BRITISH HILL CLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP - REPORT ARCHIVE
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61X DOMINATES LOTON FINALE
Event 17 at Loton Park on 27/09/2015
The all-conquering Gould-NME GR61X led the field yet again at Loton Park's British hillclimb season finale. With a win apiece, new and outgoing champions Alex Summers and Scott Moran brought the car's total of run-off wins to an amazing 157. To celebrate his 2015 title, secured at Doune the previous weekend, Summers took the opening run-off win from the ever-present Wallace Menzies by a quarter of a second, while just to make the point that despite a fully committed season he is still very much a force to be reckoned with, Moran rounded off the season with FTD on the very last run of the year. To underline their superiority, the 61X duo were almost 20mph faster on the notorious Cedar Straight than the opposition, led by Menzies.
On that closing run-off, Summers chased Moran home at a respectful distance and ran ahead of Menzies, who had an outside chance of grabbing the championship runner-up spot after a tremendous run of late-season success. But in the end it was the ever-committed Trevor Willis who bagged the number 2 place yet again. Knowing he had the advantage as, unlike Menzies, he was not dropping scores, two fourth place finishes were enough to do it. The Scot had to settle for third on the table in a fine first season with the new GR55B, tied on points with Moran but taking the place on countback, while his co-driver and engineer Tom New was delighted with a best ever fifth on the table despite coming under attack by Dave Uren. With two fifth places, the turbocharged Force driver maintained his late-season momentum to surge past Will Hall into the final top six place on the table. Hall, still driving Championship co-sponsor Graham Wynn's similar Force, had an unhappy day when he finished out of the points in the morning and the Force stuttered to a halt in the afternoon shoot-out.
The duel between Alastair Crawford and John Bradburn raged on with both setting equal qualifying times for the first run-off. But despite Crawford not making the cut for the final shoot-out, his two place advantage over his rival in the morning left them on equal points at the end - enough to give him eighth place on the table on countback. The recuperating Jos Goodyear could only look on as, out of action for the season, he slipped down the table. But at least he salvaged a number 10 for next season, when we look forward to seeing him back in action again.
As well as the British Championship, Summers is now able to add the TTC Group Top Ten Challenge title to his 2015 CV, while in the parallel Midlands series, a class win was enough to give Mike Turpin a third BMTR Tyres Midland Hillclimb title in his VX220, narrowly ahead of Richard Jones' historic ex.Tony Griffiths Brabham-BDA. To round off the title winners on this finals day, Peugeot 205 driver Colin Satchell became the first driver with a roof over his head to win the now Avon/TTC backed Hillclimb Leaders Championship since 1993, when Tony Lambert won it in his Ferrari 308 GT4.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Loton Park
FTD: Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 43.66s
Championship run-off, round 33: 1 Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 44.00s; 2 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 44.27s; 3 Moran 44.31s; 4 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 44.60s; 5 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 45.77s; 6 Alastair Crawford (2.8 Gould-NME GR55C) 45.81s; 7 Oliver Tomlin (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd MP97) 45.93s; 8 John Bradburn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 45.96s; 9 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 46.11s; 10 Tom New (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 46.38s; 11 Will Hall (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 47.20s;12 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 47.68s.
Championship run-off, round 34: 1 Moran 43.66s; 2 Summers 44.32s; 3 Menzies 44.47s; 4 Willis 44.72s; 5 Uren 45.86s; 6 Tomlin 46.17s; 7 New 46.37s; 8 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 46.54s; 9 Bradburn 46.82s; Haimes DNF; Hall DNF; Price DNF.
British Championship final positions: 1 Summers 244pts; 2 Willis 210; 3 Menzies 205; 4 Moran 205; 5 New 128; 6 Uren 121; 7 Hall 118; 8 Crawford 90; 9 Bradburn 90; 10 Jos Goodyear 87; etc.
Outgoing champion Scott Moran ended the 2015 season in style with FTD on the final run of the year (Geoff Robinson)
Trevor Willis hung on to second overall in the Championship (Geoff Robinson)
SUMMERS TAKES THE TITLE
Event 16 at Doune on 20/09/2015
A top four finish in the opening run-off was all Alex Summers required to secure his first British hillclimb title, but he was determined to do it in style and did so, with a win. To underline his new-found status, he went on to win the second run-off in a time just five hundredths outside the hill record which his mentor Scott Moran had set in the same car last June. 'The GR61X is absolutely amazing,' said Alex. 'I remember admiring this fantastic car when I was 14, never imagining that just over ten years later I'd be actually driving it, let alone winning the Championship in it!' In so doing, he wrote another chapter in the history of British hillclimbing's most successful car. Roger and Scott Moran's Gould GR61X now has no less than 155 run-off wins on its slate and has won the British Championship an unprecedented six times. In addition, with 18 championship titles, Gould Engineering now levels with Pilbeam Racing Designs as the most successful constructor in British hillclimbing.
In his bid to become series runner-up, local hero Wallace Menzies followed up his Prescott double win with two second place finishes in the GR55B. Pressure from rival Trevor Willis faded when his OMS 28 skated on to the outfield at the notorious East Brae in the first run-off. He recovered to finish eighth, handing the Scot an albeit temporary second place on the table. Gearbox issues and a broken driveshaft on the line put Willis on the back foot for the second shoot-out, but another storming recovery grabbed third place, to regain the series runner-up placing by a single point. But with only Menzies dropping points going into next weekend's Loton finale, the advantage lies with Willis.
In Moran's absence, the outgoing champion was eased out to fourth on the table and with good finishes in the ex.Groves Gould, Tom New moved up to fifth at the expense of the other notable absentee, Will Hall. With his Force-AER still out of action, Hall's top six placing could still come under threat from Dave Uren, still displaying great latter season form with a strong third place in the morning run-off aboard the turbocharged Force-Suzuki.
With fine drives in the normally aspirated GR59, Sean Gould had his best result of the season so far with fourth and sixth places in a memorable day for the Gould marque, especially so as Chris Cramer made his first visit to Doune in 29 years to drive his 1985 championship winning 84G alongside Sean's father David.
Hot on the heels of a new 1600cc racing class record, 2015 Scottish hillclimb champion Les Mutch took two midfield placings in the GWR Raptor. His was one of several class records on the day, perhaps the most notable being that of Aberdonian Steve Marr. who also made the cut each time in the PCD Saxon. Following two consecutive 1100cc class records by Simon Fidoe's Empire Wraith, Marr's final shot eclipsed even those, demolishing Fidoe's final effort by a full half-second.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Doune
FTD: Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 34.82s
Championship run-off, round 31: 1 Summers 35.65s; 2 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 35.90s; 3 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 37.22s; 4 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 37.74s; 5 Tom New (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 37.84s; 6 Les Mutch (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 38.38s; 7 Alastair Crawford (2.8 Gould-NME GR55C) 38.96s; 8 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 38.96s; 9 Stewart Robb (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd MP88) 39.43s; 10 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 39.48s; 11 Steve Marr (1.1 PCD Saxon-Suzuki) 39.91s; 12 Simon Fidoe (1.0 Empire Wraith-Suzuki) 40.21s.
Championship run-off, round 32: 1 Summers 34.82s; 2 Menzies 35.54s; 3 Willis 36.58s; 4 New 36.97s; 5 Uren 37.69s; 6 Gould 37.76s; 7 Mutch 37.85s; 8 Crawford 38.07s; 9 Robb 39.15s; 10 Marr 39.56s; 11 John Mackenzie (1.6 OMS-Suzuki 2000M) 40.03s; 12 Fidoe 40.16s.
British Championship positions after round 32: 1 Summers 238pts; 2 Willis 196; 3 Menzies 195; 4 Moran 187; 5 New 123; 6 Hall 118; etc.
Alex Summers undergoes the traditional champion's reception from his fellow competitors! (Rich Danby)
Sean Gould had his most successful weekend yet with the GR59 (Rich Danby)
MENZIES' PRESCOTT DOUBLE
Event 15 at Prescott on 06/09/2015
The championship top three were left to battle out the minor placings at Prescott as the man who lies fourth on the table, Wallace Menzies, stormed to the first double run-off win of his career. It was also the first win for his Gould-NME GR55B, shared with Tom New, since four-times champion Martin Groves took the car to his final victory at Loton Park in 2010.
