Well, it was good to get the band back together and run the first event of the 2023 Motorsport Supplies Hillclimb Championship, writes Secretary of the Event, Colin McBride MBE.
With most of the administration work done and everyone signed on electronically, only scrutineering for some 71 runners was required on the morning. There were a few hiccups getting the venue complete and ready, but the first car went up the hill at 10:10, so no big delay.
The good weather threatened to go away, but stayed until the end and otherwise it was a fairly un-eventful day, with thankfully only a few minor ‘offs’. The top 2 corners refused to dry out despite the sunshine and this was reflected in the times. Nobody hurt, no cars wrecked, no big holes in any hedges or gateposts demolished……a good day of motorsport.
After a tight battle between the top 3, Ryan McGimpsey clinched fastest time of the day, just in front of brother Ricky and the old campaigner Graham Thompson. Full results are available on Resultsman to digest and analyse, so I would rather just pick out a few mentions.
Roger Gage and Daniel Campbell had a right old battle in Class 9A, with identical times in run 1 and run 2. Roger pulled the rabbit out of the hat on the 3rd run, winning the class by less than 0.1s.
Team Hawthorne fought with each other for 14th, 15th and 16th place, wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall at their Sunday dinner.
Gordon Fogarty was a lot further down the list than usual, nursing his sick and dying X19 up the first timed run to gain a few championship points.
The vintage clash where Michael Taylor fought a David & Goliath battle with the big green Alfa of Angus Johnson, with the class honours changing at each run, but the final say going to Michael.
Happiest man of the event, Neil Roberts in the XK140 kit in his first event, grinning from ear to ear every time he got behind the wheel until he crossed the finish line……and went home with some glass-ware for the mantel-piece.
Man of the match for me goes to Pete Storey in the wee Fiat 500 Abarth. You may not have been aware of the frantic workings in the pit. Young Jason Frazer in the Metro Gti broke a driveshaft on his first practice run and with a driveshaft despatched from home, repairs were under way. Time was running out, if he didn’t get a full practice run in, his day was over. With about 30 seconds to go and the car nearly but not quite ready, our man Pete stepped forward and offered his car to this young man he’d never met before. Jason drove the wee Abarth very slowly to the top of the hill, duly returned it scratch free and then with his Metro now fixed, had 4 good timed runs.
Yes we’re all here to compete and get to the top of the hill in our best time, but actions like this set the scene for the sport. A bottle of the finest Rosé wine is to be proffered at their next meeting and I would ask everyone to clap Pete on the back at his next event. As a token of our appreciation for his sportsmanship, Pete will also get a free entry into Cultra.
Also worth a mention for his deeds is Chris Wilson, one of the many marshals who give so much time volunteering for the sport. Chris manned the finish line way up the hill on his own for nearly 7 hours, battling the elements and altitude sickness, helping to turn cars around and at the age of 93, was still able to push and bump-start one of the vintage runners which refused to start.
I will use the above as a good cue….. Cultra, the world’s oldest active hillclimb, is now open on Rallyscore, get entered! If you have 2 cars, especially one that might be a bit ‘odd or different’, put an entry in for it as well (just don’t pay for the 2nd one, we will sort it all out at the end if we chose your 2nd car over the first one). Please see Rallyscore and the club website for full details.
Next event in the hillclimb season is Craigantlet hillclimb…….over to you UAC.
WORDS: COLIN MCBRIDE MBE PHOTOS: GRAHAM BAALHAM-CURRY