Weather or not – Menzies strikes again!!

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).

Wallace scored the maximum 10 points for Round 3 of the Avon Tyres British Hill Climb Championship with a time of 43.07s, hotly followed by Alex Summers at 43.63s and Scott Moran finished on 43.98s.

In Round 4 Wallace shaved almost 1 second off his Round 3 time to take the flag at 42.20s, Scott took 2nd this time with 42.96s also a second faster and Alex finished 3rd with 43.45s.  A great battle for the top 3 places on each of the rounds.

Every run produced faster times from the winners in each class which reflects the commitment and driving skills which entertained the crowds who braved the elements to watch the best hill climbing machinery and drivers perform.

The Simon Brien Residential UAC Craigantlet Hill Climb was the second round of  the Millers Oils ANICC Hill Climb Championship which also provided great excitement and thrilling drives from our local entrants. Tim Woodside from Dunadry in his Pilbeam MP82 (Pic A5) was the fastest local driver up the hill with 48.71s, just over 4 seconds adrift from the winner and 12th place overall, well done Tim! Graham Thompson was only 1.19 seconds slower in his GTR Turbo in 14th place overall Pic H), Steven Robb from Nutts Corner in his Jedi Mk4 (Pic I) was just 2.95s behind and was only 0.18s ahead of Ian Lancashire in the Subaru Impreza (Pic J) he shares with his brother Mark, such was the intensity of the competition despite the continual precipitation. Not surprisingly no Hill Records were broken this year.

Clerk of The Course, Wilson Carson, on behalf of the UAC, took the opportunity in his drivers briefing to thank our title sponsor Simon Brien Residential and all our other associated sponsors, volunteers, residents, marshals, competitors and spectators for their continued support for one of the oldest Hill Climbs in the UK. 2023 will see the event celebrate its 110th Anniversary.

A few minor excursions into the scenery resulting in dented pride and some modified car bodies, but thankfully no one injured, saw the event safely finish at 18:30. The Club were delighted to see two additional women drivers featuring on the ‘Hill’ for the first time; Ruth Nugent from Co. Meath in her Mini Cooper (Pic K) and Amy Hawthorne from Belfast driving her Renault Clio (Pic L).

The Ulster Automobile Club congratulate all winners and once again would like to thank all the residents for their continued support and forbearance without which this annual spectacle would not be possible. The club have been working with TJ Vision to produce a video of the event which will be available for all to enjoy on YouTube and Facebook.

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