The opening shoot-out produced the tightest possible scrap between the top four with Menzies' winning margin just a hundredth of a second over championship leader Alex Summers, who had qualified top with a new class record. Eight hundredths behind, Trevor Willis eased out Scott Moran by a further nine hundredths. In the afternoon confrontation, Menzies was first into the 35s, his 35.80 standing as the day's best as Moran could only close to within fourteen hundredths on the last run of the day. Third again, Willis led Summers home. So evenly matched were the top three championship contenders that they all scored 16 points on the day. But Summers will go to Doune in a fortnight with every chance of clinching his first British title in the all-conquering Gould GR61X.
Just behind the leading quartet in the second run-off, Dave Uren produced another fine performance in the turbocharged Force, particularly after an accident at Pardon Hairpin during the morning class runs had deranged the car's suspension. Fifth in the morning shoot-out, Tom New brought the ultimately victorious Gould-NME home ahead of an on-form Richard Spedding as the Yorkshireman edged out John Bradburn's burly Gould V8 with his normally aspirated Raptor-Suzuki. Spedding would go on to tie for ninth with Alastair Crawford's GR55C in the afternoon after possible intervention by newly crowned Scottish hillclimb champion Les Mutch was stemmed by a big sideways moment for the jovial Raptor driver at Pardon.
Qualifying the bike-powered Gould GR59 each time, Wiscombe Park winner Eynon Price's best shot netted sixth place in the afternoon at the scene of his first-ever run-off victory by just two hundredths, from Oliver Tomlin's big Pilbeam-Judd.
Despite an area power cut that halted proceedings for some while during the morning, the Bugatti OC managed to get through a typically huge Prescott entry in good time by dispensing with the lunch break, and as well as the usual stirring run-off action, a good crowd watched some impressive hillclimbing which included five new class records. The most significant of these was by Ian Moss in his Mk1 Escort-BDA, as it eventually earned him the target time based prestigious Prescott Gold Cup for 2015.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Prescott
FTD: Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 35.80s
Championship run-off, round 29: 1 Menzies 36.20s; 2 Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 36.21s; 3 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 36.29s; 4 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 36.38s; 5 Tom New (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 37.68s; 6 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 37.80s; 7 John Bradburn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 37.82s; 8 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 38.03s; 9 Alastair Crawford (2.8 Gould-NME GR55C) 38.33s; 10 Oliver Tomlin (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd MP97) 38.42s; 11 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 39.40s; 12 Lee Griffiths (1.3t OMS-Suzuki 25) 40.19s.
Championship run-off, round 30: 1 Menzies 35.80s; 2 Moran 35.94s; 3 Willis 36.37s; 4 Summers 36.51s; 5 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 36.73s; 6 Price 37.72s; 7 Tomlin 37.74s; 8 New 38.06s; 9= Crawford and Spedding 38.20s; 11 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 38.47s; 12 Les Mutch (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 43.86s.
British Championship positions after round 30: 1 Summers 225pts; 2 Moran 187; 3 Willis 185; 4 Menzies 1182; 5 Hall 118; 6 New 110; etc.
Wallace Menzies scored an impressive double victory and the first win this year for his Gould GR55B (Rich Danby)
'High five' from son Craig after the win (Rich Danby)
MORAN'S GURSTON DOUBLE
Event 14 at Gurston Down on 30/08/2015
Scott Moran may be having an abbreviated 2015 season, but the five-times champion showed he'd lost none of his skill and determination when, after back-to-back wins at Gurston Down, he clocked up his tenth run-off win of the year and a remarkable 153rd win for his Gould GR61X. He moved back up to second place on the British Championship standings behind Alex Summers, although with six rounds remaining his driving partner, who maintains his 38 point lead in the series, is still odds-on favourite for a first British title, particularly as Moran is scheduled to miss two more rounds at Doune.
Summers followed his mentor home in the opening run-off but in the final shoot-out, on a track almost dry following an afternoon shower, he was edged out of second place by three hundredths of a second by the ever hard trying Trevor Willis, who the previous day had led a frantic practice session in which each of the top three protagonists were separated by a mere hundredth.
Just two cars into the dramatic morning run-off, Tom New locked up front wheels under braking for Ashes and skated heavily into the barrier, damaging the front end of the Gould-NME. The car was returned to the paddock for replacement wishbones and a front nose/wing assembly and miraculously, Wallace Menzies was able to take his place on the startline towards the end of the run-off. After an understandably cautious run - if you can call 143mph over the finish line cautious! - an eighth place finish dropped the Scot to fourth place in the standings despite a recovery to finish just behind the leading trio in the afternoon, with New back in action for seventh place.
After levelling with Menzies in qualifying for the opening run-off, Dave Uren stormed the turbocharged Force-Suzuki to a tremendous career-best third place, following it up with fifth in the closing shoot-out to move still further up the series table to seventh. With new father Will Hall unable to field his Force AER, badly damaged at Shelsley a fortnight earlier, Championship co-sponsor Graham Wynn kindly offered the use of his own bike-powered Force for the remainder of the season and Hall brought it home just behind his benefactor in the morning, albeit just out of the points. Unfortunately, although qualifying the car for the afternoon run-off, he didn't get the chance to drive it after Wynn had damaged the front end in an off just before the finish line in qualifying. Without spares available the car could not be repaired in time, although it will be back in action at Prescott next weekend.
Alastair Crawford and the 2.8 Gould-NME always go well at Gurston as was demonstrated by their fourth and sixth places. Although outpacing rival John Bradburn each time, Crawford is still behind the former Mini Miglia driver's big Gould-HB in tenth place on the table, but his prospects of retaining a 'number' for next season still look good. Ed Hollier scored points each time in the fleet Empire Evo, while after just failing to qualify for the opening run-off, classmate Eynon Price made the afternoon cut in the only other normally aspirated 1600 to qualify on the day although, as in the class runs, the Gould GR59 driver had to settle for trailing the Gurston ace. Sadly, Paul Haimes' saga of woe in the recalcitrant GR59 turbocar continued. After the engine had cut out in morning qualifying, Haimes was delighted to qualify a promising fourth fastest in the afternoon - only for the car to cut out again in the run-off itself with a mysterious electronic glitch.
Full results here
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Gurston Down
FTD: Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 26.17s
Championship run-off, round 27: 1 Moran 26.17s; 2 Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 26.43s; 3 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 26.77s; 4 Alastair Crawford (2.8 Gould-NME GR55C) 27.05s; 5 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 27.20s; 6 Oliver Tomlin (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd MP97) 27.60s; 7 John Bradburn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 27.82s; 8 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 27.89s; 9 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 28.35s; 10 Graham Wynn (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 28.62s; 11 Will Hall (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 28.68s; 12 Tom New (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) DNF.
Championship run-off, round 28: 1 Moran 26.43s; 2 Willis 26.79s; 3 Summers 26.82s; 4 Menzies 27.69s; 5 Uren 27.70s; 6 Crawford 27.89s; 7 New 28.04s; 8 Bradburn 28.20s; 9 Hollier 28.82s; 10 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 29.01s; 11 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) DNF; 12 Hall DNS.
British Championship positions after round 28: 1 Summers 209pts; 2 Moran 171; 3 Willis 169; 4 Menzies 162; 5 Hall 118; 6 New 101; etc.
Scott Moran scored his tenth victory of the year with a double win at Gurston (John Hayward)
Dave Uren moved further up the championship table with a career-best third place (John Hayward)
150 - AND COUNTING!
Event 13 at Shelsley Walsh on 16/08/2015
Alex Summers and Scott Moran performed another 'reverse one/two' to dominate Shelsley Walsh's 110th anniversary meeting. But it was Summers, who won the opening run-off by over half a second from his mentor to set FTD, who achieved something of a milestone for their Gould GR61X. Underlining the fact that the 61X has for some time been the most successful single car in British hillclimbing, his win before lunch notched up an incredible 150th victory for the car. Things were closer in the afternoon, when Moran almost matched Summers' FTD to snatch the win by five hundredths on the last run of the day, thus continuing the Gould's inexorable run of success.
