BRITISH HILLCLIMB REPORTS
Current Reports Report Archive
MORAN WINS AND SPINS
Event 17 at Loton Park on 24/09/2017
Having missed the last six rounds, Scott Moran returned for Loton's British Championship finale on top form with an opening run-off win, followed by FTD in qualifying for the second shoot-out just one hundredth of a second away from his own hill record. It marked a triumphant return for the outgoing champion who, after a self-confessed 'laid-back' year, had missed half the season's events. Even so, with just one round to go he lay sixth on the championship table needing only a top three finish to deny Jason Mourant, the most improved driver of 2017, fifth place overall. Third in the opening run-off and determined to maintain his championship position, the Jerseyman had qualified a fine second for the final shoot-out of the year. Then at Museum, the very last bend of the season, a 180º spin left him convinced that, with Moran still to run, he'd thrown away the chance of a top five placing. But moments after Scott had launched the Gould-NME into the final championship run of 2017, there was a prolonged squeal of tyres and a gasp from the crowd. The unthinkable had happened - the six-times champion had spun in the fast left-hander at Loggerheads!
'It was just starting to drizzle,' said Moran. 'The back end stepped out and the car just got away from me.' He was not the first driver that weekend to have had problems in damp conditions on Loton's resurfaced track, particularly during Saturday morning's practice session. Fortunately the rain held off for most of Sunday and, as has been the case since the June resurfacing, several class records were broken. However, Wallace Menzies' spin at Fletcher's during Q1 ruled him out of the opening run-off, although he made up for it in the afternoon to finish second behind new champion Trevor Willis, who had run half a second behind Moran in the opening shoot-out.
Former British champion-turned-constructor Graeme Wight Jr was beaming from ear to ear after his Raptor cars had followed each other home in the top five each time. Richard Spedding (fourth and third) was equally delighted to secure third overall on the Championship table, one better than last year and a superb performance for a 1600cc Suzuki engined car, while Robert Kenrick (fifth and fourth), after a record-breaking second half of the season in his 1-litre BMW powered machine, shows tremendous potential for next year. The possible threat to Spedding's top three placing, from Will Hall, failed to materialise when yet again the Force's AER turbo misfired towards the end of the opening run-off and seventh place spelt the end of the challenge. A disappointed Hall withdrew from the afternoon's competition. Paul Haimes, on the other hand, was delighted that his Gould-Suzuki turbo was again running well. After taking sixth place before lunch he qualified third in the afternoon when, despite a time wasting sideways moment out of Triangle during the second shoot-out, the defection of Mourant and Moran promoted him to his third fifth place finish in the space of two weekends.
After suffering a wrist injury sustained in the Pilbeam-Judd during Saturday practice, the unfortunate Sandra Tomlin withdrew from Sunday's competition. But her son Oliver, with the car now sporting a replacement front wing suitably adorned with Welsh dragons (the border is less than a mile down the road) on loan from Bill Morris and Tim Davies, made the cut each time with a top six finish in the afternoon. Steve Owen finished a fine season bringing the 'works' OMS-Suzuki 1100 home in the points each time, well clear of the tenth placed supercharged Pilbeam of Kelvin Broad in the morning, while in the afternoon it was Harry Pick, making his fourth run-off appearance of the year in the ex.Willis OMS 1100, who ran ninth ahead of final finisher Graham Wynn's Gould-HB, which halfway into his run mysteriously cut out and restarted. The similarly mounted Terry Graves/John Hunt pairing took turns at making the cut, Graves with his third three-pointer of the season while Hunt, on his sixth run-off appearance to end his best season yet with the car, finished just out of the points before lunch in a duel with Wynn, pipping the Championship co-sponsor by four hundredths.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Loton Park
FTD: Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 43.53s
Championship run-off, round 33: 1 Moran 43.60s; 2 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 44.10s; 3 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 44.69s; 4 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 45.19s; 5 Robert Kenrick (1.0 GWR Raptor-BMW) 45.85s; 6 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 46.02s; 7 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 46.21s; 8 Oliver Tomlin (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd EV MP97) 46.64s; 9 Steve Owen (1.1 OMS-Suzuki 28) 47.06s; 10 Kelvin Broad (1.3s Pilbeam-Suzuki MP101) 48.20s; 11 Tony Hunt (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 49.11s; 12 Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 49.15s.
Championship run-off, round 34: 1 Willis 44.16s; 2 Wallace Menzies (3.3 Gould-Cosworth XD GR59) 44.65s; 3 Spedding 44.92s; 4 Kenrick 45.36s; 5 Haimes 45.68s; 6 Tomlin 46.49s; 7 Owen 47.76s; 8 Terry Graves (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 48.37s; 9 Harry Pick (1.0 OMS-Suzuki 2000V) 48.45s; 10 Wynn 53.27s; Mourant DNF; Moran DNF.
Final British Championship positions: 1 Willis 232; 2 Menzies 205; 3 Spedding 180; 4 Hall 166; 5 Mourant 139; 6 Moran 132; etc.
Scott Moran ran a hundredth of a second outside his own hill record (John Hallett)
Trevor Willis ended his Championship season with a win (John Hallett)
Richard Spedding finished a fine third overall in the Championship (John Hallett)
'End-of-term' photo with eight of the BHC top 10 (Tim Wilson)
MENZIES' HOME RUN
Event 16 at Doune on 17/09/2017
Wallace Menzies twice repelled the challenge from British champion elect Trevor Willis to score both run-off wins on his home hill at Doune. In a last-minute bid to beat the flying Gould-Cosworth, Willis's late charge nearly ended in the barriers at Junction as the OMS V8 snapped sideways under braking. He held on, but the run was blown and Menzies went on to carve over half a second off his winning time for the opening run-off to again set the outright pace on the day and secure the runner-up spot in the 2017 Championship, his best ever finish. After breaking a driveshaft during Sunday morning practice, Will Hall, although still plagued by his elusive intermittent misfire problem, brought home the Force-AER turbocar in the remaining podium spot each time. Having clinched the 2017 Hillclimb Leaders title with yet another 1600cc class win, Richard Spedding followed in the wheeltracks of the leading trio for two fourth place finishes in the Raptor.
Sean Gould had arrived at Doune at 3.00am on Saturday after a sterling effort to repair his 1600cc Gould-Suzuki after his Prescott shunt. But the car just wouldn't run properly during Saturday's practice, so he withdrew it and shared Paul Haimes' turbocharged version for the event proper. Gould qualified just behind his benefactor for the opening run-off, when he spun off on to the uneven infield at the notorious East Brae, removing a section of the car's floor. The pair had to continue without it but, undaunted, Haimes' sped to fifth place in each run-off, his best combined result in the car, while Gould recovered well to chase him home in the second shoot-out.
A fine run from Steve Marr, back in his own 1100cc PCD Saxon following an engine rebuild, rounded off the top six before lunch to hold off Jason Mourants's Gould-Judd. The Jerseyman got his own back in the afternoon as he edged the Scotsman out of seventh place, in the process moving up the Championship table to fifth place, a point clear of the absent Alex Summers. Eighth in the opening run-off after qualifying with his first ever sub-40sec ascent of Doune, Lee Griffiths and the OMS turbo dropped a place in the afternoon after Gould's recovery, but John Munro's qualification for the opening run-off had ensured that no less than five OMS cars were in the line-up. Unfortunately a technical glitch meant that Munro failed to make the startline, but both Harry Pick and Steve Owen, sharing Pick's ex.Willis 2000V, made the cut each time with Owen chasing his co-driver home for tenth place early on. It was Pick's turn to take the final point in the afternoon as Owen headed Kelvin Broad's Pilbeam MP101 for the last two placings.
Although Richard Spedding clinched the 2017 title at Doune, the next five placings in the parallel Hillclimb Leaders series are closely fought. Having only begun to score points at the July Harewood, with yet another class record in the remarkable Subaru Wagon, Steve Darley moved up from eighth place to second overall after Doune. Darley now narrowly leads Tim Elmer, Sean Gould, Allan McDonald and Eric Morrey, with the chasing quartet covered by just two points. The final outcome will be decided at next weekend's season finale at Loton Park.Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Doune
FTD: Wallace Menzies (3.3 Gould-Cosworth XD GR59) 36.05s
Championship run-off, round 31: 1 Menzies 36.57s; 2 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 36.90s; 3 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 37.53s; 4 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 37.69s; 5 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 38.41s; 6 Steve Marr (1.1 PCD Saxon-Suzuki) 39.83s; 7 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 40.42s; 8 Lee Griffiths (1.3t OMS-Suzuki 25) 40.47s; 9 Harry Pick (1.0 OMS-Suzuki 2000V) 40.74s; 10 Steve Owen (1.1 OMS-Suzuki 28) 41.50s; Sean Gould (1.6t Gould-Suzuki GR59) DNF; John Munro (1.6 OMS-Suzuki CF04) DNS.
Championship run-off round 32: 1 Menzies 36.05s; 2 Willis 36.81s; 3 Hall 37.10s; 4 Spedding 37.12s; 5 Haimes 37.77s; 6 Gould 38.17s; 7 Mourant 39.17s; 8 Marr 39.45s; 9 Griffiths 40.18s; 10 Pick 40.35s; 11 Owen 41.30s; 12 Kelvin Broad (1.3s Pilbeam-Suzuki MP101) 41.94s.
Championship positions after round 32: 1 Willis 226; 2 Menzies 199; 3 Spedding 172; 4 Hall 162; 5 Mourant 131; 6 Alex Summers 130; etc.
Wallace Menzies scored a double win with FTD on his home hill (John Crae)
Champion elect Trevor Willis could not match Menzies' pace (John Crae)
Richard Spedding launches the Raptor towards the Hillclimb Leaders title (John Crae)
Paul Haimes enjoyed his best weekend yet with the GR59 turbo (John Crae)
Event 15 at Prescott on 03/09/2017
Five years after his first title and with four rounds in hand, Trevor Willis finally regained the British Hillclimb Championship crown at Prescott. But it was Richard Spedding that set the outright pace on a wet and slippery day, winning both run-offs with, quite remarkably, identical times. Trevor's task was made a little easier when title rival Wallace Menzies' Gould-Cosworth spun to a halt at Pardon Hairpin during the morning run-off . As Spedding's tiny Raptor splashed through the spray to demote classmate Sean Gould to second place, Willis chased them home for third. 'I knew I could take the title in the afternoon by just finishing fifth, even if Wallace won,' said Trevor, 'so I had to make sure of it and drive accordingly. That was difficult as it's not my usual style!' In the end, Menzies finished second as Spedding charged to a second successive win, his fifth of the year, so fifth place for Willis was enough and it was mission accomplished.
'It's been a perfect season for me - I never expected five wins', said Spedding, whose first ever run-off victory had come only seven weeks earlier at Le Val des Terres. He also looks on course for his first Hillclimb Leaders title, particularly as main rival Sean Gould, after chasing him home in the opening run-off, crashed in qualifying for the second run-off. Sean escaped unhurt, but the Gould GR59 will need extensive repairs before the next round at Doune in a fortnight. Another first time winner in the Channel Islands in July, Jason Mourant has also gone from strength to strength since then. Fourth and third place run-off finishes at Prescott earned him the Moran Motorhomes Man of the Meeting award. Former Midland champion Robert Kenrick, following a tremendous spell of FTDs and class records in his 1-litre Raptor-BMW, registered late in the season, made his first British run-off appearance since 2008 and shadowed Mourant in each run-off and at the head of Q2. Another driver not seen in a British run-off for many years was Ray Rowan. As well as winning the big sports libre class, the 1989 hillclimb champion made the cut and twice finished in the points aboard his ex.Fidoe/Clifford Pilbeam-Hart MP43.
It was good to see Alex Summers walking through the paddock after his huge accident at Gurston the previous weekend and his spirits must have been buoyed to see his partner, Debbie Dunbar, not only make her British run-off debut by qualifying for both run-offs but amass six points in the Summers family's DJ Firehawk-Suzuki. In total four drivers from the ultra-competitive 1100cc racing class made the cut each time, Simon Fidoe scoring his first points of the year with two sixth places in the svelte Empire Wraith and Steve Owen adding five points to the two already earned at Loton and Shelsley in the works OMS-Suzuki.
With Gould out, in came Tina Hawkes for the second run-off. She finished just out of the points ahead of Paul Haimes who, courtesy of Menzies' spin, had earlier only just managed to squeeze the occasionally troublesome turbocharged GR59 on to the scoreboard, 'Purely down to the driver this time', he said, but in the afternoon he pushed that bit too hard, only to emulate Menzies' spin. Will Hall, too, had a difficult day with his Force-AER turbocar. He finished out of the points in the morning before just scraping into the second shoot-out and ending up with seventh place, all of which allowed the victorious Spedding to leapfrog him on the Championship table and regain his third place overall.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Prescott
FTD: Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 43.80s
Championship run-off, round 29: 1 Spedding 43.80s; 2 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 44.33s; 3 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 44.70; 4 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 45.35s; 5 Robert Kenrick (1.0 GWR Raptor-BMW) 45.62s; 6 Simon Fidoe (1.0 Empire Wraith-Suzuki) 45.65s; 7 Debbie Dunbar (1.1 DJ Firehawk-Suzuki) 46.26s; 8 Ray Rowan (2.8 Pilbeam-Hart MP43) 46.29s; 9 Steve Owen (1.1 OMS-Suzuki 28) 47.22s; 10 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 47.34s; 11 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 47.84s; Wallace Menzies (3.3 Gould-Cosworth XD GR59) DNF.
Championship run-off, round 30: 1 Spedding 43.80s; 2 Menzies 44.11; 3 Mourant 44.75s; 4 Kenrick 44.92s; 5 Willis 45.18s; 6 Fidoe 45.57s; 7 Hall 46.12s; 8 Owen 46.16s; 9 Dunbar 46.25s; 10 Rowan 46.69s; 11 Tina Hawkes (1.6 Force-Suzuki PC) 47.84s; Haimes DNF.
British Championship positions after round 30: 1 Willis 217pts; 2 Menzies 179; 3 Spedding 158; 4 Hall 146; 5 Alex Summers 130; 6 Mourant 123; etc.
Trevor Willis slides through Pardon Hairpin on his way to a second British title (John Hallett)
A superb performance by Richard Spedding netted his second double win of the season (John Hallett)
Top qualifier Jason Mourant was again on form with third and fourth place finishes (John Hallett)
Robert Kenrick shadowed Mourant each time on his return to British run-offs (John Hallett)
ANOTHER WIN FOR HALL
Event 14 at Gurston Down on 27/08/2017
In winning the opening run-off at Gurston Down, Will Hall took a second successive FTD and his fourth win of the season. 'I should have won the second one, too,' said the disappointed Midlander after an intermittent misfire had stemmed his pace through the ultra-fast Hollow Bend below the downhill start chute. The Force-AER turbo's engine picked up again and he was even able to match his earlier 150mph finish speed and salvage fourth place. Even quicker over the finish line was Wallace Menzies, clocking 160mph in successive run-offs aboard the GR59-Cosworth and winning the second one in a time just six hundredths outside Hall's FTD.
The top four placings were exactly reversed in successive run-offs, which meant that each of the quartet scored 17 points. Trevor Willis, with second and third placings respectively, thus maintained his 35-point advantage over Wallace Menzies at the top of the Championship table, but with dropped scores coming into play over the remaining six rounds the Scot could close in. In fact the series leader nearly threw his eight points away during the second run-off after a wild sideways moment in the middle of Karousel. 'I thought I saw something in the road coming into Hollow (at around 130mph) which put me off a bit,' said Trevor. 'Then I realised it was just a ball of grass and while I was kicking myself I went too fast into Karousel and nearly lost it!' The fourth driver to score 17 points was Jason Mourant. On a roll after his maiden win at Bouley Bay a month earlier, the Jerseyman had already set the overall fastest practice time before chasing Willis home for third place in the opening shoot-out. A fine second place in the closing one, half a second behind Menzies, moved his overall score into three figures. Seventh place overall on the Championship on his second season in the big Gould-Judd now looks secure.
It was 6.30pm before Menzies made his final bid for glory on the last run of the day, the late finish due mainly to delays following a huge accident when the unfortunate Alex Summers lost control of the Firestorm V6 exiting Hollow Bend and the car cart-wheeled up the right-hand bank at high speed. Sterling work by the marshals and rescue teams later drew applause from the shocked crowd, as did the sight of Alex walking, with assistance, to the ambulance. Injuries including a broken collarbone kept the 2015 British champion in hospital overnight but he was hoping to be released the following day.
