Motorsport News



The most unpredicta­ble day of the 2022 British Hillclimb Championsh­ip season ended with another runoff victory for Wallace Menzies.

Prescott was the setting for the penultimat­e event as Menzies and Alex Summers enacted the latest instalment of their season-long contest for the British crown.

Sunday’s big variable was the weather as light showers played havoc with the qualifacti­on and runoffs process. Yet it was all very settled during the first class runs as Scott Moran set the pace on 35.50 seconds to be fastest qualifier for the first runoff.

However, as the first runoff runs started a light drizzle began. It wasn’t too much of a problem for the early runners and having qualified only ninth best, Dave Uren got the best roll of the dice and was able to win his second runoff of the season with the best of 37.09s, heading Paul Haimes and Stuart Sugden.

By the time sixth-fastest qualifier David Warburton lined up, the rain was coming in more, and he struggled up the hill in 39.75s. That meant that the big guns running behind him, including Summers, Menzies and Trevor Willis were all destined to finish in the lower end of the runoff. Due to run last, Moran decided not to risk the car. “We had the luck of the weather,” said Uren.

“Miracles will never cease!”

Paul Haimes and Stuart Sugden took full advantage of the damp to bag second and third places as Johnathen Varley and Darren Gumbley both sealed top-five slots.

In the afternoon, it was the class runs that were impacted by the weather and those who ran early or late in the order got the drier conditions. That prompted a remarkably shuffled runoff with five 1100cc single-seater drivers joining the big guns in the most varied runoff for a very long time.

Incredibly, three members of the Summers family all made it as Alex’s father Richard and wife Debbie, sharing their 1100cc DJ Firehawk, both progressed to create a remarkable family record. Debbie then finished a superb seventh overall.

By the time the runoff started the rain had eased, and the track was drying fast. Trevor Willis set a personal best to set the mark at 35.61s and Moran was very close behind on 35.65s.

Last to run were Summers and Menzies, and everything rested on the final two runs of the day. Summers was quick and fired the DJ Firestorm up the hill in 35.11s. Menzies knew what he had to do to take maximum points and fend off Summers in the title race. Sure enough, Menzies dug deep and beat Summers by just six hundredths of a second to take the runoff with a 35.05s.

Menzies summed up the day. “It’s been a really odd day. In the second runoff I knew that Alex had given it full send and that there had been enough grip so I had to ignore what we’d learned from running in the damp.”


Round 26: 1 David Uren (3500cc Gould-NME GR55B) 37.09s; 2 Paul Haimes (1300t GouldSuzuk­i GR59) 37.38s; 3 Stuart Sugden (1585cc GWR-Hayabusa Raptor) 38.05s; 4 Johnathen Varley (2000cc GWR-TKD V8 Predator) 38.32s; 5 Darren Gumbley (1600cc Force-Hayabusa TA) 38.69s; 6 David Warburton (1600cc Gould

Suzuki GR59) 39.75s; 7 Jack Cottrill (2650cc DJ-Cosworth Dallara) 40.05s; 8 Wallace Menzies (3300cc Gould-Cosworth GR59M) 41.93s; 9 Richard Spedding (1600cc GWR-Hayabusa

Raptor 2) 42.40s; 10 Alex Summers (2650cc DJ-Cosworth Firestorm) 42.44s.

Round 27: 1 Menzies 35.05s; 2 Summers 35.11s; 3 Trevor Willis (3200cc OMS 28-RTE) 35.61s; 4 Scott Moran (4000cc Gould-Judd GR59J) 35.65s; 5 Uren 37.31s; 6 Sugden 37.49s; 7 Debbie Summers (1090cc DJ-Suzuki Firehawk) 39.17s; 8 David Tatham (1070cc OMS-Suzuki Hornet) 39.74s; 9 Liam Cooper (1600cc Force-Hayabusa TA) 40.00s; 10 Harry Pick (1000cc OMS-Suzuki 3000M) 40.10s.

Championsh­ip positions (after 27/29 rounds): 1 Menzies 230; 2 Summers 225; 3 Moran 208; 4 Willis 160; 5 Matthew Ryder 147; 6 Uren 122; etc.

 ?? ?? Dave Uren praised the weather “miracle” which helped him to a round victory
Dave Uren praised the weather “miracle” which helped him to a round victory
 ?? ?? Menzies dug deep in the second runoff
Menzies dug deep in the second runoff

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