BRITISH HILLCLIMB MENZIES STRIKES AS WILLIS SLIPS UP
Organiser: Woolbridge Motor Club When: July 30/31 Starters: 123
Sunday was disastrous for title chaser Trevor Willis. His crash in the opener at Wiscombe Down was compounded by a win for Wallace Menzies before David Uren stunned with a maiden run-off victory at the close of play.
With Scott Moran absent at a wedding, Willis was hoping for a maximum score to close the gap at the top of the standings.
Best qualifier for the first encounter, he took to the hill as the final runner. His split times to the halfway point were up on the 11 completed runs. But then the rightrear wheel broke up under load in the tricky undulating Esses and he was pitched into the bank, coming to a rest at Saw Bench. His day was done with the win going to Menzies, while Moran maintained his championship advantage without turning a wheel.
Dave Uren, who has been competing on the hills since 1998, qualified fastest for the second shootout and, with a tough time to beat set by previous runner Menzies, he put together his best run at the tight Devon parkland venue.
Once Menzies gets his hands on his new Gould-cosworth GR59M, Uren will take over Menzies’ current Gould, which should increase the prospect of further wins from Uren.
Uren said: “I really didn’t expect that. At the end of Castle straight I couldn’t see the downshift light because of the low sun.”
With Will Hall still absent due to engine issues, Uren has moved a place up the standings to fifth. But despite earning 19 points on Willis, Menzies is still 34 behind, which may be an impossible gap to close with only five events left.
It was another excellent event for Richard Spedding in the tiny GWR Raptor. He visibly carried a lot of speed through The Gate on every run and was rewarded with second and third. He maintains fourth in the points as a result. Jersey competitor Jason Mourant had his best combined pair of counting rounds with his pair of fourths, having recovered from a big crash at Loton Park. He displaced Alex Summers from the top 10 even though Summers scored well each time with only 1100cc and also smashed the class record.
Eynon Price maintained his seventh overall and the tie for eighth between Sean Gould and Ed Hollier was settled by local driver Hollier moving three points ahead of Gould.
The Guernsey father-and-son team of Geoff and Chris Guille made one of their occasional forays to the mainland but Chris was unable to score in either round using the ex-trevor Willis OMS chassis.
But hidden in the results is a more surprising performance. Cornishman Mike Lee entered the championship just in time for the event. The southwestern track specialist, who rarely ventures further north than Wiscombe Park, wrung the neck of his fairly elderly OMS, gathering five points as he used his local knowledge to good effect.
Devonian Kelvin Broad finally broke his championship points duck in his extremely noisy supercharged Pilbeam. Results British Hillclimb Championship, round 23: 1 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-nme GR55) 34.14s; 2 Richard Spedding (1.6 Gwr-suzuki Raptor 3) 34.63s; 3 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-suzuki PC) 34.82s; 4 Jason Mourant (4.0 Gould-judd GR55) 35.13s; 5 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire-suzuki 00 Evo) 35.36s; 6 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-suzuki GR59) 36.16s; 7 Alex Summers (1.0 Dj-suzuki Firehawk) 36.39s; 8 Mike Lee (1.6 Oms-suzuki 2000M ) 36.58s; 9 Kelvin Broad (1.3s Pilbeam-suzuki MP101) 37.01s; 10 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-suzuki GR59) 37.48s; 11 Chris Guille (2.0 Oms-vauxhall) 37.52s; Trevor Willis (3.2 OMSPowertec 28) Fail.
Round 24: 1 Uren 34.58s; 2 Menzies 34.64s; 3 Spedding 34.84s 4 Mourant 35.19s; 5 Hollier 35.47s; 6 Price 35.68s; 7 Gould 36.11s; 8 Summers 36.28s; 9 Lee 37.21s; 10 Broad 37.25s; 11 Guille 37.26s; 12 Graham Wynn (3.5 Gould-cosworth GR55) 38.06s.
Classes: Alan Sydenham (1.3 Nissan Micra) 48.72s; Jamie Powell (2.0t Mitsubishi Lancer E5) 43.78s; John Pick (2.0 AMS Murtaya) 44.79s; Ben Bonfield (1.4 Austin Mini) 43.04s Record; Colin Satchell (2.0 Peugeot 205) 40.37s Record; Geoff Twemlow (2.0t Subaru Impreza) 47.77s; Mike Rudge (2.3 Westfield SEI) 39.61s; Doug Bennett (2.3t Sylva-honda Stryker) 39.10s; Summers 36.21s Record; Spedding 35.01s; Guille 36.53s; Uren 34.87s; Willis 34.06s BTD.
Points (after 24/34 rounds): 1 Scott Moran 209pts; 2 Willis 188; 3 Menzies 154; 4 Spedding 119; 5 Uren 102; 6 Will Hall 89.