Push It

As the MSA British Hillclimb and Hillclimb Leaders Championships near the half-way point of the 2016 season, the pressure on championship contenders to score points is increasing. So too is the strain on their highly developed cars and engines, with many drivers already having failed to score valuable points due to mechanical breakages.

BHC front runner Trevor Willis didn't manage to leave the start line on his first practice run at Doune Hillclimb, the latest round of the championship held over the weekend of 18th and 19th June. The offside rear output flange cried off, having twisted the spline and sheared as the 3.2 litre V8 powered OMS 28 attempted to launch for the first practice run on Saturday morning. The car was pushed back into the pits where Trevor then spent much of the morning dismantling the rear of the car and gearbox in order to replace the broken flange, with help from his pit crew Mike Fitzsimons and Sam Wilson, along with some additional help from Tom New.

Once repaired Trevor took all three of his Saturday practice runs; feeling rather fortunate that the breakage happened during practice and not on a timed run.

Wil Ker and Ben Hamer had problems of their own during practice, with the 750cc turbo charged OMS CF09 they share drive. This was their first visit to Doune with the car but sadly they had to retire from the event, having been unable to replace a damaged throttle pot for their competition runs.

Once again the 1100cc racing car class was the most popular with 20 drivers entered. Local competitors George Richardson and Colin Graham drove two very nicely turned out OMS PR cars and each driver also set a new personal best time: George 46.76s and Colin 45.08 seconds. Hillclimb Leaders Championship contenders Bernie Kevill and Simon Andrews put in some good times in their OMS 28. Bernie set a new PB 44.59s and Simon finished on a best time of 42.49s, to take 6th in class and score one championship point.

Bernie Kevill OMS 28: Photo Tim Wilson

Simon was pushed hard through practice by Harry Pick and Steve Owen who were share driving the OMS 2000M K8. They spent Saturday trying out some new settings and dialling in the car. Their work paid off, with both Steve and Harry running a full 2 seconds faster in their competition runs on Sunday. On their morning runs Harry sat 4th in class on 42.04s, Steve 5th 42.174s and Simon 6th on 42.49 seconds. Their afternoon runs were quicker still, Harry 41.84s and Steve also dipped under 42s with a 41.98s, whilst Simon was a little slower than his morning run 42.80s, ensuring they all retained their class positions from the morning runs.

Steve Owen OMS 2000M: Photo Tim Wilson

Click here to view in-car footage from Harry Pick's 41.84s climb.

Harry Pick OMS 2000M: Photo Tim Wilson

There might have only been two drivers in the normally aspirated 2 litre racing car class, but Trish and Terry Davis pushed each other all weekend, lowering their times with each run. Trish finished the meeting on a PB time of 44.96s whilst Terry's best run time was 43.52 seconds.

Terry Davis OMS CF09TKD: Photo Tim Wilson

The only OMS driver in the 1600cc racing car class was John McKenzie in the ex-Neville Rollason OMS 2000M. He set a new PB 40.31s on his second class run, a time quick enough to qualify for the second of the British Hillclimb Championship Run Offs. Sadly the rain that had been forecast all day came as the run off commenced and John who would have been pushing hard to secure a points scoring position, had a coming together with the wall on the lower reaches of the hill causing a fair bit of damage to his car.

With the OMS 28 of Trevor Willis running without further problems, he qualified for each of the BHC run offs. In the morning run off Trevor finished second to Scott Moran and they were the only two drivers to run sub 36 second climbs. The rain and the incident with John McKenzie meant that the afternoons run off results were heavily influenced by the changing weather. The two drivers who ran first were able to gain advantage from the drier conditions to finish first and second, with Trevor being the fastest of those who ran in the wet to finish 3rd with Scott in fifth place.

Meeting results can be viewed here and the British and Hillclimb Leaders Championship tables can be found here.

Date: 20/06/2016 | Author: L.Owen