Last Saturday May 14th, Round 3 of the 2016 Millers Oils ANICC Hillclimb Championship was played out over the one mile long Dromhorc Hillclimb near Banbridge, Co Down and after getting his maiden championship win under his belt, it was Bangor’s Christopher Houston who made it 3 rounds out of 3 by winning class 14 and taking FTD in his OMS CF04 single seater.
As well as organising sunshine and blue skies, Newry and District Motor Club had also gathered together a competitive field of 59 entries over 13 classes, but what probably delighted the local spectators the most, was that 19 of these entries were Ford Escorts of various types, spread over 5 classes.
Due to the nature of the road closing order and respect for local residents, action got underway shortly after 11.00 o’clock, so given the time constraints it was pleasing that practice one was dispensed with quickly and only minor hold-ups affected practice two.
Coincidently these happened at opposite ends of the course when an accident befell the timing equipment at the finishing line, which necessitated a couple of reruns and Will Corry had a mechanical issue with his dual entered Midget on the start-line. This was quickly remedied for the timed runs and incidentally Corry’s dual driver, UK based Arron Bunning, managed a credible 2nd in class and 35th overall, on his first visit to Drumhorc.
Unfortunately mechanical woes in practice one curtailed Richard McGimpsey’s day after his RMG broke a driveshaft in the differential and Ian Lancashire’s times were suppressed all-day due to a gear box problem which meant he had to change back to using his clutch rather the quicker flat shift.
With the swift completion of the first two timed runs, a third timed run was offered to competitors but unfortunately it was marked by Robert Davidson having minor off in his MEV Rocket and another competitor dropping a large amount of oil on the course, so due to the long clean up time the rest of the third run was abandoned.
Notable performances were Ivan McCullough’s 2nd overall in a road going car, albeit in a Nissan GTR and the modified Escort of Gerard O’Connell’s 4th overall was a great result. John Donnelly 55.89 rounded of the top three overall in his class 14 Reynard.
Closest Class battle of the day was in Road going Class 2 with the Escorts of Adrian Mulholland 61.40 and David Gibson 61.50 only separated by a tenth of a second. Round 3 of the championship takes place on Saturday 28th May at Spamount Hillclimb, organised by Omagh Motor Club.
FTD Christopher Houston OMS CF04 54.74
Class 2 Adrian Mulholland Escort 61.40
Cass 3 Ivan McCullough Nissan GTR 55.85
Class 5 Robert Davidson MEV Rocket 59.78
Class 6A David McClurg Fiesta 60.63
Class 8 Roger Gage Maguire Mini 56.53
Class 9 Gerard O’Connell Escort 56.49
Class 10 Alan Cassells Escort 60.03
Class 11 Jonny Cargo Escort 60.09
Class 11A Martin Taggert Escort 57.37
Class 12 Andrew McGaffin Evo 9 57.35
Class 14 Christopher Houston OMS CF04 54.74
Class 15 Emmet Dunne Dallara 61.37
Class 16A Stephen Strain Austin Healey 64.12
Photos by Eddie Brackenbridge and George McNeill