On The Road Again

OMS chassis number 3 was once again back on the hills following a complete restoration by its new owner Dave Oldridge. The car was originally built in 1987 for Andrew Jackson who at that time did the GRP moulding for Steve. It was then sold on to Mark Wilson and Guy Wilkinson before being sold again, this time to David Keer.

However chassis number 3 will be remembered by most competitors on the national hillclimb scene as the car that was campaigned for many years by Ian Cruickshanks, who bought the car from David Keer when it still ran with a 500cc two stroke engine. Ian ran the car up until a few years ago with the assistance of his wife Alison who has now sadly passed away.

Ian was the first of the 500 brigade to fit a 600cc four stroke engine into a hill climb car. This made his car ineligible for the 500cc racing car class; so for some time Ian competed in the 1100cc class at meetings. As concerns grew within the sport about the noise generated from the two stroke 500's and their exhaust emissions, the class evolved into the 600cc racing car class and accepted both capacities. With the new class break the two stroke 500 became a thing of the past as other drivers chose to install four stroke engines.

The OMS 500 as it is still referred to by Steve and Lynn Owen, ran once again at Doune hill climb on 21st September 2014: the same venue it last ran with Ian driving. Driven by Steve Owen who also owns the sister car chassis number 4, along with former 500cc racer Mike Fitzsimons. This pair both competed in the 500 class during the late 1980's when the class was in its prime.

Steve Owen in the OMS 500 with co-driver Mike Fitzsimons

Joining them in class was the ex-Dave Oldridge OMS Hornet now owned by Steve Owen and Gary Hill, who purchased the car after Dave retired from competition. Driving with Gary was Harry Pick who has share driven with Gary throughout the 2014 season. This was Harry's first visit to Doune hill climb, regarded by most drivers as the best UK hill to drive.

Gary Hill in the OMS Hornet with Trevor Willis, Harry Pick and Sam Wilson

Following adjustments during Saturday practice, Mike and Steve quickly settled into driving the 28 year old car: the oldest OMS still in competition. Harry set the pace in class from first practice on Saturday with Gary sitting a tenth behind him by the end of the day. For Sunday morning practice is was a cold start with much less grip than on the previous afternoon runs. Harry slid off the track at Meadow on his practice run damaging the front nose section and aerofoil. Gary skipped his practice run and they repaired the car in time for the first competition runs.

Steve put in a storming first timed run to lead the class on 48.78 ahead of Gary in second place on 49.21 seconds. Harry returned to form on his final run to comfortably win the class with a 45.98 climb from Gary who finished in second place on 46.56 Steve slipped back into third spot with his 47.84 second run and Mike in fourth.

OMS 600 cars, drivers and pit crew

To view the in car action on YouTube search for OMS Racing at Doune Hillclimb or click here.

Date: 30/09/2014 | Author: L.Owen