With his low-running OMS-RPE attacking the notoriously bumpy Kink and bounding up to Bottom Ess in a cascade of sparks at well over 130mph, Trevor Willis grabbed second place from an on-form Wallace Menzies in the morning. But the Scot turned the tables in the afternoon to claim the final podium spot by just fourteen hundredths from his equally committed driving partner Tom New, after the pair had been split by just five hundredths in the morning. Willis had to settle for fifth place in the frantic afternoon shoot-out, but while Summers' championship lead is now a healthy 38 points, just three points now cover Willis, Menzies and Moran in the next three places.
Next up on the table, Will Hall was glad of his 21-point cushion over the opposition, now led by New, as a big accident at Bottom Ess during the opening run-off sidelined the car for the day and he failed to score. Fortunately there's a fortnight's respite before the next rounds at Gurston, but extensive front-end damage will mean a lot of work for the indefatigable Ian Dayson in the interim.
New moved into the top six at the expense of the absent Jos Goodyear, but everyone was pleased to see Jos at Shelsley. Although wheelchair-bound at the moment, it was good to see him cheerful, enthusiastic and hopeful of a rapid recovery from the injuries sustained in his accident at Bouley Bay a month ago.
With two sixth places, another fine performance by Dave Uren saw the Force turbo driver moving further up the championship table, nabbing eighth place from John Bradburn's big Gould V8 by a single point. His classmate Graham Wynn, the Championship co-sponsor, bagged his second point of the year after qualifying for the second run-off.
Three 1600cc chargers made the cut each time, the quickest of them being the unstoppable Ed Hollier, who twice brought the Empire Evo home ninth to consolidate his place in the championship top twelve. Wiscombe victor Eynon Price rounded off the scorers in the opening shoot-out but missed a gear in the second, which left him out of the points alongside Steve Owen's 'works' OMS.
AVON TYRES/TTC GROUP MSA BRITISH HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP, SHELSLEY WALSH
FTD: Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 23.05s
Championship run-off, round 25: 1 Summers 23.05s; 2 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 23.60s; 3 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 23.82s; 4 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 24.01s; 5 Tom New (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 24.06s; 6 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 24.15s; 7 John Bradburn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 24.27s; 8 Alastair Crawford (2.8 Gould-NME GR55C) 24.52s; 9 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 25.60s; 10 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 25.62s; 11 Steve Owen (1.6 OMS-Suzuki 28) 25.90s; 12 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) DNF.
Championship run-off, round 26: 1 Moran 23.14s; 2 Summers 23.19s; 3 Menzies 23.54s; 4 New 23.68s; 5 Willis 23.87s; 6 Uren 24.11s; 7 Bradburn 24.50s; 8 Crawford 24.81s; 9 Hollier 25.56s; 10 Graham Wynn (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 25.71s; 11 Price 25.96s; 12 Owen 26.22s.
British Championship positions after round 26: 1 Summers 192pts; 2 Willis 154; 3 Menzies 152; 4 Moran 151; 5 Hall 118; 6 New 97; etc.
Before a big Shelsley crowd, Alex Summers sets another milestone for the GR61X (Rich Danby)
Scott Moran prepares to embark upon the iconic car's next run of success (Rich Danby)
PRICE SCORES A FIRST FOR GOULD AS WILLIS SETS THE PACE
Event 12 at Wiscombe Park on 26/07/2015
Despite a less than perfect start on a streaming wet track, Trevor Willis stormed the upper reaches of Wiscombe Park to win the opening British run-off in a close duel with top qualifier Alex Summers. As conditions improved in the afternoon, although the track was still treacherous from the tree-shaded Esses to the finish, Willis went on to set FTD in qualifying for the second shoot-out, albeit some six seconds off his own hill record pace. But in a sensational closing shoot-out, a lock-up at Sawbench Hairpin by Willis proved costly and a delighted Eynon Price took the second run-off win of his career. With drizzle returning to the Devon hill at the start of the run-off, early runner Price was well aware that he must seize his chance. 'I gave it everything', said the former rally driver and his determined shot withstood all opposition to score the first win for a Gould GR59, the normally aspirated version that he and constructor Sean Gould debuted at the start of this season.
With driving partner Scott Moran not competing at Wiscombe, despite finding the Gould GR61X 'a long car' for his first visit in it to the twisty course, particularly at Martini Hairpin, the tightest turn in British hillclimbing, Alex Summers tied with an on-form Tom New for third place in the closing run-off and extended his championship lead to 33 points over new second place man Willis. The duo headed Wiscombe ace Ed Hollier's Empire Evo, who had qualified third in the best conditions of the day. After briefly holding the series runner-up spot after a fine third place before lunch, just a hundredth clear of another hard charge by Dave Uren, New's co-driver Wallace Menzies dropped back to third on the table, ahead of the absent Moran, after a bank-nudging incident up Castle Straight which dropped him to a lowly ninth in the second shoot-out. After another great performance in the turbocharged Force-Suzuki, Uren moved up to ninth on the championship table, just one point behind John Bradburn.
The top five are still well clear of the opposition but at the tail end of the group, Will Hall had a dismal Wiscombe. He failed to qualify in the morning when a nudge with the bank at Sawbench resulted in a puncture and a subsequent trip up the Martini escape road when the crippled Force-AER became unstable under braking for Martini. Recovering to qualify second for the afternoon shoot-out, another indifferent start left him well down at the Esses split with a resultant tenth place for a single point.
Hillclimb Leaders Championship front-runner Colin Satchell's Peugeot returned from Sunday morning's wet practice session on a tow-rope and was not seen again, which meant that with third place in the big single-seater class, Summers now leads both championships as he levels with Satchell at the top of the Leaders table.
AVON TYRES/TTC GROUP MSA BRITISH HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP, WISCOMBE PARK
FTD: Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 39.73s
Championship run-off, round 23: 1 Willis 40.50s; 2 Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 40.86s; 3 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 41.25s; 4 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 41.26s; 5 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 41.77s; 6 Tom New (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 42.00s; 7 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 42.01s; 8 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 42.34s; 9 John Bradburn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 43.00s; 10 Simon Fidoe (1.0 Empire Wraith-Suzuki) 43.93s; 11 Kelvin Broad (1.6 Pilbeam-Suzuki MP62) 43.98s; 12 Mike Lee (1.6 OMS-Suzuki 2000M) 44.03s.
Championship run-off, round 24: 1 Price 40.53s; 2 Willis 40.88s; 3= New and Summers 40.90s; 5 Hollier 41.43s; 6 Spedding 41.58s; 7 Uren 41.95s; 8 Fidoe 42.02s; 9 Menzies 42.08s; 10 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 42.13s; 11 Bradburn 42.76s; 12 Lee 43.22s.
British Championship positions after round 24: 1 Summers 173pts; 2 Willis 140; 3 Menzies 137; 4 Moran 132; 5 Hall 118; 6 Jos Goodyear 87; etc.
Trevor Willis set the outright pace at a wet Wiscombe Park (Rich Danby)
Eynon Price scored the first British win for a Gould GR59 (Rich Danby)
TOP DRIVERS FALTER IN GUERNSEY
Event 11 at Le Val Des Terres on 18/07/2015
Scott Moran began his day in style after British hillclimbers had moved to Le Val des Terres in Guernsey, for two rounds at the fast but semi-enclosed hill on the main road out of St Peter Port. A win in the opening run-off with a new hill record, his second of the season, shaded Jos Goodyear's 2013 standard by eighteen hundredths.