A fine duel between Oliver Tomlin and Paul Haimes saw them swap fifth and sixth places in successive run-offs. Despite having scored in only eight run-offs this year Tomlin, eleventh on the BHC table in his big Pilbeam-Judd, is within sight of a coveted 'number' if he scores well in the remaining six rounds. Haimes was delighted with one of his best combined results in five years of campaining the often recalcitrant Gould-Suzuki turbocar, following the installation of a new clutch after Shelsley. Driving the only 1600cc bike-engined cars to make the cut, Sean Gould and Richard Spedding exchanged seventh and eleventh places in successive run-offs, Spedding's disappointment at being demoted to fourth place on the series table by Hall compounded as Gould had reversed the Raptor driver's early class lead to snatch victory by a hundredth!
After scoring his first British point at Shelsley after several years of trying, Tony Hunt scored two more with ninth place in the opening run-off. His Gould-Cosworth V8 co-driver Terry Graves got on the British scoreboard for the first time this season by finishing five hundredths ahead of him, going on to double his score by tying for eighth place with Kelvin Broad's supercharged Pilbeam-Suzuki. After dropping his own Gould-Cosworth off the cam at Karousel during qualifying and missing the cut, Championship co-sponsor Graham Wynn watched the run-off from the commentary box 'to pick up a few pointers!' before returning to the fray to bag the single point in the second bout.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Gurston Down
FTD: Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 26.01s
Championship run-off, round 27: 1 Hall 26.01s; 2 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 26.45s; 3 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 26.67s; 4 Wallace Menzies (3.3 Gould-Cosworth XD GR59) 26.73s; 5 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 27.62s; 6 Oliver Tomlin (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd EV MP97) 28.14s; 7 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 28.83s; 8 Terry Graves (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 28.91s; 9 Tony Hunt (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 28.96s; 10 Kelvin Broad (1.3s Pilbeam-Suzuki MP101) 28.97s; 11 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 29.05s; 12 Lee Griffiths (1.3t OMS-Suzuki 25) 38.63s.
Championship run-off, round 28: 1 Menzies 26.07s; 2 Mourant 26.62s; 3 Willis 26.63s; 4 Hall 27.07s; 5 Tomlin 27.61s; 6 Haimes 27.87s; 7 Gould 28.38s; 8= Broad and Graves 28.45s; 10 Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 28.50s; 11 Spedding 28.60s; 12 Hunt 29.38s.
British Championship positions after round 28: 1 Willis 205pts; 2 Menzies 170; 3 Hall 142; 4 Spedding 138; 5 Alex Summers 130; 6 Scott Moran 122; etc.
...and the latest on Alex Summers...
Back at home on the day following his accident, Alex sent out the following message:
'I just wanted to check in to say that I'm really grateful for all the support after my accident at Gurston Down. I'm feeling pretty lucky, all things considered, considering the speed. I've got a few broken/fractured bones, some cuts and some cracking bruises. Sorry if I don't respond to every message just yet!
I would like to thank everyone at Gurston for looking after me so well. It's nice to know we have such good marshals and crews on the hills for when things go wrong.
Big thanks, too, to the guys at DJ Racecars for building such a strong car. I am now home with my amazing family, who are keeping me positive and chirpy.'
Will Hall took a second successive FTD (Ian Beard)
Wallace Menzies maintained his Championship challenge with another run-off win (Ian Beard)
Another fine performance from Jason Mourant moved his score into three figures (Ian Beard)
Trevor Willis was well in touch during the Gurston power play (Ian Beard)
HALL SETS THE PACE
Event 13 at Shelsley Walsh on 13/08/2017
As Shelsley''s BHC 70th anniversary weekend moved into its second day, Saturday''s double winner Wallace Menzies narrowly failed to make it four wins in a row as Scott Moran snatched victory from the Scot by just two hundredths of a second. But in the second run-off, even the six-times champion had to accept defeat as Will Hall, after a problematic two days in the Force-AER turbo, finally set the best time of the weekend to beat him by over a quarter of a second and take his third win of the season. ''We had a few gearbox issues today,'' said Will, but it all came good in the end as we qualified top and took the win. I''m delighted!'' Menzies had to settle for third place in the afternoon. ''I suspect the engine was a bit flat,'' he said, a suspicion confirmed by onlookers.
Once again, a hard-trying Trevor Willis brought the OMS V8 home with third and fourth places behind the more powerful machinery, but even with Menzies closing the gap to 35 points, which could well narrow still further with the fast Gurston Down next on the agenda, with eight rounds still to run the 2012 champion is still on course for a second title.
Fifth each time in the V6 Firestorm, Alex Summers closed in on Richard Spedding on the points table. The Raptor driver inevitably dropped down the order during the Shelsley power play and may well suffer at Gurston in a fortnight for the same reason, but as his father Haydn said, to hold second overall for several rounds of the British Championship in a 1600cc bike-engined car was still quite an achievement. Classmate Sean Gould had the edge over Spedding throughout most of the Shelsley run-offs, although they swapped class wins over the two days with Gould now moving up to second overall in the parallel Hillclimb Leaders Championship, in which Spedding has a substantial lead. Gould kept his GR59 a couple of tenths clear of Spedding in the opening run-off, but after setting an identical time to the man who had led them both home in the morning, Jason Mourant in his Gould V8, Spedding eased his rival down to eighth place in the afternoon.
Ninth each time, Oliver Tomlin completed his seventh run-off appearance of the year in the 4-litre Pilbeam-Judd. Paul Haimes, still not entirely happy with the latest version of a modified oil tank in his turbocharged GR59-Suzuki, netted the single point for tenth before lunch, but lost out in the afternoon to Championship co-sponsor Graham Wynn.
Outside the main British Championship action, Robert Kenrick bagged yet another 1100cc class record in his Raptor-BMW, but the stand-out performance in the class runs came from Shelsley newcomer Steve Darley. Driving his potent Subaru Impreza Estate, the Harewood expert lowered the Roadgoing production car record on each one of his four competition runs over the weekend, leaving it at an impressive 29.68 - almost two seconds inside Mark Spencer''s previous record.
Off-track, the 70th anniversary celebrations were marked by the presence of 14 former British hillclimb champions, who took part in a cavalcade of iconic machinery during the lunch break.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Shelsley Walsh (Sunday)
FTD: Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 23.21s
Championship run-off, round 25: 1 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 23.42s; 2 Wallace Menzies (3.3 Gould-Cosworth XD GR59) 23.44s; 3 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 23.55s;4 Hall 23.86s; 5 Alex Summers (2.5 DJ Firestorm-Cosworth/Opel KF) 23.99s; 6 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 24.43s; 7 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 24.79s; 8 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 24.97s; 9 Oliver Tomlin (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd EV MP97) 25.47s;10 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 25.50s; 11 Tony Hunt (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 26.45s; 12 Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 26.78s.
Championship run-off, round 26: 1 Hall 23.21s; 2 Moran 23.50s; 3 Menzies 23.66s; 4 Willis 23.72s; 5 Summers 24.04s; 6= Spedding and Mourant 24.47s; 8 Gould 24.59s; 9 Tomlin 25.13s;10 Wynn 25.72s; 11 Haimes 26.48s; 12 Hunt 26.51s.
British Championship positions after round 26: 1 Willis 188pts; 2 Menzies 153; 3 Spedding 134; 4 Summers 130; 5 Hall 125; 6 Moran 122; etc.
Will Hall saved his best until the last run of the day (Paul Lawrence)
Scott Moran took career win no.156 in the morning run-off (Ian Beard)
Steve Darley lowered his class record on four consecutive runs (Paul Lawrence)
Lineup of 14 champions (Paul Lawrence)
HAT-TRICK FOR MENZIES
Event 12 at Shelsley Walsh on 12/08/2017
Crossing the finish line at a record 158mph, Wallace Menzies' GR59-Cosworth stormed Shelsley Walsh in a blast of sound and fury to secure both run-off wins and FTD on the first day of the classic hill's celebration of British hillclimbing's 70th anniversary. It marked a hat-trick of run-off wins for Menzies, the 17th win of his career and this season's second consecutive hat-trick, immediately following Richard Spedding's similar feat in the tiny, bike-powered GWR Raptor. Needing no warm-up period after missing the previous six rounds, Scott Moran finished just over a tenth behind the Scot in a typically immaculate display in his all-conquering GR61-X NME during the opening bout. Moran was edged out of the runner-up spot in the afternoon by Will Hall, whereupon the Force-AER's silencer packing promptly caught fire in the top paddock! That was still a better outcome than on his first run, when his front wing detached and he ran over it just before the finish line. Despite crossing the line at just 78mph, Hall still finished fifth behind an on-the limit Sean Gould, who kept his right foot buried despite clouting the bank hard between Kennel and Crossing. His fine fourth place turned out to be the best run-off performance of the weekend by a 1600cc car.
In amongst all this action, Championship leader Trevor Willis, knowing that he was on the back foot power-wise at Shelsley, put in a couple of characteristically stirring drives for third and fourth placings, enough to keep his points tally ticking over. Alex Summers failed to complete the first run-off after a circlip in a Tri-lobe driveshaft joint broke and he lost drive, but all was well in the afternoon and he edged out the flying Gould for fifth place. Resigned to losing his Championship runner-up spot to Menzies on Shelsley's power slopes, Richard Spedding gave it everything as ever but had to settle for seventh place behind Jason Mourant in the morning. He turned the tables later on, the little Raptor demoting the Jerseyman's Gould V8 by a tenth later on although with Summers back in the mix he still had to settle for seventh.
A fine drive by Tina Hawkes secured eighth place in the opening shoot-out, the Force-Suzuki driver exactly equalling the time set by Graham Wynn's Cosworth V8 powered Gould. Shelsley run-offs are not normally the domain of 1100cc cars, nevertheless Steve Owen took the final point in the opening shoot-out aboard his OMS-Suzuki 28. He was joined in the second run-off by Martin Jones' Force PT, although both finished out of the points. One wondered what the outcome would have been had Robert Kenrick been registered for the BHC, for his new class record in the 1-litre Raptor-Suzuki - which he would go on to lower the following day - would have qualified in eighth place ...
There can be few things more memorable in a hillclimb career than to secure your first ever British Championship points at Shelsley Walsh, and Tony Hunt did just that with tenth place in the opening shoot-out, having just failed to catch Graham Wynn for ninth and double his score.
Unfortunately, Kelvin Broad failed to score in the opening bout after his Pilbeam-Suzuki hit the bank at Top S, while British Top 10 runner Ed Hollier failed even to make the cut after a big accident at Crossing on the first timed runs. Fortunately Ed was unhurt, although his Empire Evo was badly damaged.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Shelsley Walsh (Saturday)
FTD: Wallace Menzies (3.3 Gould-Cosworth XD GR59) 23.69s
Championship run-off, round 23: 1 Menzies 23.69s; 2 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 23.80s; 3 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 24.03s; 4 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 24.78s;5 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 24.81s; 6 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 24.89s;7 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 25.19s; 8= Tina Hawkes (1.6 Force-Suzuki PC) and Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 27.03s; 10 Steve Owen (1.1 OMS-Suzuki 28) 27.23s; Kelvin Broad (1.3s Pilbeam-Suzuki MP101) DNF; Alex Summers (2.5 DJ Firestorm-Cosworth/Opel KF) DNF.
Championship run-off, round 24: 1 Menzies 23.77s; 2 Hall 23.83s; 3 Moran 24.01s; 4 Willis 24.22s; 5 Summers 24.51s; 6 Gould 24.87s; 7 Spedding 24.92s; 8 Mourant 25.02s; 9 Wynn 26.32s; 10 Tony Hunt (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 26.81s; 11= Martin Jones (1.1 Force-Suzuki PT) and Owen 27.14s.
British Championship positions after round 24: 1 Willis 173pts; 2 Menzies 136; 3 Spedding 126; 4 Summers 118; 5 Hall 108; 6 Moran 103; etc.
Two wins for Wallace Menzies made it three in a row for the GR59 Cosworth (Ian Beard)
Sean Gould's GR59-Suzuki was the top scoring 1600cc car in the run-offs (Paul Lawrence)
Championship leader Trevor Willis kept his points score ticking over (Paul Lawrence)
Robert Kenrick took the first of two weekend records for his Raptor-Suzuki (Paul Lawrence)
Event 11 at Wiscombe Park on 30/07/2017
On the penultimate run of the day, a delighted Wallace Menzies took FTD at Wiscombe Park and scored the first British championship victory for his Gould-Cosworth XD. Many had previously thought the car not perhaps ideal for the tortuous, tree-lined Devon hill and with the Scot only tying for fifth place with rapidly improving Jerseyman Jason Mourant in the opening run-off, had tipped joint record-holder Trevor Willis for the afternoon win. But the writing had been on the wall since Menzies had run second fastest to Willis in practice and Wallace finally backed up his earlier form, producing a superlative drive when it mattered on a road still slightly damp up in the woods after the previous day's rain. So after losing out to runner-up Alex Summers in the opening run-off by just two hundredths, Willis had to be content to run a couple of tenths behind the potent GR59 V8 for second place in the closing shoot-out. His championship lead, however, remains at a commanding 40 points.
In the first run-off it was Richard Spedding, the man chasing Willis on the championship table, who completed an amazing hat-trick of run-off victories, starting with his first ever win at Le Val des Terres a fortnight earlier and following it up with a second win the same day. So the Yorkshireman was on a roll and in the afternoon was on course for four in a row, having twice qualified his bike-engined Raptor in the top three at Wiscombe. But a paddleshift glitch coming into Sawbench in the second shoot-out left him momentarily without gears and he understeered into the bank on the exit, to the detriment of the car's nose and front wing. His earlier winning time proved good enough for second FTD, Spedding's zero score left him just two points ahead of Menzies on the championship table and with four rounds at the 'double-header' weekend on Shelsley's power slopes next on the agenda, the Gould driver will have his sights set on eliminating the deficit in the Teme Valley.
Joint Wiscombe hill record-holder with Willis, Will Hall completed a top four covered by a mere quarter-second before lunch. Pleased with the way his rebuilt AER turbo engine was performing since the car's reappearance at the July Harewood, his hundredth of a second improvement was enough to grab third place from Summers' Firehawk V6 in the final shoot-out while continuing to set unbeaten launch times in the Force. Spedding aside, Sean Gould was top 1600cc driver in the morning with seventh place, chased by local man Ed Hollier who had slid wide at Wis Corner just after the start. But the GR59's spin at Martini in the afternoon let the local driver's Empire-Suzuki through for sixth place ahead of Paul Haimes who enjoyed, for once, a trouble-free weekend in his often recalcitrant Gould-Suzuki turbocar and came away with a six point bonus!
Kelvin Broad doubled his number of BHC run-off appearances this year in his supercharged Pilbeam-Suzuki and exactly matched his Gurston result with tenth and eighth places each time. The only 1100cc runner to make the cut, Darren Gumbley finished just out of the points in the morning but added to his BHC total later with ninth place in the Force TA ahead of final scorer Lee Griffiths' OMS turbo, while Terry Graves qualified the big Gould-HB for his first run-off shot of the season although he failed to get his name on the scoresheets.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Wiscombe Park
FTD: Wallace Menzies (3.3 Gould-Cosworth XD GR59) 34.50s
Championship run-off, round 21: 1 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 34.66; 2 Alex Summers (2.5 DJ Firestorm-Cosworth/Opel KF) 34.79s; 3 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 34.81s; 4 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 34.92s; 5= Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) and Menzies 35.56s; 7 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 36.54s; 8 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 37.23s; 9 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 37.39s; 10 Kelvin Broad (1.3s Pilbeam-Suzuki MP101) 37.82s; 11 Darren Gumbley (1.0 Force-Suzuki TA) 38.01s; 12 Terry Graves (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 38.25s.
Championship run-off, round 22: 1 Menzies 34.50s; 2 Willis 34.71s; 3 Hall 34.91s; Summers 35.13s; 5 Mourant 35.66s; 6 Hollier 36.48s; 7 Haimes 36.56s; 8 Broad 37.48s; 9 Gumbley 37.50s; 10 Lee Griffiths (1.3t OMS-Suzuki 25) 38.71s; Gould DNF; Spedding DNF.
British Championship positions after round 22: 1 Willis 158pts; 2 Spedding 118; 3 Menzies 116; 4 Summers 112; 5 Hall 93; 6 Scott Moran 86; etc.
Wallace Menzies scored the GR59 V8's first victory
Richard Spedding made it a hat-trick of run-off wins at Wiscombe
Record-holder Trevor Willis was outgunned on one of his favourite hills
Will Hall is now getting consistent results in the re-engined Force-AER
MAIDEN WINS FOR MOURANT AND SPEDDING
Event 10 at Le Val Des Terres on 15/07/2017
The British Hillclimb Championship saw not one, but two first-time winners during this year's annual foray to the Channel Islands. Chased hard by Richard Spedding, Jason Mourant won the opening run-off at Bouley Bay in his ex.Lane Gould-Judd and nearly won the closing one too, denied a second win by a hundredth of a second at the hands of Will Hall in his Force-AER. Three days later, Mourant gave Le Val des Terres a miss and Spedding at last took that long-awaited outright win in his bike-engined GWR Raptor, going on to score an impressive double in the car as he held off local drivers Darren Warwick and Nick Saunders each time.
