Historic hill climb event pits Southam father against son

Charlie Martin and his father Paul are set to race at the Chateau Impney Hill Climb. Picture submitted
Charlie Martin and his father Paul are set to race at the Chateau Impney Hill Climb. Picture submitted
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A Southam father and son will be pitted against each other in a quest to claim the top spot at a major Midlands motorsport event set to run this summer for only the second time in 50 years.

Aeroplane restorer Paul Martin and his son, Charlie, will be doing battle in their pre-war racing cars at the Chateau Impney Hill Climb in Droitwich, Worcestershire, on the weekend of July 9.

One of the youngest drivers on the historic motorsport circuit, Charlie is a mechanic by trade and has been competing in the Morgan RIP Special for the last four years.

The RIP Special, a Morgan three-wheeler that has been converted to a four-wheeler, was built in 1984 using parts dating from 1928 and 1930.

A crowd favourite at hill climbs and sprints, the car gained its unusual name after its owner took it on holiday and ripped its wood and canvas body.

In 2014, Charlie and the RIP won a host of titles, including the Fastest Vintage Car award at a number of high-profile venues such as Curborough Speed Trials, Wiscombe Park, Shelsley Walsh and Loton Park.

Charlie said: “Since I was tiny, my dad sat me in a seat and made me watch cars, so I’ve been into motorsport for quite a while. However, I’ve only been competing for six years.

“While I’ve competed in a lot of hill climbs and sprints in that time, I’m really looking forward to the Chateau Impney Hill Climb and it looks set to be a brilliant event - it’s a wonderful venue with a lot of history.”

Hoping to steal some of his son’s thunder, Paul Martin will be driving the six-cylinder GN Caesar Special, which was built in 1937 and driven by Doc Taylor at the original Chateau Impney sprint events prior to 1967.

As well as taking part in the Chateau Impney trials, Taylor took the Caesar Special to many venues during the fifties and sixties, frequently winning against opposition from more modern marques.

Paul said: “I’ve been competing for about 25 years, but it was Charlie that helped me to get into motorsport as much as I am today. I’ve always loved it - I love the noise, and the feeling of going fast.

“The car I’ll be driving has some great history and was campaigned a number of times at the original Chateau sprints, so it’s just got to come back.”

The pair rarely compete directly against each other, as their cars belong to different classes, but both father and son will be striving to achieve the fastest time of day award.

Charlie said: “There’s some friendly competitive rivalry between me and my dad, but when we’re at the same event, we always try and help each other out.”

Taking place in the parkland setting of Chateau Impney, the Chateau Impney Hill Climb will see 200 pre-1967 cars race against the clock to claim victory on one of the UK’s most challenging hill climb courses.

As well as the opportunity to see a wealth of motorsport action, the event will also include a comprehensive Concours d’Elegance, spectacular air displays and a major classic car auction.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.chateauimpneyhillclimb.com