Wasn't Expecting That

An enjoyable weekend of unforeseen occurrences at Prescott Hillclimb was had by all, at the Midland Hillclimb Championship meeting on 25th and 26th June.

In the region of sixty starters were competing in B licence holders’ classes and invited championships for a one day meeting that ran alongside practice for the rest of the field during Saturday. Morning practice went without any significant incident and lunch was called at 12.30pm; earlier than expected. Following lunch the remaining single seater and classic car classes would complete their second practice run before the one day B meeting drivers took their timed runs.

When the 1100cc racing car drivers began getting into their cars for the 1.15pm restart to complete their second practice climb the heavens opened and rain fell for roughly fifteen minutes. There was frantic tyre changing to wet tyres and the meeting paused until conditions were safe to continue.

First car on the hill following the shower was Les Buck in his 600cc OMS Hornet. Water running across the track just after the bridge caught him out and the car sailed into the banking and Armco, deranging the front aerofoil and nose section of what had previously been a pristine car. The rest of the field proceeded with caution and practice concluded at 2.30pm for the remaining Midland Hillclimb Championship drivers.  

Another early start on Sunday allowed time for a morning practice run for all MHC drivers; this time they enjoyed dry runs to make up for the previous day's downpour. Into the timed runs and another large number of drivers in the ever popular 1100cc racing car class took to the hill.

With 24 starters this was going to be a very competitive class. At lunchtime the class was held by Tom Poole on 40.33s from Chris Aspinal 40.49s. Simon Andrews (OMS 28) managed to snatch sixth place on 41.18s and Steve Owen (OMS 28 BMW) eighth on 41.23s. Nine drivers recorded times of 41 seconds ranging from 41.03 to 41.59s.

The tables were turned in the afternoon with a storming run from Steve Owen in the BMW S1000RR powered OMS 28. His 40.46s climb catapulted him to second place ahead of Chris Aspinal who had set a slower time on his second run. Steve's time also qualified him for the second of the Midland Hillclimb Championship Top 10 Run Offs. The class was won by Tom Poole with his first run time 40.44s, beating Steve by a 2/100ths margin. Simon Andrews lost his sixth place in the class, also by 2/100ths. Simon Fidoe finished sixth on 40.73s and Simon Andrews seventh on 40.75s.

Terry Davis (OMS CF09) was heading up the normally aspirated 2 litre racing car class at the end of Sunday morning practice, half a second clear of second placed Tim Davies. Unfortunately a drive shaft broke when Terry's wife Trish dropped the clutch to leave the line on her first timed run. With no replacement shaft available, it meant retirement for them both.

In the forced induction 2 litre racing car class Lee Griffiths put in two sub 40 second runs to take third in his class with 39.46s and also qualify for both of the Midland Hillclimb Championship Top 10 Run Offs. Lee finished fifth 39.40s in run off one, having slightly improved on his qualifying time.

The afternoon class runs ran ahead of schedule and the expectation was that the meeting would hopefully conclude prior to rain that had been forecast for later on Sunday afternoon. As the last car left at the start line an incident involving a spectator and some steps caused everything to stop whilst the doctor and ambulance attended to the spectator. At the same time as drivers for the second run off were getting ready rain began to fall once more. Although not as heavy as the previous day, it certainly made the track slippery resulting in much slower times.

Three drivers scratched from the run off, so the remaining drivers would all score championship points so long as they reached the finish line. Shared car driver Simon Fidoe was first to run and set a benchmark time 46.15s. The rest of the field then waited for Simon's co-driver Darren Gumbley to get into the car to take his run and the rain continued to fall. Darren stopped the clock on 48.57s, had Simon had the best of the track conditions?

Two more drivers ran 50.86s and 48.36s and then it was Steve Owen who was next to climb. Steve stopped the clock on 47.23s to take second fastest time. He was followed by Lee Griffiths who snatched second place from Steve with his run time 47.13s. Two V8 powered cars ran and they didn't dislodge Lee and Steve. Then final runner and fastest qualifier Ed Hollier left the line. He put in a fabulous time of 45.23s in his 1600cc powered Empire to take the win, with Simon Fidoe second, Lee Griffiths third and Steve Owen in fourth place.

To view class run times on Resultsman click here and to see final results click here.

Date: 27/06/2016 | Author: L.Owen