After finishing a best-ever third on his local hill last year, behind Trevor Willis and Scott Moran, Mourant was delighted to set FTD and become the first Jersey resident to win at Bouley since Tico Martini in 1962, saying 'I'm quite shocked, really, to win outright against this sort of opposition.' After trying for so long and coming close so many times in his Raptor, Spedding was equally elated with his wins on Guersey. 'It's a bit like buses,' he said. 'You wait so long for one and then two come along at once!' After fifth place in the opening Bouley round, Will Hall's problems with the troublesome Force-AER looked to be over when he took his second win of the season in the afternoon, but after consistently strong opposition at the Terres left him with sixth place early on, the car's gremlins struck again in Q2 when the engine cut and he coasted to a halt.
Hill record-holder Trevor Willis maintained his strong championship advantage with two third places on Jersey, and even after an indifferent showing at the Terres, the only BHC hill on which he's never won, he still has a healthy lead over Spedding - although after the Yorkshireman's fine performance on the more northerly island it was cut from 44 to 32 points.
Guernseymen Warwick and Saunders were no strangers to Channel Islands run-offs, in fact Warwick has won there twice before in his ex.Haimes Dallara-Vauxhall, but it was Saunders' first podium - and a double at that - in his Reynard-based Reynick-Suzuki and for occasional BHC contenders they did superbly well to head home the 'establishment' each time at the Terres. Apart from a poor finish out of the points in the opening Bouley run-off, Wallace Menzies duelled with Alex Summers throughout the two days. After swapping places in the top five on Guernsey they are still in contention in the championship top four, separated by just four points. Dave Uren ran fourth in the opening Bouley shoot-out then dropped to sixth, but a big accident on his first practice run at the Terres left the Gould-NME severely damaged although fortunately its driver escaped uninjured. In their on-going duel in the works GR59, Eynon Price got the better of Sean Gould each time in Jersey, but the tables were turned in Guernsey after the Welshman nudged the bank in qualifying for the first run-off. He recovered to qualify in the afternoon, closing to within 14 hundredths of his co-driver in the run-off.
Martin Jones and Darren Gumbley made the cut each time at the Terres with their Force TA, Jones just in the points each time and tying with his co-driver in the second shoot-out as they led home local driver Jackie Le Cheminant, the third member of the Guille family to compete in Guernsey run-offs, the others being her father Geoff and brother Chris, a former winner on the Island. The Guernsey-based Messurier brothers also made the run-off first time up in their self built Lemtech but failed to make the second one after an off by Paul in Q2.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Bouley Bay
FTD: Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 38.08s
Championship run-off, round 17: 1 Mourant 38.08s; 2 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 38.23s; 3 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 38.55s; 4 Dave Uren (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 38.99s; 5 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 39.15s; 6 Alex Summers (2.5 DJ Firestorm-Cosworth/Opel KF) 39.30s; 7 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 39.91s; 8 Darren Warwick (2.0 Dallara-Vauxhall F399) 40.33s; 9 Nick Saunders (1.6 Reynick-Suzuki) 40.39s; 10 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 40.44s; 11 Wallace Menzies (3.3 Gould-Cosworth XD GR59) 40.77s; 12 Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 41.18s.
Championship run-off, round 18: 1 Hall 38.45s; 2 Mourant 38.46s; 3 Willis 38.67s; 4 Spedding 38.72s; 5 Summers 38.75s; 6 Menzies 39.30s; 7 Uren 39.59s; 8 Warwick 39.60s; 9 Price 39.75s;10 Saunders 39.93s; 11 Gould 40.57s; 12 Wynn 41.10s.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Le Val des Terres
FTD: Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 27.28s
Championship run-off, round 19: 1 Spedding 27.43s; 2 Warwick 27.66s; 3 Saunders (27.85s; 4 Menzies 27.89s; 5 Summers 28.00s; 6 Hall 28.20s; 7 Willis 28.41s; 8 Gould 28.91s; 9 Paul Le Messurier (1.4 Lemtech-Suzuki) 29.59s; 10 Martin Jones (1.0 Force-Suzuki TA) 29.77s; 11 Ian Le Messurier (1.4 Lemtech-Suzuki) 29.85s; 12 Darren Gumbley (1.0 Force-Suzuki TA) 29.97s.
Championship run-off, round 20: 1 Spedding 27.28s; 2 Warwick 27.71s; 3 Saunders 28.08s; 4 Summers 28.25s; 5 Menzies 28.42s; 6 Willis 28.55s; 7 Gould 28.64s; 8 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 28.78s; 9 Lee Griffiths (1.3t OMS-Suzuki 25) 30.31s; 10= Jones and Gumbley 30.56s; 12 Jackie Le Cheminant (2.0 OMS Vauxhall CF04) 30.81s.
British Championship positions after round 20: 1 Willis 141pts; 2 Spedding 108; 3 Menzies 100; 4 Summers 96; 5 Moran 86; 6 Hall 78; etc.
Jason Mourant's maiden win was the first at Bouley by a Jersey resident for 55 years (Andrew Le Poidevin/ www.guernseymotorsport.com)
Will Hall took his second 2017 win by a hundredth of a second (Andrew Le Poidevin/ www.guernseymotorsport.com)
Richard Spedding broke his BHC duck with a double victory on Guernsey (Andrew Le Poidevin/ www.guernseymotorsport.com)
Second each time, Darren Warwick was once again Guernsey's top competitor (Andrew Le Poidevin/ www.guernseymotorsport.com)
WILLIS AND MORAN WIN BUT SPEDDING STARS
Event 8 at Harewood on 02/07/2017
The leading quartet were covered by less than half a second each time as Trevor Willis and Scott Moran traded run-off wins at Harewood. But the star of the show, on his home hill, was Richard Spedding. Again driving Les Mutch's Raptor (his own version had ingested a stray bolt to the detriment of its Suzuki engine), the Barnsley man not only qualified top for each of the two run-offs, but in the process set FTD in a time within four tenths of the outright hill record. 'To do that in a borrowed car, particularly as Les's Raptor, unlike mine, doesn't have launch control, is more than I could have hoped for', said Spedding.
Despite the closeness of the competition, both Willis and Moran were surprised that they couldn't find more time on a hill in which five class records were broken during the day. But although Moran moved back up into second place overall in the championship ahead of Wallace Menzies, whose 'off' in practice presaged a somewhat mediocre day for the Gould-Cosworth driver with just two mid-field finishes, this will only be temporary as Scott will miss the next six rounds in the Channel Islands and at Wiscombe Park. Meanwhile Trevor Willis, the hill record holder at both Bouley Bay and Wiscombe, continues to rack up the points. Moving into the second half of the season, his healthy championship lead over somewhat inconsistent opposition can only strengthen his bid for a second British title.
Alex Summers looks to be an increasing prospect for a good championship placing, but his challenge in the V6 Firestorm was blunted at Harewood when a fourth place finish in the opening shoot-out was followed by a suspension breakage in round two. Now ten points behind Menzies, he's tied for fourth place on the table with the ever-present Spedding.
Will Hall was back out at Harewood, the Force fitted with his spare AER engine, its cracked block suffered in his Shelsley accident in 2015 now repaired. An inexplicable intermittent power loss blighted his first run-off shot and he struggled home for tenth, but all was well later as he qualified top in Q2, level with Spedding, before finishing fifth, well in touch with the leaders. With the Gould's former owner Martin Groves on hand to dispense advice, Dave Uren's fourth and fifth places kept him in the championship top six ahead of Hall.
Apart from Spedding, and his co-driver Mutch in the second run-off, the only other 1600cc bike engined representative in the shoot-outs was Ed Hollier, eighth and tenth in an Empire reverted to 2016 spec as regards engine and suspension. The Gould/Price duo had been eliminated in practice after Sean had put the GR59 into the armco on the exit of Farmhouse.
Jason Mourant and Oliver Tomlin shared the advantage in their 4-litre V8 machines, the Jerseyman with the better time overall after a sixth place in the opening run-off. Still looking for his first British point, John Chacksfield was just out of luck in the opening shoot-out but in the afternoon bout, his time was disallowed after putting a wheel off limits over the finish line. Lee Griffiths qualified before lunch, but his OMS-Suzuki turbo objected to having to do it on a re-run and promptly boiled over, eliminating him from the run-off itself.
Although not a BHC contender, mention must be made of Robert Kenrick. Having set FTD at Saturday's Harewood Championship event, on Sunday the rapid Welshman obliterated Simon Fidoe's 1100cc racing record by over a second and a half, his 51.11 a time that would have qualified his 1-litre GWR Raptor-BMW mid-field for both run-offs, had he been registered.
(Rounds 13 and 14, scheduled for Barbon Manor the previous day, were cancelled due to a waterlogged paddock following recent heavy rain)
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Harewood
FTD: Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 49.19s
Championship run-off, round 15: 1 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 49.54s; 2 Spedding 49.74s; 3 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 49.82s; 4 Alex Summers (2.5 DJ Firestorm-Cosworth/Opel KF) 50.00s; 5 Wallace Menzies (3.3 Gould-Cosworth XD GR59) 50.46s; 6 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 50.70s; 7 Dave Uren (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 51.12s; 8 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 51.22s; 9 Oliver Tomlin (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd EV MP97) 51.53s; 10 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 52.23s; 11 John Chacksfield (1.3s OMS-Suzuki 28) 53.96s; Lee Griffiths (1.3t OMS-Suzuki 25) DNS.
Championship run-off, round 16: 1 Moran 49.88s; 2 Spedding 50.01s; 3 Willis 50.05s; 4 Uren 50.17s; 5 Hall 50.54s; 6 Menzies 51.03s; 7 Tomlin 51.19s; 8 Mourant 51.35s; 9 Les Mutch (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 52.14s; 10 Hollier 52.27s; Summers DNF; Chacksfield run disallowed.
Championship positions after round 16: 1 Willis 116pts; 2 Moran 86; 3 Menzies 82; 4= Spedding and Summers 72; 6 Uren 66; etc.
Driving Les Mutch's Raptor, Richard Spedding set the outright pace at Harewood (Jerry Sturman)
Trevor Willis extended his championship lead with another run-off win (Jerry Sturman)
'Occasional driver' Scott Moran added another win to his tally (Jerry Sturman)
Saturday winner Robert Kenrick blitzed the 1100cc record in his Raptor (Jerry Sturman)
THE GAME'S AFOOT
Event 6 at Doune on 18/06/2017
Just six weeks after breaking his foot in the Harewood paddock, Dave Uren was back on top form with FTD and the second British run-off victory of his hillclimb career at the Championship's most daunting venue, Doune. ' His bad foot meant he couldn't fully lift off!' joked his Tillicoultry Quarries team-mate Wallace Menzies. Nevertheless it was a fine weekend for the Redditch man who, with third place in the afternoon run-off, continued his move back into contention in a championship in which he lay second overall before his injury. Also moving up the series table is Alex Summers, who bagged two second place finishes in his increasingly effective and superbly handling DJ Firestorm-Cosworth V6. Just three points behind defending champ Scott Moran, who is giving the Doune rounds a miss in his abbreviated 2017 season, the man who took the 2015 title in Moran's Gould is emerging as a major contender this year.
With third place in the opening shoot-out and a win in the second one, Trevor Willis is still firmly in charge of this year's series. The challenge from his closest rival, Wallace Menzies, slightly lost momentum after a fifth place finish in the morning bout was followed by a harmless spin at the notorious East Bray in the afternoon, but as expected, the local hero moved past the absent Moran and into second overall on the championship table. Edging out Menzies in the pre-lunch run-off was last September's Doune winner Sean Gould, whose works GR59 was fastest of all in practice and had qualified second for the first run-off. But a crank sensor failure later sidelined the car for and neither Gould nor co-driver Eynon Price, ninth in the morning shoot-out, were able to qualify for round 12.
Richard Spedding's electrical problems returned and the Raptor-Suzuki driver shared Les Mutch's version for the third time this year. But even the Aberdonian's car was not immune to the odd electronic glitch and Spedding non-started round 11 due to a simple connector failure. The problem was fixed in time for Mutch to finish seventh, then in the afternoon a charged up Spedding bounced back for a competitive fourth place, just ahead of his benefactor. With double British sprint champion Stewart Robb wheeling out his faithful Pilbeam-Judd MP88 for a brace of sixth places, the strong Scottish presence in the run-offs continued as Ross Napier brought the ex.Uren Force-Suzuki turbo home eighth on his BHC debut in the car, although failing to complete his afternoon run. John Munro's OMS-Suzuki made up for a no-score in the morning by pipping Steve Marr's 1-litre PCD Saxon-Suzuki for ninth place in the afternoon.
After taking his Empire Evo-Suzuki to the final point before lunch, Ed Hollier pulled out over a second on Championship co-sponsor Graham Wynn's Gould V8 for seventh place in the closing run-off. Unfortunately Will Hall was missing after the Force-AER's engine failure at Loton and with long lead times on parts and rebuild, the May Harewood winner's reappearance looks like being seriously delayed. However the icing on the cake in the Uren camp was that Dave's co-driver Nicola Menzies took the Gould-NME to a new Doune Ladies' record.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Doune
FTD: Dave Uren (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 35.67s
Championship run-off, round 11: 1 Uren 35.67s; 2 Alex Summers (2.5 DJ Firestorm-Cosworth/Opel KF) 35.74s; 3 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 35.96s; 4 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 36.20s; 5 Wallace Menzies (3.3 Gould-Cosworth XD GR59) 36.33s; 6 Stewart Robb Sr (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd EV MP88) 37.80s; 7 Les Mutch (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 37.82s; 8 Ross Napier (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 38.04s; 9 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 38.35s; 10 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 38.45s; 11 John Munro (1.6 OMS-Suzuki CF04) 39.96s; Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) DNS.
Championship run-off, round 12: 1 Willis 35.96s; 2 Summers 36.36s; 3 Uren 37.09s; 4 Spedding 37.42s; 5 Mutch 37.77s; 6 Robb 37.82s; 7 Hollier 37.91s; 8 Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 38.09s; 9 Munro 39.42s; 10 Steve Marr (1.1 PCD Saxon-Suzuki) 42.65s; Menzies DNF; Napier DNS.
Championship positions after round 12: 1 Willis 98pts; 2 Menzies 71; 3 Scott Moran 68; 4 Summers 65; 5 Uren 55; 6 Spedding 54; etc.
Dave Uren bounced back after injury to take a second career win and FTD (John Crae)
Trevor Willis's run-off win kept him firmly in charge of the Championship (John Crae)
Alex Summers strengthened his bid with two second place finishes (John Crae)
Sprint ace Stewart Robb returned to his local hill scoring two mid-field placings (John Crae)
A GAME OF TWO HALVES
Event 5 at Loton Park on 11/06/2017
In a game of two distinct halves at Loton Park, the anticipated duel between Scott Moran and Trevor Willis in the opening run-off ended in favour of the six-time champion. When his long-time rival got the OMS V8 out of shape at the Shropshire hill's sting in the tail, Museum Bend. Moran swept to a half-second win and FTD. Alex Summers once again demonstrated the potential of his deft handling Firestorm V6 to take third place, just five hundredths behind Willis while a further three tenths behind, Wallace Menzies took a strong fourth in the Gould-Cosworth XD.
Richard Spedding, his Raptor now back on song following the electrical issues that dogged it at Harewood and Gurston, held off Jason Mourant's big Gould for fifth. Oliver Tomlin managed to keep the bike-engined Gould of Sean Gould and Eynon Price at bay to take seventh place, while 1100cc racing class winner Steve Owen brought his Suzuki powered works 28 home for the final point.
Under ominously darkening skies before the afternoon shoot-out, Graham Wynn was keen to beat the weather with his opening shot, but the Gould-HB's engine died on the run to the finish and in the long delay to push the big car up the hill and round the corner to the holding paddock, the drizzle began and the form book would be turned on its ear. Some measure of the subsequent track conditions can be gained from the fact that despite crossing the line with a dead engine, Wynn's time would still be good enough for third place...
Next up, Sean Gould was on a mission. 'I nearly threw it all away at Fallow,' said Sean. 'But the car's downforce is so good that despite the fact that it was wet from there to the finish I still managed a 48.' Two seconds quicker than Wynn's V8, the time would remain unbeaten and a delighted Sean would take the third win of his career. With the drizzle becoming heavier, Ed Hollier gave it everything in his Empire Evo, which had suffered wiring loom problems causing a retirement in the opening run-off, but he just failed to match Wynn's time. Successive big hitters followed, but none of them, not even Willis - who ended up a tardy ninth - could get on terms as track conditions became more unpredictable. Then with two cars to run, the sun came out and the dampness began to evaporate. Startline grip must have been good as both Moran and Menzies launched in 1.9sec, but even Moran could only manage a sub-50 for fifth place. Last to run, Menzies produced what was arguably the run of the day, hurling the Gould V8 up the still damp track in a 47, within a second of the time set by his car's constructor to snatch a fine second place from Wynn.
