State hill climbs enjoy brilliant weekends

Tuesday 24 September, 2019
It was a busy weekend of hill climbs in New South Wales and Victoria.

The Mantic Clutch CAMS New South Wales Hill Climb Championship and the Up & Go Victorian Hill Climb Championship have each held entertaining rounds in September with more than 100 drivers taking part across both rounds.

In what was a dominant display in the New South Wales competition at the Huntley Hill climb circuit, Ron Hay ended up as the fastest driver in all four of his runs.

Saving his best until last, Hay gradually improved as the day went on, recording a time of 22.95 seconds in his first run to finish one second faster on his fourth run at 21.90 seconds.

With his closets rival Wayne Penrose’s fastest time being around half a second slower than his, Hay opted to park the car for the fifth run and soak up his one and half-second lead.

Doing all he could in his fourth run, Penrose also called it a day after what turned out to be his final run, leaving the event with a class victory and a runner-up time of 23.41 seconds.

Less than half a second separated the battle for third with Warren Bell claiming the deserving third place over Greg Thompson, who had one last attempt in the final run to surpass Bell’s 24.14 second time, only to fall short by four-tenths of a second.

Taking place at the same time, 1000km down the Hume Highway in the small west Victorian town of Camperdown, the Victorian championship was providing fans with more drama than its New South Wales counterparts.

Remarkably, less than one second separated the top four, but it was the battle for first that left fans on the edge of their seats with only eight-hundredths of a second proving the difference between first and second.

At the top of the competitive field by the end of the weekend was David Mahon and interestingly, his fifth and final run was the only time he led the field, his time eventual sealing the victory.

Finishing behind Mahon was Garry Martin, while Michael Bishop finished in third place - two-tenths of second faster than eventual fourth-placed Michael Barker.

Despite Bishop finishing in third place ahead of Barker, he was the only one of the four not to go into a break with a lead as Barker started the day with the two fastest times in the competition.

Martin surpassed him on the third run and never slowed down, grabbing the next few runs comfortably before posting the event’s fastest time of 28.20 seconds on his sixth. Bishop recorded the next best time, more than a second slower, whilst Mahon was even further behind with the gap at more than a second and a half.

With just one run remaining, Martin was in the box seat to the claim the round win, however on his final run, Mahon pulled something from nothing to break the 28-second barrier for the first time all weekend and post a time of 28.13 seconds, shooting him to first place – eight tenths ahead of Martin.

All eyes turned to Martin who still had his final attempt remaining but incredibly, he was unable to beat his time, instead equalling his own fastest time and staying put in second place behind a deserving Mahon.

It was a thrilling end to what had been an entertaining weekend, which saw two deserving winners in their own right claim victories.
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