The Croft Hill Climb returned to the roads of North Down for 2018.
In Class 15 as expected this class produced today’s top 3, Father and Son Ricky and Robert McGimpsey took first and third respectively with Graham Thompson sandwiched in 2nd. Chris Houstons motor seemed to be going well but with Croft being a tight and bumpy hill it can be hard to tie it all together. Worth noting that today’s fastest run up the hill was Graham Thompson in 2nd practice!
Anyhow as the day progressed the flat out style of Ricky and his turbo’d single seater won through, Congratulations to him. Whatever was being quickly thrown back together in the pits obviously worked out ok!
Class 1 :
Dennis Watson and William Heaney first and second respectively with Ben McKee in 3rd. Pete Storey made a big leap forward as the timed runs started knocking the guts of 5 seconds of his time. A great performance today from the two newcomers.
We told you earlier to keep an eye on this battle, Michael Clarke produced when it mattered in the timed runs taking the class win with a 40.76 but there were a lot of fast guys keep him honest. David Gibson stole 2nd in his big capacity escort while Adrian Mulholland slide his way into 3rd. Hotly tipped Chris Rogan was only a whisker away more to come from him this season especially as the hills get longer and straighter.
Just two tenths of a second separated the top 3 in this class of road going specialist production cars (westfield/caterhams and the like) Phil Dorman took the win followed by Gardiner McIlwaine and Colin Mcbride.
As mooted earlier in the day Gordon Fogarty didn’t plan to hang about and the flying Fiat took the class win with a time of 40.44 just half a second of the class record held by himself already! That left Stephen Harvey’s escort in second and Gary Milligans ever competitive mini in 3rd.
I skipped past this class in our earlier update – with just two runners sharing a Locost I thought it wouldn’t be much to write home about. I was wrong – David and Steven traded times throughout the day, which ended with Steven pipping David just at the last with a 38.05, but the real story here was the noise and spectacle of this car, it was driven with such commitment – definitely a spectator favourite on its way past Marshall Post #5.
This was the tale of two Maguire Mini’s, father and son, Rudi and Roger. Roger was on form today and Rudi seemed to have a torrid time finishing with a lift back to the pits following the final run. Still Rogers 36.76 was some way off Rudi’s record of 36.32.
Alan Cassells took the win from Alan Roddy in 2nd and Garth Neill in 3rd all separated by not much more than a second. Alan was 7/10th of a second of the class record (again held by a certain Rudi Gage from back in 2004).
Seamus Morris in the Darrian led throughout the day and nothing really changed there as Conor Lavery continued to struggle getting heat into his tyres, Daniel Campbell did make a a big jump forward in terms of his times but I don’t think we really seen the best of him today more to come I’m sure. Conors class record is safe for another year.
4wd Sports Libre – some flying machines in this class – Ivan McCullough lead in his immensely powerful GTR and in first practice was only two seconds of Mark Lancashires class record. In the timed runs he brought this down further finishing with a 38.60 – but its was Oliver Cormican in his impressive Mitsubishi Evo that took the win with a 38.15 – Well driven Oliver.
Brendan Flynns immaculate OMS not only managed to stay ahead of John Donnellys late charge into the 36s but also secured 4th overall a great result considering the machinery already mentioned in class 15! John had a wee off during today’s proceedings but the times where still there right till the end. George started on top and went backwards something so easy to do, first run in the 36s 2nd in the 37s 3rd in the 38s – all in all a very tight battle between some very well matched motors.
There was no catching Gerry today, Robbie did his best but Gerry’s times just kept going lower. A great turnout in the Historics some very nice cars.
Class 17 – Vintage:
Leslie Murray led the way and no one could close that gap, with times that where faster than some modern equipment it was no surprise either. Reid Thomas and Simon Thomas end up the best of the rest.
Thanks to all the Marshalls/Medical Team/TimeKeepers/Competitors and Spectators – if we lacked in any of these areas we wouldn’t be able to enjoy our motorsport as we do.
Article Content thanks to the Northern Ireland Hillclimb Championship.
Photos by Graham Curry Photography.