One driver who must have been pleased with sixth place in the afternoon was Dave Uren, returning in the Gould-NME after breaking his foot in the Harewood paddock five weeks earlier. Despite failing to qualify before lunch, finishing well in the points later on augurs well for the return to form of the man who, before his accident, lay second overall in the Championship.
At the other end of the scale, Harewood winner Will Hall continued his chequered year by skating off on his own oil at (ironically) Hall Bend after his Force's AER engine seized. A spare engine is, we understand, available but the team is faced with a lot of work in the four days before making the long trip to Doune next weekend.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Loton Park
FTD: Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 44.43s
Championship run-off, round 9: 1 Moran 44.43s; 2 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 44.98s; 3 Alex Summers (2.5 DJ Firestorm-Cosworth/Opel KF) 45.03s; 4 Wallace Menzies (3.3 Gould-Cosworth XD GR59) 45.31s; 5 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 45.79s; 6 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 46.36s; 7 Oliver Tomlin (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd EV MP97) 47.21s; 8 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 47.39s; 9 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 47.64s;10 Steve Owen (1.1 OMS-Suzuki 28) 48.45s; 11 Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 50.29s; Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) DNF.
Championship run-off, round 10: 1 Gould 46.30s; 2 Menzies 47.16s; 3 Wynn 48.48s; 4 Hollier 48.80s; 5 Moran 49.52s; 6 Dave Uren (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 52.31s; 7 Spedding 53.04s; 8 Summers 53.56s; 9 Willis 53.64s; 10 Mourant 53.86s; 11 Tomlin 64.23s; Lee Griffiths (1.3t OMS-Suzuki 25) DNS.
Championship positions after round 10: 1 Willis 80pts; 2 Moran 68; 3 Menzies 65; 4 Will Hall 50; 5= Spedding and Summers 47; etc.
Scott Moran set the outright pace on his home hill
Sean Gould took a third career win in a drizzle affected closing run-off
Wallace Menzies and the Gould-XD were on top form on the day's final run
Dave Uren made a brave comeback in the Gould-NME
WILLIS AND MORAN ON TOP AT GURSTON
Event 4 at Gurston Down on 28/05/2017
Trevor Willis stretched his lead on the British Championship table with another fine performance at Gurston Down, despite the fast Wiltshire hill not being regarded as ideal territory for the oft-quoted power deficiency of his nimble OMS-RPE compared to hillclimbing's 'big guns'. They certainly used all their ammunition in the opening shoot-out as the bigger V8s, joined by Alex Summers' increasingly rapid Firestorm V6, all chased hard, the top six finishers all running in the 26sec bracket and covered by just over six tenths of a second. But Willis found that extra nine hundredths to shade out perennial rival Scott Moran and set what would be the day's best time.
Still insistent that he would not be trying for a record seventh title and that in this, for him, abbreviated season he would be happy just to finish with a 'number' (currently second overall on the table, he could well achieve that with ease!), Moran displayed all his legendary skill to beat Willis by almost half a second in the closing run-off. The two drivers, this time the only ones in the 26sec bracket following a slight deterioration in track conditions due to earlier light rain, again led the way.
Chasing them home each time, his Gould-Cosworth XD clocking fastest-ever 150mph plus speeds through both Hollow Bend and over the finish, Wallace Menzies continued to demonstrate the potential of his new car as he narrowly held off the challenge from Will Hall's Force-AER turbo, The Midlander had a trouble-free weekend this time with two fourth places, narrowly hanging on to third place on the Championship table with a single point advantage over his Scots rival. Fifth and sixth each time, Summers and Jason Mourant in the ex.Lane Gould-Judd were chased in the morning by Oliver Tomlin's similarly powered Pilbeam MP97 and Graham Wynn's Gould HB, both of which failed to qualify in the afternoon's tricky qualifying conditions,.
Hard luck story of the weekend belonged to Richard Spedding who, after failing to complete a practice run on Saturday with a recurrence of his Raptor's electronic problems experienced at Harewood, once again borrowed Les Mutch's car to run the following day. But after finishing out of the points in the first run-off and failing to qualify for the second, the Yorkshireman slumped from second place to fifth on the series table. Scottish hillclimb champion Mutch qualified for the second shoot-outbut finished out of the points. Gurston expert and class winner Ed Hollier was the top 1600 performer in the run-offs, edging out Kelvin Broad's supercharged Pilbeam MP101 each time. Fewer V8s in the second stanza allowed classmates Sean Gould and Eynon Price a shot for points, with Price bagging the final one for tenth at the expense of Tina Hawkes in her Force PC. Sadly, Paul Haimes' first 2017 outing in the GR59 turbo was blighted with problems yet again, the engine cutting out on the exit of Karousel during the first run-off and again during qualifying for the second.
For full results, click here
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Gurston Down
FTD: Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 26.22s
Championship run-off, round 7: 1 Willis 26.22s; 2 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 26.31s; 3 Wallace Menzies (3.3 Gould-Cosworth XD GR59) 26.48; 4 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 26.72; 5 Alex Summers (2.5 DJ Firestorm-Cosworth/Opel KF) 26.74s; 6 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 26.88; 7 Oliver Tomlin (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd EV MP97) 27.80s; 8 Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 28.03s; 9 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 28.22s; 10 Kelvin Broad (1.3s Pilbeam-Suzuki MP101) 28.38s; 11 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 28.52s; Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) DNF.
Championship run-off, round 8: 1 Moran 26.42s; 2 Willis 26.84s; 3 Menzies 27.03s; 4 Hall 27.19s; 5 Summers 27.54s; 6 Mourant 27.81s; 7 Hollier 28.59s; 8 Broad 28.84s; 9 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 29.12s; 10 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 29.15s; 11 Tina Hawkes (1.6 Force-Suzuki PC) 29.58s; 12 Les Mutch (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki)29.91s.
Championship positions after round 8: 1 Willis 69pts; 2 Moran 52; 3 Hall 50; 4 Menzies 49; 5 Spedding 37; 6 Summers 36; etc.
Trevor Willis took his sixth British run-off win of the season (Eddie Walder)
Scott Moran moved into second place overall on the Championship table (Eddie Walder)
Wallace Menzies' Gould set the fastest ever Gurston trap speeds (Eddie Walder)
Will Hall hung on to third place on the series table (Eddie Walder)
Event 3 at Harewood on 07/05/2017
Championship leader Trevor Willis's unbeaten run ended at a bitterly cold Harewood. During qualifying for the opening run-off, he failed to make the cut when his OMS-RPE skated straight on under braking at Farmhouse Bend and ended up in the gravel trap. A delighted Will Hall took his place on the top step of the podium, ending a 2-year drought of wins in his turbocharged Force-AER. Fortunes were reversed in the even colder afternoon shootout. Willis made no mistakes to take his fifth win of the year and retain his healthy lead at the top of the Championship table while Hall, whose time for that opening win remained the fastest of the day, struggled with a turbo overboost for a lowly eighth place as well as collecting a plastic course marker in a frantic bid to make up for lost time at the Esses
'It was so cold I just couldn't keep any heat in the tyres' said Willis after his win. Indeed few matched their earlier times with the odd exception, notably Richard Spedding. The writing was on the wall when the Yorkshireman had qualified in second place early on, ahead of another 1600cc bike engined charger, southwesterner Ed Hollier. But in a tremendous second run-off charge Spedding finished second to Willis which, combined with his earlier fifth place, left him second overall on the series table. Even more remarkable was that he was sharing fellow Raptor owner Les Mutch's car after experiencing suspected electrical problems with his own version. His benefactor, the jovial Scottish hillclimb champion, was content to play second fiddle to the local ace on his first visit to Harewood with the car.
After qualifying the Firestorm-Cosworth V6 on top for the opening bout, Alex Summers demonstrated the potential of his new car by finishing third each time. Scott Moran edged out his former co-driver by just three hundredths before lunch, but the tables were turned in the afternoon when Summers pushed the defending champion back to fourth. After a half-spin out at Country corner during the opening shoot-out, Wallace Menzies recovered in the Gould-Cosworth XD to finish fifth in the afternoon, levelling on points with Moran for fourth on the table behind Hall. But in the face of all this poor Dave Uren slumped from a championship second place to sixth in his Gould NME, having been forced to withdraw from the event after a severe foot injury sustained in the paddock on Saturday. After running close in the opening run-off, Hollier and Jason Mourant failed to resume their duel in the afternoon although both left Harewood in a joint championship eighth place.
After a promising fourth place early on, Sean Gould slipped to seventh later, while the 'works' Gould's co-driver Eynon Price, down the order in the morning, failed to make the afternoon cut after spinning at Country in qualifying. Claiming the final point behind Price before lunch was British run-off debutant Harry Pick, in his extensively reworked version of an old Trevor Willis OMS chassis, now with 1100cc Suzuki power. Another British run-off first-timer, former Harewood Top Six champion John Chacksfield, failed to get on the scoreboard after visiting the Orchard gravel trap in his supercharged OMS. Seasoned campaigner Simon Fidoe, who had snatched the 1100 class win from Pick in the afternoon, took his place in the final shoot-out, but finished out of the points behind Graham Wynn's Gould V8.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Harewood
FTD: Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 50.48s
Championship run-off, round 5: 1 Hall 50.48s; 2 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 50.59s; 3 Alex Summers (2.5 DJ Firestorm-Cosworth/Opel KF) 50.62s; 4 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 50.90s; 5 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 51.70s; 6 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 52.16s; 7 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 52.49s; 8 Les Mutch (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 52.80s; 9 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 52.92s; 10 Harry Pick (1.0 OMS-Suzuki 2000V) 55.27s; Wallace Menzies (3.3 Gould-Cosworth XD GR59) DNF; John Chacksfield (1.3s OMS-Suzuki 28) DNF.
Championship run-off, round 6: 1 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 50.53s; 2 Spedding 50.77; 3 Summers 51.07s; 4 Moran 51.24s; 5 Menzies 51.51s; 6 Hollier 51.86s; 7 Gould 51.91s; 8 Hall 52.15s; 9 Mutch 52.58s; 10 Mourant 52.88s; 11 Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 53.39s; 12 Simon Fidoe (1.0 Empire Wraith-Suzuki) 53.74s.
Championship positions after round 6: 1 Willis 50pts; 2 Spedding 37; 3 Hall 36; 4= Menzies and Moran 33; 6 Dave Uren 32; etc.
Will Hall took his first British run-off win for two years (Jerry Sturman)
With just one successful run-off bid, Trevor Willis maintained his Championship lead (Jerry Sturman)
Alex Summers scored two third places with the new Firestorm V6 (Jerry Sturman)
Scott Moran returned to the fray at one of his favourite hills (Jerry Sturman)
TWO MORE FOR TREVOR
Event 2 at Craigantlet on 29/04/2017
A front wing breakage on the fast righthander before the finish line failed to deter Trevor Willis during the first run-off at Craigantlet's Belfast road course. The run was still quick enough for the win and FTD, and with a spare wing for the second shoot-out and a time only a hundredth slower, the Championship leader remains unbeaten this season. Now with 60 British run-off wins on his CV, Willis now tops five-times champion David Grace's tally to lie fifth overall on the all-time round winners' table. His nimble OMS V8, plus his superb car control, gave him up to a second advantage on the hill's twisty opening section. The power of Wallace Menzies' rapidly developing Gould-Cosworth told on the faster second half but he still had to settle for second place each time, although a move up to third overall on the series table was a good result after his second British outing in the new car. With Scott Moran giving the Ulster event a miss, up into second overall came this year's 'coming man' Dave Uren after two third place finishes in the Gould-NME. With the top four mirrored in each run-off, Will Hall was delighted with fourth each time in the sometimes recalcitrant Force-AER turbocar. Despite problems getting the sonorous machine to the line amid a fusillade of backfiring, the car was unbeaten on run-off launch times save for the amazing 4WD Mini Evo of the newly registered Allan McDonald. After a fire in the car early on filled the cockpit with smoke, the former Manx GP winner simply cut out the offending floor and carried on, only to be sidelined with engine problems during the second class runs.
After bringing his new Firestorm Cosworth V6 home an encouraging fifth in the opening run-off, a chafed through brake line spelt the end of his afternoon. His position was grabbed in run-off two by Craigantlet newcomer Jason Mourant, the Jerseyman having chased home the two 1600 bike engined cars of Richard Spedding and Ed Hollier to take eighth place in the opening bout. Spedding brought his Raptor into the top six each time, but dropped a place on the series table as Hall elbowed past. Another visiting the fast Ulster hill for the first time was Ed Hollier, the Westcounryman putting in a splendid performancemarred only by a failure to get his Empire Evo to the finish in the closing run-off.
Lee Griffiths' Force-Suzuki turbo closed in on Graham Wynn's big Gould-Cosworth V8 as they moved up the order in round two, when both Hollier and Darren Gumbley in his new 1-litre Force TA failed to finish. Nicola Menzies chased Griffiths home each time, scoring her first points in the Gould-NME shared with regular driving partner Dave Uren. History repeated itself as for the second year running, motoring scribe David Finlay made the British scoreboard at Craigantlet in a roadgoing saloon, hustling his massive 5-litre Lexus RC F press demonstrator to the top for the day's final point.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Craigantlet
FTD: Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28)
Championship run-off, round 3: 1 Willis 40.37s; 2 Wallace Menzies (3.3 Gould-Cosworth XD GR59) 40.77s; 3 Dave Uren (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 40.81s; 4 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 41.58s; 5 Alex Summers (2.5 DJ Firestorm-Cosworth/Opel KF) 42.58s; 6 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 42.79s; 7 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 43.28s; 8 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 43.34s; 9 Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 44.07s; 10 Lee Griffiths (1.3t OMS-Suzuki 25) 46.26s; 11 Nicola Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 46.42s; 12 Allan McDonald (2.4t Mini Evo) 49.97s.
Championship run-off, round 4: Willis 40.38s; 2 Wallace Menzies 40.72s; 3 Uren 41.96s; 4 Hall 42.30s; 5 Mourant 42.57s; 6 Spedding 43.06s; 7 Wynn 44.61s; 8 Griffiths 45.20s; 9 Nicola Menzies 47.47s; 10 David Finlay (5.0 Lexus RC F) 59.92s; Hollier DNF; Darren Gumbley (1.0 Force-Suzuki TA) DNF.
Championship positions after round 4: 1 Willis 40pts; 2 Uren 32; 3 Wallace Menzies 27; 4 Hall 23; 5 Spedding 22; 6 Scott Moran 17.
Trevor Willis remains unbeaten in 2017 (Tom Maxwell - Raceline Photography)
Wallace Menzies secured two runner-up placings in the new Gould (Tom Maxwell - Raceline Photography)
With two third places, Dave Uren moved up to second overall on the Championship table (Tom Maxwell - Raceline Photography)
Fourth each time, Will Hall was consistently on the pace with the Force-AER (Tom Maxwell - Raceline Photography)
WILLIS'S OPENING DOUBLE
Event 1 at Prescott on 23/04/2017
Trevor Willis got his 2017 British hillclimb campaign off to a flying start at Prescott with two straight run-off wins and FTD in his well-proven OMS-RPE V8. But the sensation of the year's opening run-off was Dave Uren. In his first British outing in the Gould GR55 that had served 4-times champ Martin Groves so well and which Wallace Menzies took to third place in last year's series, he closed to within seven hundredths of Willis in the opening run-off to shade out Scott Moran's all-conquering GR61X. Six times champion Moran redressed the balance in round two to chase home Willis and end the weekend in second place on the championship table, but Uren's fourth place in the afternoon, behind Will Hall's sonorous Force-AER turbocar, left him third overall after a promising start to the season. 'It's a big step up from my previous car' he admitted, having sold his successful Force turbo to Scot Ross Napier (who won with it at Doune the previous weekend), but this showing demonstrated Uren's potential for featuring at the sharp end of this year's series.
Although shaded out by fellow 1600cc charger Sean Gould during the class runs, Richard Spedding lived up to his fourth place overall on last year's table by ending the day in the same position after this year's season opener in the tiny Raptor-Suzuki. After finishing sixth behind Spedding and his own GR59 co-driver Eynon Price in the opening shoot-out, Gould blotted his copybook with an off in round two, to the detriment of his GR59's hi-tech front wing. 'At least I get the parts at cost!', joked the constructor. His latest model, in the hands of Wallace Menzies and equipped with a potent Cosworth XD V8, was steadily being dialled in by the Scot, who ended with a close-fought fifth place in the afternoon as he pipped Spedding by seven hundredths. With five 1600s in the run-off each time, Westcountryman Ed Hollier was the next highest scorer in his Empire Evo, getting into the points each time, while jovial Scot Les Mutch, who had the previous Saturday vanquished Menzies on their home hill at Doune, got his Raptor into the points in the opening run-off ahead of the Hall's then somewhat recalcitrant Force turbocar.
