Corkscrew Hillclimb Review
With an extra long break due to the unfortunate passing of PJ Vaughan the circus that is the Hillclimb Championship descended on the picturesque Ballyvaughan Co Clare last weekend. This time it was only going to be a one day event with the drivers taking on the infamous Cork Screw Hill. After a new surface laid on the hill while dry there was numerous amounts of grip but once the dark clouds descended it was proving difficult for all drivers as a few of them experiencing spins and over shoots.
Back on the scene since last year the ever popular Nigel Bryson took Class honours in the Uno followed closely by the youthful Trish Daly who unfortunately was only able for 1 run due to engine problems but still managed 2nd in Class. Castletownbere native Senan O’Connor took 3rd in Class 1 in the Cinquecento which is starting to prove very popular in the Class. 4th to 10th places were taken up by Ray O’Neill (Uno), Aidan Courtney (Cinq), Damien Walsh (Cinq), Gary Egan (Cinq), William Whyte (Cinq), Brian McMahon (Cinq) and Alan Tully (Cinq) respectively.
Jim Doherty took 1st place in Class with a time of 58.95 nearly a whole 5 seconds ahead of nearest rival Kieran Curran in his Corsa. Taking 3rd was Mark O’Looney in the Corolla with a time of 72.41 and taking up the rear was Tom Keneally in the Fiat Punto
Peter Bogan took the valuable 10 championship points in Class with a time of 59.29. 2nd in Class was Ian Quinn who eventually figured out how to get the car around the first hairpin without spinning it. And 3rd in class with a respectable time of 64.82 was John Laffey in the Chevette.
Coming in 7th Over All and 1st in Class was the ever aging Rory Stephens in the Radical SR8 taking top spot away from Simon McKinley in his sideways MK II Escort who could only manage 2nd in Class, very close behind Simon was Eanna Carroll who is planning to become more than just a blue spot in the escorts wing mirror in the near future. 4th to 7th was taken up by Alex Wilsdon (Indy), Eddie Lyons (Cosworth), Christy Carey (Evo) & Pat Barry (Sierra)
Mick O’Shea again took Class honours in Clare in the MGB GT just ahead of John Farrell’s MK1.
A poor showing from the Formula Vee’s in Clare gave maximum Champion points and a Class win to Gerard O’Connor with a time of 65.34
Joe Courtney took the Hornet by the horns and powered his way to 2nd over all and 1st in Class with a fantastic time of 50.60, Adrian McCallion was only able to manage a 53.11 but this was enough to guarantee 2nd place in Class. 3rd was Robert Bell in his Crossle followed by Emmett Dunne (Vandiemen), Thomas Corey (Vandiemen), John Donnelly (Reynard) & Catherine Donnelly (Delta T4)
Top of the time sheet and taking the Class win away from the back garden of Sylvie Mullins was Simon McKinley in his 2nd car of the weekend with an amazing time of 49.09. BallyVaughan native and last year’s Championship winner was Sylvie Mullins 2.73 seconds behind in 2nd place. Bringing up 3rd place was Galway’s finest Frank Byrnes who made a rare appearance and showed he still hasn’t lost it. Donal Griffin brought the Delta T74 home in 4th just ahead of Deirdre McKinley in the Reynard who is getting quicker at each event. Dermot Nolan came in 6th in Class and 10th over all even after gearbox trouble and 7th in Class was Padraig Forde Jnr in the Scottclimber with a time of 58.41.
Francis Kelly took the bragging rights in this Class by taking 1st place in his Civic but Brian Liddy and his Escort were knocking on his door all day but could only manage 2nd. Taking 3rd place in Class was John Kennedy in his Peugeot 106 followed by Ashling Power who has made the move from Class 1 to Class 8.
Next up for the Championship is the Carlow round on June 1st and June 2nd. Unfortunately a few of the regulars are crossing the water to compete in France in the famous Saint Goueno Hillclimb on the same weekend. Safe trip and best of luck to all entering and we’ll see you all in Carrick on Suir.
Article by: Paul Doyle, Championship PRO.