[dropcap]S[/dropcap]pectators and fellow competitors crowded into the paddock area and track-side at the British Hill Climb Championship’s premier event were not disappointed on Sunday as the very last run of the day proved the highlight of the meeting held at Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb, Worcestershire.
Five times former British champion Scott Moran of Ludlow took maximum points to increase his current lead in this years standing with a blistering final run of 23.03 seconds in his Gould GR61X racing car, only narrowly beating the morning’s run-off winner Wallace Menzies on 23.22 seconds, who was driving a similar Gould.
Scott, commented: “I had to dig really deep on that run and it was the fastest I have been for quite a while, a bit on the edge in fact, but totally necessary to beat such tough opposition.”
Paying tribute to the former champion, Wallace Menzies, added: “Fair play to Scotty, having rain drops falling on his visor on the start line after watching my run and still to pull out a time like that is true testament to the class of the man, and full credit to him.
“I won the morning run-off and managed to beat my ‘personal best’ time here by four tenths of a second with a 23.06 run so I am also absolutely delighted.”
Reigning British champion Alex Summers, of Tenbury Wells, had a guest drive in the Gould GR55 of Mark Coley which has a similar engine to that being fitted in his own new car which is currently under construction, managing fifth place in both Championship run-offs.
A capacity entry was received for this event, generally perceived as the year’s Blue Riband meeting, which also hosted the Midland Hill Climb Championship, The Paul Matty Sports Cars Lotus Championship, the 500 Owners Association and the Westfield Speed Series.
The largest class for the event was the 1100cc racing car class with 22 entries and only 1/100th of a second separated first and second place with Malvern driver Tom Poole taking the top slot on 26.99 seconds from MAC committee member Simon Fidoe, of Worcester on exactly 27.00 seconds, both driving Empire racing cars.
Tom Poole, said: “My Empire Evo is new this year and I just love it, this has got to be the best class in hill climbing for the sheer numbers and closeness of competition with most drivers within tenths of a second of each other. Simon is a very experienced driver, so to beat him on his home hill is even more rewarding, although he did use some ‘choice names’ for me in the top holding paddock as he was first to come over smiling to congratulate me!”
Mike Turpin, of Hereford, Midland champion in 2012, 2014 and 2015 won his class to retain his lead in this year’s standings, although Pilbeam driver Tim Davies is very close, with dropped scores still to be taken into consideration. Mike, commented: “This really is a wonderful event with great support and interest everywhere, I did have a few problems on Saturday, besides the rain, but was very pleased indeed with the way things went when it mattered.”
Final results for the Paul Matty Sports Cars Lotus Championship, celebrating its 25th year, will now go down to the wire for its last event at the Shelsley Walsh Autumn Speed Finale in September, with June Matty and David Hampton currently leading the two separate classes.
Best time of Day went to Scott Moran, with Wallace Menzies in second place and Man of the Meeting award went to Force PC driver Dave Uren for his third place with a fantastic time of 23.55 in his diminutive motorcycle-engined racing car.
Class winners included, Ken Williamson in a Lotus Elise, Roy Standley in a Mitsubishi EV5RS, David Warburton in a Caterham 7, Colin Satchell in a Peugeot 205, Bruce Aitken in a Citroen Saxo, Philip Stader in an Alfa Romeo Berlina, David Tatham in a Terrapin, Ben Tranter in a Vector, Richard Spedding in a GWR Raptor, Richard Jones in a Brabham, Adam Phelps in a Westfield Megabusa and Alastair Dent in a Hornet F3.
Next event is the Autumn Speed Finale on the 17th and 18th September.