Just Like Eddie
At this years’ round of the Avon Tyres MSA British Hillclimb Championship at Bouley Bay in Jersey, hillclimb photographer and reporter Eddie Walder was closer to the action than ever before.
Competitor Craig Bates along with co-driver Neville Rollason made the trip to the Channel Island rounds of the championship with their OMS 25. This was Craig's first visit to the islands and he was cautioned about Cafe Corner, as are all first time drivers at Bouley Bay, the notorious slow left hander shortly after the start that catches out the best of drivers. The turn is made worse by front tyres that have not generated any heat by this point and a highly polished track surface as this is a public road course. Added to this mix is sand from the beach that seems to get everywhere despite rigorous tyre preparation.
A lock up on Craigs first timed run propelled the car straight on at Cafe into the Recticel barriers that protect the marshals and officials manning the corner. Unfortunately for Craig the barriers moved on impact resulting in both Eddie Walder and a marshal being hit by the barriers which caused them to fall & sustain injuries. Fortunately neither sustained serious injury much to the relief of all competitors and officials.
The Bates/ Rollason OMS 25 did not escape injury either. On the day both drivers managed to destroy a front aerofoil a piece on their first timed runs, Craig in the incident at Cafe corner and Nev on the final corner when he ran up the banking. Team OMS were beginning to run out of spare wings on Jersey as in morning practice Jason Mourant had ploughed into the scenery on his first practice run, demolishing the complete front aerofoil. By the end of play 3 spares had been used up and the next venue Les Val de Terres on Guernsey, offers no mercy when a driver makes an error. The course is lined with granite walls and earth bankings, which makes carbon wings easy pickings!
Other OMS drivers at Bouley Bay had a more successful meeting. Sarah Gaudion in her OMS CF08 set a personal best time a full second inside her previous best. The Charlie & Justin Smith OMS 25 looked glorious in the summer sunshine in its Red Bull livery. Both set good times & improved all day but were hampered by a gear change niggle that was resolved at the Guernsey meeting.
Both of the Top 12 Run Offs saw OMS drivers qualify. Geoff Guille was in both run offs in the 2.0 ltr OMS CF04 he shares with son Chris, finishing in the points in run off 1. Jason Mourant despite the off in practice, made the cut for the first run off in the supercharged OMS 25 but finished just outside of the points. Trevor Willis in his PowerTec V8 OMS 25 also competed in both run offs. He finished 2nd in run off one and took the win in run off two, consolidating his British Championship points score.
Trevor was once again assisted in the paddock by Sam Wilson who was seen ably helping Trevor to reverse the OMS back into the paddock.
Date: 27/07/2012 | Author: L.Owen