96. Prescott Hill Climb

Classic cars line up at Prescott, near Cheltenham, where the historic race track is owned by the Bugatti Owners' Club.A relaxed scene from the American Weekend held at Prescott in 2011.Prescott Hill Climb is based in glorious Cotswold countryside a few miles from Cheltenham and is home to one of the world's most prestigious motor racing venues.

The Prescott Estate, covering approximately 60 acres, is situated off the A435 between Gotherington and Gretton.

Not only does it provide a beautiful setting for a range of classic car and bike weekends, but it also hosts major motor racing championships.

The classic cars on view at Prescott attract the admiration of all generations of motor racing fans.During summer weekends ‘the hill’ is alive to the sound of Bugattis, MGs, Morgans, GT40s and many other names of yesteryear, not forgetting Aston Martins and the occasional Bentley.

The track is owned by the Bugatti Owners' Club (BOC), founded in 1929, who were looking for a permanent home and bought the land in 1937.

The first event at Prescott was staged in April 1938 on what is now the Short Course, of 880 yards.

Sir Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Murray Walker and many others started their illustrious careers at Prescott on their road to Formula One success. Moss's first hillclimb was at Prescott on May 9, 1948, driving a Mk2 Cooper when he came fourth out of 12 in the 500cc class.

The track was extended in 1960 to form the present Long Course with the Short Course now used only by meetings organised by the Vintage Sports-Car Club. The 1,127 yard Long Course rises over 200 feet via short straights, fast and slow corners and a breathtaking hairpin, with the fastest modern racing cars completing the course in about 36 seconds.

The current hill record of 36.24 seconds was set by Trevor Willis in his OMS CF25-RPE on September 2, 2012, with an average speed of over 62mph, beating the long-standing record of 36.35 seconds by Scott Moran in 2007.

Ian Patton, general manager of the Bugatti Owners' Club, said: "The club’s home provides members and spectators with motor sport at its very best. Prescott is a superb venue. It is perhaps the archetypal British Championship motor racing hillclimb course, set amongst the beautiful scenery of the outer Cotswolds.

"The club has evolved since the early days and today caters for a wide variety A magnificent vintage motor at Prescott gains plenty of attention. of motoring enthusiasts of all marques whether it be of the modern, classic or vintage variety."

The action at Prescott can be viewed from strategic points along the course as well as from the restaurant terrace. Visitors and competitors alike can enjoy an exhilarating day's racing plus vintage cavalcades up the hill. The Bugatti Trust Museum is also located at Prescott and is well worth a visit.

Apart from six race meetings held each year, 10 drivers' schools are held at Prescott each year, giving drivers the chance to pit their skills against the world’s most prestigious hill climb course.

The thrill of a race at Prescott was seen by mllions of television viewers in 2005 when an episode of Top Gear was filmed there, including a race between an Austin-Healey Sprite and a Peugeot 306 with a number of cosmetic modifications.Race action from the Prescott Hill Climb.

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