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.

Overall honours:

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

Graham is a photojournalist and motoring writer with over 20 varied years of coverage from manufacturer press launches to international motorsport and motoring events throughout the world. Graham is a full member of the Guild of Motoring Writers and Ulster Motor Writers Association.