Round 2 of the ANICC Millers Oils Northern Ireland Hillclimb Championship took place at Drumhorc Hillclimb outside Banbridge on Saturday.
With 54 starters, Drumhorc is a favourite of the saloons and rally cars over single seaters due to its rally stage like course. There were 54 starters for first practice, with the storm looming over the course from the night before the first run was to be wet.
The weather did improve but there where several showers in between runs which kept the course slippy throughout the day. Fastest out of the blocks was Richard McGimpsey, with the returning Seamus Morris in 2nd in his Pilbeam.
The McGaffin brothers in the family Evo rally car where 3rd and 4th with Oliver Cormican in 5th. Andy Hawthorne and Alan Cassells both had a fail on their first timed run, Andy damaging his nose cone and Alan having a spin, both where going for a fast run to move to the top but this wasn’t to be.
Both Steven and David Hawthorne where back out again dual driving their Westfield and where in the top all day, but David McClurg wasn’t going to let them have it easy. Roger Gage is another top entry, but he had mechanical problems after run 1 and was to retire after.
The Weather was to play its part again with showers in between runs, Richard McGimpsey again fastest in run 2 but on the last Run Seamus took the lead with a fantastic run and pipped Richard by 0.35 of a second to take the event win, Seamus returning to Hillclimb’s in his Pilbeam with a new Millington engine installed.
Oliver Cormican had a great 2nd run to place him 3rd overall and 1st saloon. Matthew McGaffin was to marginally quicker than his brother Andrew to finish 4th and 5th. David McClurg was on great pace to finish 6th overall and class 7 winner. Andy Hawthorne got the car patched up and back out again and finished 7th.
David Hawthorne was able to get the better of his brother Steven to finish 8th and 9th , Alan Cassells reported he took a cautious approach to get a time on his 2nd timed run keeping round 3 Craigantlet in mind a week later and finished in 10th.
The Modified saloon Championship, Oliver Cormican was fastest in his evo, with Roger Gage in 2nd and Daniel Cambell in 3rd.
The Roadgoing saloon Championship, Michael McAllister was fastest, Andrew Robb was in 2nd and Phil Cardy in 3rd.
Class 1 was won by Stephen Wishart, Gary McClurg in 2nd and Dennis Watson in 3rd.
Class 2A was won Michael McAllister, Andrew Robb in 2nd and Bryan Pearson in 3rd.
Class 2B was won by Paul Magill, Redmond McNamee in 2nd and Kevin McNamee in 3rd.
Class 3 was won by Barry Griffin, Philip Cardy in 2nd and Tony Grady in 3rd
Class 5 was won by Richard Munnis with Gardiner Mcllwaine in 2nd
Class 6A was won by Gordon Fogarty, Steven Harvey in 2nd and John McDowell in 3rd
Class 6B was won by Brian McDonnell, Stephen Best in 2nd and Stephen Robb in 3rd
Class 7 was won by David McClurg, with David Hawthorne in 2nd and Steven Hawthorne in 3rd
Class 8A was won by Roger Gage
Class 8B was won by Davy Aiken
Class 9A was won by Garry Campbell
Class 9B was won by Alan Cassells
Class 10 was won by Dean McDowell, Norman Harvey in 2nd and Derek Robinson in 3rd
Class 11 was won by John Devin, Daniel Campbell in 2nd and Stewart Strain in 3rd
Class 12 was won by Oliver Cormican, Matthew McGaffin in 2nd and brother Andrew in 3rd
Class 15 was won by Seamus Morris , Richard McGimpsey 2nd and Andy Hawthorne in 3rd
Class 16A was won by Gerry McGarrity with Ian Paget in 2nd
Class 16B was won by Alan Jardine
I look forward to seeing you all at round 3 on Saturday at Craigantlet.
Words: ALAN CASSELLS #5 | Photos: Gary Craig Motorsport Photography
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2019 ANICC MILLERS OILS N.I. HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP CALENDAR
13 April: Croft Hillclimb Holywood, Co. Down
27 April: Drumhorc Hillclimb Laurencetown near Banbridge
04 May: Craigantlet Hillclimb Craigantlet Hills above Belfast
18 May: Knockagh Hillclimb Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim
25 May: Spamount Hillclimb Castlederg , Co Tyrone
28 June & 29 June: Cairncastle Hillclimb Festival Larne, Co. Antrim
10 August: Garron Point Hillclimb Carnlough, Co. Antrim
24 August: Eagles Rock Hillclimb Magilligan, near Coleraine