Brooks on top in NWCC hill climb

Tuesday 14 December, 2021
Craig Brooks has won the Highclere Hillclimb - an event special to him (Photos: Red Beard Photo Media)
Tasmanian rally stalwart Craig Brooks has proved he is a man of many talents after an impressive display during the North West Car Club’s Highclere Hillclimb.
 
Part of a healthy field of 40 competitors, Brooks was behind the wheel of the Orange Motorsport Subaru WRX regularly campaigned in the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) and dominated the day as a result.
 
With competitors getting up to seven timed runs of the 1.1 kilometre course, Brooks was in a league of his own as he topped the timesheets in all but one of his six attempts at the course.
 
Although the time he posted on the opening run was enough to win the event, as the day wore on, Brooks continued to shave tenths off his time before settling with the 30.64 second run achieved on his final go.
 
The next best driver for the day was three seconds off the event winner, with Dave McCullagh winning an intense four-way battle for the minor podium positions.

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Although McCullagh ultimately took out second place, he was made to work for it as he trailed Celica GT4 pilot Igor Van Gerwen for the first half of the event - Van Gerwen’s 33.68 second run looked enough to pick up second place.
 
McCullagh eventually went faster than his rival on the fourth run, but had to wait until the fifth to pip him on the outright standings as he steered his Subaru WRX to a 33.63 second run – edging Van Gerwen by just five hundredths of second.
 
In fourth place and a further two tenths off the top three was Philip House in his BMW Alpina, while Grant Medwin rounded out the top five just four hundredths off House.

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Click here to view the results.
 
Following on from his win, Brooks was just happy to be competing at an event that has always been special to him.
 
“I love club motorsport and I love the Highclere Hillclimb. It was the first sanctioned event I ever ran in around 30 years ago, so it’s special for me,” Brooks said.
 
“I am there for fun and that’s the key. Sure, we’re competitive but enjoying grassroots motorsport is the reason for going. I have a strong passion for the NWCC as they’re my local club and always have been.
 
“I also love the art of hill climbing. It’s such a short track and you need to get everything right to make sure you go well. Every tenth and hundredth matters – I am just such a fan of it.

DSC06385“As for my own performance, we were experimenting with tyres and playing around with different settings. We got faster over the course of the day, but ultimately fell short of the outright record, which Jason White did in this car two years ago.
 
“The reality was that it wasn’t entirely a fast day, and we probably didn’t have the right tyre choices, but overall it was a great event and the club really knows how to run an efficient event. It was very well organised, and I had a great time.”
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