Finlake hillclimb was my first ever speed event in 1994. I competed for the first time in a road going MK2 Escort. Up until that point, I had only ever competed in a few 12 car rallies and autotests. Finlake was my first proper speed event.
Needless to say, I was hooked. Finlake gave me such a good introduction to the world of speed hillclimbing, that I became a regular competitor over the subsquent years. That meant travelling around the south west to various hillclimb events like Wiscombe Park and Oddicombe.
Finlake hillclimb was held at the Finlake holiday resort near Chudleigh in Devon, and organised by Torbay Motor Club. It was a perfect place for a weekend event, as you could stay overnight in lodge, caravan or camping. An added bonus was having use of the parks facilities, like swimming pools, bars and restuarants.
Finlake hillclimb course
The course was around 1000yds long, and had various starting points over the years. There was a lot to keep the drivers happy, including long straights, sweeping corners, and a slippery surface to allow for some side ways action. Specatators could view the the fastest part of the hill from a bank above the complex area.
Being a holiday park, each competitor was able to have a hard standing to park their car when not racing. This meant no churning up of grass areas.
It really was an ideal venue and its sorely missed by many.