Council gives backing to annual Craigantlet Hillclimb challenge

Action from the Craigantlet Hillclimb
Action from the Craigantlet Hillclimb

Belfast City Council is to support the Craigantlet Hillclimb which takes place on Saturday 2 August, organised by the Ulster Automobile Club.

Following last year’s Centenary event celebrating the first event in 1913, the Club are now embarking on the second century of competition at the famous old hill.

Bob Cairns who as Clerk of the Course, heads up the Club’s organising Committee said: “It is very appropriate that the council are supporting us this year, as Craigantlet must be the only International Motorsport competition in Great Britain or Ireland to be held on a course situated just on the edge of a major city”

For spectators the big attraction will be the visit of competitors in the Avon Tyres/TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship, the only occasion when the series visits Ireland.

Around a dozen drivers will make the trip across the Irish Sea, almost all using single seater racing cars, purpose built for hillclimbing.

The most powerful of these with 3.5 litre engines and power outputs in excess of 600bhp. With their light weight and small fuel loads they are capable of out accelerating a modern Formula One Grand Prix car.

This year’s Championship is reaching the one third distance point, with 10 of the 34 rounds in England and Scotland completed.

Five drivers have already claimed victories on the hills visited, but while these include young chargers like Alec Summers in his DJ Firehawk and popular Scottish driver Wallace Menzies in his appropriately named, high revving methanol

powered DJ Firestorm, the two men who have dominated British Hillclimbing with their consistency in recent years head the championship table and in the lead multiple Champion, current Craigantlet record holder and the most successful driver in British Hillclimb history, Scott Moran with his Gould GR61 and just behind his arch rival Trevor Willis.

Many home based competitors will compete in the Millers Oils ANICC Northern Ireland Hillclimb Championship with cars for every taste in a variety of classes from standard saloons, through sports cars to single seater racing cars.

There is even a class for vintage cars that will see a selection of beautiful and in many cases very valuable old cars from the nineteen thirties, tackle the famous hill.