Going For the One

Chance is as much a part of hillclimb success as is the driver's skill and a good car in which to showcase that skill. Those who follow speed eventing will have seen on numerous occasions, the form book torn up and the favourite driver knocked off the top spot.

At Gurston Down Hill Climb over the bank holiday weekend, the British Hillclimb and Hillclimb Leaders Championships made their final visit to the Wiltshire hill for this season. Changeable weather conditions plagued the event, including an electrical storm over the lunch break during Saturday practice. This and problems with the timing system during practice, all added to the mix.

When the drivers took to the hill on Sunday for their first timed runs, the track was drying with each batch that ran. That is until light rain once again started to fall as the 1100cc racing car class were queuing to the start line. Shared drivers from this class who ran in the previous batch had slightly better track conditions and reaped the benefit.

OMS 28 driver Bernie Kevill put in a solid first timed run 33.33s, running as a share driver. Despite his best effort 33.46s, Simon Fidoe the favourite to win this class could not match Bernie's pace, leaving Bernie in the number one spot at the lunch break. The icing on the cake for Bernie was the run time qualified him for the BHC top twelve run off; he knocked run off regular Eynon Price out of a qualifying spot by 1/100th. This was Bernie's first BHC run off qualification, congratulations Bernie. I'm sure Bernie would agree it was serendipitous, but that's the nature of this sport.

Bernie Kevill OMS 28: photo T Wilson

Another great performance came from Harry Pick in the 1000cc OMS 2000M. His first timed run 34.52s dropped him into fourth place in the class, following the morning runs. Second timed runs benefitted from a dry track and Harry knocked some three seconds from his morning run time, to finish third overall on a 31.38s run.

Joining Harry at the sharp end of this highly competitive class was Simon Andrews, who share drives with Bernie Kevill. Simon dropped out of the top six placing’s in the morning runs, only to bounce back in fine style and finish second overall in class on his best run time 31.23s.

Sixth place in this class and the final championship points scoring position went to Steve Owen in the OMS BMW. His morning run 34.68s placed him in fifth behind the two tied run times of Harry Pick and Martin Jones on 34.52s. In the afternoon Steve knocked three seconds off his morning run time to finish sixth overall in the class with his best time of the weekend 31.72s.

The top six were covered by just one second, showing the closeness of the competition in this ever popular 1100cc racing car class. A total of ten OMS drivers were entered in this class, with Wil Ker and Ben Hamer making their first trip to Gurston with the turbo charged OMS CF09, joining Gurston regulars Steve Loadsman (OMS RA), Murray Wakeham and Alan Joy (OMS CF1100) and Steve Boother (OMS 2000M).

In the larger capacity racing car class, Trevor Willis led the way throughout practice. His first timed run 31.26s again put him ahead of the class competition and topped the BHC qualifying order. He swept up the hill in the run off in a flurry of sparks, to set the fastest time 27.86s nearly a second ahead of rival Scott Moran 28.51s to clinch another BHC run off win.

Trevor's afternoon timed run 27.07s was again the time to beat, taking the class win and the top BHC qualifying spot. In the runoff he didn't quite find the pace he needed for a win and finished third on 26.64s, 4/100ths adrift of Wallace Menzies 26.60s and a quarter second behind Scott Moran the run off winner, who also set fastest time of day 26.40s with his run off time.

To view the results click here and to see the BHC and Leaders Championship tables click here.

Date: 30/08/2016 | Author: L.Owen