Brilliant Barbon!

Sorry about the radio silence this week, it has been a crazy week at work but hopefully you will see the benefits of it with a couple of articles that will be along in the next couple of weeks…

Last weekend saw the British Hillclimb Championship circus make the long haul North for the double-header weekend with Barbon Manor, Kirkby Lonsdale on Saturday and Harewood Hillclimb, Harrogate on Sunday.

Barbon Manor Hillclimb

After the washout of Prescott a couple of weeks ago every competitor, marshal, gofor, snapper & scribe were hoping for a lovely sunny day, which has been a rarity at Barbon in recent years.

We arrived on Friday evening, unpacked and headed straight for a very quiet, but very pleasant meal at the Barbon Arms. At this stage the hill was dry, but the paddock was very soggy, fortunately that is how it would stay for the competition.

Practice was fairly uneventful as the drivers got used to a rare run on a dry hill. The main interest was the mighty scrap up front between defending champion Scott Moran and the much modified OMS 25 of Trevor Willis. Also attracting attention was a battle that is set to last all season, the in-house Raptor Rumble between young chargers Lee Adams and Jos Goodyear.

First qualifying for the Top 12 Run Off was certainly eventful. Barbon debutant Tony Wiltshire had made the long journey from Devon in order to learn this short but tricky hill. Wilt is renowned for his bravery & commitment, but this time he was a little too committed. He carried too much speed into the daunting Richmond Bend, understeered off and had a wild ride over the rock-strewn outfield. A trashed front wing made further running over the weekend look doubtful, but a large hole in the car’s carbon fibre aero tunnels confirmed Wilt’s retirement from both Barbon and Harewood.

Wilt launches the Gould (thanks to Our Correspondent)

 

Another driver who made a mistake and put himself out of contention, just for the first Run Off this time, was Gould-Judd driver Tom New. New lit up the rear tyres out of the tricky first corner, half-spun the car, and the time was gone…

 

In a slightly unusual result, Willis & Moran tied at the top of the qualifying time sheets, and set a precedent for just how close the competition was going to be between these two!

The first Run Off saw the first points for the new Gould GR59 as Simon Moyse, delighted with the result and with the handling of the car, finished in a strong 7th place.

Jos Goodyear, who spent the day trading 160cc records with Lee Adams, was the first runner ahead of Roger Moran and these two still lead the way as the top 3 qualifiers came to the line.

Lee Adams then went fastest with a beautifully smooth run in the remarkable GWR Raptor, but he just couldn’t match the pace of the big boys. Scott Moran laid down the gauntlet and set the first sub-21s of the day, Willis was running last but just couldn’t match the NME-powered Gould and finished 4/100ths shy.

Second qualifying was much less dramatic, and a more ‘normal’ running order for the second run off was established. Willis was top of the tree this time as Scott Moran clipped the rumble strip at the Lafone Hairpin and lost a few vital hundredths… He still qualified second though.

 

As always at Barbon the times were so close, with a quarter of a second covering 5th to 10th places!

Looking for another podium finish, Lee Adams produced his best time of the day so far, but Roger Moran improved and just pipped the flying Scotsman to the post.

Up front, again Scott Moran ran first and again he produced a mighty time as he closed to within 1/100th of his own outright hill record of 20.50s. Final runner Willis knew what he had to do and produced a storming run. Unfortunately he just couldn’t get on terms with Scott and recorded 20.65s for another 2nd place.

Trevor Willis Barbon Manor

Trevor Willis was runner-up at Barbon

 

Spirits were high as the paddock packed away at the end of the day, with all bar the Leaders contenders (why don’t the Leaders go to Harewood!?) heading over Ilkley Moor to Harewood for Sunday’s event.

Barbon is so nice when it’s dry!

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