There was a welcome return to action at the MEC Hillclimb this weekend as the Connaught Competition Engines Hillclimb and Sprint Championship resumed after a long layoff. The MEC motor club provided two great venues, a super Hillclimb in The Naul and a great sprint near Lusk. Entries were very strong with over 50 entries both days. Despite some delays getting started on Saturday competitors got a practice and 3 timed runs on Saturday and 4 timed runs on Sunday. Championship Sponsor Phil Price made a welcome visit and showed that even after 5 years out of Hillclimb single seaters he still has the competitive edge.
The events both days were won by local man Simon McKinley in the Lant rt2 Warrior. He was followed both days by reigning champion Paul O’Connell in his Pilbeam MP58 Hart. The consistency followed through both days with Seamus Morris finishing 3rd overall despite getting progressively closer to the front as his first season in single seaters draws to a close. John Byrne put in a giant killing performance in his 1000cc Jedi finishing 4th overall. Another returning name two time champion Donal Griffin worried quite a few regulars with his ever improving pace over the weekend, driving Paul O’Connell’s trusty old Delta Warrior he finished 5th overall both days.
The Class winners on Saturday were on Saturday in Class 1 Nigel Bryson in his Fiat Uno, followed by Garry Bradley and Elaine O’Reilly. Sunday saw Elaine take the win ahead of Nigel and new hillclimber Ben O’Brien in third.
Class 2 the evergreen John Bradley in his Corsa followed by his son Colin on Saturday. Sunday saw John have an off in practice forcing him to share his sons car. Colin took the honours winning the class followed by his proud father in 2nd.
Class 3a was unusually not a clean sweep for Stephen Gillis in his Westfield. Ian Quinn in his new Mini Busa managed to get ahead of Stephen on Sunday despite finishing behind him on Saturday. Michael Feeney took third both days to consolidate his position in the championship.
Class 3b was dominated by locals again with Rory “Grandad” Stephens winning in his turbocharged Radical, followed by Alan Kessie in his Gryphon. Galway’s Eanna Carroll could not quite quench the 420bhp Civic Turbo’s appetite for tyres this time and finished third both days.
The Historic class wins were shared with Dermot Quigley and Gerry Freeman. Ironic as they share driving the same car “Angela the Anglia”. Dermot won on Saturday and Gerry won on Sunday. They were followed home both days by Matt Dunne in his Midget.
Class 5 was won by event organiser Scott Milligan in his Formula Vee both days.
Class 6 was won by Joe Courtney as John Byrne is not registered for the championship this year. “Joe 90” driving his OMS hornet is showing real pace as the season rolls on. John Mahon entertained the crowd with his noisy antics in the DJ Busa till engine problems forced an end on Saturday. In the spirit of hillclimbing John Byrne let John double drive the Jedi on Sunday. Despite having trouble adapting to the different gear change he managed to secure 2nd in class ahead of Edwin Ryanhart in his immaculate Delta.
Class 7 was won by Pilbeam of Paul O’Connell both days followed by Seamus Morris in his similar machine and Brendan “anxious “Keane in his Swallow.
Class 8 was won by Karen Feeney in her Rover 25/ The Mondello Grid Search girl is looking on course for championship victory in Donegal.
Class 9 was won by Limericks Peter Cummins. Driving a beautiful 2 litre Darrian he won the class both days.
Irish Hillclimb & Sprint TV by: Vantage Point Video
All in all a good weekends Motorsport had by all, the club should be commended for finding 2 fantastic venues in North County Dublin. The next event is Donegal in 2 weeks time on September the 4th and 5th on the famous Knockalla Hillclimb. Entries Regs are available on this site. See you there!!