MOTOR enthusiast John Simpson from Yelverton was delighted with both his and his car’s performance over the Bank Holiday weekend at the Saint Goueno hillclimb in Brittany.
John, 65, took his 340bhp Vauxhall Astra, which he has built especially for the season of races, to take part in the Brittany race — part of the French championships.
The speeding pensioner, com-peted in an international field, which included French, British and Irish drivers, and rode to a top 20 finish. More than 100 entrants took part in the 3.2 kilometre hill climb.
John has won the Ford rally championship, driven for Subaru and Ford, plus been an instructor at numerous rally schools in Wales and London as well as at the famous Silverstone circuit.
He said: ‘It was a fantastic event and extremely fast. I managed to finish 14th overall, was first two wheel drive saloon and the first car not on racing tyres. I was beaten only by out and out racers and finished ahead of all the Subarus and ex- works four wheel group B rally cars.
‘Overall I was very pleased with that and a lot better than I expected!
‘It was an absolutely fantastic course, very fast and I was reaching 120 mph at one point. I was pleased with the car which has lots of potential in those sort of events. ’
The next outing for John is at Charmouth in Dorset at the weekend.