Round 8 of the ANICC Northern Ireland Hillclimb Championship took place on Saturday 10th August at Garron Point Hillclimb, organised by Mid Antrim Motor Club.
With 69 starters, the event is gaining popularity every year with the numbers increasing. The yellow weather warning that threatened never came and the event missed the heavy rain and thunder storms that was forecast. The recently stoned road made the course more difficult for some, but the event ran very well with few incidents.
Graham Thompsons first timed run in the 36 second bracket was to be a step ahead of the competition with the best of the rest on a 38 second run. Gerard O’Connell was in 2nd overall in his radical, Richard McGimpsey was in 3rd 0.15 behind, Chris Houston had returned with his OMS after some mechanical troubles earlier in the year and was in 4th, Andy Hawthorne was on a charge in 5th.
The 2nd timed run was to be quicker for the majority and Graham extended his lead with a 36.53 second run. As the 3rd timed run took place the temperature had dropped quite a bit and the times slowed but Alan Cassells went faster in the last run to enter into the top 5 with a 38 second run and took 5th.
In the Modified section Roger Gage in his Maguire Mini was fastest again and an incredible 8th overall, Ivan McCullough in his monster GTR was 2nd and Oliver Cormican in his Evo in 3rd.
In the Road going section, Andrew Robb in his BMW M3 was fastest, with Paul Montgomery hot on his heels in 2nd,Michael McAllister was in 3rd in his escort.
The classes winners were Garry McClurg, Andrew Robb, Paul Magill, Paul Montgomery, Phil Dorman, Stephen Harvey, Steven Robb, David Hawthorne, Roger Gage, David Francis, Gerard O’Connell, Alan Roddy, Daniel Campbell, Ivan McCullough, Ryan McGimpsey, Graham Thompson, Trevor Mcllroy, Alan Jardine.
The next and last event in the Hillclimb calendar is Eagles Rock Hillclimb near Benone on the 24th August.
This is a bonus point scoring round for the championship which could change the standings, entries are open
on Rallyscore.net so please get you entries in early if you plan to go!
Garron Point Top 10
1st Graham Thompson GTR
2nd Gerard O’Connell Radical
3rd Richard McGimpsey RMG
4th Chris Houston OMS
5th Alan Cassells Radical
6th Andy Hawthorne Lotus
7th Ryan McGimpsey Jedi
8th Roger Gage Maguire Mini
9th Brendan Flynn Megapin
10th Ivan McCullough GTR
Words: ALAN CASSELLS #5 | Photos: Gary Craig Motorsport Photography
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