The other new car in the run-off, 2015 champion Alex Summers'ex.Menzies DJ Firestorm powered by a Cosworth/Opel V6, turned a wheel for the first time during Saturday's practice session. He qualified the car for both run-offs, finally getting on to the scoreboard with ninth place in round 2. He ran a mere eight hundredths behind Jason Mourant's ex.Roy Lane Gould-Judd GR55 as the Jerseyman opened his 2017 account, his first year with a 'number' on the car.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Prescott
FTD: Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 36.86s
Championship run-off, round 1: 1 Willis 37.01s;2 Dave Uren (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 37.08s; 3 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 37.17s; 4 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR-Suzuki Raptor) 37.26s; 5 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 38.21s; 6 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 38.26s; 7 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire-Suzuki 00 Evo) 38.38s; 8 Wallace Menzies (3.3 Gould-Cosworth XD GR59M) 38.47s; 9 Les Mutch (1.6 GWR Raptor -Suzuki) 38.66s;10 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 38.88s; 11 Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 38.99s; 12 Alex Summers (2.5 DJ Firestorm -Cosworth KF) 39.07s.
Championship run-off, round 2: 1 Willis 36.86s; 2 Moran 37.03s; 3 Hall 37.21s; 4 Uren 37.49s;5 Menzies 37.62s; 6 Spedding 37.75s; 7 Price 38.17s; 8 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 38.41s; 9 Summers 38.49s; 10 Hollier 38.72s; 11 Mutch 39.07s; Gould DNF.
Championship positions after round 2: 1 Willis 20pts; 2 Moran 17; 3 Uren 16; 4 Spedding 12; 5 Price 10; 6= Menzies and Hall 9; etc.
Trevor Willis opened his 2017 BHC campaign in the best possible way (Eddie Walder)
Dave Uren had a fine start to his first season in the Gould GR55B (Eddie Walder)
Richard Spedding ended the day with a top four position in his Raptor (Eddie Walder)
CLOSE FINISH AT LOTON FINALE
Event 17 at Loton Park on 25/09/2016
2016 British champion elect Scott Moran ended his sixth title year in style with the opening run-off win and FTD at Loton Park's series finale. But in a closing run-off in intermittent squally drizzle, and with the clock edging past 6.00pm, he had to settle for third place behind Will Hall and eventual winner Wallace Menzies in the closest battle of the year, which saw each of the top three separated by a hundredth of a second. Menzies and Hall had chased Moran home in the opening shoot-out, although at a somewhat greater distance, and while it was good to see Hall back on form in the troublesome Force-AER to record his best combined finish since Craigantlet at the start of the season, the top six overall championship positions, which he rounded off, remained unchanged.
His second place overall confirmed, a relatively modest six point total in Will Hall's Force ( his own car was not ready after the previous weekend's Doune upset) was immaterial to Trevor Willis. After two mid-field finishes in the GWR Raptor, Richard Spedding hung on to fourth place overall in the series, the best championship finish in the 'modern' era by a normally aspirated, pure motorcycle engined car. Despite chasing the three leaders home before lunch and finishing fifth in the afternoon, Dave Uren's points deficit in his Force turbo was too great to make up and he had to settle for fifth overall after what had been a challenging season for both drivers. Fifth early on, Sean Gould caught one of the short, sharp showers in the afternoon, but even ninth place would ensure he stayed clear of his GR59 co-driver Eynon Price despite the former rallyman, revelling in the damp conditions, edging out Uren for fourth place in the final run-off of the year. Crucially, this would be enough to overcome his closest championship rival, Ed Hollier, by a single point for eighth place on the series table. A big tailslide at Museum during the opening run-off could have cost the Westcountryman that vital two places; he finished ninth, three hundredths behind Oliver Tomlin's Pilbeam-Judd and just eight hundredths behind Spedding before blowing his chances of a comeback with a spin on his second qualifying run.
The duel for the final 'number' of the year between Jason Mourant and Alex Summers, who was again driving Graham Wynn's Gould-HB, ended in stalemate after the opening run-off when neither scored a point. So with just two points between them in Mourant's favour going into the final round, Summers needed to finish three places ahead of his rival. He finished seventh in the borrowed car but Mourant chased him home for eighth, so the outgoing champion will begin his 2017 season in his new V6 DJ Firestorm without a permanent number on the car. Mourant, on the other hand, will become the first Jerseyman to wear one.
In the class runs, Colin Satchell secured his second consecutive Hillclimb Leaders title, ahead of Uren and Spedding, in the best possible way with the day's only class record in his Peugeot 205.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Loton Park
FTD: Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 44.89s
Championship run-off, round 33: 1 Moran 44.89s; 2 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 45.05s; 3 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 45.74s; 4 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 46.09s; 5 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 46.47s; 6 Trevor Willis (2.0t Force-AER WH) 46.54s; 7 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 46.75s; 8 Oliver Tomlin (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd MP97) 46.80s; 9 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 46.83s; 10 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 46.86s; 11 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 47.75s; 12 Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 48.52s.
Championship run-off, round 34: 1 Menzies 46.44s; 2 Hall 46.45s; 3 Moran 46.46s; 4 Price 48.21s; 5 Uren 48.33s; 6 Spedding 48.69s; 7 Summers 49.46s; 8 Mourant 50.63s; 9 Gould 57.27s; 10 Willis 53.26s; 11 Tomlin 55.92s; Simon Marsh (1.3s DJ Firehawk-Suzuki) DNF.
Final British Championship positions: 1 Moran 271pts; 2 Willis 248; 3 Menzies 236; 4 Spedding 159; 5 Uren 148; 6 Hall 123; 7 Gould 103; 8 Price 89; 9 Hollier 88; 10 Mourant 70; etc.
Scott Moran ended his sixth title year with FTD at his home hill (Jerry Sturman)
Richard Spedding took a fine fourth overall in the 2016 Championship (Jerry Sturman)
Jason Mourant will wear a number 10 on his car next year (Jerry Sturman)
Colin Satchell secured a second consecutive Leaders title (Jerry Sturman)
Event 16 at Doune on 18/09/2016
To make a winning comeback after 28 years must be pretty rare in any sport, let alone motor sport. But Sean Gould did exactly that, winning the second British run-off at Doune and in a car of his own construction. It was his second ever run-off win, his first being at Fintray in 1988 driving the Gould 84G alongside his father, company founder David Gould.
The signs were there from the start. Sean had already set the outright pace in practice aboard his 1600cc bike engined GR59 ahead of the V8s of Trevor Willis and Wallace Menzies who, with new champion Scott Moran not making the Scottish trip, were now disputing second place overall in the series. In fact Willis put the eventual outcome beyond doubt with the win, ahead of his rival, in the opening run-off. His time would stand as FTD with Menzies, thus assured of a Championship third place, next up. Third FTD, with all three in the 36-second bracket, was Gould...
Light, intermittent drizzle made the second runs tricky and the 1600cc bike powered cars filled the top four qualifying places for the closing run-off. Gould recovered from a grassy moment at the notorious East Brae to qualify third with his co-driver, Eynon Price, qualifying top ahead of Southwestern ace Ed Hollier's Empire Evo. From a lowly seventh place qualifier Willis, true to form, was not about to slacken his pace even with his umpteenth Championship runner-up spot confirmed, but sliding wide after glancing off the inside barrier at the fast Oak Tree bend the OMS slid wide and hit the outside barrier, removing the front wing and damaging the offside wheels and suspension as it slid up the road. After a long delay (one of many during the day for similar reasons) Menzies was next to run. A timing glitch prompted an immediate re-run and although he was one of only two drivers to record a sub-40 run, albeit three seconds slower than his morning time, he couldn't approach the 38.07 set by the first car away which, with Price qualifying top, had been Gould. Neither could anyone else, so Sean took a famous victory. 'I knew this was a now or never situation,' he said, 'and the car, normally very stable, was sliding all the way up. I'm still surprised at the result, though!'
Over a second and a half behind Menzies, Dave Uren brought the Force turbo home in third place, some consolation after spinning out at East Brae during the morning run-off. It meant that he slipped a further five points behind Richard Spedding in their championship battle for fourth overall and fifteen points is an almost impossible deficit to overcome in the two remaining rounds at Loton. Spedding, sharing his GWR Raptor with constructor Graeme Wight Jr at Doune,was happy enough with fifth and fourth places in view of the problems they'd had. Despite qualifying fifth for the opening run-off, Wight declined to run as the car was overheating and when a cracked engine mounting was found at lunchtime, he sat out the afternoon runs as well to save the car for his co-driver.
In his own Raptor, Scottish champion Les Mutch ran half a second clear of Spedding in the first run-off and chased him home in the second. Likewise, Hollier kept the 1600cc flag flying with two mid-field placings while 1100cc class winner Steve Marr was in the points each time with the tiny PCD Saxon-Suzuki designed, like the Raptor, by former Team Lotus F1 man Martin Ogilvie. His classmate Steve Owen also bagged a couple of points in the afternoon aboard Harry Pick's 1-litre OMS, matching Lee Griffiths' morning performance in his much later, turbocharged model and Jason Mourant scored a point on his Doune debut with the 4-litre Gould-Judd.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Doune
FTD: Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 36.12s
Championship run-off, round 31: 1 Willis 36.12s; 2 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 36.17s; 3 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 36.80s; 4 Les Mutch (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 37.26s; 5 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 37.72s; 6 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 39.17s;7 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 39.23s; 8 Steve Marr (1.0 PCD Saxon-Suzuki) 39.59s; 9 Lee Griffiths (1.3s OMS-Suzuki 25) 40.32s; 10 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 41.02s; Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) DNF; Graeme Wight Jr (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) DNS.
Championship run-off, round 32: 1 Gould 38.07s; 2 Menzies 39.21s; 3 Uren 40.90s; 4 Spedding 41.91s; 5 Mutch 42.21s; 6 Hollier 42.34s; 7 Price 42.57s; 8 David Seaton (5.0 Pilbeam-BMW MP43) 45.82s; 9 Steve Owen (1.0 OMS-Suzuki 2000M) 46.02s; 10 Marr 46.14s; Willis DNF; Kelvin Broad (1.3s Pilbeam-Suzuki MP101) DNS.
Championship positions after round 32: 1 Scott Moran 266pts; 2 Willis 248; 3 Menzies 225; 4 Spedding 150; 5 Uren 135; 6 Will Hall 106; etc.
Sean Gould took his second British run-off win - 28 years after his first (Eddie Walder)
Trevor Willis's run-off win confirmed his Championship number two status (Eddie Walder)
Wallace Menzies - number three for the second year running (Eddie Walder)
Scotish champion Les Mutch chased the leaders home in the opening run-off (Eddie Walder)
Event 15 at Prescott on 04/09/2016
After reaching a personal milestone of 150 British hillclimb round wins in the opening run-off, an incredible 46 more than the next most prolific winner, his erstwhile friend and rival Martin Groves, Scott Moran went on to score a significant double win at Prescott. Significant, because with that second win the 40-year-old from Ludlow became only the second driver in hillclimb history to secure six British Championship titles, a tally only previously reached by the legendary Tony Marsh. 'The result was almost inevitable after this morning's run-off,' said his current rival Trevor Willis who had chased Moran hard all season, 'but we've had a great battle this weekend.'
'I saw the time that Trevor had set, two tenths quicker than my winning time this morning,' said Scott, 'and thought "I've got to beat that?"!' He did, by just six hundredths, to take the title in style although a second or third place would have done the job. He admitted that after his first run-off win at Harewood 13 years earlier, going on to take six titles was something he'd never envisaged.
The top three runners mirrored their championship standings in each run-off, so shadowing the two championship leaders all day was Wallace Menzies, spectacularly fast through Orchard after clocking the speed trap at 108mph. But with the title outcome decided, with four rounds remaining at Doune and Loton Park the hard-charging Scot could still deny Willis the series runner-up spot. The battle still rages for fourth overall, Richard Spedding and the incredible GWR Raptor hanging on to the position as he chased the three leaders home in the second run-off, as had his rival Dave Uren in the opening run-off. Apart from a drive chain breakage in practice, the Force turbocar driver enjoyed a relatively trouble-free weekend in the following an engine change after a cam chain had broken, with dire results, at Gurston the previous weekend. Just ten points behind Spedding and with neither dropping points, Uren's deficit, too, could be overcome in the remaining rounds. Another bonus for Uren was that after setting the pace among the forced induction 2-litres throughout during the class runs, he moved into the lead of the parallel Hillclimb Leaders Championship, a point clear of defending champion Colin Satchell.
Alex Summers' mount for the weekend was Graham Wynn's burly Gould-Cosworth V8, which he brought home seventh and fifth in consecutive run-offs and with Jason Mourant just bumped out of the points in the second run-off by Oliver Tomlin, he closed to within a point of his Jersey rival in their battle for the last 2016 'number'. Will Hall had a better weekend with the Force-AER, fifth and seventh places keeping him safely in the Championship top six ahead of a battle for seventh place on the table between 1600cc protagonists Sean Gould, Ed Hollier and Eynon Price. Points-wise, Gould came off best on the day as Hollier's opening run-off shot ended in a spin in the Esses due to a rear suspension breakage, fixed for the afternoon runs. But with a slightly different driving technique to his co-driver Gould, Price fell foul of the Prescott noise judges and was excluded from the second run-off results.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Prescott
FTD: Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 36.25s
Championship run-off round 29: 1 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 36.50s; 2 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 36.60s; 3 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 36.66s; 4 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 37.50s. 5 Will Hall (2.0 Force-AER WH) 37.71s; 6 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 37.84s; 7 Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 37.91s; 8 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 38.06s; 9 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 38.67s; 10 Lee Griffiths (1.3s OMS-Suzuki 25) 39.27s; 11 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 40.08s; Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) DNF.
Championship run-off round 30: Moran 36.25s; 2 Willis 36.31s; 3 Menzies 36.95s; 4 Spedding 37.19s; 5 Summers 37.36s; 6 Uren 37.37s; 7 Hall 37.57s; 8 Hollier 38.39s; 9 Gould 39.13s; 10 Oliver Tomlin (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd EV MP97) 39.23s; 11 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd GR55) 39.70s; Price NTR.
Championship positions after round 30: 1 Moran 266pts; 2 Willis 239; 3 Menzies 207; 4 Spedding 137; 5 Uren 127; 6 Hall 127; etc.
The 'big three' - Trevor Willis, Wallace Menzies and Scott Moran after Scott's sixth Championship victory (Eddie Walder)
Moran lifts a wheel out of the Esses on his way to the 2016 title (Ian Beard)
Trevor Willis fought hard, finishing just six hundredths adrift of Moran's FTD (Eddie Walder)
Wallace Menzies could still challenge Willis for the Championship runner-up spot (Eddie Walder)
TRIO AT THE TOP
Event 14 at Gurston Down on 28/08/2016
'We might as well not have bothered to come!' joked British hillclimbing's top three contenders in the paddock after a competitive day at Gurston Down. Locked in a day-long place swapping battle during the two Championship run-offs, all three had scored an identical eighteen points at close of play. A typically hard charging run by top qualifier Trevor Willis in the opening run-off, bagged the win from Wallace Menzies by almost a second to leave Scott Moran third, a further half-second back. In the closing shoot-out, in the best conditions on a day of unpredictable weather, Moran stormed back to take FTD with a two tenths win from Menzies. Willis ran a mere four hundredths behind in third place with all three in the 26-sec bracket. Keeping a watching brief in fourth place each time, Jason Mourant mirrored his Wiscombe Park result in the Gould-Judd, regaining his tenth place on the Championship table from the absent Alex Summers.
Gurston Down's power slopes tend to favour the more powerful machinery and so it proved again, but with intermittent drizzle affecting the qualifying runs, more of the smaller cars qualified for the opening run-off. Bernard Kevill, in particular, was delighted to get into his first ever British shoot-out with the 1-litre OMS-Suzuki 28. He'd led the 1100cc class after the first runs as an early 'double driver,' before rain blunted the pace of the rest in this typically huge class. Three of the rapid 1600s, Ed Hollier, Richard Spedding and Sean Gould made the morning cut but missing was a disappointed Eynon Price, who twice failed to make the cut. Gould finished out of the points suspecting that their Suzuki engine was past its best. Gurston ace Hollier set the pace in the class all day and chased the V8s home for fifth in the opening run-off, but was the only 1600 to get in during the afternoon's drier conditions, eventually grabbing the final point for tenth place.