But it all went wrong for Scott in qualifying for the second run-off. In a rare lapse of concentration by the five-times champion (looking down at the digital dash before the gloomy, enclosed Ess bend at Terres House) he bounced the Gould off the left-hand bank. The car skated across the road, breaking the other side of the front suspension on the kerb and narrowly missing a lamp-post. The damage was such that both Scott and championship leader Alex Summers, who had run a subdued sixth in the opening run-off, a hundredth behind local driver Nick Saunders' bike-powered Reynick, were sidelined from the second shoot-out.
Even before that, during first qualifying, Trevor Willis had understeered off on unfamiliar tyres at the notorious final right-hander just before the finish and wrecked the OMS's front suspension, a piece of which bounced off the caravan housing commentator Eddie Walder! John Bradburn was another to visit the Guernsey scenery to the minor detriment of his Gould-HB, but through all the carnage, local airport fireman Darren Warwick steered his ex.Haimes Dallara-Vauxhall to second place in the opening shoot-out and a win, the second of his British career, in the afternoon.
Saunders fared even better in the second run-off with an excellent fourth place behind Wallace Menzies who, after his trio of third place finishes, moved up to third overall in the championship, while with no score on Guersey, Willis dropped to fourth. With a fourth and a second place, Will Hall salvaged something from his Channel Islands trip and closed in on the OMS driver.
In the absence of several of the top contenders, particularly from the second run-off, the locals stepped in. Saunders and Warwick were joined in the points by OMS drivers Chris Guille and Justin Smith, all of whom had made the morning cut together with Sarah Gaudion, the first Guernsey lady driver to do so, although a suspension failure would leave her out of the points. In the afternoon they were joined by 'Dangerous Brothers' Ian and Paul Le Messurier in their self-built Lemtech-Suzuki.
AVON TYRES/TTC GROUP MSA BRITISH HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP, LE VAL DES TERRES
FTD: Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 26.99s (outright hill record)
Championship run-off, round 21: 1 Moran 26.99s; 2 Darren Warwick (2.0 Dallara-Vauxhall F399) 27.82s; 3 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 27.99s; 4 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 28.12s; 5 Nick Saunders (1.6 Reynick-Suzuki) 28.27s; 6 Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 28.28s; 7 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 28.66s; 8 John Bradburn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 29.37s; 9 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 29.54s; 10 Justin Smith (1.6 OMS-Suzuki 25) 29.58s; 11 Chris Guille (2.0 OMS-Vauxhall CF04) 29.83s; 12 Sarah Gaudion (1.6 OMS-Suzuki CF08) DNF.
Championship run-off, round 22: 1 Warwick 28.05s; 2 Hall 28.15s; 3 Menzies 28.27s; 4 Saunders 28.42s; 5 Spedding 29.12s; 6 Uren 29.75s; 7 Ian Le Messurier (1.4 Lemtech-Suzuki DB03) 29.92s; 8 Guille 30.44s; 9 Smith 30.51s; 10 Paul Le Messurier (1.4 Lemtech-Suzuki DB03) 30.55s; 11 Alastair Crawford (2.8 Gould-NME GR55C) 32.11s; 12 Tom New (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 32.61s.
Championship positions after round 22: 1 Summers 156pts; 2 Moran 132; 3 Menzies 127; 4 Willis 121; 5 Hall 117; 6 Jos Goodyear 87; etc.
Scott Moran won the opening run-off at record pace (Eddie Walder)
A superb performance by Darren Warwick netted a win and a second place (Eddie Walder)
WILLIS WINS TRUNCATED BOULEY
Event 10 at Bouley Bay on 16/07/2015
An eventful Channel Islands foray for British Hillclimb contenders, punctuated by accidents, began at picturesque Bouley Bay's tortuous Jersey climb. With its numerous hairpin bends, Bouley is the slowest championship hill in terms of average speed, but the fourth longest at 1011 yards and has been in the calendar since the series began in 1947.
Having qualified fastest for the opening run-off, Jos Goodyear's start in the shoot-out itself was not one of his best and the Raptor driver hurtled round the first two bends and into the fastest part of the course determined to make up for lost time. Unfortunately he lost control just after Sleemans, riding up the bank and hitting a tree. Jos suffered injury to both lower legs and an ankle and had to be cut out of the car before being removed to hospital. The public road course was closed by the police and when it was still not reopened by 5.15pm, the decision was taken to abandon the meeting after one complete set of competition runs.
Fortunately, Jos responded well to surgery and at the time of this report is now back in hospital in England and recovering well. He remains cheerful, thanking everyone for their numerous messages of goodwill. We hope to see this talented driver back in action as soon as possible.
Immediately before Goodyear's run, Trevor Willis rocketed off the line to set what would turn out to be the winning run-off time. Earlier, hill record holder Wallace Menzies had been out-qualified by co-driver Tom New but bounced back in the Gould-NME to set a time good enough for third place. It would be the first of a trio of Channel Island podiums for the Scot who would move up the championship table after two eventful days.
Alex Summers and Scott Moran were split by Menzies, and with Scott's protégé getting the better of the deal in the runner-up spot to extend his championship lead, Moran left Jersey tied with Willis for second place on the championship table. But of the remaining leading contenders, fourth fastest qualifier Will Hall could only come away with a solitary point for tenth place in the turbocharged Force-AER.
AVON TYRES/TTC GROUP MSA BRITISH HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP, BOULEY BAY
FTD: Jos Goodyear (1.3s GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 37.79s
Championship run-off, round 19: 1 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 38.09s; 2 Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 38.32s; 3 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 38.53s; 4 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 38.67s; 5 John Bradburn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 38.76s; 6 Darren Warwick (2.0 Dallara-Vauxhall F399) 38.79s; 7 Tom New (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 38.80s; 8 Jason Mourant (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 39.44s; 9 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 39.59s; 10 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 39.87s; 11 Alastair Crawford (2.8 Gould-NME GR55C) 39.96s; Goodyear DNF.
Championship run-off, round 20: Cancelled
Championship positions after round 20: 1 Summers 156pts; 2 Moran and Willis 121; 4 Menzies 111; 5 Hall 101; 6 Goodyear 87; etc.
Trever Willis took the sole Bouley run-off win to level with Scott Moran on the championship table (Eddie Walder)
Wallace Menzies began a trio of third place Channel Island finishes at Bouley (Eddie Walder)
LIGHTNING STRIKES AT HAREWOOD
Event 9 at Harewood on 05/07/2015
After BHC contenders had crossed the Pennines for the second leg of the Barbon/Harewood weekend, Trevor Willis's FTD, set at 49.21s as he sped to the opening run-off win, was all but forgotten after a dramatic second run-off in circumstances unprecedented in British hillclimbing. Earlier, he had taken the win ahead Scott Moran on his age-old rival's return to the fray after a four round absence. But later he had to settle for ninth place after a thunderstorm struck the second run-off.
The opening shoot-out began in light drizzle, with early runners Tom New, Richard Spedding and, crucially, championship leader Alex Summers (outqualified by co-driver Moran) at a distinct disadvantage. With New and Spedding finishing out of the points, Summers could only muster a point for tenth place. But with the hill rapidly drying, by the time Will Hall, Willis and finally Moran ran times were back to normal. Wallace Menzies closed to within a point of Hall with fifth place, chased by Jos Goodyear, the previous day's Barbon hero having switched to Spedding's normally aspirated Raptor after another mechanical problem with his own car.
In the rapidly improving conditions, the final shoot-out started beneath sunny blue skies but with ominous grey clouds rapidly looming the competitors, all on slicks, were anxious to get under way. First to run, Tom New set a much improved time for fifth. Then Moran, with an eye on the rapidly approaching storm clouds, slotted in a time half a second shy of Willis's best in the opening shootout. It would be good enough for the win. The rain arrived just after Dave Uren had set a 51 which would prove good enough for second place, the best result of his British hillclimb career so far.
Oliver Tomlin managed seventh, while a sterling effort by Menzies bagged fourth. The rain was now torrential, accompanied by thunder and lightning. The remaining competitors scrabbled up on slicks amid clouds of spray all except for Goodyear, who broke the drive-chain of Spedding's Raptor on the line. With Paul Haimes not taking his run due to a blown head gasket, it meant that all ten remaining runners would score if they crossed the line. Well aware of this, Willis spun on to the grass at the Esses and recovered to finish ninth, just behind Hall, thereby handing his championship second place back to Moran.
