As the national hillclimb championships reach the closing rounds of the 2014 season the pressure is on drivers to score well in return for coveted class and overall championship positions. The event held at Prescott Hill Climb on 6th and 7th September hosted the Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb and Hillclimb Leaders Championship along with the penultimate round of the BMTR Tyres Midland Hill Climb Championship.
Excellent weather conditions throughout the weekend contributed to the impressive times being recorded, whilst also assisting drivers to break records. The most prestigious being the outright hill record that at the start of the meeting was held by Trevor Willis on 36.24 seconds set in 2012 in the OMS 25 RPE V8. During the first of the top 12 run offs this record was broken twice, firstly by Trevor himself who shaved two tenths from his own record, re-setting it at 36.04 seconds. This was promptly beaten by Will Hall who became the first person to ever climb Prescott Hill in under 36 seconds, with his superb time of 35.95 and both drivers secured an additional point in the British Championship for breaking the hill record.
As the meeting reached the final runs of the day - the second top 12 run off, once again the hill record was challenged. This time Scott Moran ran under the original record that stood at the beginning of the meeting to take an extra championship point but failed to set a new outright hill record; that was still in the hands of Will Hall. And then Jos Goodyear set off from the start line: the last man to run for the day. He stopped the clock with an unbelievable time of 35.51 seconds in his 1300cc supercharged Raptor: setting a new outright hill record some 0.75 seconds lower than at the start of play on Sunday morning.
With additional British Championship points having been scored by four different drivers the championship is starting to shape up for the final push for top placing’s; with Scott Moran having broken away from the pack in the top spot. But with four more rounds still to go a lot can happen and nothing is certain yet.
Competition in the classes was as equally fierce with a number of drivers pushing too hard, losing traction and ending up in the scenery.
Although only three drivers competed in the 600cc racing car class, the winning time of 42 seconds dead by Harry Pick in only his first full season of hillclimbing, was only 8 hundredths shy of the class record. His co-driver in the 600cc OMS Hornet Gary Hill could not match Harry's pace and Gary had to settle for second place with his first run time of 42.79 seconds.
In the 1100cc racing car class the top six places were hotly contended. With as little as 0.80 of a second covering the top five places after the first timed runs, everything was to play for when the drivers took to the hill for their final climb of the day. Three consecutive red flags delayed the meeting as one after the other three of these drivers went off the track going around Orchard Bend trying to improve on their morning runs.
OMS 28 driver Simon Andrews was one of the unlucky three so he didn't improve on his time and had to settle for third in class on 40.43 Fortunately co-driver Bernie Kevill had already taken his run to set a personal best time of 42.03 seconds. Mark Goodyear completed both of his timed runs in the OMS Hornet to take second in class with his afternoon run time of 40.09 seconds; only 2/10ths behind class winner Chris Aspinall in his F1 designed Empire.
With Richard Spedding having withdrawn from the meeting following Saturday's practice session, the class win should have been a one horse race for Steve Owen in the OMS 28. Having reached the half-way point in the 25's he was on for a 38 second run to take the class lead, when the car lost power at Semi Circle. He coasted over the line to get a time of 42.85 seconds which left him in second place behind former OMS driver Tina Hawkes in her Force. The source of the power loss was an electrical problem which Steve repaired during the lunch break. There were no further glitches on his afternoon run and Steve took a comfortable class win with a 38.98 climb.
During the morning runs Lynn Owen under steered in the OMS 28 and the nearside front wheel dipped into the gravel at Ettores Bend losing her time. In the afternoon there was no such problem and with a time of 41.45 seconds Lynn took third in class behind Steve and Tina. John Stockley's best time of 43.05 set with the OMS 2000M gave him fifth in class.
To view the run times please click here.
To view championship positions click here.
Date: 8/09/2014 | Author: L.Owen