Sam Wilson Makes Superb Competition Debut
Reproduced with kind permission of the Author and the Hillclimb and Sprint Association.
Just 16 years and 2 months old, Sam Wilson made a very successful competition debut at Harewood Hillclimb on 5th and 6th August, driving Gary Hill’s 600 cc OMS Hornet, which he shared on each day with Mike Fitzsimons. Still 10 months away from being able to drive on the road, Sam had only driven the car for the first time at a private test session at Curborough the same week, tutored by the constructor of the car, Steve Owen.
Sam getting into the car with the assistance of Mike Fitzsimons: photo S Owen
Very sensibly, Sam built up his speed over the two days as he learned to explore the full performance of the car. He started with a first practice run of some 78 seconds, but improved progressively to a best time on the Saturday of 64.28 seconds. Then on the Sunday he took almost another 3 seconds off and finished the day on 61.51 seconds as the quickest 600 and 12th out of 15 runners in the combined up to 1100cc racing car class. Sam now has three of the four signatures needed on his Non–Race National B licence in order to upgrade to a Speed National A version. (His first signature came from attending the Harewood driving academy in his mum’s road car).
Approaching Farmhouse Bend in the 600cc OMS Hornet photo: T Wilson
That he performed so well should not be a surprise, as he comes from a strong motorsport background, and has been around competition vehicles all his life. His dad Tim runs the British Hillclimb Championship and is Chairman of the BARC Yorkshire Centre, and mum Jackie is the entry secretary at Harewood. For the last 5 years, Sam has been a pit crew member for Trevor Willis at national Hillclimb events, assisting with tyre changes, fuelling and checking tyre pressures. He has done some karting and also has a Gas Gas 125 trials bike on which he has completed 3 motorcycle trials. He feels that the balancing skills, throttle control and mechanical sympathy learned from trials riding is helping with feeling his way into competitive times in the OMS.
Sam competing in a trial earler this year
Sam, who lives near York, has just completed his GCSE exams, and after a 2 week work experience at Rolls Royce Motors near Goodwood, expects to return to school in September to work towards A levels in Maths, Physics and Product Design. Speaking to Sam, you get the feeling that he knows exactly what he wants to do and where he's heading, and his quiet determination will take him a long way.
Author: Les Buck
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Date: 8/08/2017 | Author: L Buck