Last to run, Summers crossed the line in the downpour but the clocks flashed up several different times. The system had suffered a glitch, undoubtedly as a result of the appalling weather, and the timekeepers were unable give a time for his run. Summers was offered a re-run, but it couldn't be taken as, in a chain of co-incidences, the medical facilities were unavailable due to an sudden emergency in the paddock. Proceedings were thus forced to halt, and ultimately to end, with Summers being awarded a single point as the final driver to complete his run.
The championship leader thus scored just two points on the day, but with those almost certain to be dropped his lead over Moran, who is set to miss four more rounds of the series in any case, is still substantial.
Pictures to follow.
AVON/TTC GROUP MSA BRITISH HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP, HAREWOOD
FTD: Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 49.21s
Championship run-off, round 17: 1 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 49.21s; 2 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 49.49s; 3 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 49.61s; 4 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 50.24s; 5 Jos Goodyear (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 51.71s; 6 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 52.58s; 7 John Bradburn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 52.65s; 8 Oliver Tomlin (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd MP97) 52.66s; 9 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 53.41s; 10 Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 55.54s; 11 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 57.41s; 12 Tom New (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 63.21s.
Championship run-off, round 18: 1 Moran 49.72s; 2 Uren 51.61s; 3 Price 51.80s; 4 Menzies 51.92s; 5 New 52.07s; 6 Bradburn 52.26s; 7 Tomlin 54.91s; 8 Hall 66.11s; 9 Willis 69.44s; 10 Summers NTR; Goodyear DNF; Haimes DNS.
Championship positions after round 18: 1 Summers 142pts; 2 Moran 114; 3 Willis 111; 4 Menzies 103; 5 Hall 100; 6 Goodyear 87; etc.
Scott Moran was back - and on winning form - at Harewood (Eddie Walder)
Dave Uren scored his best ever British run-off result with second place (Eddie Walder)
GOODYEAR SHATTERS BARBON RECORD
Event 8 at Barbon Manor on 04/07/2015
After failing to qualify for the opening run-off with a mechanical failure, Jos Goodyear bounced back to demolish Barbon's hill record, the oldest in the book, with a phenomenal shot almost half a second inside the old mark in a run that lasted barely 20 seconds. It marked his fourth consecutive British hillclimb FTD, yet with his moments of brilliance punctuated by failed runs and mechanical problems, Goodyear remains confined to sixth place on the championship table.
The writing was on the wall after the appreciative crowd basking, for once, in Cumbrian sunshine had seen Trevor Willis win the opening shoot-out in a time just six hundredths away from Scott Moran's 2008 record. But with Moran not competing at Saturday's leg of the traditional Barbon/Harewood double-header Willis, even after running wide just yards from the finish at the notorious Lafone Hairpin in the closing run-off and finishing fourth, had done enough to edge clear of the five-times titleist into second overall in the championship standings.
After qualifying top for the opening stanza with a new class record, Moran's protégé Alex Summers' two runner-up placings kept him firmly in charge of the championship, a healthy 41 points clear. Will Hall chased hard for an opening third place, but a less than perfect start in the second run-off left him ninth on a hill where the slightest mistake can be costly. With a couple of solid finishes in the red Gould-NME, Wallace Menzies had levelled with his championship rival by close of play in fourth place on the table.
With the turbocharged Force none the worse for its recent escapades, Dave Uren scored his third fifth place finish of the year, following it up with sixth later on to step up his challenge to John Bradburn's Gould V8, which he outran by a couple of places each time. Tom New swapped places with season-long rival Alastair Crawford to end the day to maintain their status quo. Ninth and tenth respectively in successive run-offs, the sister Gould GR59s of Paul Haimes and Simon Moyse took turns at scoring at the tail end, Haimes' supercharged car finishing the opening stanza ahead of Ed Hollier, who qualified each time but was forced to abandon the evening trip over to Harewood after discovering an oil leak from a cracked casing on his Hayabusa unit.
AVON/TTC GROUP MSA BRITISH HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP, BARBON MANOR
FTD: Jos Goodyear (1.3s GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 20.08s (Outright hill record)
Championship run-off, round 15: 1Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 20.56s; 2 Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 20.94s; 3 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 21.04s; 4 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 21.33; 5 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 21.63s; 6 Alastair Crawford (2.8 Gould-NME GR55C) 21.66s; 7 John Bradburn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 21.74s; 8 Tom New (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 22.05s; 9 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 22.28s; 10 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 22.46s; 11 Simon Fidoe (1.0 Empire Wraith-Suzuki) 23.19s; 12 Lee Griffiths (1.3t OMS-Suzuki 25) 23.20s.
Championship run-off, round 16: 1 Goodyear 20.08s; 2 Summers 20.59s; 3 Menzies 20.88s; 4 Willis 21.12s; 5 Uren 21.33s; 6 New 21.47s; 7 Bradburn 21.49s; 8 Crawford 21.64s; 9 Hall 21.73s; 10 Moyse 22.30s; 11 Hollier 22.52s; 12 Haimes 22.91s.
Championship positions after round 16: 1 Summers 140pts; 2 Willis 99; 3 Moran 95; 4= Hall and Menzies 89; 6 Goodyear 81; etc.
Jos Goodyear took his fourth FTD in a row with a phenomenal record shot at Barbon (Eddie Walder)
Trevor Willis won the opening run-off in a time just outside the old hill record (Eddie Walder)
THREE IN A ROW FOR GOODYEAR
Event 7 at Doune on 21/06/2015
Jos Goodyear is on a roll, having now made it a hat-trick of FTDs in as many weekends when the British hillclimb 'circus' made the first of its two annual visits to the daunting Carse of Cambus hill at Doune. A minor electronic glitch stemmed his progress in the opening run-off and he finished half a second adrift of championship leader Alex Summers, but a peerless performance in the final encounter saw the supercharged GWR Raptor-Suzuki a full second quicker than his class-winning qualifier to beat Summers by almost a second and threequarters.
Meanwhile, after an identical points haul to Goodyear, Summers sailed serenely on to extend his championship lead over the absent Scott Moran to 27 points, a figure set to increase at Barbon Manor in a fortnight where Moran will again be a non-runner, although the five-times champion is set to return at the following day's Harewood rounds.
Trevor Willis's chance to overhaul Moran's runner-up position at Doune evaporated after a trip into the barriers at Junction during the opening run-off sidelined the car for the day. Fourth and fifth places in the Force-AER were enough for Will Hall to close to within three points of the OMS driver and Wallace Menzies, third each time in the Gould-NME, also stepped up his challenge while after his recent run of success, Goodyear is closing in on the Scot. Menzies' driving partner Tom New could only manage eighth in the opening run-off behind regular adversary Alastair Crawford, but with Crawford catching the rain towards the end of the second run-off when New ran a strong fourth behind his co-driver, the Southampton man once more moved ahead of his rival on the series table.
With both Richard Spedding and jovial Scot Les Mutch making the afternoon cut, constructor Graeme Wight Jr was delighted that all three of his Raptors were not only in the same run-off but all scoring points, Mutch having already finished a fine sixth in the opening stanza. Other Scots to make the cut at some point were Ross Napier, fifth and seventh in the ex.Marsh/Groves Gould-DFR, George Coghill Jr, eighth and ninth in his Force-Suzuki turbo and Steve Marr, just out of the points late on in the tiny 1100cc PCD Saxon-Suzuki. In a first for the driver and for the Caterham marque, David Warburton took advantage of a slight shower during the morning qualifying runs to make the cut for the opening run-off, but was unsurprisingly outgunned by the single-seaters in the points showdown.
