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Little Classics Feature: 17 May 2015

The Roar of Motorsport Returns to Historic Chateau Impney

Historic Chateau Impney

It was late September 1957 when Chateau Impney held its first speed trial; with the Hagley & District Light Car Club continuing to see cars take on the hill until 1967. Yet, since remaining mainly quiet for nearly half a century, classic cars will once again recreate those popular events.

Chateau Impney Vintage racing car

These lively annual events drew some of the most sought-after cars and hill climb drivers of the era, including Tony Marsh, Phil Scragg and David Good. At its height, thousands of spectators would line the Chateau’s drive to watch the action on the original, twisting 550-yard course.

Historic Chateau Impney Start line

Although racing ended at the course in 1967, in 2013 a commemorative event was run to celebrate the Chateau's motorsport heritage. After attracting thousands of visitors, the interest in a revival was clear.

Chateau Impney Racing

Now, the return of motorsport to Chateau Impney will bring a new weekend event taking place on 11 and 12 July.

200 pre-1967 cars will compete in 19 classes, as they tackle a brand new MSA-approved course, almost double the length of the original.

Historic racing car at Chateau Impney Hill Climb

“We are thrilled to be able to bring motorsport back to Chateau Impney,” said Rod Spollon, chairman of the Chateau Impney Hill Climb Club. “In its heyday, the Chateau Impney sprint was one of the most anticipated on the calendar and a favourite with spectators and competitors, but until recently it seems it was destined to become the Midlands’ forgotten motorsport event. Everyone I have spoken to about the appeal of the original event praised the inclusiveness and camaraderie between everyone who attended. This is something we hope to replicate.”

Chateau Impney Hill Climb

“Although we have incorporated the original start straight, for all intents and purposes it’s a totally new course, which means every competitor will be focused on being the first to set a new course record and having the car to beat.”

With a new track layout, the original track record still stands today. Held by Tony Griffiths, who completed the old 550-yard course in just 22.07 seconds, driving Graham Hill’s legendary ex-works 2.5 litre BRM.

Chateau Impney competitor

“While there are some very fast sections, we have the advantage of being able to include a number of very tight bends that are quite often at the end of long straights.” Continued Rod “It’s obviously going to sort the wheat from the chaff.”

Some of the original cars competing on the hill will be surrounded by other race legends of the period, including pre-war Grand Prix Bugatti Type 35s, a historic Monaco-winning Alfa Romeo P3 Tipo B and a number of 1950s sports cars, including C-Type and D-Type Jaguars.

Chateau Impney Classic car

In its inaugural year, entry to the Hill Climb has been via invitation only, with cars and drivers selected based on competiveness, historical significance and whether they have any connection to the competitions held at the Chateau in the past.

The organisers hope to attract 10,000 spectators across the weekend, with the event also laying on a host of other attractions including a Concours d’Elegance over 100 dealer and trade stands and a classic car auction, hosted by H&H Classics.

Chateau Impney Racer

We look forward to seeing the hill come back to life and a whole new set of pictures and stories to add to its historic past.

To find out more and book tickets, visit


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