Saint Goueno Masters Hillclimb
On 2nd, 3rd & 4th June 2023, Adrian Crawford & Richard Williams will be heading a Williams Crawford Team at the St Goueno Hillclimb Masters event in Brittany, France.
The team consists of Adrian in his rally prepared 911 3.0 SC (the blue one you all saw in Mallorca), along with Richard in his 997 GT3 Cup car, plus Steve Morgan, flying in from Dubai to race his 911 3.0 SC (red). Rob Kavanagh, who is running his 718 Cayman GT4, John Fordy driving a new-to-him 964 Race Car that we have just supplied, and Keith Seume driving his 914.
Although all cars will be competing in anger, various approaches are adopted to get them there. Whilst the 997 Cup and 964 Race Car are travelling on a trailer, Adrian is going ‘old school’ and will have done a 1,000 km of touring through Brittany before sticking the numbers on the door. Steve is driving from Plymouth, along with Rob in the GT4.
This event is a major part of the French Hillclimb Championship and is taken very seriously, attracting professional teams and professional drivers. Cars range from 700 bhp missiles looking much like F1 cars, and dedicated only to this sport, through to classic French weapons both modern and old.
The course is a 3.2 km D road along the side of a valley, with big drops to one side, or trees. It’s narrow (no white midline) and has many blind bends. Each one looks rather similar, until you attempt to go the same speed through turn 5 as you did through turn 12….it can be pretty dramatic! The margin for error is very small. Another feature is the ‘circuit’ nature of the event, i.e., cars are driven from and to the paddock on public roads, then make their way back to the paddock without stopping, a total of 8 km.
In order to post a quick time, a good memory is a must. Reasonable bravery, excellent accuracy, and a car that you can depend on is essential. Top speed for ‘our cars will range from around 80 to 100 mph.
Preparation? We have had our hands on all ‘our’ team cars and have confidence that ‘our’ Porsche will perform.
The spectators at Saint Goueno can expect to be entertained from Friday, right the way through to Sunday, with over 200 cars on the course. The public are welcome to wander around the paddock, and marvel at the awesome array of cars and tech.
The Saint Goueno Masters element consists of an entry of invited drivers from the UK and Ireland with a wide variety of cars; some dedicated solely to Hillclimb, some rally, some race, and some just plain road cars. Obscure 700 bhp single seaters with F1 engines, World Rally Subaru, a Metro 6R4, and recognisable moderns and classics.
The really quick drivers will be on the hill on the Saturday and Sunday. However, there will be a classic car regularity hillclimb on the Friday, and although rather tame, there will be some quite interesting vehicles.
Why not join us? Brittany is well known throughout Europe for its warm Celtic welcome and ambience, and Saint Goueno is no exception. If you are attending as a spectator, make sure you come and find us in the paddock to say hello.
For more details please visit: https://hillclimbfrance.co.uk/
SAINT GOUENO MASTERS UPDATE - 1ST JUNE 2023:
Richard, Adrian and a group of customers and friends including Keith, Rob, Fordy, Steven and Dave, have either arrived in France, or will shortly arrive ahead of Saint Goueno Masters 2023. Before they left a few of the cars visited the workshop for some prep by our motorsport team, undertaking ride height adjustment, fast road suspension set up, and visual checks. See gallery for all pictures.
SAINT GOUENO MASTERS UPDATE - 2ND JUNE 2023:
SAINT GOUENO MASTERS UPDATE (PM) - 2ND JUNE 2023:
SAINT GOUENO MASTERS UPDATE - 3RD JUNE 2023:
SAINT GOUENO MASTERS UPDATE - 4TH JUNE 2023:
Here's the final chapter in the recent Saint Goueno Masters series of updates...
How did it go?
Richard was the quickest of our group, doing a great job in the 997 GT3 Cup car. It was the first time he had used slicks and also employed a different suspension setup than used previously. Our alignment and corner weighting equipment was busy in the week leading to the event, with drivers wanting that little ‘edge’.
On the fastest part of the course (a blind left hander), Richard flew through the speed trap at over 150 km/h and posted a best run time of a shade over 1 min 40.097 giving him the GT class win. To put that in context, Richard was 4th overall, and that includes all the specialised single seaters, great effort.
Rob, in the 718 Cayman GT4, had a more powerful machine than the GT3, but it is significantly heavier and on road tyres. However, we made a few tweaks to the suspension; a lower and more aggressive set up. The result was a great handling car that flew through the radar at 161 km/h (that’s 100 mph!), drawing whoos and profanity from the watching crowd! His best time? A really good 1min 44.031, going second in class behind Richard. How good is a GT4? …very good…stick the numbers on the door and that’s it….a great testament to Porsche.
Adrian in the blue 911 SC, like Steve’s red car, is effectively a standard road car. Our engine builder Harry could indeed add more bhp, but regulations do not allow that. So, it has just 204 bhp, and tips our scales at about 1150 kg. Although not powerful by today’s standards, it has been developed by our team, and everything it has and could give, is there. It handles and stops exceptionally well. Adrian can use his 204 hp for longer than others, which gave a best of about 138 km/h through the radar and a time of 1 min 48.44. Up until the last run that time was enough for 3rd in class, and just ahead of Andy Slade in the fearsome Metro 6R4. However, Andy pipped him by 0.2 seconds on the final run. No trophy, but considering Adrian drove his car a 1,000 km through France prior to arriving at the event, and then home again afterwards, this 42 year old 911 is a true winner.
Steve flew in from Dubai and collected his 1978 911 SC from our workshops, drove straight to the ferry, and onwards to the event. Like Adrian’s, it is a regular, but well prepped 911. Steve was trying hard, and narrowly missed entering the bar in the spectator area (see video) when leaving the braking slightly late! His best time was 1min 52.584.
John collected his ‘new’ 964 Race car from us only the week before the event and had no time to get used to it. It was unloaded from the trailer and immediately went to the start. That’s a tall order, but the car worked well and produced a time of 1 min 51.139.
Meanwhile, Keith in the orange 914 kept us all amused. Obsessed with lightweight everything, including his good self, the sweet handling and deceptively quick vintage Porsche from the 1970’s transported Keith, his wife, their luggage and, no doubt, fine wine, to and from France, and posted a time of 2.06.668.
It was a superb effort from the whole Williams Crawford team, including those back at base who deserve recognition for their big part in the success. It should not be overlooked that all the cars performed as they should, with great reliability, and that is testament to Porsche and thorough preparation. All came home with a covering of dead flies, brake dust and plenty of memories, along with more than a few cases of wine!
It was great to witness everyone’s enthusiasm and enjoyment throughout the event. We extend our thanks to each and every one of you for getting involved with our updates on social media, the team really appreciate your support.
We can’t wait to bring you more exciting events in the future!
Stay tuned for further updates on upcoming events, but in the meantime watch the videos, and take a browse through the gallery below.
WATCH THE FULL ONBOARD RUN WITH RICHARD...
Watch the full onboard video of the ‘circuit’ with Richard Williams, plus see the others in action.