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Motor Sport News - - Sporting Scene -

ill­climb­ing in the United King­dom is a jewel in in­ter­na­tional con­tem­po­rary motorsport.

It’s not only be­cause of the his­tory around one of the early forms of motorsport but also be­cause the rules haven’t re­ally changed much in re­cent years.

Pro­duc­tion cars road-go­ing, pro­duc­tion cars mod­i­fied, sin­gle-seaters with en­gines up to 600cc, 1100cc, 1600cc, 2000cc and over twolitres, clas­sics and a few in be­tween has been the ba­sis of an ever-quick­en­ing hill­climb scene since I went as a lad with my folks (quick hill­climbers them­selves).

The F1 tech hand-me-down has al­ways bled onto the hills with BRMS, Ford DFVS, Ford HBS and aero­dy­nam­ics but, with the ever-tight­en­ing rules of F1, there are so many av­enues now avail­able to hill­climbers to utilise with aero and weight…but, there is no weight limit!

Jos Goodyear’s amaz­ing run up Doune (1.9mil­lion Youtube views) with his 1340cc S/C Rap­tor was 340kg with him in it and it had 400bhp. Do the sums.

The pro­lif­er­a­tion of mo­tor­bike-en­gined cars has en­abled the weight to tum­ble while car­bon­fi­bre tubs have with­out doubt saved lives on the hills mak­ing it a trea­sure trove of en­gi­neers’ cre­ations.

In­deed, the Shel­s­ley Spe­cial record holder is Nic Mann in his Man­nic. It looks like a Mal­lock but it has a Ford Sierra 4x4 driv­e­train, a 1700cc push rod that’s tur­bocharged by a he­li­copter tur­bine en­gine con­stantly blow­ing air into the turbo, re­sult­ing in 600bhp. The ex­haust is blown into a rudi­men­tary blown dif­fuser, but what’s great is that it’s all le­gal.

Com­pet­ing on the hills is fan­tas­tic fun with great spirit within the classes too. It’s a cheap way to get into motorsport and no chance of any ill feel­ing if some­one punts you off at the first cor­ner…you only have your­self to blame.

I drove an Em­pire bike-en­gined car for a while and it was a huge thrill com­ing from some­thing 30 per cent slower.

It gave me wonderful ex­pe­ri­ence, taught me to drive a lit­tle quicker, was cheaper than some cir­cuit cars (for horse­power per ton), made friends for life and as a bonus I held a record at Shel­s­ley Walsh for a while, some­thing I was very proud of.

Bill Chap­lin and I have an Em­pire Wraith in the pipe­line with a bike en­gine and Willem Toet aero­dy­nam­ics that has more down­force than the car’s weight at 70mph. I can’t wait to be back at Shel­s­ley Walsh to have an­other go.

Moody has been a reg­u­lar hill­climb en­trant

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