Jaguar Formula E leads Shelsley Walsh’s 113th birthday
Mitch Evans became the first to drive an all-electric racing car up the Shelsley Walsh hillclimb, setting a new record as a result
The Shelsley Walsh Speed Hill Climb marked its 113th anniversary to the day with a run by Jaguar Formula E driver Mitch Evans on the world's oldest motorsport venue.
Evans, previously a winner in F1's feeder series GP2 and GP3, became the first driver to take an electric vehicle up the 1000-yard hill on August 12, setting a new record as a result. He set a best time of 30.46 seconds on a track that was damp and greasy from morning rain.
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In addition the event paid tribute to Shelsley’s extensive history, led by a recreation of the first winning run from 1905 with a Daimler 35HP as well as previous winners and record holders on hand to talk about their experiences at Shelsley Walsh.
'It was extremely different,' said Mitch Evans. 'It is my first hillclimb and I'm in at the deep end. It is amazing to see some of the cars here.
'This is a bit of a send off for this generation of car. The car is a lot heavier than the top single-seaters [hillclimb cars] here but hopefully the torque will help me. But it is certainly not designed for this environment. I'm very happy to be here and it is impressive to see the top level single-seaters. I didn't expect the layout to be as tricky as it is.'
There were numerous celebrations and entries to celebrate the event’s past, which Jaguar has long had an association with. The record-breaking GN Spider of the 1920s made an appearance, as well as the Hepworth and Marsh Specials, Nic Mann’s 4.5 litre V8 Turbo and Mike Endean, the closed car record holder in his Puma Gould. There was also an ultra-rare Jaguar XJR-15 on display.
Before lunch on the Sunday there was the first of the Top 12 Run Offs, which included the frontrunners from the British Hillclimb Championship. Attendees at the event also had an opportunity to enter their road car, if it was built after 1985, in the Octane Magazine Concours.
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