Craigantlet Hill Climb hosts top British stars

Andrew Watson
Andrew Watson

The Ballyrobert Vauxhall Craigantlet Hill Climb takes place on Saturday and it is the premier hillclimb in Ireland and the only occasion the Avon Tyres TTC Group MSA British Hillclimb Championship visits our shores.

The big attraction will be the cars and drivers contesting the British Championship with almost all powered by three litre plus engines, the most powerful pushing out over 600bhp.

This year’s Championship promises to be one of the most open in recent years.

Current Champion Scott Moran is scaling back his appearances this year and is not making the journey across the Irish Sea but his big Gould GR 61X will be here.

He shares the car this year with young engineer Alex Summers, who was a winner at rounds last year and must be a contender in the more powerful and very reliable Gould.

Josh Goodyear in another smaller engined car also had wins in 2014 and his attacking style of driving will be well suited to Craigantlet, especially if it rains.

Favourite for fastest time of the day should be Trevor Willis, a former British champion and twice winner here in the dry in 2012 and last year with a masterful display in the wet in his 3200cc OMS car. The organisers, the Ulster Automobile Club, have a full entry of 90 cars, plus a reserve list and the bulk of that will be made up of local competitors contesting the Millers Oils ANICC Northern Ireland Hillclimb Championship. 

Practice starts at 9.30 am and timed runs at 1pm.

Meanwhile, Andrew Watson makes a return to Rockingham on Monday to contest round three of the British GT Championship at the wheel of a McLaren.

This will be a two-hour race for the 20-year-old driver from Donaghmore. He last competed at Rockingham in September 2014 where he won a Ginetta GT4 Supercup race.