Houston Strikes Again at Drumhorc Hillcimb

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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.

Photo Credit George McNeill, Alan Cassells, Peugeot

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.

Photo Credit Eddie Brackenbridge, Arron Bunning, Midget

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


About Author

Tony Gregory is a long time motorsport official with credits ranging from Kirkistown to Bathurst. Tony has lately added part-time Motorsport journalist and PR guru to his portfolio.

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