The Season Starts Here

The 2013 British Hillclimb Championship kicked was in fine form when it kicked off at the historic Prescott Hillclimb in Gloucestershire over the weekend. Lots of new tweeks and combinations were on display and the results saw some very close battles both in the classes and in the all-important, points-scoring Top 12 Run Offs.

 

Scott Moran Gould GR61X

Number 2 on the car, but Number 1 at Prescott

 

Former triple Championship Scott Moran started the year in determined style by claiming both Run Off victories and setting Fastest Time of the Day in the family Gould-NME GR61X, but reigning Champion Trevor Willis took a pair of solid Run Off results to demonstrate that his brand new OMS 28 will be on the pace when it is fully up to speed.

With Father Roger claiming a podium spot each time the Moran’s domination of the event confirmed that despite not claiming the title last year, the Gould-NME combination is still the fastest package at most of the hills visited by the BHC. Despite virtually no modifications being done to the GR61X over the off-season, the duo never really looked like being headed.

 

Young charger Alex Summers and an inspired John Bradburn came closest to knocking the former champ of the top spot in the first Run Off of the year. Bradburn, with his brutally powerful ex.F1 Cosworth HB now tempered with a very effective electronics package was flying, fastest to the split by some way but he pushed just a touch hard in Semi-Circle and spun with the finish line in sight.

Summers was hustling the little DJ Firestorm, now with a 450bhp blown Hayabusa engine, around to great effect. A new 2-litre record saw him qualify 3rd for the Run Off, and an even quicker run when it mattered saw him down in the 37s for the first time, and his best ever dry result was in the bag.

 

Behind Roger Moran in 3rd place was a monumental battle with five drivers within 2/10ths of a second of each other.

Scotsman Wallace Menzies used the even greater power of his methanol-fuelled Cosworth XD engine to finish up 1/100th ahead of the tiny, but hamstrung (by oil pressure issues), GWR Raptor of 2012 sensation Jos Goodyear. 7/100ths further back was Willis, still dialing in his new OMS chassis, just ahead of 1600 Warrior Richard Spedding.

 

Midlander Will Hall was left regrettingĀ a big tail-slide on the exit of The Esses, which may have cost him as many a 5 places, such was the level of competition.

The returning Eynon Price and veteran Deryk Young rounded off the points scorers, with Simon Moyse and the unfortunate Bradburn just missing out.

 

A slightly different mix of drivers lined up for the second stanza as Wallace Menzies (fuel line issue) and co-drivers Price & Spedding (driveshaft) all failed to get a qually run in. Graham Wynn (Force LM), Simon Fidoe (Empire 002) and a delighted Steve Day (GWR Raptor) gratefully accepted places in the elite twelve. These non-qualifiers also allowed Jos Goodyear, who had a very slow qually run due to the ongoing oil pressure problems, to sneak in to the line up.

Gould GR59 driver Simon Moyse was delighted to get in each time, but he ended up pointless each time. His twelfth placed finish was largely due to missing a downshift in to Pardon Hairpin, the lost momentum on the exit was critical and the time was gone. Simon Fidoe rang the neck of the Empire-Suzuki, but the lack of grunt showed and he couldn’t sneak a point, finishing up 4/10ths behind Graham Wynn OBE and the now turbo-charged Force LM.

 

The happiest man at Prescott must have been GWR Raptor newby Steve Day who claimed two points on his first ever BHC Run Off appearance with a beautifully smooth run. Fellow Raptor driver Jos Goodyear persevered despite the car being in ‘safe mode’ for a lot of the run.

Summers and Young tied for sixth place, behind Bradburn who was noticeable (and sensibly) cautious through Semi-Circle this time around.

The extra grunt of the Nissan V6 engine propelled Hall into fourth place this time around, just behind Trevor Willis who displayed his best form of the weekend as he gets to grips with the new 28.

 

The Morans were the only two runners in the 37s this time around, and despite a bit of moment at Pardon in qualifying, Scott hit his best form of the weekend to finish a quarter of a second ahead of his Father.

What a great way to start the season, roll on Barbon Manor and rounds 3 & 4 of the British Hillclimb Championship a week on Saturday.

Full results are available at www.resultsman.co.uk.

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