THE CHATEAU Impney Hill Climb, which returns to Droitwich this weekend after almost 50 years, will bring £1million into the local economy.
And, as the hotel’s owners have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds to get the venue ready for the event, they have focused on making sure local companies have been the ones to benefit.
Among them have been a Droitwich firm which was chosen to resurface the driveway, which will be used as the track, the grandstand was built by a company based just outside the town, staff have been hired from local agencies and virtually every hotel room in Droitwich is booked this weekend.
There will also be 18 food and drink stalls at the hill climb and all but one are from within a 15-miles of radius, providing hungry and thirsty spectators with everything from pig roasts, pizza and ice cream to ales, ciders and other refreshments.
Patrick Davis, who organises the Droitwich Food and Drink Festival, said: “That is where the Chateau Impney Hill Climb is unique – a lot of these events use national caterers who price out the local guys but that’s not the case here.”
He said, bosses at the Chateau and the organisers were insistent these chances should go to local businesses.
More than 200 competitors in a vast array of classic cars will tackle the brand new hill climb course which has a backdrop of parkland and the iconic French-style hotel.
The event was originally run between 1957 and 1967 by the Hagley and District Light Car Club and it is hoped its return will recapture the inclusive spirit of that decade.
This year’s hill climb has already been named by The Sunday Times as one of the ‘top ten must-see motorsport events of the summer’.
Among the cars competing will be pre-war Grand Prix Bugatti Type 35s, a historic Monaco-winning Alfa Romeo P3 Tipo B and a number of 1950s sports cars, including C-Type and D-Type Jaguars.
Unlike other motorsport events, the hill climb offers free grandstand seating with the ticket price – £20 for Saturday and £25 for Sunday and with a ticket-holding adult, under 16s go free.
As well as seeing what is happening on the track, there will also be large screens beaming the action live so spectators need not miss a thing.
There will also be a Concours d’Elegance where people can vote for their favourite vehicles on Facebook and Twitter, an air display, demonstrations of the brand new Morgan Plus 8, a classic car auction hosted by specialists H&H Classics and more than 100 stands, including local food and drink producers.
And local classics enthusiasts are even welcome to bring their own classic cars to the event, with event organisers providing a special car park just for them.
Rod Spollon, chairman of the Chateau Impney Hill Climb Club, said: “Judging by the feedback we’ve received so far, it looks set to be one of the hottest events of the season and promises something not just for historic motorsport fans but the whole family too.
“When speaking to anyone who attended the original speed trial events in the 1950s and 1960s, it was clear that they were really a family affair, and local people who brought their children along to see the action and got them into motorsport from a young age.
“Therefore, we wanted to make the event as family-friendly as possible, and make sure that everyone got a chance to see the action and really make the most of the weekend.
“We hope that this family feel, combined with the amazing heritage of the Chateau, will make the inaugural Hill Climb a truly unforgettable event, and we look forward to welcoming everyone this weekend.”
Advance e-tickets for the Chateau Impney Hill Climb can be bought online until midnight tonight (Friday) and are also available to purchase on the gate and car parking is free.
Gates open at 7.30am on both days. The first race on the Saturday will be at 8.45am and the first on the Sunday will be at 8.30am.
Visit www.chateauimpneyhillclimb.com to find out more or buy tickets, which are £20 on Saturday and £25 on Sunday.
Visit www.droitwichstandard.co.uk for more stories and build up to the Chateau Impney Hill Climb.