Delays and hold-ups are not too unfamiliar on the hillclimb scene. They are generally due to a timing glitch or a car needing to be recovered. Saturday afternoon's delay at the MSA British Hillclimb Championship Doune meeting was quite a unique affair and certainly one that nobody had witnessed previously.
Following the lunch break cars assembled in the start area to take their third practice runs. Overhead a helicopter circled as if to land at the hillclimb and then police cars appeared on the scene. The meeting was stopped and drivers were left wondering what on earth was going on.
At first the word was that someone had escaped from prison and was being chased. Then it became clear that a youth had stolen a car that then broke down, so he parked it in the spectator car parking area and then scarpered into the hillclimb. He was seen in the holding paddock at the top of the hill and spoke with the marshals; who were unaware of whom he was. Police then went up a farmers track to try and apprehend him, but failed to do so and left the hillclimb. The escapade certainly entertained everyone and once over practice recommenced.
Fortunately there was no repeat of Saturday's delay when the timed runs commenced on Sunday. Rain was forecast for around 4.00pm so everyone was keen to finish the event prior to the weather changing.
Harry Pick and Steve Owen shared the 1000cc OMS 2000M, with Harry having the upper hand all weekend. On his first timed run Harry was second in class on 41.83s: a new PB. His time would also have qualified him for his first BHC run off - had he been registered! Harry's time was a full second faster than twelfth qualifier Jason Mourant in the 4.0 litre Gould.
Click here and watch Harry's 41.83s run
New to single seaters, Stuart Dow had his first drive in his recently acquired 1400cc OMS CF04, matching his best ever time set in the Caterham he usually competes in. Unlike some of the more experienced single seater drivers, Stuart managed to stay on the track when the going became tricky.
OMS CF04 Stuart Dow
Lee Griffiths (OMS 25 1300t) opening time 41.12s scraped him into the morning run off. He greatly improved on this to finish 9th overall, score two more points to add to his tally and set a new PB with his 40.32s climb.
BHC front runner Trevor Willis didn't qualify well, but certainly made up for it when he stormed the hill stopping the clock on 36.12s to take a ninth run off win this season and add ten more points to his score so far. This time also set fastest time of the day, as the track conditions deteriorated after lunch.
Rain that had been forecast came early in the afternoon, affecting the second run off qualifying times. On his second timed run, Steve Owen qualified the 1000cc OMS for the afternoon's BHC run off and finished ninth to score his first BHC points of 2016.
BHC Co-ordinator Tim Wilson had confirmed Trevor Willis would take 2nd overall in the 2016 championship final standings, following his morning run off win. Trevor has now finished in the top two places for the past 5 seasons, having won the championship in 2012.
But Trevor's afternoon run off finished at Oak Tree when he slid into the barrier in the damp conditions. The car eventually came to rest at Garden Gate, having shattered a rear wheel and flattened the car's offside rear. Trevor was thankfully OK, however he now has some work to do before the season finale at Loton Park this coming weekend.
Click here and watch Trevor's incident at Oak Tree.
Colin Graham in his 1000cc OMS PR
George Richardson also in an OMS PR
Date: 20/09/2016 | Author: L.Owen