Tighe seals second autotest championship for 2022

Tuesday 25 October, 2022
Photos: CH Images
Dean Tighe has backed up his Motorsport Australia Supersprint Championship title, with victory in the Motorsport Australia Hill Climb Championship at Mount Cotton on the weekend.
A field of more than 80 competitors were entered in the final national Speed and Auto Test championship for the year, however it was Tighe who won his first hill climb championship after surpassing Greg Ackland and long-time rival Dean Amos.
With Sunday’s action cancelled due to wet weather, it would be Saturday’s runs that determined the title as Tighe went fastest outright on the first three runs – with his title winning run of 37.46 seconds coming on his third run.

After a DNF on the opening run and a five second penalty on the second run, Amos finally got a clean go at the track and produced a time of 37.89 seconds, which elevated him to second outright and just four tenths behind Tighe.
In the fourth run, Tighe was on track to go almost a second fastest his third run, however a broken supercharger belt towards the end of the course saw him lose time.
Amos had another DNF on the run and as a result, Ackland posted his best time of the day with 37.83 seconds, which saw him fastest outright on the run, and ultimately surpassing Amos for second place by just six hundredths.
Despite not being able to complete any more runs on Sunday, it was a thrilling contest between the top drivers, however the day belonged to Tighe who joined an exclusive club of winning two Motorsport Australia Speed and Auto Test championships in the one year.
“It’s very cool to be a two-time Australia champion, but honestly, it hasn’t really sunk in yet because I will be heading to Adelaide for the SA State Championship this weekend,” Tighe said.
“Winning the hill climb title is special because it has eluded me for a long time and I think this year I had both the tools and the car to win and I did.
“It was also great to beat Dean (Amos) as I haven’t been able to do it for more than 18 months now and that makes it even sweeter.
“Although it was wet and we broke a supercharger belt, we would have had it covered because we were almost a second faster on that run before breaking the belt and we knew we’d be faster once we replaced the part and had a new tyre set up for Sunday.

“It’s a shame it rained out on Sunday because the MG Car Club do a great job, but I think that even though it rained, a championship win is still a championship win and I think we had the goods to continue improving.
“It’s what I love about hill climbs, it’s just as much about developing the car than the driver, which is the reason I go to different circuits – so I can keep improving and get out of my comfort zone.”
Behind the wheel of the ever-improving Empire Wraith, Tighe led the line of competitors driving Formula Libres, all of whom occupied the top nine places.

Just missing out on the outright podium by less than three tenths was Warwick Hutchinson, while Alan Foley rounded out the top five with a solid time of 41.11 seconds.

Behind him were fellow Formula Libre 751 to 1300cc class rivals in Jim Milliner, David Quelch, Luke Weiks and Dave Morrow – with Milliner just four tenths slower than Foley.
Quelch, Weiks and Morrow were all a bit slower than Foley and Milliner, but they had an entertaining battle with Weiks’ time of 43.25 seconds just one hundredth of a second faster than Morrow.
Claiming the final place of the top 10 was the highest ranked tin top car with Michael Larymore edging out VW Superbug driver Wayne Penrose in his Toyota MR2 by just two tenths of a second.

Click here to view results.
Other notable results from the round saw the 26th placed Pauline Graham as the fastest woman, Ashley McKenzie as the fastest junior and Glen Wesener take out the best performance from a historic vehicle in his Torana LJ GTR XU-1.
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