Four Seasons in One Day
Promoted as 'Speed into Spring', the weekend’s event at Shelsley Walsh felt more akin to a 'Leap Into Winter'. The second round of the Midland Hill Climb Championship was held at the Worcester hill over the weekend of 30th April and 1st May.
With temperatures plummeting below freezing on Friday night, followed by a cold sunny morning for Saturday's practice, the weather then progressed to a few light showers in the afternoon before drying as drivers took third practice runs. Sunday wasn't much better for timed runs; the morning runs were dry but rain swept in prior to the first top ten run off leading to an entertaining run off for spectators as drivers pushed hard in the challenging conditions.
Three OMS drivers qualified for the first run off. Lee Griffiths (OMS 25 1300t) was third fastest qualifier on 26.89s, Steve Owen (OMS 28 BMW 1000) 28.10s and Simon Andrews (OMS 28 1000) 28.13 seconds. For reasons unknown, Lee was held on the line for what seemed an eternity causing the engine to get too hot and the driver a little angry. His run in the wet 31.41s placed a disappointed Lee fifth overall. Steve was placed eighth with his run time 32.36s, whilst Simon finished just outside of a point scoring placing with his 33.42s climb.
Class runs in the morning ran in the dry producing some very competitive running, especially in the 1100cc racing car class. With twenty one drivers in this class, competition was very close. Final class positions were settled in the morning, as no one improved on their time in the afternoon. Chris Aspinal, Simon Fidoe and Tom Poole annexed the top three placing’s: all running in the 27's. From fourth to eleventh in class drivers were all on the same second. Steve Owen finished fifth with his weekend best run time 28.10s, only 3/100ths behind third placed Martin Jones. Simon Andrews snatched sixth 3/100ths adrift of Steve on 28.13s to take the final points scoring position in class. Bernie Kevill who share drives with Simon in the OMS 28, finished ninth on a 28.62s
Steve Owen OMS 28 BMW1000 returning to the paddock
Four OMS drivers competed in the 1600cc racing car class. Neal Coles (OMS CF04) finished fifth in class and Ian Tucker (OMS CF07) took sixth place. Steve Spiers (OMS CF04) was just outside of a championship class points scoring position and Mark Schlanker in the ex-Tim Wilson/Keith Green OMS 2000m was plagued by an intermittent electrical fault that prevented him from completing a timed run.
Terry and Trish Davis finished fifth on 29.71s and seventh 30.52s respectively in the normally aspirated 2.0 litre racing car class, driving the ex-Ian Fidoe OMS CF09. They only took their morning timed runs as the conditions worsened in the afternoon.
Only three drivers ran in the forced induction 2.0 litre class, Simon and Peter marsh and Lee Griffiths (OMS 25). Half a second covered the three of them with Simon taking the class win 26.32s, his brother Peter second 26.82s and Lee 26.89s.
Run off number two included a few new drivers to the usual top ten runners. With tricky wet conditions for second timed runs, the conditions caught a few people out leading to another interesting run off. This time the track was more greasy than wet and listening to the commentary, many drivers were quite flamboyant as they entered bottom Esse which cost them time. Steve Owen and Lee Griffiths certainly lost time as they corrected slides when entering the Esses. Steve snatched the final point scoring place to add to his points tally for the day. Whilst Lee did less well, finishing outside of the points in eleventh place just behind Steve, having also missed a gear up the finish straight.
Date: 2/05/2016 | Author: L.Owen