Ultimate Ulster

The Craigantlet road course which runs behind the Stormont Parliament buildings is very much a game of two halves.

 

Precision and agility are required for the twisty, fidley lower section of the course whilst downforce and power are required for the immensely quick upper section.

Trevor Willis’ OMS 25 proved to be the best balance of the two requirements last weekend, the Aylesbury driver took both wins, the hill record and returned to the mainland with the overall lead in the British Hillclimb Championship.

But yet again ‘Scary Trev’ (as he is known to his rivals) had a stressful wait in the pre-start area for the second Run Off. As at Wiscombe the Powertec V8 was reluctant to run… Eventually the 3.2 litre, Hayabusa-based V8 burst into song. Trevor put his race-face on and went for it.

Scotsman Wallace Menzies (husband of Nicola) has struggled somewhat in recent months, often qualifying well but then not repeating the performance with points at stake. In Belfast though he hit a rich vein of form which he will be hoping to maintain for the remainder of the series. A pair of second places moves Menzies ahead of Lee Adams in the title race to make him ‘Top Scot’.

Star of the Series so far in 2012 Jos Goodyear was having a battle royal with his co-driver Adams. Jos had the upper hand coming into the event after his amazing series of results, but he hadn’t seen the hill before race day whereas Lee was at Craigantlet in 2011. It didn’t seem to affect Jos though and he eased past Lee on each run to claim the final podium spots.

The rampant Cosworth V8 horsepower of John Bradburn brought the Midlander into yet more top 6 finishes, sharing fifth & sixth places with Will Hall.

Will Hall is becoming the Championship’s Mr Consistent. The Force WH driver has qualified for every Run Off this year (it’s no wonder Dad looks so tired!) and has scored points in all bar one of those encounters. Unfortunately this consistency may just be his undoing in the title race as he is now dropping scores, unlike any of the drivers around him on the table.

Richard Spedding was sharing his Force PC for the first time in Northern Ireland. The Sheffield driver had offered Nicola Menzies a run in his orange PC after the clutch had cried enough on the ex. Will Hall car that Nicola shares with Dave Uren. Richard claimed seventh place each time, whilst Nicola took her first ever championship points with a pair of tenths.

Unfortunately Uren had to spend the day as ‘trolley dolly’ for the rest and, with only twelve title contenders entering the event, this reduced each Run Off to eleven cars.

The only local who registered for the BHC was special-builder Graham Thompson with his hairy GTR-Turbo. Two extra runs and 4 points for a pair of ninths were his reward, it would be great to see Graham and the GTR head over to the mainland for a round or two.

The withdrawal of Uren meant that BHC points were available to everyone registered who wasn’t called Peter Herbert! The Harewood instructor loves the Craigantlet course and always makes the journey with his mechanic Russ Coburn. Unfortunately Peter reduced the glorious 1400cc Cosworth BDH in his Westfield to ‘exploded diagram’ form earlier this season. He was determined to make Craigantlet and made the crossing in his 911 road car. He was out of the points each time, but still grabbed his extra runs and became the first person to ever qualify a 911 for a Run Off!

There is a welcome three-week break now before The World Famous Shelsley Walsh. The Moran’s will be back at the historic Teme Valley venue, will they be able to slow the progress of the man in form Trevor Willis?

Comments

  1. Andy kittle says:

    I keep telling you one of best hills in the bhc scene
    Ask any of the drivers especially the raptor boys
    One competitor even asked if it were possible to have two rounds each year
    The corner speeds of the raptor are unreal have to give it to graham it’s some bit of kit

  2. John Brabbutn says:

    I enjoy the hospitality and friendliness of the locals – its a real pleasure to go and race on this great hill.
    John Bradburn

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