My Generation

BARC Yorkshire Centre hosted a summer double header over the weekend of 2nd and 3rd August. On Saturday it was the Yorkshire Speed Hillclimb and on Sunday the Montague Burton Trophy Hillclimb. Saturday’s meeting was interrupted by a torrential down pour just as the second timed runs were starting. The track dried for third runs and fourth (yes fourth) timed runs, but track conditions were not as good as prior to the rain. Sunday was a bright sunny day, if not windy and a little cool at times.

The entry list included 16 OMS drivers on Saturday and 18 for Sunday's meeting. Driving 7 different models of OMS cars in 5 different classes, the drivers came from as far afield as Scotland and the Channel Islands. The earliest model a rocker arm single seater was in the hands of its latest owner Ian Davies. Unfortunately Ian damaged the car when it made contact with the Recticel safety barrier at the first corner, leaving the front suspension and bodywork damaged and the car unable to run again over the weekend.

An OMS P/R single seater has been converted to run in the sports libre class by current owner Richard Vaughan. Sporting bodywork that encloses the wheels the car ran a 59.61 to take the class win on Saturday from Radical sports car driver Sarah Holdsworth. Richard repeated the win on Sunday with an improved time of 58.98 seconds to Sarah's 59.02 best run.

A good few OMS 2000M cars ran in the up to 1100cc and the up to 1600cc racing car classes: in fact the 1600cc class was an all OMS 2000M affair. Jersey regulars Cathy and Steve Elliott came over for the weekend with their 1400cc 2000M. Steve finished second in class on Saturday and third at Sunday's event, beating Cathy by a mere 3/100th on the Sunday. Harewood first timer John Stockley had a good weekend in his 1300cc OMS 2000M getting down to 58.15 seconds on Sunday afternoon and finishing second in class to Harewood FTD championship leader Paul Martin: also driving a 1300cc OMS 2000M. Paul took the class win on both days, he confessed that he was pleased Lynn and Steve Owen were share driving other cars and had moved out of the class for the weekend.

Neville Rollason was thrilled with the weekend in his supercharged 1300cc OMS 28. Making 11 climbs across the weekend, the car ran superbly reaching speeds of 122mph on Quarry Straight: the fastest speed recorded at the meeting. He was rewarded with two class wins, Second Fastest Time of Day at Saturday's Yorkshire Speed Hillclimb and Third Fastest Time of Day at Sunday's Montague Burton Hillclimb.

Fastest Time of day for both meetings was won by Jason Mourant from Jersey driving the V8 powered OMS 25. Jason has also taken FTD at Loton Park this season along with scoring points in the British Hillclimb Championship that place him 15th overall at present in the points table .

However the stars of the weekend were competing in the 1100cc racing car class. Both driving OMS chassis; one in the ubiquitous OMS 2000M the other in a Hornet: John Munro and Harry Pick are the new generation of hillclimbers.

Harry competed at a handful of meetings on the Midland hills for the first time last season with Mark Goodyear in an 1100cc Hornet. This season he was offered a drive in the Steve Owen/Gary Hill 600cc Hornet. This weekend was Harry's first visit to Harewood and he share drove with Lynn Owen, in the smallest capacity car in the class. His hope was for a possible 59 second climb by the end of the weekend: on his 6th run up the hill he stopped the clock on 60.01 and this was despite the rain and less favourable track conditions. On the Sunday Harry's first timed run was 59.09 followed by 58.27 seconds: this time would have placed him 3rd overall in the 1600cc racing car class whilst driving a 600cc car.

John is only 16 years of age and has already set the Scottish Sprint Championship alight in his first year of competition with the 1100cc OMS 2000M he shares with his father Roy Munro. At his very first sprint event in April John took a class win and the following weekend he took FTD at Kames sprint. Harewood was John's first ever hillclimb event and clearly he was enjoying driving at the venue. The OMS was having problems with battery charging on Saturday which interfered with their runs. However this was resolved and John finished the day on 58.89 seconds. At Sunday's meeting he consistently improved his times, finishing an outstanding 2nd in class with an impressive time of 55.31 seconds: ahead of OMS constructor Steve Owen running in the Simon Andrews OMS 28; Steve's best time was 56.01 leaving him in 3rd place.

Harewood is nurturing a handful of next generation young drivers as are a number of other UK hillclimbs. And to misquote Woody Allan " (Hillclimbing), I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we have on our hands is a dead shark" and that will be our sport without more of these new young drivers.

To view the results for both meetings click here.

Date: 4/08/2014 | Author: L.Owen