The forced induction 2-litres, spearheaded by Dave Uren, were expected to make a significant impression. But a dire day for Uren saw him fail to make the morning cut, the Force turbo skating head-on into the Karousel barriers during qualifying to the detriment of the front wing and a wishbone. With the car repaired for the afternoon runs he qualified seventh, but a loud bang over Burke's Rise and a finish speed of only 44mph during the run-off signalled severe engine problems, although with no immediately apparent damage Dave was still scratching his head in the paddock afterwards... Paul Haimes was in the points each time despite intermittent gearchange problems with his Gould GR59 turbocar but it was left to the Marsh brothers to provide the major class representation. Both finished in the points each time, chasing home Oliver Tomlin's Pilbeam Judd for sixth and seventh places in the closing shoot-out. This, the hundredth British Championship run-off to be held at Gurston Down, was led by for a time by Simon Marsh from his brother Peter - entirely appropriate as their late father Tony had helped design the layout of the hill which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year.
Of the remaining V8s, Terry Graves made the afternoon cut in his Gould HB, while Graham Wynn was in the points each time in his similar car, wryly observing that he must surely have got the award for the highest finishing pensioner!
Full results here.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Gurston Down
FTD: Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 26.40s
Championship run-off, round 27: 1 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 27.86s; 2 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 28.03s; 3 Moran 28.51s; 4 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 28.74s; 5 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 29.27s; 6 Peter Marsh (1.3s DJ Firehawk-Suzuki) 29.66s; 7 Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 30.20s; 8 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 30.26s; 9 Simon Marsh (1.3s DJ Firehawk-Suzuki) 30.60s; 10 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 30.64s; 11 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 31.29s; 12 Bernard Kevill (1.0 OMS-Suzuki 25) 33.68s.
Championship run-off, round 28: 1 Moran 26.40s; 2 Menzies 26.60s; 3 Willis 26.64s; 4 Mourant 27.63s; 5 Oliver Tomlin (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd MP97) 27.84s; 6 Simon Marsh 28.18s; 7 Peter Marsh 28.27s; 8 Haimes 28.41s; 9 Wynn 28.51s; 10 Hollier 28.67s; 11 Terry Graves (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 29.80s; 12 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 31.10s.
Championship positions after round 28: 1 Moran 246pts; 2 Willis 221; 3 Menzies 191; 4 Spedding 127; 5 Uren 115; 6 Hall 96; etc.
Scott Moran took FTD and his fifteenth round win of the season (John Hayward)
Jason Mourant twice chased home the top three for the second time this year (John Hayward)
MORAN AND MENZIES SET SHELSLEY PACE
Event 13 at Shelsley Walsh on 21/08/2016
Highlight of the August Shelsley meeting was the battle for supremacy between Scott Moran and Wallace Menzies. Menzies finished a half second clear of the Championship leader in the opening run-off to set a time that would stand as FTD until the very last run of the day, when Moran snicked off a further three hundredths to win the second run-off and set the day's best time. 'I really had to dig deep for that one,' said Moran, 'especially as it was spitting with rain'. Light drizzle spattered drivers' visors throughout the second shoot-out, although times were unaffected as it immediately exaporated and the top four drivers were all in the 23-second bracket, as they had been in the earlier run-off held in sunshine. Barrelling through the Kink in a shower of sparks, Trevor Willis trailed the two leaders early on, but was edged out to fourth place in the afternoon by Dave Uren, the Wiscombe run-off winner delighted to set third FTD in the Force turbo which survived its second chain breakage of the season during the qualifying runs.
Will Hall was back on form with the Force-AER for fourth place in the opening run-off, but electronic problems struck yet again and he failed to make the afternoon cut after stalling the car after the start. 'We made the mistake of dropping the launch control by 400 revs to make it quicker off the line,' he said. Also charging up in a firework display of sparks, Alex Summers really enjoyed his first competitive outing in Mark Coley's Gould GR55, enthusing about the V6 engine which he will be eventually be using in his new DJ and finishing fifth each time as the quickest of the 24sec runners. That was enough for the defending champion to retrieve his tenth place on this year's table from Jason Mourant, the Jerseyman finishing eighth and sixth in his Gould-Judd.
Richard Spedding tried his utmost in the little Raptor-Suzuki, but despite being edged out to tenth in the morning shoot-out by Graham Wynn, ninth each time in the Gould-HB, the Yorkshireman got the better of class rival Sean Gould in the afternoon to snatch seventh place by seven hundredths, maintaining his fourth place on the series table ahead of Uren. Gould's co-driver Eynon Price had a fruitless day in their Gould-Suzuki, finishing out of the points each time, and the fourth 1600 racer to make the cut each time, Ed Hollier, fared little better. Just out of the points in the opening run-off, the Empire Evo driver stalled off the line with throttle electronics problems.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Shelsley Walsh
FTD: Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 23.03s
Championship run-off, round 25: 1 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 23.06s; 2 Moran 23.54s; 3 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 23.86s; 4 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 23.97s; 5 Alex Summers (2.5 Gould-Cosworth KF) 24.06s; 6 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 24.07s; 7 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 25.12s; 8 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 25.22s; 9 Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 25.27s; 10 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 25.35s; 11 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 25.49s; 12 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 25.75s.
Championship run-off, round 26: 1 Moran 23.03s; 2 Menzies 23.22s; 3 Uren 23.55s; 4 Willis 23.67s; 5 Summers 24.19s; 6 Mourant 24.90s; 7 Spedding 25.04s; 8 Gould 25.11s; 9 Wynn 25.76s; 10 Simon Marsh (1.3s DJ Firehawk-Suzuki) 25.82s;11 Price 25.96s; Hollier DNF.
Championship positions after round 26: 1 Moran 228pts; 2 Willis 203; 3 Menzies 173; 4 Spedding 124; 5 Uren 115; 6 Hall 96; etc.
Scott Moran extended his championship lead with a win at Shelsley (Derek Hibbert)
Wallace Menzies chased Moran hard, finishing just three hundredths adrift for second FTD (Derek Hibbert)
UREN'S MAIDEN WIN
Event 12 at Wiscombe Park on 31/07/2016
With Scott Moran missing his first British Championship event of the year, Wiscombe Park joint hill record-holder Trevor Willis knew that with two run-off wins at the Devon venue he could close to within a single point of series leader Moran's total. After setting the pace in practice, he qualified top for the opening shoot-out. In the run-off itself, he was well on course to achieve the first part of his ambition when in the fast, swerving dash up through the woods towards Sawbench hairpin, his OMS V8 snapped sideways and hit the bank. A front corner was torn off and Willis's motor sport was over for the day. 'It all felt perfectly under control and suddenly let go, said Trevor. 'After checking the damage I suspect the offside rear wheel broke up and pitched the car round.' His sole consolation was FTD, set during that opening qualifier, and with it Woolbridge MC's Sir Nick Williamson Trophy.
In a time just eight hundredths adrift of Willis's FTD, penultimate qualifier Wallace Menzies stormed the tight confines of Wiscombe Park to take his second run-off win of the year in the Gould-NME ahead of a close duel between Richard Spedding's tiny GWR Raptor and Dave Uren in the turbocharged Force-Suzuki. The battling trio were at it again in the second shoot-out but this time Uren, fired up after setting the top qualifying pace, saw his chance and with a brilliant drive that used every inch of Wiscombe's narrow, tree-lined tarmac ribbon, edged out Menzies by six hundredths to take a maiden British run-off win. 'I heard Wallace's split time over the PA, 'said Dave, 'and that spurred me on. I'm absolutely delighted to take my first win after a few problems this year.'
After coming so close at Harewood to his own first win, Spedding was disappointed to miss out once again, but with a second and a third, the Yorkshireman held on to fourth place on the series table, with Uren closing in to fifth as he leapfrogged the absent Will Hall. Fourth in each run-off, Jason Mourant had another good weekend in the white Gould-Judd and took over tenth place on the table from Alex Summers. The defending champion, confessing to 'just doing it for fun this year because I enjoy it', was happy enough with seventh and eighth run-off places and a another new class record in the much campaigned family DJ Firehawk 1100. Local man Ed Hollier chased the leaders home with fifth each time in the Empire Evo and Gould sparring partners Eynon Price and Sean Gould swapped sixth places, Eynon getting the edge in the second stanza after clouting the bank at Wis in the first one and scrabbling up for the final point.
Kelvin Broad scored the first British points for both himself and for the Pilbeam MP101 with ninth and tenth places while in his first British run-off appearance of the year, 1991 Leaders champion Mike Lee collected five points after scoring in each run-off. Unfortunately, despite climbing at record pace during the class runs, defending Leaders champ Colin Satchell was unable to retrieve his 2016 series lead from the absent Scott Moran since, as sole runner in his class, his potential score was drastically reduced.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Wiscombe Park
FTD: Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 34.06s
Championship run-off, round 23: 1 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 34.14s; 2 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 34.63s; 3 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 34.82s; 4 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 35.13s; 5 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 35.36s; 6 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 36.16s; 7 Alex Summers (1.1 DJ Firehawk-Suzuki) 36.39s; 8 Mike Lee (1.6 OMS-Suzuki 2000M) 36.58s; 9 Kelvin Broad (1.3s Pilbeam-Suzuki MP101) 37.01s; 10 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 37.48s; 11 Chris Guille (2.0 OMS-Vauxhall CF04) 37.52s; Willis DNF.
Championship run-off, round 24: 1 Uren 34.58s; 2 Menzies 34.64s; 3 Spedding 34.84s; 4 Mourant 35.19s; 5 Hollier 35.47s; 6 Price 35.68s; 7 Gould 36.11s; 8 Summers 36.28s; 9 Lee 37.21s; 10 Broad 37.25s; 11 Guille 37.26s; 12 Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 38.06s.
Championship positions after round 24: 1 Scott Moran 209pts; 2 Willis 188; 3 Menzies 154; 4 Spedding 119; 5 Uren 102; 6 Will Hall 89; etc.
Dave Uren scored the first British run-off win of his career (Eddie Walder)
Wallace Menzies took the opening run-off win at Wiscombe (Eddie Walder)
MORAN'S GUERNSEY DOUBLE
Event 11 at Le Val Des Terres on 16/07/2016
Championship leader Scott Moran was back on winning form at the second of the two Channel Islands events, making up for last year's rare indiscretion on Guernsey's Le Val des Terres coast road with two identical runs for FTD and victory in both run-offs. Local airport fireman Darren Warwick, who won the second run-off last year after finishing second to Moran earlier on, was on top form once again and shadowed Moran each time, both runs just over a tenth of a second adrift of the Gould V8 in his Dallara-Vauxhall. With only four rounds on the board, Warwick already lies eleventh on the Championship table but with a busy programme of other events this year, including continental hillclimbs, that standing will be at best temporary.
In dusty conditions after recent rain on the public road course, Jersey's record pace was unlikely to be matched on the adjacent island, but after a superb top qualifier for the opening shoot-out, Richard Spedding made the most of the conditions to run third ahead of Wallace Menzies. As the field closed up in the afternoon he had to settle for fifth but with Will Hall absent, after being called home on urgent family business, Spedding overtook the Midlander to leave the Channel Islands in fourth place on the series table.
Despite the closeness of the competition, with the top five covered by less than a second each time, Trevor Willis could not match his Jersey form and had to settle for fifth and third places, finally edging out Menzies by six hundredths of a second. Eynon Price and Dave Uren enjoyed a see-saw midfield scrap, with Uren getting the verdict by just two hundredths for seventh place in the second shoot-out where local man Nick Saunders, always quick on his home hill, had the legs of them both by a tenth. Once again aboard the Firehawk-Suzuki, Alex Summers kept a watching brief to bring his total Channel Islands haul to nine points and retain his tenth place on the table. After being out of luck on Jersey, Paul Haimes edged out Paul Le Messurier's Lemtech-Suzuki for ninth early on and brought the turbocharged GR59 home in the points each time.
Inevitably, Moran and Willis left the Islands way out front in the Championship. But with Scott not attending the Wiscombe Park rounds in a fortnight's time, most of his 21-point lead could evaporate if Trevor maintains his usual form at the Devonshire hill.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Le Val des Terres
FTD: Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 27.11s;
Championship run-off, round 21: 1 Moran 27.11s; 2 Darren Warwick (2.0 Dallara-Vauxhall F399) 27.24s; 3 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 27.55s; 4 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 27.91s; 5 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 28.10s; 6 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 28.21s; 7 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 28.52s; 8 Alex Summers (1.1 DJ Firehawk-Suzuki) 28.62s; 9 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 29.37s; 10 Paul Le Messurier (1.4 Lemtech-Suzuki DB03) 29.58s; 11 Chris Guille (2.0 OMS-Vauxhall CF04) 29.80s; 12 Nick Saunders (1.6 Reynick-Suzuki) DNF.
Championship run-off, round 22: 1 Moran 27.11s; 2 Warwick 27.28s; 3 Willis 27.72s; 4 Menzies 27.78s; 5 Spedding 27.97s; 6 Saunders 28.56s; 7 Uren 28.66s; 8 Price 28.68s; 9 Summers 29.13s; 10 Haimes 29.24s; 11 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 29.69s; 12 Guille 30.16s.
Championship positions after round 22: 1 Moran 209pts; 2 Willis 188; 3 Menzies 135; 4 Spedding 102; 5 Hall 89; 6 Uren 84; etc.
Scott Moran led the field throughout at Le Val des Terres (Eddie Walder)
WILLIS HEADS BOULEY RECORD ROUT
Event 10 at Bouley Bay on 14/07/2016
Trevor Willis blitzed the opposition at one of British Championship hillclimbing's oldest venues, Bouley Bay, winning both run-offs with a time well inside Wallace Menzies' 2013 hill record. In a superb demonstration by hillclimbing's top contenders the old record was bettered no less than five times, Menzies himself and Scott Moran both inside it as they chased the OMS V8 driver home in the opening run-off, while both Willis and Moran stormed the hairpin-strewn Jersey road course at similar pace in the final shoot-out ahead of local driver Jason Mourant, delighted with his best-ever British performance in the ex.Lane/Merrick/New Gould-Judd. But top honours had already gone to Willis, whose decisive obliteration of the old mark by well over a second had been established by the conclusion of the opening run-off.
Menzies' final bid to regain his record was blown as a rear wheel nudged the high brick wall on the inside of the first bend, Café, in the afternoon shootout. With a deflating tyre, his pace was severely compromised and he finished out of the points. Another fine performance by Harewood hero Richard Spedding saw his tiny GWR Raptor on the tail of the leading three V8s and heading rapid Channel Islander Darren Warwick in the opening stanza, although Warwick's ex.Haimes Dallara-Vauxhall went one better in the afternoon, as did Will Hall in the Force-AER turbocar, and Spedding had to settle for sixth place. Dave Uren brought the Force turbo home seventh in run-off one, ahead of Mourant who was not yet in his stride, but a mistake at the notorious Radio Hairpin second time up left Uren out of the points behind Menzies' stricken Gould.
Continuing his 'laid back' season, Alex Summers was out in the family Firehawk 1100, lowering the 14-year-old class record by over threequarters of a second and making the cut each time. Both run-off shots were well inside his new record and the reigning BHC champion just failed to match the 1600 Gould of Eynon Price, back after a 5-year Channel Island lay-off, for the final point in the morning. Eighth in the afternoon, Summers closed to within four hundredths of his Welsh adversary as they held off Guernseyman Nick Saunders' Reynick-Suzuki and Sean Gould, making his first Channel Island visit for almost 30 years.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Bouley Bay
FTD: Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 36.48s (outright hill record)
Championship run-off, round 19: 1 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 36.48s; 2 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 37.39s; 3 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 37.47s; 4 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 37.78s; 5 Darren Warwick (2.0 Dallara-Vauxhall F399) 38.05s; 6 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 38.48s; 7 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 39.10s; 8 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd GR55) 39.22s; 9 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 39.26s; 10 Alex Summers (1.1 DJ Firehawk-Suzuki) 39.32s; 11 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 39.75s; 12 Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 40.87s.
Championship run-off, round 20: 1 Willis 37.14s; 2 Moran 37.57s; 3 Mourant 38.54s; 4 Warwick 38.58s; 5 Hall 38.74s; 6 Spedding 38.95s; 7 Price 39.31s; 8 Summers 39.35s; 9 Nick Saunders (1.6 Reynick-Suzuki) 40.08s; 10 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 40.42s; 11 Menzies 41.71s; 12 Uren 49.54s.
Championship positions after round 20: 1 Moran 189pts; 2 Willis 174; 3 Menzies 121; 4 Hall 89; 5 Spedding 88; 6 Uren 76; etc.
