Fun and games for drivers on the hills

OVER 100 hardy competitors were in action on Saturday as the Vintage Sports-Car Club staged its annual John Harris Derbyshire Time Trial.

The event, which dates back to the 40s, is one of six such time trials held by the Vintage Sports-Car Club around the country each year and attracts the cream of drivers from far and wide.

It starts and ends at the Calton Lees Car Park on the Chatsworth Estate and sees competitors tackling a number of tricky sections in the hills around the area.

Clerk of the course David Hill was delighted with the way this year’s event went and said: “We had 102 competitors taking part on the day and I think everyone involved had a super time.

“The little bit of rain we had beforehand was enough to freshen up the course and make it quite muddy in places, which is what people want to see. Nevertheless, there were some very high scores and some good times so that shows the quality of the drivers.

“We had a little bit of sunshine in the middle of the day too, which was welcome, particularly for all of the marshals.”

A number of local competitors certainly impressed at the event.

Bolsover’s Andrew Staples, in his 1930 Ford Model A, won Class 1A for standard long-chassis cars while David Marsh from Middleton-by-Youlgrave, in his 1925 Bugatti Brescia, won Class 1A for short wheelbase standard cars.

In Class 1B for short chassis modified cars, Ripley’s Stepphen Fathers, in a 1929 Austin Seven Abbot Special and Sheffield’s Jeremy Cork in a 1929 Peugeot 190 both achieved third class awards.

For David, this was his last event as clerk of the course as he and deputy Anthony Costigan have decided to step down.

He explained: “It’s my last year as clerk after 15 years but myself and Anthony will still be among the team of helpers for next year.

“I was presented with a silver chrome claret jug, plus a bottle of claret to put in it of course, and my wife Mary, who leads the signing in and totting up teams, was given a lovely big bunch of roses too.

“It was something that was very much appreciated by both of us and I was rather overcome by it, to be honest.”