Alex Summers arrived into Belfast last Friday with his DJ Firestorm for scrutiny at Campbell College along with 19 other competitors from the Avon Tyres Motorsport UK British Hill Climb Championship (BHC) to entertain us all on Patterson Electronics Hytera Craigantlet Hill Climb, kindly supported by Belfast City Council. (Pic A).
Alex was runner up to Wallace Menzies BHC battle and here at Craigantlet in 2022. He wasted no time in getting to grips with the slippery surface on the hill in his practice runs. Alex set the fastest time of the day, 39.97 seconds on his first timed run, just 0.85 seconds off the current record, (a superb result given the changeable weather conditions) which earned him first overall and the prestigious News Letter Trophy. (Pic B).
The Ulster Automobile Club (UAC) are thrilled to announce that we have a new title sponsor for Craigantlet Hill Climb; Hytera Communications, who are a leading global provider of professional radio communications equipment and solutions. They are dedicated to bringing the most value-added and user-centric solutions to organisations across the world, with a portfolio of devices, systems and software applications to offer voice, video and data services, providing fast, safe and reliable connectivity solutions for mission-critical communications.
Ian Culbert, (in the blue shirt above), Sales Director of Patterson Electronics, Hytera Communications partner in Northern Ireland, commented “We are extremely delighted to be the title sponsor of Craigantlet as we recognise the significance of this event in the British and ANICC Hill Climb Championships. It is one of the fastest in the series. A hill of two halves, it presents fast sweeping corners, tight uphill twists and a spectacular finish. We have been working with the UAC on this and other events for many years now and have always been a dedicated supporter of motorsport. Craigantlet is a superb event for beginners and experienced drivers alike, exceedingly well organised by a friendly and supportive team of dedicated volunteers and we are extremely proud to be associated with the event and want to wish everyone involved a safe and enjoyable day on the Hill.”
The Club are also delighted to announce that Belfast City Council has just agreed to support the event as well, so look forward to a great day of motorsport!!
Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Christina Black, commented ‘I am delighted Belfast City Council can continue to show our support to this long-standing, historic sporting event and I welcome all motor sport enthusiasts to our city. The beautiful Craigantlet Hills create a perfect destination for drivers as they will make their way through the fast and technical course. I wish all the participants good luck on the day and fingers crossed for some good weather too so that everyone can really enjoy an exciting day of action! Good luck!
The organisers have attracted the top 20 contenders from the UK who are competing for the Motorsport UK Avon Tyres British Hill Climb Championship. These entries are complemented by 70 competitors from our local ANICC Championship, which will provide anyone attending the ‘Hill’ with an absolutely remarkable festival of driving skills and expertise, timed to the 100th of a second. The event will be held on Saturday 29th April 2023, on the outskirts of Belfast.
Please Note: Spectator access will only be allowedfrom the bottom of the Hill Climb Course (i.e. Belmont Road (B170) approaching from the Old Holywood Road / Massey Avenue directions).
Craigantlet hosts Rounds 3 & 4 of the 2023 Motorsport UK British Hillclimb Championship (BHC) supported by Avon Tyres. Clerk of the Course, Wilson Carson reflected, “The hard work of my team has resulted in a marvellous combination of cross channel and local entries consisting of the crème de la crème of British Hill Climbers. Wallace Menzies, current British Hill Climb Champion, returns to challenge Scott Moran and Dave Uren, current joint record holders of the coveted News Letter Trophy which is awarded to the driver who sets the Fastest Time of the Day (FTD). Alec Summers the 2022 BHC runner up also joins the fray, along with some very fast local competitors such as Tim Woodside, Graeme Thompson and Alan Cassells, so who will reign supreme? Our event programme, a must read, contains several articles from competitors, journalists and volunteers who share their experiences and love of our ‘Hill’, thanks must go to all who have contributed and made this quality production possible. All proceeds from programme sales go to support Macmillan Cancer Support at Antrim Area Hospital, our Club Charity for 2023.
Ryan McGimpsey (pictured above) started his challenge for the 2023 ANICC Motorsport Supplies Hill Climb Championship by setting a blistering pace at Croft last weekend, recording a superb time of 33.90 seconds, 0.34 seconds faster than his brother Richard and almost 4 seconds faster than Robert, the eldest member of this speeding dynasty!! Graham Thompson filled third place a mere 4 hundredths of a second behind Ryan. We are looking forward to the action at Craigantlet on Saturday week. Please join us for a day of great craic and seriously entertaining speed on closed public roads.
Wallace Menzies clearly demonstrated why he is the current Avon Tyres British Hill Climb Champion by setting the Fastest Time of the Day on the Simon Brien Residential UAC Craigantlet Hill Climb, netting him the News Letter Trophy. (Pic A) His driving skills also resulted in him collecting the Dunlop Trophy (Pic B) for his Class 15 win and taking a ‘clean sweep’ by winning both rounds 3 and 4 of the Avon Tyres British Hill Climb Championship at the weekend. Nichola, Wallace’s wife received the Noble Trophy for the second year in a row as the fastest lady up the Hill. (Pics C&D) Congratulations to them both!
The battle for the overall win was intense as the rain continued to fall throughout the day making traction of the start line and on some of the corners a challenging prospect, however the big man from Alloa in his Gould GR59-M set the Fastest Time of the Day (Pic E). Given the conditions, only 5 seconds off the current hill record of 39.12s (jointly held by Scott Moran and Dave Uren) this was a magnificent result. Second place driver Alex Summers in his DJ Firestorm (Pic F) followed by 0.17 seconds who in turn was 0.54 seconds faster than Scott Moran in his Gould GR59J (Pic G).
The Ulster Automobile Club (UAC) are thrilled to announce that when entries closed, the best drivers and machinery in the UK will be coming to Northern Ireland to ‘battle it out on our Hill’. Six months ago entries filled within 6 minutes of entries going live; this year we took a little longer, somewhere in the region of a half a second, the difference between the winner and 2nd place on this amazing event.
We are extremely delighted to continue our relationship with Simon Brien Residential, our generous title sponsor, competitor and avid supporter of motorsport. Simon commented, “Craigantlet is highly regarded by local competitors and our friends in the British Hill Climb Championship as one of the fastest in the series.
Wallace Menzies, from Alloa in his Gould GR59-M, recorded the fastest time on the Simon Brien Residential Craigantlet Hill Climb to secure the 2021 Footman James Motorsport UK British Hill Climb Championship (BHC), with two rounds still to go.
Such is the hunger from competitors to return to motorsport and specifically ‘The Hill’ the Ulster Automobile Club, organisers of Craigantlet Hill Climb, are delighted to report that the entry list was full within 6 minutes of opening.
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