The Simon Brien Residential Craigantlet Hill Climb was the last round of the ANICC Millers Oils Hillclimb Championship and our local competitors performed equally as well. Graham Thompson, from Antrim, in his GTR Turbo clinched the Overall Championship title taking 14th place on the event with a time of 44.18 seconds.
The fastest driver up the ‘Hill’ in the ANICC Championship classes was Alan Cassells, from Lurgan, in his OMS 25 taking 43.86 seconds to cover the 1460 yard long course which equates to just over 68 mph, finishing in 11th place overall.
Despite the cloudy weather and one very heavy rain shower on the second practice run, three ANICC class records were broken, congratulations to all winners but especially these three. Gordon Fogarty in his ‘Belfast Ferrari’ a Fiat X1-9, topped Class 6A (Modified cars Series Production, 2 Valves per cylinder, 2 Wheel Drive only) in his second timed run with 54.27s, shaving 1.23 seconds of his own previous record of 55.50s set in 2019.
David Hawthorne from Belfast, sharing his Westfield Megabusa with his brother Steven, reduced the Class 7 (Modified Specialist Production Cars, 2 Wheel Drive) record by 0.9 seconds bringing it under the 49 second barrier to 48.88s, a record which had stood since 2010.
This fantastic drive on run three resulted in him winning the ANICC Millers Oils Hill Climb Specialist Category from Jack Boal in his GTR Hayabusa. Colin McDowell in his Morris Mini set a new Class 16A (Road cars Historic Saloons and Sportscars – road going) record of 57.29s in his first timed run, shaving 1.41 seconds of the previous record set in 2019.
Daniel Campbell from Ballymena, in his Toyota Starlet, won Class 9A taking 49.53s to climb the ‘Hill’ which netted him the overall ANICC Millers Oils Hill limb Modified Saloon Championship from the Escort Cosworth piloted by Davy Francis. In the ANICC Millers Oils Hill Climb Roadgoing Saloon Championship Philip Cardy, a native of Downpatrick, driving his Subaru Impreza won Class 3 with a time of 54.01s and secured his Championship title from second place driver Adrian Mulholland.
Clerk of the Course, Wilson Carson, in his drivers briefing commented: “The Club thanks our title sponsor – Simon Brien Residential and all our other associate sponsors, volunteers, residents, marshals, drivers and spectators for continuing their support for the event. We are all looking forward to a safe and enjoyable day of motorsport”.
Wilson then made a short speech acknowledging the contribution and longevity of a local motorsport legend – Tom Lawther (car #71) who was presented with a surprise cake and card to celebrate his 80th birthday on the actual day of the event, what an excellent way to enjoy such an occasion. Congratulations Tom, many happy returns!
Words: Bill Swann / UAC | Photos: Gary Craig Motorsport Photography
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