some olives before the food of the main event is cooked. When it is cooked, there is plenty of it, second and thirds, and all for a fiver.

Thanks to Carol Foster for her huge efforts in making such a memorable day for all, and for Harry, her late husband, in whose name this event was run, for pulling some strings above for the weather.

Arriving home at about midnight, what a day, certainly well and truly nestled alongside the Peel memory archive in my head for sure.

Mike Fowler parks up while Darrell Woods, Humphrey Collis and company snake their way down the hill.

Just chilling, Mark Palmer and Simon Frost enjoy the sunshine.