Riders on the Storm ....
was the spectacle that greeted spectators at the opening rounds of the MSA British Hillclimb Championship, MSA Leaders Championship and Midland Hillclimb Championship at Prescott Hill in Gloucestershire. The weekend was engulfed in extreme weather conditions following a week of unseasonal weather.
Competitors arrived on Friday to find the paddock and camping area resembling a swamp, with rivers of water flowing down the roads & fields. These conditions worsened on the Saturday as more rain fell in the morning. High winds & torrential rain arrived over night on Saturday & throughout the meeting on the Sunday, leading to the worst conditions experienced for many years.
Competitor numbers dwindled as the weekend progressed, some were non starters, others fell foul of difficult track conditions and others had simply had enough & packed up without taking their timed runs.
The most hardy & eager championship contenders were keen to make the most of conditions & get a score on the board. They also provided some good spectating for those who braved the low temperatures & heavy rain.
The 1100cc single seater Class I was dominated by OMS CF1100 pilot Alex Summers. Driving the family OMS he wrung some fabulous times from the 1000cc Suzuki engine winning the class by over 6 seconds from his nearest challenger. His class run times were good enough to qualify him for both of the Avon Tyres British Hillclimb Championship Top 12 Run Offs, ahead of more powerful cars.
The OMS 25 drivers in class J 1600cc single seater class were closely matched with Neville Rollason finishing ahead of Lee Griffiths in a sister car, followed by Steve Owen who shared the Griffiths car this weekend and Craig Bates in the car he shares with Rollason. All narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Top 12 Run Offs but had a good battle trying.
Trevor Willis drove the OMS 25 V8 he debuted at this meeting in 2011. Now running modified sidepods & floor tray & using traction control this season, he ensured he qualified for both runs offs and finished 4th in class L in the process.
Many thanks to the marshalls for standing out all weekend in such miserable weather conditions & the The Bugatti Owners Club for keeping the event together & achieving an early finish. How everyone managed to get their vehicles out of the camping area & paddock will be a hot topic of conversation when they next meet up.
Date: 29/04/2012 | Author: L.Owen