Cultra 2013 Remembers and Showcases

Our Ulster Correspondent Tony Gregory has kindly sent us this brilliant report from last weekends Cultra Hillclimb, near Belfast.

Adrian Mulholland Ford Escort RS

Adrian Mullholland attacks Cultra Hillclimb (thanks to Reinis Babrovskis)


Northern Ireland’s high octane garden party, Cultra Hillclimb (Saturday 1st June 2013) once again featured a principal theme which this year showcased ‘Women in Motorsport’ and in support the Thoroughbred Sports Car Club(NI) initiated a Ladies Handicap in memory of one of Ireland’s most successful competitors Gabriel Konig.

The spectator friendly 700 yard course situated in the parkland grounds of North Down’s the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum attracted large crowds and a record entry of 114 competitors. First run on the 6th May 1905, by the gentlemen of the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club it is currently the World’s Oldest Active Speed Hillclimb. The historic manor and lawns also played their part by hosting displays celebrating the Aston Martin Centenary and the Porsche 911 Anniversary.

With Ireland having such a rallying culture it seemed only fitting to have the BWRDC vice president, 1990 FIA Ladies World Rally Champion Louise Aitken Walker MBE and Irish legend Rosemary Smith as guests. Before the first official runs took place they were joined by young motocross star Natalie Kane and Museum representative Siobhan Stevenson in officially opening the hill climb.

Given the rising profile of the event the organisers were also delighted to have the BWRDC’s hillclimb champion Jo Hodgson competing in her lightweight 26R Lotus Elan replica for the Ladies Handicap Award and for the third year in succession secured the appearance of yet another significant Northern Ireland race car. Sixty-two years after Cultra-born Desmond Titterington took delivery of his ‘Festival of Britain’ Allard J2 (OZ4444), Somerset man Chris Pring brought the newly restored Allard’s back to NI for its first competitive outing since its 12 year restoration. – a fitting return to the place where this important car’s racing story first began.

Christopher Pring Allard J2

Chris Pring brought his lovely Allard J2 over from Somerset (thanks to Raceline Photography)

This years Manor display attracted an eclectic mix of machinery featuring one of the oldest surviving Aston Martins in Ireland the 1932 International, a 1972 Porsche 911 and reflecting Rosemary Smith’s attendance a 1963 works-built Hillman Imp. The most recently restored Transport Museum exhibit also graced the Manor, the Rex McCandless designed ‘Dorothy’s Car’ and in memory of Gabriel Konig her Austin A40 Farina was on display courtesy her family.

Sounds like it was another great event Tony, thanks so much for the report!

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