AVON/TTC GROUP MSA BRITISH HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP, DOUNE
FTD: Jos Goodyear (1.3s GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 35.64s
Championship run-off, round 13: 1 Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 37.28s; 2 Goodyear 37.85s; 3 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 38.18s; 4 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 38.88s; 5 Ross Napier (3.5 Gould Cosworth GR37) 40.33s; 6 Les Mutch (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 40.35s; 7 Alastair Crawford (2.8 Gould-NME GR55C) 40.83s; 8 Tom New (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 41.26s; 9 George Coghill Jr (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 41.99s; 10 John Bradburn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 42.33s; 11 David Warburton (2.5 Caterham-Duratec) 48.25s; Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) DNF.
Championship run-off, round 14: 1 Goodyear 35.64s; 2 Summers 37.36s; 3 Menzies 37.53s; 4 New 37.96s; 5 Hall 38.97s; 6 Bradburn 40.34s; 7 Napier 40.95s; 8 Coghill Jr 41.23s; 9 Mutch 41.29s; 10 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 41.82s; 11 Steve Marr (1.1 PCD Saxon-Suzuki) 43.06s; 12 Crawford 44.55s.
British Championship positions after round 14: 1 Summers122pts; 2 Scott Moran 95; 3 Willis 82; 4 Hall 79; 5 Menzies 74; 6 Goodyear 70; etc.
Jos Goodyear travelled north of the border for his third successive FTD (Steve Wilkinson)
Alex Summers extended his championship lead, taking his fourth run-off win of the year (Steve Wilkinson)
GOODYEAR AGAIN AT LOTON
Event 6 at Loton Park on 14/06/2015
In a repeat performance of Shelsley Walsh the previous weekend, Jos Goodyear qualified top for the second run-off with FTD and went on to take the win. He thus consolidated his sixth place on the championship table but might have finished the day even higher up the order had his GWR Raptor not broken a drivechain coming to the line for the opening shoot-out. He was given time to fix it, but it was a necessarily hasty repair job and the chain broke again on the approach to Triangle, fortunately without causing any other damage. Meanwhile Alex Summers took his third win of the season but his ever present mentor Scott Moran was a mere three hundredths behind, going on to finish five hundredths adrift of Goodyear in the final showdown. Top scorer of the weekend, Moran closed in on championship leader Summers, who could only manage fifth place in the afternoon. But Scott will need all the points he can get as Doune next weekend and Barbon a fortnight later will be two more of the scheduled five events he's due to miss this year.
Third each time, Trevor Willis attacked as hard as ever in the OMS V8. He maintained his third place overall on the series table and the 2012 champion is well placed to grab second spot at Doune in the absence of long-time rival Moran. With the electronic problems that have dogged his Force-AER turbocar apparently overcome, Will Hall grabbed fifth place early on but was disappointed not to match his afternoon runner-up qualifying pace in the run-off, despite finishing fourth, but he maintained his top four championship position clear of Wallace Menzies. The Scot bagged a fourth and a sixth place to maintain his fifth place on the table but the challenge from Goodyear is now intensifying. In their on-going duel, Menzies' co-driver Tom New had levelled with Alastair Crawford by lunchtime but Crawford's smaller engined Gould-NME nicked a place, and a point, in the final shoot-out.
A couple of mid-field finishes kept John Bradburn's score ticking over but his championship ninth place is beginning to come under threat from Dave Uren. With his Force-Suzuki turbocar's Shelsley suspension damage repaired swiftly by Ian Dayson, Uren was back on top form with a couple of eighth places and moved into the Championship top ten for the first time. Ed Hollier again made the cut each time in the normally aspirated Empire Evo-Suzuki but spun out of the first run-off at Triangle. In the second, he headed Jason Mourant's OMS-RPE after levelling with the Jerseyman in qualifying, but both finished out of the points.
AVON/TTC GROUP MSA BRITISH HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP, LOTON PARK
FTD: Jos Goodyear (1.3s GWR Raptor-Suzuki)
Championship run-off, round 11: 1 Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 44.53s; 2 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 44.56s; 3 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 44.80s; 4 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 45.14s; 5 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 45.96s; 6 John Bradburn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 46.04s; 7 Tom New (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 46.45s; 8 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 46.47s; 9 Alastair Crawford (2.8 Gould-NME GR55C) 46.58s; 10 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 47.75s; 11 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 58.32s; Goodyear DNF.
Championship run-off, round 12:
1 Goodyear 44.39s; 2 Moran 44.44s; 3 Willis 44.66s; 4 Hall 45.01s; 5 Summers 45.20s; 6 Menzies 45.38s; 7 Bradburn 45.71s; 8 Uren 46.14s; 9 Crawford 46.64s; 10 New 46.79s; 11 Hollier 47.21s; 12 Jason Mourant (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 47.99s.
British Championship positions after round 12: 1 Summers 103pts; 2 Moran 95; 3 Willis 82; 4 Hall 66; 5 Menzies 58; 6 Goodyear 51; etc.
Jos Goodyear took his second consecutive FTD of the year at Loton (Rich Danby - zipp.co.uk)
Championship leader Alex Summers won the opening run-off, his third in the Gould-NME (Rich Danby - zipp.co.uk)
GOODYEAR SETS THE PACE AT SHELSLEY
Event 5 at Shelsley Walsh on 07/06/2015
Hurling the little GWR Raptor into the Esses at unbelievable speeds and matching the pace of the big V8s over the finish, Jos Goodyear took the opening British Championship run-off at Shelsley Walsh with the ever-present duo of Scott Moran and Alex Summers, split by just seven hundredths, in hot pursuit. But after a phenomenal run to qualify top for the second shoot-out, which would stand as FTD, a mistake off the startline and a fumbled gearshift into Kennel left Goodyear with a closing run-off disadvantage he couldn't counteract. Fifth place was the result as the all-conquering Gould Vs swept past, and Moran took the win with Summers on his tail.
Summers saw his championship lead reduced to ten points as his co-driver - who is still scheduled to miss a further eight rounds - broke clear of his tie for second place with Trevor Willis. In the pre-lunch run-off, charging through Shelsley's bumpy Ess approach in a firework display of sparks, the press-on OMS driver overdid things at the left-hander and spun the car, removing the rear wing on the Recticel barrier. Repairs were rapidly effected, and Willis was back in action in the afternoon to finish third, a quarter of a second behind Summers and narrowly holding off Tom New, really flying in the red GR55B. Although Wallace Menzies is a couple of places in front on the championship table, the Southampton man kept ahead of his co-driver all weekend, split in the morning run-off by Alastair Crawford's late-model GR55 and in the afternoon by Goodyear.
Chasing the top three in the morning, Will Hall kept the still recalcitrant Force-AER in the hunt, but a last-minute gearbox problem cost him a shot at the closing shoot-out, though not his fourth place on the series table. As at Gurston, Dave Uren and the turbocharged Force were at last beginning to mix it with the heavy hitters. But in the afternoon run-off he joined the ever-growing list of competitors to visit the Bottom Ess barrier, leaving himself with a busy week in prospect to repair damaged front suspension before Loton in a week's time.
John Bradburn kept his points total ticking over with mid-field placings in the Gould-HB and after a difficult practice session with gearbox electronics problems, Paul Haimes recovered to bag a total of three points in the turbocharged Gould GR59 despite a blown plenum seal. Two normally aspirated 1600 runners swapped places for run-off qualification on Shelsley's power slopes, Ed Hollier just out of the points with his Empire Evo in the morning while class rival - and eventual winner - Eynon Price grabbed the final point in the closing shoot-out with the GR59.
AVON/TTC GROUP MSA BRITISH HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP, SHELSLEY WALSH
FTD: Jos Goodyear (1.3s GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 23.03s
Championship run-off, round 9:1 Goodyear 23.09s; 2 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 23.23s; 3 Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 23.30s; 4 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 23.84s; 5 Tom New (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 24.04s; 6 Alastair Crawford (2.8 Gould-NME GR55C) 24.17s; 7 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 24.26s; 8 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 24.27s; 9 John Bradburn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55)24.67s; 10 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 25.06s; 11 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 26.06s; Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) DNF.
Championship run-off, round 10:1 Moran 23.30s; 2 Summers 23.42s; 3 Willis 23.68s; 4 New 23.76s; 5 Goodyear 23.93s; 6 Menzies 24.12s; 7 Bradburn 24.43s; 8 Crawford 24.58s; 9 Haimes 25.14s; 10 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 25.97s; Uren DNF; Hall DNS.
