Hillclimb Engine Technology – Part 7

Cosworth’s KF V6 engine had a very short stay of execution at the top end of the British Hillclimb Championship,┬ásurely the longest running top-line motor has been the Cosworth V8. From the DFR to the HB they have always featured strongely.

Wallace Menzies DJ Firestorm Cosworth XD

The Cosworth XD engine in the back of the DJ Firestorm

Cosworth V8
There are a spectacular number of Cosworth, or Cosworth-derived V8s on the hills at the moment. These engines are based on the Northamptonshire-based companies F1, sportscar and Indycar engines.

The Cosworth DFL was an endurance sportscar engine based on the legendary DFV F1 engine. Available in 3.3, 3.9 & 4.0 litre varients, this engine claimed BHC titles with Roy Lane & Andy Priaulx.

Tm Barrington Pilbeam MP58

Tim Barrington in Simon Durling's DFL powered MP58 (thanks to Steve Wilkinson)

The Cosworth DFZ was a 3.5 litre F1 & Group C engine based on the DFV. Used by Patrick Wood on the hills in the 90s to claim BHC Run Off wins and used by the Forsyth family in 2011.

The Cosworth DFR was a 3.5 litre F1 engine and in 1988 was Cosworth’s first all-new F1 engine since 1967. The Chase Web team brought the DFR to the hills in 1990 and it claimed BHC titles for Martyn Griffiths & David Grace.


Richard Brown Pilbeam MP58

Richard Brown took the Shelsley record with DFR power in 1992 (thanks to Steve Wilkinson)



The Cosworth HB was the DFRs F1 replacement, again for the 3.5 litre F1 formula, and was a major step forward. Producing over 680bhp these beautiful engines are now used on the hills by Rob Turnbull and John Bradburn.


Rob Turnbull Gould GR55

Rob Turnbull's HB flares up at Harewood (thanks to Steve Wilkinson)



The Cosworth XD was a mid-nineties methanol fuelled, 2.65 litre, turbocharged, Indycar engine. There are two very different versions of the XD running on the hills. Wallace Menzies runs a non-turbo XD, on petrol, and which has been enlarged to 3.2 litres.

The other approach is the one followed by Willem Toet. He developed, with Pride Engines, a methanol burning 2.65 litre version complete with 2x small, WRC style, turbos to produce a mind-numbing 800bhp. Unfortunately, in recent years this exciting engine and the Pilbeam chassis which houses it haven’t run very often. Hopefully the development program that this car deserves will happen and we will see the combination at their best in the future.

2012 Drivers – John Bradburn, Rob Turnbull, John Jones, Wallace Menzies

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