One Fine Day

This weekend saw the first visit of the TTC Midland Hillclimb Championship to Loton Park hillclimb in Shropshire. Saturday practice was a grey affair with heavy low cloud & mizzle all morning, brightening slightly for the afternoon runs. Many OMS drivers were entered for the event across the single seater classes. Unfortunately Trevor Willis fell ill on Friday & was unable to make Saturday practice, arriving in the evening looking somewhat grey himself. Sunday morning dawned to bright skies & a dry day, much to the relief of the rain weary entry list who have endured the unseasonal conditions for weeks now.

Steve & Lynn Owen took a weekend away from their usual OMS 25, both returning to Hornets for the event. Steve shared the David Oldridge 600cc Hornet with 1989 British Hillclimb Champion Ray Rowan. On a previous occasion when they share drove an OMS it ended with an engine rebuild, so Dave was hopeful that he would not see history repeat itself with his car. It was a weekend full of banter & great stories from their many years of friendship and the first time Ray had driven at Loton Park for 21 years, following his departure from Hillclimbing to set up and run Rowan Racing.

Lynn shared the 1300cc Hornet of Tina Hawkes in the 1600cc single seater class. This car was previously owned by Lynn & Steve, so the car was very familiar. The drivers were evenly matched throughout the weekend with Lynn snatching sixth place in class and one point in the Midland Championship. Fellow OMS drivers in this class Craig Bates & Neville Rollason had a great weekend in their OMS 25, with Nev setting a new personal best time on his second class run of 48.65 seconds which also won him the class. Second class position went to John Stockley in his OMS 2000M with an excellent time of 51.46 which could possibly be his personal best in the car and Craig Bates finished third on a 51.59 seconds.

Single seaters up to 1100cc comprised several OMS cars with the Bernard Kevill/ Simon Andrews 2000M taking 3rd in class and OMS honors in Simon's hands from Richard Summers (OMS CF) who finished 4th, Clive Austin (2000M) 5th and Bernard taking the final Midland Championship point in 6th position. For Simon it was a superb result as his secod class run time qualified him for the second Avon BMTR Tyres Top 10 run off: the first time Simon has qualified for a run off place.

Trevor took the OMS 25 V8 up the hill for one practice on Sunday morning, setting a time of 46.59 which placed him in top spot. This performance continued during the timed runs leading to a very comfortable class win by 1.3 seconds from the second placed car of Oliver Tomlin.

OMS cars also won the Hagley Members classes in the hands of Glyn Poole (OMS 2000M) who won Class 1 and Paul Jarrett (OMS 2000M) who won Class 2 with Glyn Davies in the ex James Blackmore CF04 finishing in second place.

The Avon BMTR Tyres Top 10 run offs saw a mix of cars in qualifying positions with Trevor fastest qualifier on both occasions. He went on to win both rounds of the Top 10 championship and set fastest time of the day with a time of 45.20 a full second ahead of his closest challengers. Neville Rollason finished 7th and 6th in each run off rounding off one of his best weekends of hillclimbing. Simon Andrews finished just out of the points in the second run off, however still an excellent performance to qualify against more powerful cars.

A good weekends motorsport that delivered 4 practice runs, 2 timed runs and 2 Top 10 run offs. Well done to the Hagley Club for running such a good event despite one or two time consuming offs. Many thanks to David Oldridge and Tina Hawkes for sharing their cars with us, it was very much appreciated.

Ray Rowan with the 600cc OMS Hornet

Date: 21/05/2012 | Author: L.Owen