Event report – #Audi-Quattro
at Kop Hill / #Audi
King of the Hill John Ford recalls an excursion to the #2015
in his MB quattro…
‘The next car is number 571, an #Audi
quattro MB, famous for winning rallies and starring in Ashes to Ashes, remember that...? And this car has upgrades including a water-cooled turbo… ’ and then all that could be heard was the roar of the famous 10-valve exhaust and I was off! A few highrpm gearchanges to entertain the expectant crowd and it was on up the hill through the trees…
This September, that was the reception and the start at the #Kop-Hill-Climb
as it was boomed out over the loudspeakers to the many hundreds if not thousands of spectators lining the track and watching from the grandstands alongside the start of the hill run.
My enthusiasm for the Kop Hill weekend started several years ago, when I applied to have my MB quattro on display in the club paddock, where around 300 cars are on show for what I found to be admiring and surprisingly knowledgeable car enthusiasts, many of them fans of the quattro. In addition, the hill climb added a greater array of cars and the hill run provided some fantastic sounds and atmosphere. There is also an entrants paddock where you can admire the cars and talk to the owners alongside, while they prepare to go and then return from the hill run.
This year I asked if it was possible to enter an application for the hill run, but the event is mainly for older cars pre- and post-war up to the 1970s so I wasn’t all that hopeful of a reply. There is limited space for what are called exotic cars, and seeing that this year there were around 150 rejections overall, including some very worthy applicants, I was not very optimistic. However, I was delighted to be accepted!
Other exotic cars included a 2012 Ferrari 458, 2007 Lamborghini Spyder, 1997 Ferrari 550 and a Bertini GT – I think eight in total, so I was in impressive company in this section…
Most cars have one day on the hill and one day in the paddock, and this initially was my schedule. I had an e-mail stating that I was among some special cars being offered the weekend, would I like to take part... Would I?! When will this dream end...? Garage pre-checks followed, plus a visit to Harraps and Hedges bodyshop of Chesham in order to be worthy of the day.
The whole weekend’s weather was remarkably sunny and warm, and the day started with the debrief, instructions, current facts of law on hill runs, 60 mph? ‘Are there any here with experience of hill runs, sprints etc?’ Lots of hands going up... ‘It’s not relevant here, you are here to entertain, meaning (I was sure) amongst other factors wheelspinning starts (but not for 4-wheel drive), high revs and lots of noise at this event.
When you are called, it’s like running a close gauntlet of lines of spectators, possibly preferring here to be closer than to the runs, some did come up to show appreciation and chat, which was nice, and also some banter from the marshals while waiting turn. This I experienced a lot of over the weekend, along with lots of mutual nice exchanges from participants.
On the grid, there is an announcement about the car and its owner and its history, for all participants over the loudspeakers, then the flag is down and off you go, highrev gearchanges and up the hill. The hill itself is not particularly challenging for the MB, but it’s very narrow, enclosed by trees. There are stations of marshals, who I understood are professionals, some from Silverstone, who are there, we were informed at debrief, to ensure you are driving within the limits of your car.
Then you get waved down at the finish. ‘That’s not very long’, came the comment from one of my passengers, maybe one tenth of the Nürburgring, but overall much more fun!
That’s not the finish, though, as on the return there are many spectators on the route, with much hooting and waving really adding to the occasion and there are two runs each day.
Probably the most memorable and what summed up the weekend, was when the photography section asked me for a favour: ‘Could you speak to a teacher and a pupil from the local school...?’ They own this field. Much of this event is run by vast numbers of volunteers and the school with the pupils organising the photographs in co-operation with the local rotary. They wanted me to show my car and give a hill run ride to a pupil, to give them more experience with the event. Did I have choice? Of course I would!
Afterwards, parents came and photos and chats made the event what Kop Hill is brilliant at. It is now mentioned alongside Goodwood. This year £75,000 was raised for charity. So, petrolheads, bring your family and enjoy a carnival atmosphere at Kop Hill!
John’s 1989 MB quattro was featured in our quattro special theme in the March 2014 edition of Audi Driver, and it was also a star attraction of the quattro Owners’ Club display at the 2015 Classic Motor Show at the NEC.
KOP HILL CLIMB, the historic hill climb weekend, that takes place in The Chiltern Hills near Princes Risborough each September, has announced a record attendance of around 16,500, and near perfect weather for the two-day extravaganza of cars, motorcycles and the special festival atmosphere that attracts car enthusiasts and families alike, with the amazing amount of £75,000 raised by the event this year.
John Biggs, the organiser of the event, said ‘I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who visited the event, and made it possible to raise such a fantastic sum for charity: the spectators who came in their thousands, the wonderful support from sponsors and exhibitors, and of course the entrants, who brought their cherished vehicles for us to see. A big thankyou also to the hundreds of volunteers, without whom the event just couldn’t take place. I think Kop Hill Climb is the best value event for £10 anywhere in Buckinghamshire’.
The event this year saw over 400 vehicles each day taking on the famous Kop Hill and on display in the paddock. Vehicles ranged in age from the early 1900’s to modern day exotics, so whatever the personal preference there was something for all.
There was a spectacular collection of historic race cars running the hill, including the iconic Napier-Railton from Brooklands Museum and the 1922 Isle of Man TT winning Sunbeam Grand Prix car.
Kop Hill Climb is run entirely by volunteers and is operated under Heart of Bucks – Buckinghamshire’s Community Foundation – with the sole aim of raising money for local community projects and charities. The event has raised £305,000 since the revival first took place in 2009. The 2016 event will be staged over the weekend of September 17-18. See: www.kophillclimb.org.uk for more details.
‘There is also an entrants paddock where you can admire the cars and talk to the owners alongside...’
‘On the grid, there is an announcement about the car and its owner and its history, for all participants over the loudspeakers, then the flag is down and off you go...’
‘My enthusiasm for the Kop Hill weekend started several years ago, when I applied to have my MB quattro on display in the club paddock...’