WEYMOUTH’S John Kirby took a brace of second-placed finishes in the Downton Motor Club class, with his Mini Clubman at the Woolbridge Motor Club organised events at Wiscombe Park.

Following Kirby home in both events, was Dorchester’s Graham Vingoe in his Renault Clio.

Shillingstone’s Andrew Forsyth also saw success with a superb double as he took his Suzuki-powered OMS CF04 to outright victory in his categories.

The tests provided a stern challenge for all the drivers as they sought to put the winter recess behind them and look forward to the speed hillclimb season which lies ahead.

Despite the lack of grip on the opening day, which accounted for a few altercations of machinery with the scenery, the competition was intense suggesting that there will be a hard fought battle for supremacy in the Tillicoultry Quarries Wiscombe Park Championship.

Whether an over-winter engine re-build contributed to his pace or whether Forsyth was simply ‘in the zone’, there was no stopping the single-seater pilot.

In doing so he withstood the challenge of Andrew Short who was campaigning his OMS CF07 for the first time on the testing 915 metre Wiscombe Park track.

Short finished 0.45 of a second in arrears in the Saturday meeting but the following day Forsyth’s dominance was evident with an increased margin of 0.65.

With Forsyth claiming the fastest time of the day in both events and returning home with the Channon and the Mark Salter trophies the class honours for the 1100cc to 1600cc racing car category went to Short.

Finishing in third in both events was Exminster golf professional Jon Langmead, who having campaigned Lotus road-going sports cars for a number of seasons has now graduated to the racing car echelons in a OMS SF2.

Following the dynamic example set by Forsyth, Weymouth’s Geoff Blake opened his account for the 2019 season in an exemplary fashion in the 2.0 litre Vauxhall-powered Westfield SEi sports car which is also driven by his father, Graham.

The duo contest the Modified Specialist Production Car category and in recent seasons have been doing battle with the rapid Caterham Seven of Paul Reynolds.

Reynolds’ vehicle benefits from a weight advantage by virtue of the fact that the supercharged Suzuki Hayabusa engine weighs in a good deal less.

Reynolds set the pace in practice as may have been expected and continued to do so in the first of the two afternoon timed runs.

He took an advantage of 0.18 seconds but at the second time of asking was unable to make an improvement, leaving the door ajar for Blake who rose to the occasion hurling his mount to the top of the course in a time of 42.11 seconds to claim top spot.

Car maladies side-lined Reynolds on the second day which enabled Blake to add to his trophy count by defeating the Caterham Superlight driven by Chris Howard-Harris by 41.09 seconds to 42.35.

Other South Dorset drivers amongst the trophies were Rod Thorne, who took two class wins in the large engine capacity Sports Libre class in his 5.0 litre Rover V8-powered Pilbeam MP43 sports racer.

Elsewhere, Maiden Newton’s Tim Pitfield claimed two podium finishes in the up to 1800cc sports libre class aboard his DJ Firecat.

Today and tomorrow sees the main focus of attention being the annual Vintage Sports Car Club meeting on the Sunday.

The meeting is always a first-class event for enthusiasts of pre-war and historic racing cars from such manufacturers as Riley, Bentley, Bugatti, Alvis, Morgan and many others.

The previous day will see the 500 Owners Association make their annual visit to Wiscombe Park with a variety of machines, many with motor cycle derived engines in addition to a selection of the vintage runners taking the opportunity for early running on the course. Andrew Forsyth returns but this time at the wheel of Alfa Dana 500 c.c. racer which will also be driven by his brother James and subject to the repair of his Pilbeam MP62 Cullompton driver Ed Hollier will be making a bid to take his first Wiscombe Park victory of the season.