End of The Line

Loton Park in Shropshire saw the final rounds of the Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British and Leaders Hillclimb Championships, the TTC Group Midland Hill Climb Championship and BMTR Tyres Top Ten Challenge over the weekend.

As the season came to a close, some drivers had already secured their championship wins whilst others still had their work cut out to ensure victory. The event delivered a weekend of hill climbing at its best, a full entry list with close competition, new class records, glorious weather and a vibrant atmosphere throughout the paddock and spectator enclosures: the ideal way to end a season.

A good number of OMS cars were competing, the first being the OMS SC1 of Charles Williams and Tim Cross. The first timed runs resulted in Charles being the quicker of the two drivers by 3/10ths; however the tables turned in the afternoon. Tim greatly improved on his morning time by over two seconds to finish on 54.44 seconds and take 3rd place in the class. Charles was the victim of two consecutive red flag aborted runs before eventually completing the climb. Unfortunately his time was slower than earlier in the day; hardly surprising in view of the red flags and an overly hot engine and tyres.

In the unlimited capacity sports libre class ex-OMS driver Rob Stevens was poised to secure his 5th Midland Hill Climb Championship win in the supercharged Force. A broken drive shaft prevented him from taking his morning run and nobody had a spare shaft he could borrow. The only solution was to weld the broken shaft which Steve Owen did for Rob, much to the surprise of onlookers who thought the weld would fail. The shaft held and Rob posted his only time of the day 48.96 seconds to win the class by four seconds and secure the Midland Hill Climb Championship victory.

The undersubscribed racing cars up to 600cc class fielded four drivers this weekend, avoiding amalgamation with the 1100cc racing cars which has happened for most of the season. Gary Hill was the man to beat during Saturday's practice session in the OMS Hornet. His form continued with a personal best time of 53.91 seconds on Sunday afternoon to take the class win from co-driver Lynn Owen. (Lynn and Steve Owen's OMS 28 was side-lined last weekend at Harewood when 2nd gear broke, so they elected to share drive for the last meeting of the season).

Racing cars up to 1100cc currently has the largest number of entries in a single seater class at present and with 20 competitors at Loton Park, this weekend was no exception. OMS duo Simon Andrews and Bernard Kevill were competing at Loton for the last time in their OMS 2000M: they will take delivery of a new 1100cc OMS 28 for the 2014 season. Places at the top of the class were tight with 0.25 seconds covering the three cars contesting 3rd place in the class. Despite a hard charge, Simon had to settle for 4th in class with a time of 50.24 seconds. Bernie's time of 52.27 that only a couple of years ago would have placed him in the top six, left him half way down the class; showing how the pace and number of drivers has increased significantly in this class over the last two seasons. The Summer's family OMS CF was being campaigned once again following a recent engine replacement; this time in the hands of Richard and his son Felix. They fought a close battle, with Felix the victor a mere 9/100ths ahead of Richard.

The ever competitive 1600cc racing cars didn't disappoint the crowds. With 12 drivers in class, a climb anything less than 51 seconds would not be quick enough to keep up with the leading pack. Class front runner Jos Goodyear won on a 45.80 faster than most of the unlimited capacity single seaters, followed by six more drivers under the 50 second barrier: such fierce competition in this class. The highest placed OMS driver was Steve Owen who shared with Pat Roche in the OMS CF07; Steve took 5th in class on 48.30 with Pat just behind him on 48.99 to take 6th in class. A hard charging Lee Griffiths suffered a mechanical failure that resulted in a grassy excursion coming into Fletchers Dellow, ending his bid for a top six position in the class. Harry Pick once again shared the Anne and Mark Goodyear 1300cc OMS Hornet with Mark. This quick young driver confidently attacked the hill in one of the smallest capacity cars in class. He set a new personal best time of 51.87 seconds, only falling short of his experienced co-driver Mark Goodyear by half a second. A slight coming together with the scenery on Harry's best timed run damaged the front wing and side-lined the car, leaving Mark unable to take his second run and having to settle for his first run time of 51.37 seconds.

Only two OMS drivers contested the 2 litre racing car class: Tim Elmer driving the Ian Fidoe OMS CF09 and Geoff Guille in the ex-Trevor Willis OMS CF04. Geoff rounded off the top six in the class on a 50.26 whilst Tim finished 7th on 51.18 seconds.

Class L unlimited racing cars had only one OMS driver, the outgoing 2012 British Hillclimb Champion Trevor Willis in the RPE V8 powered OMS 28. His best time of 45.24 set during the morning session was only good enough to take 2nd in the class. 2013 British Hillclimb Champion elect Scott Moran pipped Trevor on his second run by 2/10ths to take the class win.

A couple of OMS drivers were contesting the Hagley Members Loton Park Championship classes, Gill Thompson in the 1100cc OMS PR and Paul Jarrett in his 1300cc OMS 2000M. Paul comprehensively won class R(ii) on 50.36 with a significant margin to the second placed driver. Whilst Gill had a failed second timed run and was unable to improve on her morning time in class R(iii).

In the first of the British Hillclimb Championship run offs the new champion Scott Moran could only manage 4th whilst current champion Trevor Willis finished 2nd to the newly crowned Leaders Hillclimb Champion Alex Summers. The tables were turned for the second run off when Trevor once again demonstrated his winning credentials. His time of 44.05 seconds sealed the win in the final round this season and as reigning British Hillclimb Champion, whilst also setting Fastest Time of Day: a great result and end to the season for Trevor and OMS Racing.

Congratulations to all championship winners and class winners, but in particular to:

Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Champion Scott Moran
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA Hillclimb Leaders Champion Alex Summers
TTC Group Midland Hill Climb Champion Rob Stevens
BMTR Tyres Top Ten Challenge winner Trevor Willis

To view class results from the meeting click here and for final championship positions and results please click here.

Date: 30/09/2013 | Author: L.Owen