Having been a Ginetta G50 owner for just a few months, Mike Anderson is one member of the Ginetta racing family who uses his race car for something other than circuit racing – travelling across Europe to compete in Hill Climb events. Here’s what he got up to recently…

One of the longest running events of the calendar, Round eight of The Andalusian Montana took place on 2nd/3rd November at Subida a Marmol; the course ran from the town of Macael in the district of Almeria, to the top of the nearby mountain of Marmol.

The event was a double header coefficient 3.25 each day, with each run scoring separately towards the championship standings. The route is a 4.4 kilometre run along a number of tight bends and short straights on a mixture and ever changing tarmac surface and rising to 2600 metres above sea level; quite dizzy heights.

The entry list was made up of 72 cars, which were broken down into modern and Historic categories as well as engine size classes, resulting in very stiff and somewhat unknown competition. Not only that, but the event was also a championship qualifier for the Andalusian and Murcian championships, so there were also a fair degree of local born and bred drivers.

There were of course the usual selection of well-known names, Jose Antonio Aznar (2011 national champion) in his ex-DTM Audi A4 and Manolo Maldonado in his Seat Ibiza kit car, as well as a past champion, Gerard De La Casa, a Spaniard who lives in Andorra. To add to the pressure, the grid also featured a well-known ice racer, a couple of other WRC’s and Super 2000 drivers and a Nissan World Touring Car.

The weather was a stunning 34 degrees on Saturday and 32 degrees on Sunday. There hadn’t been any rain for some time which was a bit of a concern as dust would be covering the road, not just any old dust but Silica dust from the Marble mining and treatment from the surrounding hills and processing plants.

The road surface is very old and as such slippery and undulating with changing surfaces throughout the length of the climb. The event used to be a qualifying round of the national championship but it lost its status around three years ago as a result of the standard of the road surface and the fact that many drivers are now turning more to circuit developed steeds rather than rally cars and as such the roads need to be much smoother and consistent to be eligible.

The start of the climb is approximately two kilometres from the service area and due to the good weather, it was estimated that some 25,000 spectators had made the trip into the mountains. For us, the event didn’t start terribly well, we left the part worn tyres on from the previous event for practice, they had only covered 15 kilometres and as such had plenty of rubber left on.

It was obvious from the start that it was going to be a highly competitive weekend and a difficult one for me and the Ginetta. In practice we were down in tenth place and eight seconds down on the leader.

Back to service, and we raised the ride height and scratched our heads. Out for the first official timed run next, slightly quicker but still in tenth place as a result of the change but when I checked the tyres they were completely ruined and had begun to delaminate, obviously over heated due to much wheel spin throughout the run.

Back to service and a new set of tyres all round, hoping that would solve the problem, it did improve times and position; moving us up to sixth but still off the pace. Sunday wasn’t any better again finishing sixth and another set of tyres destroyed but a great deal learnt over the weekend in preparation for 2014.

Before next season, paddle shift will be fitted to the car, as well as a change of tyre supplier to give a greater cross section of compounds, and most importantly a closer ratio gear kit to increase acceleration and achieve the best performance from the developed engine, top speed will have to be sacrificed but to be honest it’s not often that speeds above 100 mph are achieved in Hillclimb racing.