British Championship positions after round 10: 1 Summers 87pts; 2 Moran 77; 3 Willis 66; 4 Hall 53; 5 Menzies 46; 6 Goodyear 41; etc.
Jos Goodyear kept the championship leading V8s at bay at Shelsley (Rich Danby - zipp.co.uk)
Sparks flew as Scott Moran took his fifth run-off win of the year (Rich Danby - zipp.co.uk)
TIE AT THE TOP - BUT TWO FOR SUMMERS
Event 4 at Gurston Down on 24/05/2015
It was, perhaps, inevitable that the master would eventually give way to the pupil. After tying with his mentor Scott Moran to win the opening run-off at Gurston Down, British championship leader Alex Summers took his first solo win in the Gould GR61X in the closing shoot-out, three tenths ahead of his co-driver. 'I couldn't believe it when I saw the time,' said Summers after a final shot in light drizzle but which stopped the clocks just four hundredths outside his earlier winning time, when the 'dynamic duo' had set joint FTD. Despite the Gould's sequential gearbox selecting sixth instead of fifth on the fast run down to Hollow Bend, a problem which both drivers had encountered during the weekend, Moran was still only a quarter of a second adrift of Summers as they kept Trevor Willis narrowly at bay in each run-off. The defending champion ended the day level on points with the hard-charging OMS driver to share second place on the series table.
Just a quarter of a second off FTD pace, Tom New chased the trio home in the morning but was disappointed to finish out of the points in the second run-off, a misting-up visor in the colder, damp conditions posing severe visibility problems. Rapidly coming to terms with their ex.Groves Gould, New's co-driver Wallace Menzies started cautiously with eighth place but came good in the afternoon, chasing home Willis for fourth to maintain station on the series table behind Will Hall. This weekend the Force-AER turbocar was never at its best off the startline, an area where Hall normally excels, Hall tying for fifth place early on with Dave Uren, who was having a great weekend aboard the turbocharged Force-Suzuki. Both drivers slipped down the order in the closing shoot-out, although Hall hung on to his Championship fourth place.
A couple of mid-field placings in the smaller engined Gould-NME kept Alastair Crawford in the Championship top six ahead of Jos Goodyear who, after a storming opener in the Raptor that ended with a gearbox electronics glitch coming out of Ashes, bounced back after lunch to hustle the supercharged machine into fifth place, crossing the line just 3mph shy of the day's best 144mph set by the big V8s. Paul Haimes scored a brace of points each time with the turbocharged GR59, edging out John Bradburn's Gould-HB by three hundredths in the afternoon, a not uncommon margin in what was a highly competitive run-off despite the less than ideal conditions.
Class of the day was for the ultra-competitive 1100cc racing cars. Eight hundredths clear of Simon Andrews, Debbie Dunbar took a popular win in this 16-car division which not only saw the first ten cars covered by just over a second, but third to seventh places under a blanket of just four hundredths!
Full results here
AVON/TTC GROUP MSA BRITISH HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP, GURSTON DOWN
FTD: Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) and Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 26.25s
Championship run-off, round 7: 1= Moran and Summers 26.25s; 3 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 26.37s; 4 Tom New (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 26.51s; 5= Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) and Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 27.06s; 7 Alastair Crawford (2.8 Gould-NME GR55C) 27.16s; 8 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 27.47s; 9 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 27.48s; 10 Jos Goodyear (1.3s GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 27.80s; 11 John Bradburn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 27.83s; 12 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 28.58s.
Championship run-off, round 8: 1 Summers 26.29s; 2 Moran 26.58s; 3 Willis 26.94s; 4 Menzies 27.10s; 5 Goodyear 27.11s; 6 Hall 27.72s; 7 Crawford 27.73s; 8 Uren 27.75s; 9 Haimes 28.22s; 10 Bradburn 28.25s; 11 New 28.66s; 12 Hollier 29.93s.
British Championship positions after round 8: 1 Summers 70pts; 2 Willis and Moran 58; 4 Hall 46; 5 Menzies 37; 6 Crawford 32: etc.
Alex Summers took both run-off wins and tied for FTD (John Hayward)
Debbie Dunbar won the ultra-competitive 1100cc racing class (John Hayward)
MORAN MAGIC AS RECORDS FALL
Event 3 at Harewood on 10/05/2015
The two rounds of the British Hillclimb Championship at the May Harewood were closely fought. Trevor Willis and the OMS V8 emerged on top in the first of them as Alex Summers grabbed the runner-up spot in the Gould-NME. Despite qualifying inside the class record and running even faster in the second run-off, such was the pace that Summers could only manage third and Willis was relegated to fifth. Third in the opening run-off, after being out-qualified by co-driver Summers, was Scott Moran. But in the closing shoot-out things went stratospheric after he came to the line as fastest qualifier in near perfect conditions. In typical Scott Moran fashion the car seemed almost reluctant to leave the line, with negligible wheelspin. By the time he was in the Esses he was well up on the clock and stretching his lead, crossed the line with a new hill record neatly tucked away. It was a dominant performance from the reigning champion which put all the rest in the shade.
Will Hall grabbed fourth place early on but stormed back into the reckoning with second place in the closing run-off. A cracking drive in round five earned Wallace Menzies fifth place in the red Gould-NME, while Devonian Ed Hollier was in great form in the normally aspirated Empire Evo-Suzuki and fully deserved his sixth place, managing a superb eighth in the second, more competitive run-off for which Menzies failed to qualify.
Richard Spedding had had a character-building day on Saturday with the brand new GWR Raptor which he had only picked up a couple of days before. However on Sunday, after a lot of tinkering from constructor Graeme Wight Jr, he qualified well and took seventh place leaving Alistair Crawford, Oliver Tomlin and Paul Haimes to mop up the remaining points. But exiting Orchard on a real flyer in the second run-off, the Raptor's electronics selected a ‘false neutral’ and the car coasted to a halt.
Dave Uren had his first qualifying run time nullified after travelling off-course at Quarry but made amends in the second run-off. After qualifying eleventh, he upped his pace and he charged up the order to sixth, just ahead of Eynon Price, who took seventh after a scare on Saturday when the anti-roll bar became disconnected. Hollier, Haimes and Tomlin completed the points scorers.
In the classes, the ‘tricked out’ Peugeot 205 of Colin Satchell smashed Keith Murray's record by over a second and there were also records for Tim Nunn (Westfield), Jonathan Varley (March-BDG), Goodyear and Summers.
Full class results available here
AVON/TTC GROUP MSA BRITISH HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP, HAREWOOD
FTD: Scott Moran 48.81s (outright hill record)
Championship run-off, round 5: 1 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 49.15s; 2 Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 49.17s; 3 Moran 49.45s; 4 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 49.72s; 5 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 50.58s; 6 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 50.85s; 7 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 51.52s; 8 Alistair Crawford (2.8 Gould-NME GR55C) 51.58s; 9 Oliver Tomlin (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd MP97)51.63s; 10 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 51.74s; 11 Tom New (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 51.75s; 12 John Bradburn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 51.86s.
Championship run-off, round 6: 1 Moran 48.81s; 2 Hall 49.08s; 3 Summers 49.34s; 4 Goodyear 49.48s; 5 Willis 50.03s; 6 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 50.82s; 7 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 51.48s; 8 Hollier 51.72s; 9 Haimes 52.35s; 10 Tomlin 52.51s; 11 New 69.26s Spedding DNF.
British Championship positions after round 6: 1 Summers 50pts; 2 Willis 42; 3 Moran 39; 4 Hall 35; 5 Menzies 27; 6 Crawford 24: etc.
