BHC Season Review Part 9 – Alex Summers

From the, uhum, more senior end of the Top 12 yesterday to the youngest member today with the latest installment of the speedhillclimb.com 2013 British Hillclimb Championship season review.

Alex Summers DJ Firehawk

Alex returns to the paddock after his Run Off win at Loton in September

 

The star of the year for 2013 in British Hillclimbing, following in the foot-steps of GWR Raptor drivers Lee Adams (2011) and Jos Goodyear (2012) was undoubtedly Worcestershire-based student Alex Summers.

4th – Alex Summers (177 points)

The star of the show for 2013. Having shown immense speed during his debut year with the DJ Firehawk in 2011, and suffered a torrid year of powertrain problems (between which he demonstrated more scorching pace) during 2012, Alex came in to 2013 desperate to realise the promise shown in the two previous seasons. He did that, and more!

Runner-up spot behind Scott Moran in the opening Run Off of the year, was followed by a difficult serious of yet more engine problems as he and engine builder Mark Fisher got to grips with the ferocious power now available from his suzuki Hayabusa engine, Rotrex C38 blower and new DTA Fast mapping. Now putting out close to 500bhp at the crank, the package was transformed, but also showed unbelievable drivability even in streaming wet conditions.

A pair of podium finishes at Doune were followed by Alex missing out on Harewood as he was driving Bath University’s entry in the Formula Student event at Silverstone. A stronger weekend on the Channel Islands unfortunately ended with a big shunt in the final shootout on Guernsey, an off so big that it ripped the blower off of the engine! He was back in action 5 days later at Wiscombe, but a driveshaft failure kept him out of the opening Run Off. Then began a run of top 5 finishes which really gained him his fourth place finish in the title race. From Wiscombe onwards, the only driver who outscored Alex was Trevor Willis, even Moran the Champ couldn’t quite match the Young Worcestershire driver.

Alex Summers DJ Firehawk

Alex Summers on his way to a double win at Doune in September (thanks to Steve Wilkinson)

 

The trio of wins which Alex secured at the back-end of the year really were deserved as this driver has been struggling to repeat his out of nowhere win at The World Famous Shelsley Walsh back at the start of 2011. It was also a great reward for one of the most enthusiastic hillclimb families, Alex’s Mum, Dad and Brother also compete and the family collection of cars is regularly exercised by guest drivers as well.

Alex will probably have a slightly truncated season in 2014 as he will be taking his university finals. What changes could possibly be made to improve the DJ? There is a new design of DJ tub underway, could one of these be built for Alex to further improve the package? One thing is for sure though, whatever he drives and however many events he takes in, Alex Summers will be able to challenge for podiums everywhere!

 

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