Rockin' In The Free World

The weekend of 27 and 28 September saw the final rounds of the 2014 Avon Tyres/TCC Group MSA British Hillclimb and Hillclimb Leaders Championships along with the BMTR Tyres Midland Hill Climb Championship at Loton Park in Shropshire.

There was a strong car entry as drivers made their last bid for championship points. Saturday practice dawned to a grey damp start quite a contrast to the season so far, that has been blessed with mostly warm dry conditions. Practice got off to a slow start with many offs as drivers got to grips with the tricky conditions. The OMS Hornet driver duo of Gary Hill and Harry Pick were setting quick times once the track improved, each pushing the other harder. Unfortunately on the last practice run Gary heard the engine starting to knock, ending what would have been a closely fought battle between these two drivers.

To celebrate the end of the season, Hagley and District Car Club hosted a pig roast and live music at the club bar on Saturday evening that was attended by around 130 officials, competitors and their friends/ families. The excellent evening ended with a rendition of a Neil Young classic Rockin' In The Free World, before the park fell silent and everyone made their way back to the camping areas.

On Sunday the weather was glorious, it could easily have been a day in mid-summer and not the beginning of autumn. Competition was fierce across the classes and in Sports Libre up to 2.0 Ltr once again Tim Cross had the upper hand over his co-driver Charles Williams in their OMS SC1. Tim took the class win on 55.26 from Charles best time of 56.41 seconds in the 1000cc sports car.

With no 600cc class following the retirement of the OMS Hornet it was straight into 1100cc racing cars. The largest class at the meeting with 22 drivers, this would be a battle royal for class honours.

Hot shoe Alex Summers had a problem with his supercharged 2.0 Ltr car during Saturday's practice so had hitched a ride in his mother Lindsay's 1100cc car whilst she moved to the 1600cc class to drive the family Van Diemen FF. Alex took a comfortable 1100cc class win with a time of 49 seconds dead set on his first timed run. Sadly he was unable to qualify for the British run offs in the small capacity car so ending his challenge for the British number 3 spot. Alex finished fourth overall in the 2014 British Hillclimb Championship. Congratulations Alex.

Second in the 1100cc class went to OMS 28 driver Simon Andrews, who was delighted to have set a new PB time of 49.87 seconds. Points gained for his second in class secured Simon the outright 1100cc racing car class win in the Avon Tyres/TCC Group Leaders Hillclimb Championship. Congratulations Simon, an excellent result in only your first season with the new car.

Steve Owen had the upper hand over Richard Spedding all weekend in the 1600cc racing car class. Quickest during Saturday practice Steve then moved up a gear and ran in the 47's throughout Sunday's event. Richard's best time of 47.96 couldn't match Steve's class winning time of 47.39 seconds. Steve qualified for both British run offs. He missed out on a point in the first run off by 3/100ths, but in the second run off courtesy of a gearbox failure in Trevor Willis' OMS 28 RPE V8 Steve took the final points scoring position. This class win secured Steve an outright win for 1600cc racing cars in the BMTR Tyres Midland Hillclimb Championship and his time of 47.39 seconds ensured he also won the Y Gelli Book Auctions Challenge Trophy.

Fellow 1600cc class runners Lynn Owen and Steve Spiers set personal best times. Lynn completed two timed runs in the 50's setting her best at 50.67 seconds. Steve's best run of the day was a 52.51 climb.

Neville Rollason swung from despair to delight in his supercharged OMS 28. Following some changes to the ECU set up following Saturday practice, Nev was much more comfortable with the car. Unfortunately a loose exhaust pipe during the second run caused him to abort the climb which was a pity as he was a second up on his first run time when he stopped, leaving Nev sixth in class. Geoff Guille in the OMS CF04 finished just ahead of Neville in fifth position on 50.69 seconds. Ian Fidoe made a return to the class following a short break during the season with the OMS CF09 setting a best run time of 52.88 seconds.

Trevor Willis had to settle for second in the unlimited capacity racing car class, having been shaded out of the top spot by Will Hall. Trevor qualified for both British run offs and finished fourth in the first but a gearbox failure in the second run off led to a failed run. However this would not affect his British Championship result and Trevor finishes in second place overall in the 2014 Avon Tyres/TCC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship and will run with the number 2 on his car next season. Congratulations Trevor.

To view the results of the meeting please click here.

To view British and Leaders Hillclimb Championship final results please click here.

Date: 29/09/2014 | Author: L.Owen