A POPULAR venue near Tenbury has welcomed spectators and visitors again for the first time since lockdown, but in a way in which they complied with Covid-19 regulations.

There was also some great entertainment.

Two spectacular near-record runs by top drivers provided the perfect highlight for fans when Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb welcomed spectators to its track for the first time this year for two days of exciting action.

Former British champion Alex Summers of Tenbury, clocked a time of 22.99 in his DJ Firestorm to break the ‘23 seconds barrier’ but was pipped by racing car constructor Sean Gould in the latest Gould GR59 model who crossed the line in 22.73 seconds. The outright hill record is held by former British champion Martin Groves with a time of 22.53 seconds, set in 2008.

Clerk of the course, Dave Nursey, from Tenbury, said: “Having competed myself on and then officiated, it is very rewarding to get such positive feedback from all concerned and the event was truly hailed a great success, with competitors, organisers and spectators adhering so well to the current strict Covid-19 conditions throughout the venue, and the two sub-23 second runs were a real bonus and absolutely breath taking to witness.”

Further praise was also heaped on organisers Midland Automobile Club by regular competitor and Lotus championship sponsor Paul Matty, who commented: “The MAC were the first club to stage competitions in these difficult times and my word, what a simply brilliant job they have done!”

Midland champion in 2019 Robert Kenrick, of Llangollen, made a rare appearance but admitted to struggling to get to grips with his diminutive but spectacular GWR Raptor racing car, saying: “I am trying to build confidence in the car as I know it can go much quicker but struggled with the low sun in my eyes on the class runs.”