SCOTT MORAN BREAKS CRAIGANTLET HILLCLIMB RECORD
British Hillclimb Championship
Organiser: Ulster Automobile Club
When: April 30 Starters: 96
Scott Moran returned to the Craigantlet hillclimb in Belfast last weekend after being absent in 2015.
He delivered a devastating performance by twice going under his 2013 record to take the maximum 22 points, stealing a 14-point march on his nearest rival Trevor Willis after only four rounds.
“The car is going well and felt just right, so with a dry track I felt confident in pushing hard on every run,” said Moran.
Willis qualified well for the first run-off but, as he came to the start, the car would not engage gear from the cockpit. Eventually a gear was manually engaged at the gearbox and he toured slowly to the top for a point. The car was soon fixed for later and he took a fine second to the flying Moran.
Will Hall consistently had the best split times on the twisty bottom half of the hill and Willis was with him too, so there is still the promise of tight competition going forward.
Two of last week’s stars from the opener at Prescott suffered disasters. Richard Spedding’s car developed a wiring fault and he was offered a drive in Graham Wynn’s Force. Even though he was the previous owner, the MSA steward on the day ruled against it because Spedding had not practiced in the car.
Wallace Menzies suffered an ominous engine failure in practice and it will be touch and go for him to make repairs before Harewood this weekend. However, his wife Nicola collected her best-ever combined score and her co-driver David Uren also went superbly well.
Wynn was in the Force after his Gould broke a diff at Prescott. Alastair Crawford revelled in the 2.8-litre Gould and looks able to get another number next season if he can cover enough events although his job might intrude.
Irish Republic-born Kevin Creavan travelled to Craigantlet for the first time and was overjoyed to score in what is a fairly elderly OMS chassis.
Scottish motoring journalist David Finlay registered for the championship and brought along a factory-fresh Honda, provided by the manufacturer, in an attempt to be the first ever standard saloon car to score British Hillclimb Championship points. With 12 registered contenders in attendance his chances looked slim but the failures of Menzies and Spedding opened it all up and history was made but it was not just a consolation point – he beat Peter Herbert on the road each time.