Trevor Willis reigned supreme in Jersey (Eddie Walder)
MORAN'S LAST RUN RECORD
Event 9 at Harewood on 03/07/2016
In a dramatic start to the second half of the season, Scott Moran denied local ace Richard Spedding his first ever British run-off win with a new Harewood hill record on the final run of the day. A mere hundredth inside his own mark set last year, it was Moran's third hill record and his eleventh run-off win of the season. GWR Raptor driver Spedding was on top form all day on his home hill, qualifying and finishing third in the opening shoot-out and after qualifying a whisker astern of Moran for the second one, was disappointed to lose out when the final run by the 5-times champion snatched away a possible maiden victory. 'I'll get one of those winners stickers one day!' he grinned. 'I had to go for it after seeing Richard's time', said Moran, who had been watching the digital display coming to the line. 'I've never been so quick round Quarry,' he admitted, after all but losing the Gould-NME round the tightening, blind right-hander before the finish.
Trevor Willis's commitment round the fast, sweeping Farmhouse bend earned him the opening win ahead of Moran, but even the 2012 champion couldn't match the inspired Spedding's time in the second run-off. Wallace Menzies and Will Hall swapped fourth and fifth places, Force-AER driver Hall happy with his first trouble-free weekend of the year in the car (apart, that is, from his faux pas at Barbon the previous day!). But Dave Uren had a terrible day in the Force-Suzuki turbocar, a recurrent wiring fault preventing the car from crossing the finish line on any run attempted by Uren and his co-driver Nicola Menzies. His failure to score points meant that Dave dropped two places on the Championship table, overhauled by Hall and Spedding.
Halfway through a laid-back season, Alex Summers had a great weekend in Simon and Peter Marsh's supercharged Firehawk-Suzuki. A weekend's steady development by the reigning British champion, driving on his own, transformed the car. He took FTD at Saturday's club event, before bagging sixth place in each of the two run-offs on Sunday. 'The difference between now and Saturday morning is like night and day,' he said after Sunday's event. 'The car now handles better than my own Firehawk did.'
Sean Gould and Eynon Price continued their evenly matched struggle in the GR59, and while classmate Ed Hollier split the pair with his Empire Evo in round 17 and led them both in round 18, that final shoot-out saw Gould and Price set identical times for a share of eighth place, a fitting result to end the weekend. Plagued once more by problems with his GR59 turbocar, Paul Haimes was forced to sit out the opening shoot-out after qualifying twelfth, leaving Lee Griffiths to secure the final point ahead of Simon Fidoe's Empire Wraith. A partial fix enabled Haimes to grab the single point later in the day at the expense of Graham Wynn, Fidoe non-starting with brake problems that had dogged the car all weekend.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Harewood
FTD: Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 48.80s (outright hill record)
Championship run-off, round 17: 1 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 49.25s; 2 Moran 49.64s; 3 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 49.93s; 4 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 49.95s; 5 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 50.25s; 6 Alex Summers (1.3s DJ Firehawk-Suzuki) 50.59s; 7 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 51.09s; 8 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 51.12s; 9 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 53.11s; 10 Lee Griffiths (1.3t OMS-Suzuki 25) 53.68s; 11 Simon Fidoe (1.0 Empire Wraith-Suzuki) 54.66s; Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) DNS.
Championship run-off, round 18: 1 Moran 48.80s; 2 Spedding 49.58s; 3 Willis 49.95s; 4 Menzies 50.18s; 5 Hall 50.33s; 6 Summers 50.87s; 7 Hollier 50.97s; 8= Gould & Price 51.49s; 10 Haimes 51.79s; 11 Wynn 53.30s; Fidoe DNS.
British Championship positions after round 18: 1 Moran 170pts; 2 Willis 152; 3 Menzies 111; 4 Hall 78; 5 Spedding 76; 6 Uren 72; etc.
Scott Moran closed a dramatic second shoot-out with a new hill record (Eddie Walder)
Richard Spedding led the run-off until Moran's final run (Eddie Walder)
MORAN AND WILLIS AGAIN AT BARBON
Event 8 at Barbon Manor on 02/07/2016
On the most hectic weekend on the British hillclimb calendar, the trans-Pennine north country double at Barbon Manor and Harewood, Championship leaders Scott Moran and Trevor Willis traded wins on Saturday''s Barbon visit as intermittent rain swept across the Cumbrian fellside venue. Willis got the better of the weather to set FTD in first qualifying on a damp track, but in the wetter run-off, a big tailslide exiting Lafone hairpin, yards before the finish line, blunted his attack on Moran''s time set moments earlier and the series leader took the win by four hundredths. Behind the wheel at Barbon for the first time in 28 years, Sean Gould took a fine top qualifying place for the second shoot-out, with Moran settling for a cautious seventh place in the batting order. But Willis made no mistakes this time. Spectacular as ever in the OMS V8 through the fast Richmond left-hander, he took the win from Wallace Menzies, who had shadowed the two series front-runners in his Gould-NME in the opening run-off. Another fine drive from Gould, the top 1600 runner on the day, put the bike-engined GR59 in third place, while Moran''s GR61X was left in a safe fourth place, there being no need for heroics as his series lead over Willlis was still 16 points as they left for the following day''s Harewood meeting.
Will Hall bagged a useful fourth place in the opening run-off,but it all went wrong in the second qualifying session as with only intermediates on the back, he got a wheel on the grass at Crabtree just after the start and spun the Force-AER into the barrier, fortunately without damage although he''d scuppered his chances of a run-off place. With fifth and sixth place finishes, Dave Uren maintained his edge over Hall on the Championship table and co-driver Nicola Menzies also made the cut each time, but Ed Hollier got the better of the Force-Suzuki turbocar in the second, wetter, shoot-out after just failing to qualify his normally aspirated Empire Evo-Suzuki for the opening bout.
His PCD Saxon sidelined with engine problems, Steve Marr was sharing Richard Spedding''s GWR Raptor for the weekend, qualifying the car for the opening shoot-out. Eighth place left Spedding in the top six on the table despite neither driver making the cut second time up. Paul Haimes took a couple of low scoring places, the occasionally recalcitrant Gould-Suzuki turbo trouble-free at Barbon, while Eynon Price made sure that the ''works'' GR59, shared with Gould, was in the points each time although in the constantly changing conditions, even his wet weather prowess didn''t allow him to capitalise on his early third place qualifier. Championship co-sponsor Graham Wynn kept his burly Gould-HB V8 in the series top ten with two ninth places. In his first ever British run-off, Darren Gumbley finished just out of the points in Simon Fidoe''s 1000cc Empire Wraith, leaving his co-driver to bag the final point in the closing shoot-out.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Barbon Manor
FTD: Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 22.34s
Championship run-off, round 15: 1 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 23.69s; 2 Willis 23.75s; 3 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 24.18s; 4 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 24.32s; 5 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 24.64s; 6 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 24.73s; 7 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 24.86s; 8 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 25.30s; 9 Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 26.04s; 10 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 26.70s; 11 Nicola Menzies (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 27.74s; 12 Steve Marr (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 28.47s.
Championship run-off, round 16: 1 Willis 23.40s; 2 Wallace Menzies 23.64s; 3 Gould 23.69s; 4 Moran 24.00s; 5 Hollier 24.16s; 6 Uren 24.23s; 7 Price 24.82s; 8 Haimes 25.02s; 9 Wynn 25.29s; 10 Simon Fidoe (1.0 Empire Wraith-Suzuki) 26.38s; 11 Nicola Menzies 26.51s; 12 Darren Gumbley (1.0 Empire Wraith-Suzuki) 27.45s.
British Championship positions after round 16: 1 Moran 150pts; 2 Willis 134; 3 Menzies 98; 4 Uren 72; 5 Hall 65; 6 Spedding 59; etc.
Trevor Willis set the pace at a wet Barbon (Eddie Walder)
Sean Gould was outstanding on his first Barbon drive for 28 years (Eddie Walder)
SUNSHINE AND SHOWERS PROMPT DOUNE DRAMA
Event 7 at Doune on 19/06/2016
Rarely have two run-offs been as contrasting as those at the British Hillclimb Championship's first visit of the year to the daunting Carse of Cambus hill at Doune. In fine weather on Sunday morning it had all run according to the form book, with top qualifier and series leader Scott Moran taking the win from his 2016 'shadow' Trevor Willis. Cheered on by the crowd, local driver Wallace Menzies held off the increasing threat from Will Hall's sometimes troublesome Force-AER turbocar for fourth, while fifth place went to the first 1600cc racer home in a brave effort by constructor Sean Gould, who only a week earlier had missed the Loton Park rounds following a nasty hand injury sustained in an accident at work.
The afternoon run-off was very different. It was starting to rain as Gould's co-driver Eynon Price opened the action and running slicks on a now slippery track, he put four wheels off at the notorious East Brae. At unabated speed he pushed on to the top in the Gould-Suzuki, convinced that he'd blown the run. Next up, Simon Fidoe just failed to match the former rallyman's time in the little 1-litre Empire Wraith. But the next runner, John Mackenzie, was unfortunate to hit the barriers in his OMS-Suzuki. He was removed to hospital for a precautionary check and after a long delay for barrier repairs the run-off resumed in what was by this time heavy rain. With all runners now on full wets, none could match the times of Price and Fidoe and the Welsh former rallyman took the third wet-weather British run-off win of his career. Even a typically determined attack on the streaming wet tarmac by Willis could only net third place ahead of Menzies while with his healthy championship lead, Moran decided to err on the side of caution with a safe fifth place ahead of top 1600 runner Richard Spedding. Hall, though, was again out of luck, stalling the Force off the line in the wet and with all four wheels having crossed the line, recording a failed run.
Earlier, during the dry first runs, Steve Marr was pleased to qualify his PCD Saxon-Suzuki for the opening shoot-out, but disappointed to see his 1100cc class record blitzed by Alex Summers on another of his occasional 2016 drives, this time in the family DJ Firehawk. The defending champion's time qualified him eighth for the opening shoot-out, but crossing the line on his record-breaking run the car's gearbox cried enough and he was unable to take his place in the lineup. Marr's consolation prize was a double qualification and a subsequent four point total for the day. Another Scots ace, Les Mutch, brought his Raptor home sixth in the opening bout ahead of Dave Uren's Force. With seventh each time the Force turbo driver maintained his fourth place on the series table but, just three points behind, if Hall hadn't stalled out of the closing run-off things might have been different. The remaining runner, local driver Stewart Robb, made his annual British hillclimb appearance aboard his Pilbeam-Judd. He finished just in the points in the morning but decided not to run in the afternoon downpour.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Doune
FTD: Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 35.51s
Championship run-off, round 13: 1 Moran 35.51s; 2 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 35.99s; 3 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 36.59s; 4 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 36.91s; 5 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 36.97s; 6 Les Mutch (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 37.22s; 7 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 37.53s; 8 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 38.39s; 9 Steve Marr (1.0 PCD Saxon-Suzuki) 39.11s; 10 Stewart Robb (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd MP88) 39.17s; 11 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 39.93s; Alex Summers (1.0 DJ Firehawk-Suzuki) DNS.
Championship run-off, round 14: 1 Price 43.14s; 2 Simon Fidoe (1.0 Empire Wraith-Suzuki) 43.29s; 3 Willis 44.93s; 4 Menzies 45.10s; 5 Moran 45.53s; 6 Spedding 45.58s; 7 Uren 46.74s; 8 Gould 47.05s; 9 Marr 54.70s; John McKenzie (1.6 OMS-Suzuki 2000M) DNF; Hall DNF; Robb DNS.
British Championship positions after round 14: 1 Moran 133pts; 2 Willis 115; 3 Menzies 81; 4 Uren 61; 5 Hall 58; 6 Spedding 56; etc.
Eynon Price took a career third British run-off win (Eddie Walder)
A record-breaking Alex Summers was forced to retire from the opening run-off (Eddie Walder)
TWO FOR TREVOR
Event 6 at Loton Park on 12/06/2016
On a day of treacherous track conditions, Trevor Willis's opening run-off win from a lowly sixth place qualifier was not entirely unexpected as the determined OMS V8 driver got to grips with a sinuous, slippery Loton Park. His main rival, Championship leader Scott Moran, failed by just two tenths to get on terms. The skies miraculously cleared for the second shoot-out when, in late afternoon sunshine and on an almost dry track, virtually every run was a new FTD. But once penultimate runner Willis had taken his run to top the charts, that was where it rested. Once again Moran failed to match his time, this time by just fifteen hundredths, and Willis had taken his first double win of the season. 'I realised I should be quicker round the bottom part of the hill,' said Trevor. 'I've been there so many times when Scott's just done enough on the last run so I had to set him a target!' Close at hand each time, Will Hall and Wallace Menzies swapped third and fourth places as they continued their Championship recovery with Hall's 1G launch matching Moran's as the best of the day. In between them on the series table, Dave Uren had a mediocre day with 8th and 7th in the turbocharged, bike-engined Force and now lies only two points ahead of Hall's 2-litre AER powered version.
Once again the 1600s showed well against the bigger cars, class winner Richard Spedding qualifying fourth and finishing fifth ahead of rival Eynon Price in the slippery morning runs, although as conditions improved for the final shoot-out, the press-on style of former rally man Price, whose driving partner Sean Gould was absent due to a hand injury, paid off as he reversed their positions. Ed Hollier, the third member of the leading 1600 trio, had to settle for exchanging finishing positions with Uren. Although his supercharged Force failed to make the cut in the afternoon, Lee Griffiths claimed the scalp of fifth fastest qualifier and eventual class winner Paul Haimes for ninth place in the morning. In the afternoon run-off's much improved conditions, Haimes' attempt at improving on his disappointing single point score for the day came to an end when the Gould turbo spun out, damaging the aerotunnel.
After finishing just out of the points in the morning, Jason Mourant's ninth place qualifier in the afternoon came to an untimely end when he lost control of the Gould-Judd after the finish line, hitting the tyre barrier to the detriment of the car's front end. So with one retirement and one spinner in the second run-off, everyone else would score. After finishing out of the points in the opening shoot-out, Championship co-sponsor Graham Wynn bagged ninth place in his Gould-Cosworth, but none was more delighted than Martin Jones. After a surprise win in what has become the biggest and most hotly contested class of the day, for 1100cc racers, against traditionally stiff opposition, Jones not only qualified for what was only his second ever British Championship run-off but also scored his first point.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Loton Park
FTD: Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 46.15s
Championship run-off, round 11: 1 Willis 51.94s; 2 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 52.15s; 3 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 52.33s; 4 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 52.66s; 5 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 52.69s; 6 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 53.81s; 7 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 54.14s; 8 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 56.05s; 9 Lee Griffiths (1.3t OMS-Suzuki 25) 56.13s; 10 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 56.76s; 11 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 57.05s; 12 Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 57.07s.
Championship run-off, round 12: 1 Willis 46.15s; 2 Moran 46.30s; 3 Menzies 47.11s; 4 Hall 47.84s; 5 Price 48.32s; 6 Spedding 48.49s; 7 Uren 50.24s; 8 Hollier 50.58s; 9 Wynn 53.35s; 10 Martin Jones (1.0 Force-Suzuki PT) 56.01s; Haimes DNF; Mourant DNS.
British Championship positions after round 12: 1 Moran 117pts; 2 Willis 98; 3 Menzies 66; 4 Uren 53; 5 Hall 51; 6 Spedding 48; etc.
Trevor Willis scored his first double win of the year at Loton (Jerry Sturman)
Championship leader Scott Moran had to settle for the runner-up spot each time (Jerry Sturman)
TWO MORE FOR MORAN
Event 5 at Shelsley Walsh on 05/06/2016
Scott Moran continued his march towards a potential sixth British title with another double win, this time at a scorching Shelsley, to bring his win total this season to eight. But with Trevor Willis shadowing him, as ever, at arms length another threat is beginning to emerge in the shape of Wallace Menzies. Back on top form with the re-engined Gould-NME, the Scot chased Moran home each time, putting pressure on him in the closing run-off by taking the lead with the day's best time so far. Moran responded in typical fashion on the last run of the day, another inch-perfect ascent on Shelsley's power slopes taking the win and FTD by seventeen hundredths. 'You've got to get the points while you can!' he said afterwards, fully aware of the mounting challenge from Menzies. After qualifying top for the morning shoot-out with third FTD, Willis got the OMS V8 well out of shape in the Esses and had to settle for third place. With the top three all finding more time in the afternoon the finishing order was the same, but Willis still holds a strong second overall on the table.
Dave Uren shaded out Will Hall by a hundredth before lunch to trail the leading trio, but with his Force-AER now apparently problem-free and, as at Gurston, topping the charts on outright speed with 147mph over the line, it was Hall's turn to chase the leaders in the second run-off. Despite qualifying fourth, Uren suffered another cruel blow when Force turbo's engine expired and he failed to make the startline, losing his third place on the Championship table to Menzies as a consequence.
