BHC Back at Barbon

Barbon Manor 2011 saw a late start (timing issues) and an extended lunch break (not sure why), but the Westmorland Motor Club managed to organise a cracking event to turn around their recent British Hillclimb Championship fortunes.

One man who didn’t enjoy as much good fortune as the organisers was Westfield driver Peter Herbert who suffered a serious propshaft breakage before even made it to the startline. There was so much damage done that even ace spannerman Russ Coburn was unable to rig-up a repair.

The remains of Peter Herbert's propshaft

The 2 BHC Top 12 Run Offs were hotly contested as always on a day when the big V8 cars seemed to struggle to get down to times that they have managed before. However, this certainly wasn’t a problem which affected the top 4 1600cc runners as their Prescott battle continued to rage on !

Fresh from his FTD at the previous weeks Shelsley Midland meeting, Trevor Willis took the new OMS 25 to its first victory at British Championship level as he stormed through to beat Scott Moran in the 1st shoot out. Scott then took revenge in the 2nd to set the day’s outright pace and claim the 10pts.

Behind the two winners though battle raged with the usual close margins that tend to occur at this short blast of a hill. Roger Moran took a pair of 3rd places, Chris Merrick a 6th and a 4th and Tom New took a 7th and a 5th.

Although some of the classes were somewhat depleted entry-wise, there were a couple of cracking battles. One of these was the unlimited Sports Libre class which saw the 4 wheel drive supercars of Mike Manning and Keith Edwards swapping the lead back & forth. Mike’s rallycross inspired Puma finally triumphed over the Quattro of local Cumbrian driver Edwards by a quarter of a second.

Mike Manning's class winning Ford Puma

Most of the crowd’s attention though, as at Prescott, was focused on the 1600cc warriors ! The class record was beaten numerous times during the afternoon as Will Hall charged to the win, followed by Barbon first timer Lee Adams, Eynon Price (who survived a rear wing failure in practice), class returnee Mark Hemingway, and an unusually subdued Richard Spedding. Will eventually left the record on 22.05s, only for Eynon to go sub-22s in the 2nd Run Off.

It was a really good fun meeting, one that was long overdue at Barbon, and there was barely a bad word to be heard as everyone packed up and prepared to cross the Pennines to Harewood for Sunday’s leg of this traditional double-header.

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