This year’s hillclimb season began with a big field of entrants at the MG Club’s Rob Roy Hillclimb (Christmas Hills) in January. It was followed recently by a capacity grid of 100 cars at a Bryant Park twilight meeting the Haunted Hills circuit in the Latrobe Valley. The track configuration for this event was the long, clockwise track which is about 1.3 km in length. The fastest cars, which are usually home-made hillclimb specials using motorcycle engines in space-frame chassis, can complete the course in under 50 seconds, whilst the tail-enders can take up to 30 seconds longer. Cars are released at about 40 second intervals and the day proceeded smoothly without incident with all competitors offered a practice run and five timed runs on the day.
Three Sporting Register members were competing, whilst John Moss ruled over the event as Clerk of Course with assistance from Allan Richards officiating on the Start Line and a host of other officials helping out. It was nice to catch up with Lloyd Shaw, now a retired Scrutineer, who drove down from Glen Waverley to watch the proceedings and catch up with friends. Graeme Longhurst also dropped by in his Cooper S to offer encouragement to the brace of other Mini drivers competing on the day.
Fastest of our little trio was Jim McNiven in his rapid Corolla Sports Sedan with a best time of 57.35 , placing him 15th outright and the winner of his class. Next fastest was Steve Schmidt in the Group N (Historic) Cooper S recording a best time of 61.32 to place 42nd outright and 3rd in class. Ian Maud ran his Fiat X1/9 Abarth Prototipo in the Sports Cars up to 2-litre class, winning it with a time of 61.70 and placing 48th outright.
It was a long day for competitors, but it couldn’t have happened without the support of all the officials who volunteered their time and expertise to make the event such a success. Thanks.