After qualifying fifth for the opening run-off, a gearbox electronic glitch selected sixth out of Kennel in the opening run-off and Paul Haimes had to settle for tenth place, edging Lee Griffiths out of the points. But there were no such problems in the afternoon and he was happy with a strong fifth place aboard a Gould-Suzuki turbocar which at last seems to be realising its potential. Four 1600cc runners made the cut each time, class winner Ed Hollier nailing the Empire Evo to set the outright pace from Sean Gould by a couple of hundredths, although it was Richard Spedding who managed the biggest points haul with eight, one more than Eynon Price, which moved him back up to fifth on the series table. After heading the battling quartet in the opening run-off, Gould's challenge was blown in the final shoot-out after brushing the right-hand bank exiting the ultra high speed Kink. He made a miraculous recovery and pressed on, but finished out of the points. After clouting the bank at Top Ess in the morning and also dropping out of contention, Graham Wynn recovered to bring the Gould-HB home seventh in the afternoon ahead of Simon Marsh, who scored the first British points for his supercharged Force-Suzuki.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Shelsley Walsh
FTD: Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 23.26s
Championship run-off, round 9: 1 Moran 23.25s; 2 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 23.53s; 3 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 23.78s; 4 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 24.03s; 5 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 24.04s; 6 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 25.26s; 7 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 25.29s; 8 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 25.48s; 9 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 25.59s; 10 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 25.65s; 11 Lee Griffiths (1.3t OMS-Suzuki 25) 26.40s; 12 Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 26.43s.
Championship run-off, round 10: 1 Moran 23.26s; 2 Menzies 23.43s; 3 Willis 23.71s; 4 Hall 24.53s; 5 Haimes 24.89s; 6 Spedding 25.15s; 7 Wynn 25.52s; 8 Price 25.57s; 9 Hollier 25.60s; 10 Simon Marsh (1.3s DJ Firehawk-Suzuki) 26.02s; 11 Gould 29.96s; 12 Uren DNS.
British Championship positions after round 10: 1 Moran 99pts; 2 Willis 78; 3 Menzies 51; 4 Uren 46; 5 Spedding 37; 6 Hall 36; etc.
After two runner-up finishes at Shelsley, Wallace Menzies is charging back up the British Championship table (Derek Hibbert)
Will Hall is also making up for lost time in the Force-AER (Derek Hibbert)
THE SCOTT AND TREVOR SHOW
Event 4 at Gurston Down on 29/05/2016
With both drivers already firmly in charge in the British Championship standings, Scott Moran and Trevor Willis traded run-off wins at Gurston Down, where Moran had the last word takng the win and FTD in the closing shoot-out. In the opener, with both on identical times to the mid-way split at Karousel, Willis nullified Moran's power advantage on the fast upper reaches with a committed attack on the hill's twisty centre section to grab the win by seven hundredths. 'I thought I'd left the door open for him,' said Moran after winning the second bout by fifteen hundredths, 'but he didn't go through it!'
Having missed four rounds after his engine failure at Craigantlet, Wallace Menzies was back and on top form with a new Nicholson McLaren V8 to chase the two leaders home each time, moving back into contention with fourth place on the Championship table behind Dave Uren. The Force turbocar driver charged up the order despite a difficult weekend which had seen two chain breakages, the first in practice with the car in the hands of his co-driver Nicola Menzies - who went on to score for the third time this year with eighth place in the closing shoot-out - the second coming as Uren launched the car for the second run-off. Sterling work by Ian Dayson saw a new chain fitted in record time and Uren was able to take his run and complete a pair of fourth place finishes.
After a strong fifth place in the morning, just half a second behind the winner after a phenomenal Hollow Bend trap speed of almost 140mph, Will Hall, like Menzies, looked set to bounce back into Championship contention. But his tale of woe continued as the Force-AER locked up and speared the Ashes barrier head-on during second qualifying. Fortunately the damage appeared minimal but Hall's chance of a run-off place had gone. After another class win in the bike engined Empire Evo, Ed Hollier hung on to his fifth place on the British Championship table with a couple of mid-field finishes. In the top six each time, Jason Mourant figured well on only his second British outing in the ex.New Gould-Judd V8, while Paul Haimes was delighted with two points-scoring finishes in the previously recalcitrant Gould-Suzuki turbocar. After being eased out of the opening shoot-out by co-driver Sean Gould, Eynon Price turned the tables in the afternoon to bump Gould out of the points, levelling on ninth equal place with Graham Wynn who was now back in his GR55 V8 with replacement gearbox parts courtesy of Tony Wiltshire.
After electrical problems had stymied their bid for points in the opening run-off, Peter and Simon Marsh had to retire their supercharged Firehawk-Suzuki. This allowed Kelvin Broad, aboard the ex.Mike Tregoning Pilbeam-Suzuki 101, to make the afternoon cut on his debut in the car.
Full results here.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Gurston Down
FTD: Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 26.10s
Championship run-off, round 7: 1 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 26.12s; 2 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 26.19s; 3 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 26.50s: 4 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 26.54s; 5 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 26.63s; 6 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 27.84s; 7 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 28.41s; 8 Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 28.47s; 9 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 28.82s; 10 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 28.87s; 11 Peter Marsh (1.3s DJ Firehawk-Suzuki) 32.36s; 12 Simon Marsh (1.3s DJ Firehawk-Suzuki) 37.80s.
Championship run-off, round 8: 1 Moran 26.10s; 2 Willis 26.25s; 3 Wallace Menzies 26.73s; 4 Uren 27.05s; 5 Mourant 28.17s; 6 Hollier 28.62s; 7 Haimes 28.65s; 8 Nicola Menzies (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 28.80s; 9= Wynn and Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 29.02s; 11 Gould 29.40s; 12 Kelvin Broad (1.3s Pilbeam-Suzuki MP101) 30.60s.
Championship positions after round 8: 1 Moran 79pts; 2 Willis 62; 3 Uren 39; 4 Wallace Menzies 33; 5 Hollier 30; 6 Richard Spedding 29; etc.
Wallace Menzies was back in contention with the re-engined Gould (John Hayward)
Dave Uren survived two chain breakages to move up to third place on the Championship table (John Hayward)
MORAN MAKES IT FIVE
Event 3 at Harewood on 08/05/2016
Scott Moran continued his winning streak at Harewood to make it five straight British Hillclimb run-off wins in a row, stretching his Championship lead over Trevor Willis to 17 points. 'I had to make him work for it!' said Willis after fighting back in the closing run-off, when he'd hurled the OMS V8 up on the penultimate run of the day to set the outright pace so far. But Moran effortlessly snicked a further eleven hundredths off his new target for yet another win by the most successful car/driver combination in the sport.
As Moran and Willis stretch their advantage in the title chase, their pursuers appear to be wilting under the strain. Although present at Harewood, Wallace Menzies was temporarily without a car as his engine problems at Craigantlet the previous weekend had proved terminal, although a replacement unit is a possibility. Perhaps the leading duo's greatest threat, he slipped down the table to equal seventh equal alongside Will Hall, another potential challenger who left Harewood with a zero score on the day. After a superb showing at Craigantlet where he'd put Moran under severe pressure, Hall's turbocharged Force-AER suffered an identical re-run of the throttle electronics problems at Prescott and slowed to a halt in the opening run-off and second qualifying. Dave Uren was the third top contender who'd made a fruitless trip to Yorkshire. He set a fine qualfying time in the morning, only to have it disallowed for exceeding the course limits at the notorious Quarry exit before the finish. An attempt to make amends in the afternoon failed when the turbo Force-Suzuki stuttered to a halt during second qualifying.
All this opened the doors for the smaller racing cars, particularly in the 1600cc class, whose drivers had a field day. After qualifying third for the opening shoot-out in his GWR Raptor-Suzuki, Richard Spedding even managed to topple Willis in the run-off itself for a career-best second place. Later, with a run at class-record-breaking pace in the second stanza, he chased Moran and Willis home for a fine third place in his GWR Raptor-Suzuki, delighted to move into third overall on the series table. Spedding's guest driver for the weekend, flying Scot Steve Marr, also got the car in the points in the afternoon. Ed Hollier's 'recce' trip to April's Harewood clubbie clearly paid off as he netted two fourth places in his Empire Evo-Suzuki to leave Yorkshire for the West Country holding fifth overall on the table. Although constructor Sean Gould just failed to edge out Oliver Tomlin's big Gould V8 for fifth place in the morning, the tables were turned in the afternoon as he demoted Tomlin to sixth.
Whether the 'smaller fry' will continue to make inroads on Gurston's power slopes in three weekend's time remains to be seen, but if their early season problems are sorted, you can be sure that messrs Menzies, Hall and Uren will be determined to redress the balance in Wiltshire.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Harewood
FTD: Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 49.00s
Championship run-off, round 5: 1 Moran 49.22s; 2 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 49.50s; 3 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 49.66s; 4 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 50.65s; 5 Oliver Tomlin (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd MP97) 51.54s; 6 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 51.67s; 7 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR55) 52.55s; 8 Simon Fidoe (1.0 Empire Wraith-Suzuki) 53.90s; 9 Lee Griffiths (1.3t OMS-Suzuki 25) 53.93s; 10 Tina Hawkes (1.6 Force-Suzuki PC) 54.17s; 11 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 55.89s; Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) DNF.
Championship run-off, round 6: 1 Moran 49.00s; 2 Willis 49.11s; 3 Spedding 49.35s; 4 Hollier 50.34s; 5 Gould 51.85s; 6 Tomlin 51.86s; 7 Mourant 52.00s; 8 Price 52.74s; 9 Steve Marr (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 52.78s; 10 Graham Wynn (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 52.99s; 11 Fidoe 53.91s; 12 Tony Hunt (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55) 54.14s; 13 Steve Owen (1.6 OMS-Suzuki 28) (1.1 OMS-BMW 28) 54.43s.
Championship positions after round 6: 1 Moran 60pts; 2 Willis 43; 3 Spedding 29; 4 Dave Uren 25; 5 Hollier 21; 6 Gould 18; etc.
Richard Spedding spearheaded the 1600cc charge at Harewood (Eddie Walder)
Ed Hollier joined Spedding's formidable attack (Eddie Walder)
MORAN'S RECORD DOUBLE
Event 2 at Craigantlet on 30/04/2016
A double win at Craigantlet with two new hill records put Scott Moran firmly in the driving seat at the head of the British Championship. Early season problems for the opposition had a bearing on this, but a fourteen point lead after just four rounds is a good start in his bid for a record-equalling sixth title. Trevor Willis, as so often before, is in pursuit on the table, but gear selection problems for the first run-off on the Belfast road course led to the OMS V8 touring up in one gear to score the single point as the tenth and final qualifier. With the problem solved for his later shot, a strong second place gave him a single point Championship margin over the flying Dave Uren, third and fourth in the turbocharged Force and enjoying his most successful season to date.
The challenge from Wallace Menzies' Gould never materialised, for a camshaft rotating independently of the rest of the engine spelt dire engine problems during practice. Another potential challenger, Richard Spedding, retired his Raptor-Hayabusa with a chafed wiring loom blitzing the electrics to reduce the field to ten runners. But after his failure to score at Prescott, Will Hall was right back in the hunt. The turbocharged Force AER was at last on full song and after the only sub-2 sec launch of the day, Hall set a time to the halfway split at Mays' Cross that was even quicker than that set by Moran on his record-breaking FTD. At 126mph, the big Gould was marginally quicker over the finish but second and third run-off places put Hall's Force right back in the hunt with fourth equal in the Championship stakes.
The wide variety of cars making up the remaining six maintained their finishing pattern throughout, with the Gould of Alastair Crawford leading Graham Wynn, out in his 'second string' Force-Suzuki following his Gould-HB's CWP problems at Prescott a week earlier. Nicola Menzies scored her best ever combined result with sixth and seventh in the Force shared with Dave Uren, but perhaps the most significant result came from Scots journo David Finlay. His new class record in this weekend's Multi Car Hillclimb Challenge mount, a factory fresh Honda Civic Type R, celebrated his history making achievement earlier in the day as the driver of the first roadgoing production saloon to score points in the 69-year history of the British Championship!
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Craigantlet
FTD: Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 39.12s (outright hill record)
Championship run-off, round 3: 1 Moran 39.40 (hill record); 2 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 41.16s; 3 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 42.14s; 4 Alastair Crawford (2.8 Gould-NME GR55C) 42.95s; 5 Graham Wynn (1.3 Force-Suzuki PC) 46.15s; 6 Nicola Menzies (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 48.18s;7 Kevin Creaven (1.0 OMS-Suzuki SF42) 50.57s; 8 David Finlay (2.0t Honda Civic Type R) 55.81s; 9 Peter Herbert (3.6 Porsche 911) 57.09s; 10 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 91.46s.
Championship run-off, round 4: 1 Moran 39.12s (hill record); 2 Willis 39.80s; 3 Hall 39.85s; 4 Uren 41.81s; 5 Crawford 42.84s; 6 Wynn 44.88s; 7 Menzies 46.96s; 8 Creaven 49.10s; 9 Finlay 55.21s; 10 Herbert 57.17s.
British Championship positions after round 4: 1 Moran 40pts; 2 Willis 26; 3 Uren 25; 4= Hall, Wallace Menzies and Alex Summers 17; etc.
Scott Moran extended his Championship lead with two new hill records at Craigantlet (Raceline Photography)
David Finlay and the Honda Civic Type R scored the first ever British Hillclimb points for a roadgoing production saloon (Raceline Photography)
MORAN AND SUMMERS SHARE PRESCOTT SPOILS
Event 1 at Prescott on 24/04/2016
Former champions Alex Summers and Scott Moran battled it out at Prescott's opening Avon/TTC British Hillclimb event to share FTD, but this time driving different cars. In what it appears will be a one-off drive, Summers took Alastair Crawford's 2.8-litre Gould-NME to top spot in qualifying for the opening run-off, but in the shoot-out itself, he couldn't prevent Wallace Menzies taking his third consecutive Prescott run-off win in the red Gould-NME that he ran last year. Three hundredths adrift of his 2015 co-driver, Moran began his 2016 campaign quietly with third place in the ultra-successful GR61X, but his win in the afternoon run-off, with an identical time to Summers' opening qualifier, secured joint FTD and he left the venue with a one point lead in the series ahead of Menzies and Summers, who tied for second place.
Running smaller wheels and tyres on his OMS-RPE this year, Trevor Willis played himself in with fourth place in the morning, but after qualifying top in the afternoon ran a tenth behind Moran in the run-off to net a championship fourth place at the end. A fine fifth on the table, after finishing fifth each time in his normally aspirated GWR Raptor-Suzuki, Richard Spedding chased the big guns home with his tiny 1600cc machine to get the better of Dave Uren's turbocharged Force-Suzuki each time. After numerous winter modifications to his Gould-Suzuki including an F1 inspired front wing, Sean Gould traded seventh places with classmate Ed Hollier's also much developed Empire Evo which, together with two ninth places from Gould's co-driver Eynon Price, meant that three normally aspirated 1600cc cars featured strongly in the season's opening forays.
Will Hall had a miserable day, the turbocharged Force-AER retiring from the first shoot-out with throttle electronics problems and failing to make the second after they struck again during afternoon qualifying.
It's very early days yet, but the indications are that Moran will have a sixth title in his sights, challenged hard by Menzies and Willis. Willis could once again pose the major threat as after his one-off drive in the Crawford Gould, Summers has stated his intention to step down until his new DJ Firestorm-Opel V6 is ready and Menzies, too will be set to change course once his own new car, the Gould-Cosworth XD, appears.
Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Prescott
FTD: Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) and Alex Summers (2.8 Gould-NME GR55C) 36.61s
Championship run-off, round 1: 1 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 36.84s; 2 Alex Summers (2.8 Gould-NME GR61X) 37.00s; 3 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 37.03s; 4 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 37.18s; 5 Richard Spedding (1.6 GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 37.82s; 6 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 38.18s; 7 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 38.63s; 8 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 38.09s; 9 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 39.19s; 10= Alastair Crawford (2.8 Gould-NME GR55C) and Oliver Tomlin (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd MP97) 39.82; 12 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) DNF.
Championship run-off, round 2: 1 Moran 36.61s; 2 Willis 36.71s; 3 Summers 36.98s; 4 Menzies 37.15s; 5 Spedding 38.42s; 6 Uren 38.47s; 7 Hollier 38.80s; 8 Gould 38.85s; 9 Price; 39.20s; 10 Tomlin 39.68s; 11 Crawford 39.70s; 12 Lee Griffiths (1.3t OMS-Suzuki 25) 41.98s.
British Championship positions after round 2: 1 Moran 18pts; 2= Menzies and Summers 17; 4 Willis 16; 5 Spedding 12; 6 Uren 10; etc.
Scott Moran leads the championship after Prescott's opening rounds (Eddie Walder)
Alex Summers set joint fastest time with Moran in a borrowed car (Eddie Walder)
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