I Don't Want To Talk About It
A thought echoed by many competitors and officials following the weekend's hillclimb meeting at Doune in Scotland, where rounds 13 and 14 of the Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb and round 6 of the Hillclimb Leaders Championships ran on 20th and 21st June.
During the winter off season a number of new safety barriers were erected on the higher reaches of the hill to protect errant cars and their drivers from contact with trees in maturing copses near to the track. These new barriers are in addition to the existing barriers from the first corner through to Junction. Throughout practice and competition runs alike they sustained continued assaults by many competitors, resulting in a series of delays whilst officials recovered their cars and carried out barrier repairs.
In part the weather added to the situation. Following a dry Saturday practice Sunday dawned to rain showers and a damp track. Further intermittent showers fell during competition runs leading to a constantly changing track surface.
First of the OMS drivers on the hill was Harry Pick; he was share driving the 600cc OMS Hornet with Steve Owen. Both were eager for a class win and on first timed runs in the wet they were on the same second. Their afternoon run was dry with Steve taking full advantage, he won the class on 46.01s from Harry's 47.20s best time.
The 1100cc racing car class had attracted a large entry that included five OMS drivers. Jackie and Ricky Le Cheminant had stayed in the UK following the previous weekends event at Loton Park, to compete in their OMS PR at Doune. This weekend Ricky had the upper hand, finishing four tenths ahead of Jackie. Guyson Scottish Hillclimb Championship contender Fergus Duncan driving his OMS 2000M finished third in this class on 43.29s. OMS 28 duo Simon Andrews and Bernie Kevill had a good event. This was Bernie's first drive at Doune and despite the changable condtitions, he finished the weekend on 45.62s ahead of several Scottish class regulars. Simon increased his Hillclimb Leaders Championship points tally by taking second in class on his best of the weekend 42.45s and a new PB for him.
OMS 2000M Fergus Duncan (Photo D. Oldridge)
Neville Rollason fared less well in his supercharged OMS 28, having been caught out during Sunday morning practise on the approach to Garden Gate. He locked up the brakes, hitting the barrier with the nearside front wheel causing suspension damage that resulted in him retiring from the event.
Another OMS driver retiree was Trevor Willis. Having decided to forego Sunday morning practise speculation in the paddock about why Willis didn't practise was wide of the mark, though he remained tight lipped. He elected not to practise so he could nurse a cracked gearbox casing. His class run time of 43.44s was the quickest of the morning runs and placed him top qualifier in the BHC Top Twelve Run Off by nearly a second.
With an improved track times were coming down as each car completed their run off climb. Trevor had run in the 37's during Saturday practise so when Alex Summers' time of 37.28s came up on the board, Trevor knew he had to pull out something special for a win. As a hard charging Trevor approached Junction he clipped the barrier causing him to make head on contact.
The resultant nose cone damage was significant having absorbed the energy from his high speed incident. On returning to the paddock Trevor decided not to repair the car following the offer of the nose cone from the Andrews/Kevill OMS 28. Instead he called it a day, much to the suprise of fellow competitors and spectators.Trevor didn't wish to talk about his decision, instead he offered his assistance to other drivers for the remainder of the event.
Date: 22/06/2015 | Author: L.Owen