Edenmore Golf & Country Club in Magheralin was the venue for the 2023 Motorsport Supplies sponsored Northern Ireland Hillclimb Championship awards ceremony which was held on Saturday 20th January 2024.
Around 120 guests filled the room, and these comprised of award winners, their family, and friends, as well as members of the Association of Northern Ireland Car Clubs. The meal was well received, and presentations were made between courses.
As usual, there was a fair bit of banter amongst everyone which, as customary, ended with tales of late braking, worn tyres, broken diffs, and outlandish claims from those who have way less talent than they believe they have!
The awards started with the classes, as follows:
CLASS 1 2WD Roadgoing up to 1700cc
1st Alan Wallace
CLASS 2B Roadgoing Series Production cars MX5 Challenge
3rd Robert Fitzgerald
2nd Wayne Clyde
1st Craig Ewing
CLASS 5 All other Roadgoing Specialist Production cars
1st Gardiner McIlwaine
CLASS 6A 2WD Modified Series Production cars 2V per cylinder
2nd Gary Milligan
1st Gordon Fogarty
CLASS 6B 2WD Modified Series Production cars multi-valve
3rd Dessie Martin
2nd James Lightbody
1st Andrew Straney
CLASS 7 2WD Modified Specialist Production
3rd Andy Hawthorne
2nd David Hawthorne
1st Jack Boal
CLASS 9A 2WD Sports Libre Saloon and Sports GT cars
3rd Garry Campbell
2nd Roger Gage
1st Daniel Campbell
CLASS 9B 2WD Sports Libre Saloon and Closed Wheel Sports Racing Cars
1st Richard McGimpsey
CLASS 10 2WD Sports Libre Rally Cars up to 1650cc
1st Alan Roddy
CLASS 11 2WD Sports Libre Rally Cars over 1650cc
2nd Martin Flanagan
1st William Carey
CLASS 12 All other 4WD Sports Libre Cars
2nd Mark Lancashire
1st Ian Lancashire
CLASS 14 Racing cars up to 2000cc
2nd George Stevenson
1st Ryan McGimpsey
CLASS 15 All other Racing cars
2nd Brendan Flynn
1st Robert McGimpsey
CLASS 16A Historic Roadgoing Saloons and Sportscars
3rd Gerry McGarrity
2nd Cameron Rawson
1st Colin McDowell
CLASS 16B All other Historic Saloons and Sportscars
1st Norman Harvey
In the hotly contested categories:
Jack Boal picked up the Hawthorne Trophy for winning the Specialist Category. Colin McDowell brought home the Jem Oils Trophy for winning the Roadgoing Saloon Category.
In what was the best to watch category, Daniel Campbell took the top spot in the Modified Saloon Category and lifted the Shillington Trophy. Jack Boal received the ANNO Trophy as the Leaders Champion.
At top of the overall championship, just one point separated brothers Ryan and Richard McGimpsey, the season going Ryan’s way, with Richard second and Daniel Campbell in third overall.
On lifting the prestigious Pringle Trophy for the first time, Ryan McGimpsey said, “It’s a huge honour to receive the Pringle Trophy and have my name alongside the past winners, all of whom I have massive respect for. Although it’s my name on the trophy, it was very much a family effort so thanks to Dad and Ricky for all their help along the way.”
“Thanks to all the supporters of the 2023 championship, and also to all customers of Motorsport Supplies. I look forward to the incoming 2024 championship and hope you will all support the championship, and business, going forward.” said championship sponsor, Alan Cassells of Motorsport Supplies.
“2023 was another tremendous year for motorsport in Northern Ireland.” Stated Grace King, Secretary of the Association of Northern Ireland Car Clubs. “Our speed championships continued to produce some exceptional driving, with many of our talented competitors reaching personal goals and some fantastic new talent joining both disciplines.
“At the heart of each event here in NI are an outstanding number of volunteers performing various different roles to ensure our events run safely and seamlessly, to extremely high standards. These volunteers are the backbone of our sport, and we are eternally grateful for all their hard-work and dedication.”
Continuing, “On behalf of ANICC, can I congratulate all who have received awards in both the Motorsport Supplies Northern Ireland Hill Climb Championship and the S.W. Adair Tyres Northern Ireland Sprint Championship. I wish everyone a safe and successful year’s motorsport in 2024, and look forward to seeing our clubs, events and championships continue to go from strength to strength.”
Chairman of the Association of Northern Ireland Car Clubs, Wilson Carson said, “As we celebrate the success of our 2023 Motorsport Supplies Northern Ireland Hill Climb Championship and the S.W. Adair Tyres Northern Ireland Sprint Championship award winners, we take time to reflect on a highly successful season for both championships.
“Event entries continue to remain steady, even in these difficult economic times, and we continue to see new talent coming through in both championships. I would like to commend all those who put so much effort into making our championships so successful and the clubs who put so much time and effort into planning and running the events.
“Our championship would fail to be viable without the generous support of our sponsors, Motorsport Supplies and S.W. Adair Tyres, and we look forward to working with them again in the new season. We are now looking forward to the 2024 season, where it is hoped that the standard of events and competition will continue to rise here in Northern Ireland.”
In closing, “Best of luck to all competing in the 2024 championships, and we at ANICC hope they have a safe and enjoyable season.”
The 2024 Hillclimb Calendar:
- 13th April – TSCC, Croft
- 04th May – UAC, Craigantlet
- 25th May – Omagh MC, Spamount
- 15th June – Newry & District MC, Drumhorc
- 28th June – Larne MC, Cairncastle
- 29th June – Larne MC, Cairncastle
- 10th August – Mid Antrim MC, Garron Point
- 24th August – Maiden City MC, TBC
- 07th September – UAC, Knockagh