Last weekend saw the start of the Connaught Competition engines Irish Hillclimb and Sprint Championship in Ballyvaughan in county Clare. The Clare motor club ran a 2 day event in sometimes difficult conditions with wind and rain making the courses very tricky to drive.

The overall battle was won both days by Dublin’s Simon McKinley, beating Limericks Paul O’Connell on the debut of his Pilbeam mp58 hillclimb car having decided to leave his trusty delta at home for this one. Prize giving on Saturday night in Logues Hotel in Ballyvaughan was a fun night for all involved with the inevitable banter between competitors!

The second day brought slightly drier conditions and the Scalp hillclimb is a favourite with all drivers. The extended 1.5 mile course was covered by the top 2 of McKinley and O’Connell in just over a stunning 59 seconds. That is an average speed of 90 mph from a standing start over some very demanding roads winding their way through the Burren landscape. To put that into further context, they top 2 finished a staggering 10 seconds ahead of the rest of the field, an unheard of statistic in hillclimbing. Full results will be available on and soon.

Setanta Sports also had a reporter on location to film the weekend and that show was aired on Monday at 5, 7 and 10 on Setanta Ireland on the Live Sports Show. They should be commended for showing such support for our championship and if anyone wants to contact them to thank them and see if they will do some more please send an e-mail to them on their website.

After a dramatic start to the season, things are looking good for Hillclimbers.

The Galway Hillclimb weekend is next on April 24th and 25th. Further information available at