Scott Moran set a new Harewood record to win round 6 (Steve Wilkinson)
Colin Satchell demolished his class record by over a second (Steve Wilkinson)
HALL'S WET WIN IN ULSTER
Event 2 at Craigantlet on 02/05/2015
After missing out at the previous weekend's Prescott opener, Will Hall opened his British Championship account in decisive manner at Craigantlet at one of the coldest and wettest British Championship events for some time. A rocket start on brand new wet tyres in the opening run-off gave Hall's Force-AER turbo an advantage which he maintained to the end of the run on the fast Belfast road course, setting what would stand as FTD in the dire conditions. Now adapting well to the ex.Groves Gould-NME, Wallace Menzies ran second ahead of Trevor Willis's OMS-RPE V8. But 2012 champion Willis showed his hand in the second shoot-out, taking over threequarters of a second out of Hall's target on the final run of the day, to take the win and move up to second place on the Championship table.
With defending champion Scott Moran opting out of the event this year, protege Alex Summers felt the pressure of running on his own on only his second serious outing in the ultra-successful Gould GR61X. But he rose to the challenge superbly, qualifying top for the first run-off and finishing fourth. He went one better in the second stanza and left Craigantlet with a solid seven point Championship lead. Menzies slipped to fourth in the closing run-off as the rain intensified but ended a miserable day, weather-wise, equal third on the championship table with a delighted Alastair Crawford. With a couple of mid-field placings in the smaller-engined Gould GR55, the Cheltenham nuclear engineer is enjoying his best-ever start to a British season.
Menzies' driving partner Tom New was not so lucky with an eighth place and a DNF after a spin in the treacherous conditions. Among the quickest cars over the twisty opening section to Mays' Cross, Jos Goodyear's little Raptor ran out of steam on the V8 territory of the hill's faster upper reaches and he had to settle for a couple of mid-field placings. John Bradburn had a similar result in the big Gould-HB, vowing to replace a set of wets that were well past their sell-by date. Dogged by electrical issues early on, Paul Haimes' supercharged Gould GR59 recovered to eighth place in the final shoot-out.
A real family affair in the opening run-off saw Wallace Menzies, his wife Nicola and her brother George Coghill Jr in his Force-Suzuki turbo all finishing in the points. Nicola ended the day with two ninth places in her similar car shared with Dave Uren, although a bad day for Uren saw him fail to make the opening cut before further problems intervened in the final shoot-out. Ever-optimistic of making the Craigantlet cut in his Porsche 911, Peter Herbert succeeded yet again and completed the runners each time.
Full results here
AVON/TTC GROUP MSA BRITISH HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP, CRAIGANTLET
FTD: Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 45.54s
Championship run-off, round 3: 1 Hall 45.54s; 2 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55) 46.58s; 3 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 46.61s; 4 Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 46.65s; 5 Jos Goodyear (1.3s GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 47.72s; 6 John Bradburn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 48.54s; 7 Alastair Crawford (2.8 Gould-NME GR55) 49.23s; 8 Tom New (3.5 Gould-NME GR55) 50.91s; 9 Nicola Menzies (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 55.61s; 10 George Coghill Jr (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 57.57s; 11 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 58.69s; 12 Peter Herbert (3.6 Porsche 911) 63.76s.
Championship run-off, round 4: 1 Willis 46.40s; 2 Hall 47.23s; 3 Summers 48.00s; 4 Wallace Menzies 48.19s; 5 Crawford 49.12s; 6 Goodyear 49.71s; 7 Bradburn 50.87s; Haimes 55.82s; 9 Nicola Menzies 56.85s; 10 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 61.92s; 11 Herbert 64.55s; New DNF (spin).
British Championship positions after round 4: 1 Summers 33pts; 2 Willis 26; 3 Crawford and Menzies 21; 5 Scott Moran 20; 6 Hall 19; etc.
Will Hall storms through the spray to win at Craigantlet (Eddie Walder)
Trevor Willis won the second run-off after qualifying with second FTD (Eddie Walder)
MORAN STILL ON TOP AT CONTROVERSIAL PRESCOTT
Event 1 at Prescott on 26/04/2015
Controversy reigned at Prescott when a number of key contenders fell foul of the stringent new noise regulations at the Cotswold venue. But through it all, defending champion Scott Moran emerged at the top of the pack, closely followed by his 2015 protege Alex Summers as they took the one/two in successive run-offs. With the car's former owner on the spectator banks, Tom New kept his ex.Martin Groves Gould-NME, now resplendent in Tillicoultry Quarries red, well in the hunt ending the day with third overall on the championship table.
Hill record-holder Jos Goodyear's supercharged Raptor, Will Hall's Force, now with 4-cylinder AER turbopower and five-times Midland Champion Rob Stevens' Force-Suzuki were all excluded from their qualifying runs after failing Prescott's new 106dB drive-by noise test. Trevor Willis had the same problem before the first run-off, but after a rethink on gearchanging qualified top for the second one and the 2012 champion went on to finish third. However, after successfully qualifying for run-off two, both Simon Fidoe's 1000cc Empire Wraith and John Bradburn's Gould-HB, which he'd taken to fourth place in the opening shoot-out, were excluded during the run-off itself which, in Bradburn's case, cost him fourth place on the championship table.
In his first year with a top ten 'number', Alastair Crawford kept his Gould in touch with a top six finish each time, levelling with New's co-driver Wallace Menzies in the final shoot-out after the Scot had skated into the Ettore's gravel trap first time up. Despite spinning the turbocharged Gould-Suzuki GR59 on the opening run-off, Paul Haimes recovered in the final shoot-out to bag fifth. Ed Hollier was delighted to get the bike-engined Empire Evo into the points each time in his first year of serious British Championship contention, while a fine drive by Tina Hawkes in her similarly powered Force not only scored her first ever British points but earned the Moran Motorhomes Midland Man of the meeting award.
Terry Graves, still in his now almost vintage 'back-up' Gould-DFR GR37 also scored his first British points and constructor Sean Gould got on the British scoreboard for the first time in well over twenty years in the new, normally aspirated Suzuki powered GR59.
Several issues affected the running of the meeting, starting with a long delay after local competitor Steve Hemingway crashed his Pilbeam MP50 into the tubular timing display tower at Semi-circle. The incident required the air ambulance, and Steve is now recovering in hospital in Bristol. For most of the meeting, there were no times available in the commentary box due to a computer failure. But the biggest talking point at Prescott was the noise issue, which has been forced upon the venue by very vocal and influential neighbours with the ability to make life very difficult for the hillclimb. Whether or not its method of implementation is ideal at the moment is a subject that has already caused much debate, but it's one which will need to be addressed throughout the year, not least when the British Championship returns in September.
AVON/TTC GROUP MSA BRITISH HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP, PRESCOTT
FTD: Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 36.50s
Championship run-off, round 1: 1 Moran 36.75s; 2 Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 37.11s, 3 Tom New (3.5 Gould-NME GR55) 38.63s; 4 John Bradburn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth GR55) 38.72s; 5 Alastair Crawford (2.8 Gould-NME GR55) 38.92s; 6 Oliver Tomlin (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd MP97) 39.13s; 7 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire-Suzuki Evo) 39.16s; 8 Tina Hawkes (1.6 Force-Suzuki PC) 40.79s; 9 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 41.44s; 10 Terry Graves (3.5 Gould-Cosworth GR37) 41.78s; 11 Lee Griffiths (1.3s OMS-Suzuki 25) 41.81s; DNF Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) spin.
Championship run-off, round 2: 1 Moran 36.50s; 2 Summers 36.70s; 3 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 36.94s; 4 New 38.56s; 5 Haimes 38.97s; 6= Crawford and Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55) 39.01s; 8 Hollier 39.18s; 9 Tomlin 38.83s; 10 Graham Wynn (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 40.75s; Excluded (noise): Bradburn and Simon Fidoe (1.0 Empire-Suzuki Wraith).
British Championship positions after round 2: 1 Moran 20pts; 2 Summers 18; 3 New 15; 4 Crawford 11; 5 Willis 8; 6= Hollier, Bradburn and Tomlin 7; etc.
Scott Moran continued his customary form, winning the first two British hillclimb rounds of 2015 (Eddie Walder)
Tom New had a successful start to the season in his ex.Groves Gould-NME (Eddie Walder)
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