Under Pressure ...

at the final meeting of the 2011 Nicholson McLaren British Hillclimb & Leaders Hillclimb Championships at Loton Park, Shropshire today.

Following the disappointing lack of points for Trevor Willis at Doune last weekend, he had everything to play for and much ground to make up. In the British Championship table Trevor was now sitting 13 points behind Roger Moran and only 3 points ahead of Wallace Menzies. Roger would be dropping 10 points from whatever points total he scored due to drop scores and Wallace had 1 point to drop. Trevor on the other hand had no scores to drop, so every point would count. Saturday practice went well, with favourable weather conditions, Trevor finished the session a mere 2/100ths of a second behind Roger Moran and ahead of Wallace Menzies. All looked well for the event the following day.

The sound of rain pattering on the roof of his camper van on Sunday morning, was not a welcome wake up call. This rain continued on and off throughout the morning leading to wet first timed runs for all the classes & very challenging track conditions. Trevor only had to be in the top 12 fastest times of the class runs to qualify for the first run off of the day: simple enough you might think, for a driver of his exprience. But it was not to be, all was going well until he reached Fallow, the left hand corner at the top of the main straight. As he down shifted for the corner, the back end stepped out on the slippery track leading to a half spin which cost valuable time, too much time & he failed to qualify.

In the first run off Roger consolidated his 2nd position in the championship behind his son Scott, the 2011 Nicholson McLaren British Hillclimb Champion. Wallace maximised the opportunity Trevor had gifted him finishing in 5th position and gaining 6 points to place him 3 points ahead of Trevor and snatching 3rd place in the championhip.

Having heaped huge pressure on himself, Trevor was relieved that the weather faired up for the afternoon class runs. With dry track conditions Trevor made certain he qualified for the final championship run off of 2011. Roger was first on the hill throwing down the gauntlet with a 45.47 second run. Wallace ran next and as the car oversteered on the exit of Loggerheads it was clear this was a no holds barred run. His time of 46.70 seconds placed him behind Roger. Trevor lined up to take his run, everything depended on this if he was to snatch back 3rd position in the championship. His split time at Triangle matched Rogers and was 6/10th up on Wallace. As he went out of sight the V8 engine of the OMS25 howled up Ceder Straight. Safely round Fallow bend & up to Museum, the final corner. As he exited Museum the car faltered & then picked up again loosing fractions of a second, would this be significant & cost him points? Trevor crossed the line with a time of 45.65 seconds and finished third in the run off behind Scott & Roger. More importantly Wallace only managed 8th position & with his drop score only gained 2 points. Trevor bagged 8 points for finishing 3rd and in doing so took back 3rd overall in the British Championship.

Speaking with Trevor on his return down the hill he explained the incident at Museum, he entered the bend faster than ever before braked hard and his foot slipped behind the accelerator pedal. The falter we all heard was Trevor releasing his foot from behind the pedal before flooring it to the finish. How much pressure can one man place on himself ...

Congratulations to all of the drivers finishing in the top 10 positions of the 2011 Nicholson McLaren British Hillclimb Championship.

  1. Scott Moran
  2. Roger Moran
  3. Trevor Willis
  4. Wallace Menzies
  5. Lee Adams
  6. Tom New
  7. Chris Merrick
  8. Will Hall
  9. John Bradburn
  10. Richard Spedding


Date: 25/09/2011 | Author: L.Owen