My Neighbourhood

This weekend saw the first visit of the year to Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb in Worcestershire: the oldest motorsport venue in continuous use in the world. The event hosted the TTC Group Midland Hill Climb Championship & BMTR Tyres Top Ten Challenge, along with rounds of the SBD HSA Speed Championship.

Major ground works took place during the winter period at Shelsley to repair a collapsed culvert serving the land around the Esses. This resulted in track resurfacing from Esse approach through to the exit of Top Esse. During Saturday's practice drivers treated the new surface with caution as it was somewhat slippery, especially following a sharp rain shower that morning.

New OMS owners Charles Williams & Tim Cross drove the ex-Rob Stevens OMS SC1 sports car, now powered by a Honda Blackbird 1137cc engine. Both drivers had a great weekend, Charles finished 2nd in class with a time of 31.33 and Tim on 32.77 seconds; very respectable times on a first visit in a new car. Both drivers said there is more to come and are looking forward to the next meeting in June.

Single seater racing car classes H & I were merged; the only 600cc car being the OMS Hornet driven once again by Steve Owen. His best time of 29.95 seconds may only have placed him 8th in class against the larger capacity 1100cc cars, but for those watching the climb it was a sight to be seen, as he hurled the diminutive car up the hill and into bottom Esse, barely lifting off the throttle before turning in.

Simon Andrews upheld OMS honours in the 1100cc class, finishing 4th with a time of 28.40 set in the morning class runs. Unfortunately he made contact with the Recticel barrier at Kennel bend on his afternoon run, sustaining some damage to the offside front & rear suspension. Co-driver Bernard Kevill (who took his run prior to Simon's unfortunate incident) edged closer to a sub 29 second run, finishing on a 29.29. Shelsley new comer Steve Boother had a successful weekend in his OMS 2000M, reducing his times on each run and finishing on a 30.55 much to his delight. He says he will definitely be returning to the hill this season, hoping to break the 30 second barrier. Derek Sweeney drove the ex-Clive Austin OMS 2000M, another new car & driver combination who achieved a best time of 30.57 seconds, only narrowly beaten by Steve Boother.

James Blackmore shook down his 1600cc OMS 25 following an upgrade during the winter. The weekend went well for James as he improved on his personal best time with each run, his PB now stands at 26.37 seconds and he is getting very close to breaking into the 25's. He finished 2nd in class having been bumped off first position by a mere 9/100ths by Steve Day in his Raptor. James also qualified for both of the BMTR Tyres Top Ten Challenge run offs, finishing in 6th & 7th places.

Fellow 1600cc single seater class runners Mark Goodyear & Lynn Owen, who were once again share driving the Goodyear 1300cc OMS Hornet, had a mixed weekend. Following replacement during the week since Prescott, of a faulty quick gear shifter they then suffered from what appeared to be a gearbox problem. Lynn took a timed run but the car was clearly not running as it should & Mark elected not to take a morning run. It later transpired that the gearbox was fine & that a broken engine mount was causing the problem. Mark took one timed run placing him 4th in class on a 28.33 second run.

Ian Fidoe & Tim Elmer share drove their OMS CF09 in class K single seaters up to 2000cc, with Tim having the upper hand in the class runs finishing on 27.60 to take 3rd in class whilst Ian took a 6th place on 28.57.

The unlimited single seater class was headed up by local resident and British Hillclimb Champion Trevor Willis, who recently moved into the area. Following the Prescott electrical gremlins, Trevor has replaced the wiring loom between the steering wheel & gear selection electronics. He has also made up 2 spare looms in case there should be any further difficulties this season. The new fuel injectors fitted at Prescott were checked once again & 2 were found to be faulty. Despite this the car still seemed to be running less sweetly than last season and on closer inspection the plugs were found to be the problem; once these were changed the car delivered its familiar sound & Shelsley top speeds.

The crowd were never in any doubt as to who would win the unlimited single seater class once Trevor launched the OMS 28 up the hill. He out qualified the rest of the field for both BMTR Tyres Top Ten Challenge run offs and stamped his domination on the event by winning both rounds and setting Fastest Time of Day with a 24.05 second run. The 'local boy' had a good day and so did everyone else.

Next weekend sees the British Hillclimb Championship move to Barbon Manor in Westmoreland on Saturday 11 May and then it travels across the Pennines to Harewood Hillclimb in Yorkshire for the Sunday 12th May meeting.

Results and times for all runs at Shelsley Walsh can be found here.

Date: 5/05/2013 | Author: L.Owen