Ballyrobert Vauxhall & Lotus Craigantlet Hill Climb 30th April 2016 – images from the day

Scott Moran breaks Craigantlet Hill Climb record twice in one day

This year’s event was prefaced with a BBQ on the Friday evening at Cultra Manor, hosted by the main sponsors Ballyrobert Vauxhall and Lotus. Scrutiny was available for cars entering the event and The High Sheriff of Belfast, Alderman Jim Rodgers OBE was in attendance. Alderman Rodgers kindly officially started the event on the Saturday morning, waving the first cars off the line. The Ulster Automobile Club would like to thank their sponsors Ballyrobert Vauxhall and Lotus and Simon Brien Properties for their kind support and also Belfast City Council for their continued assistance.

The sunshine and crowds had returned to this year’s Ballyrobert Vauxhall and Lotus Craigantlet Hill Climb on Saturday the 30th April, as the hill resounded to the noise of highly tuned engines. The superb weather and subsequent increase in road surface temperature allowed tremendous grip and both the overall hill climb record time and class records were there to be broken. The Clerk of the Course, National B, Wilson Carson said, “It’s good to see so many spectators supporting the event this year and we expect to see some very exciting competition.”

The first car on the hill for practice was Bangor man William Heaney in his Ford Puma, who went on to win first in his class. But the main action of the day was to come from the super-fast British Hill Climb Championship contenders. Scott Moran attacked the start line on each run-up, scorching his tyres to gain adhesion. The British Hillclimb Championship looked to be a close fought battle with both Scott Moran and Trevor Willis tying on their first timed runs at just 40.76 seconds to the top.

Scott Moran then took the lead with a new hill record, beating his old one, of just 39.40secs. His fantastic form continued and on his final run of the day of the Avon Tyres British Hill Climb Championship he reduced it even further to just 39.12secs. There were scenes of jubilation in the paddock area as the time was announced. Trevor Willis, despite earlier gearbox selection issues and third placed Will Hall chased Moran also attaining the 39 sec’s but Scott Moran won the day and also the News Letter Trophy.

Scott Moran said after his win, “I think there may still be some room left to nudge the time with some fine tuning of the bottom end below the crossroads, once over them it’s just flat-out with speeds of up to 150mph.”

The Millers Oils Northern Ireland Hill Climb Championship second round, was as would expected full of excitement with various spins, spills and thrills, including one vehicles bonnet coming off. It was a close fought battle, a repeat of Croft Hill Climb just a few weeks before between Bangor man Chris Houston finishing a very credible 8th overall in his 1400cc OMS-CF04 with a best time of  46.57 seconds, and Richard McGimpsey in his 1300cc RMG who finished with a 9th place and best time of just 46.72 seconds. George Stevenson driving his 1000cc Jedi Mk6 was close behind with a best time of the day of 48.23 seconds.

A number of other class records fell on the day, with Mark Lancashire in his shared 2200cc Subaru Impreza, achieving a very credible 49.17 seconds, shaving just over a second off his own record time.

Craigantlet was also a first for two drivers this year. A first event for Aaron Bunning who went on to win his class in a 2000cc Modsports Midget, with a best time of 59.20 seconds, and also Belfast man Stephen Morrissey, driving a 1600cc Peugeot 106 XSI on his first Hill Climb event. His best time of the day was 64.05 seconds.

Here are some first images from the day with more to follow-

Car 17 Gordon Fogarty - Belfast image Tom Maxwell

Image courtesy of Tom Maxwell

Car 2 Trevor Willis Gerabox problems on line- Worcester image Eddie Brackenridge Car 20 Gardiner McIlwaine - image Eddie Brackenridge Car 20 Gardiner McIlwaine - Larne image 2 Eddie Brackenridge Car 25 Graham Wynn - Shifnal- image Eddie Brackenridge Car 32 Chris Houston - Bangor - image Eddie Brackenridge Car 32 Christopher Houston - Bangor- Image Eddie Brackenridge Car 58 Ivan McCullough -Saintfield image Eddie Brackenridge Car 62 Robert Boyce - Moneymore image Eddie Brackenridge Car 64 Stephen Strain - Downpatrick - image Eddie Brackenridge Car 64 Stephen Strain - Downpatrick image 2 Eddie Brackenridge Car 77 - Michael Beattie - Moneyreagh -image Eddie Brackenridge Car 90 Mark Lancashire - Comber -image Eddie Brackenridge William Heaney Bangor - image Eddie Brackenridge

Some images from the day courtesy of Bill Swann

DSC_7230-e High Sheriff Jim Rodgers on Craigantlet 2016 DSC_7236-e High Sheriff Jim Rodgers and Wilson Carson CoC Craigantlet HC 2016 DSC_7347-e-George Stevenson Broughshane Jedi at Howe CHC 2016 DSC_7440-e Trevor Allen Lisburn GMS at Howe CHC 2016 DSC_7622-e-David-Finlay-Helensburgh-Honda-Civic-Type-R-CHC-2016 DSC_7796-e Alastair Crawford Cheltenham Gould GR55 at Mays Cross CHC 2016 DSC_7798-e Dave Uren Redditch Force pc Hyabussa at Mays Cross CHC 2016 DSC_7801-e Will Hall Norton Force WH-xtec at Mays Cross CHC 2016 DSC_8070-e Goerge Stevenson Broughshane Jedi Mk6 at Mays Cross CHC 2016 DSC_8081-e William Neill Tandragee Austin Mini at Mays Cross CHC 2016

DSC_8102-e John Stewart Bangor Mygale M12 at Mays Cross CHC 2016