Date: 5/10/09 | Host Club: Newcastle MG Car Club
Saturday 5th October, picturesque King Edward Park came alive to the sights and sounds of hillclimb machinery with the 52nd running of the MG Newcastle, Mattara Festival Hillclimb, supported this year by Shannons Insurance.
Despite rain being forecast, the course stayed fine to the end (well, almost) and the unique park and beach scenery provided a great backdrop. There was added interest this year as 2008 NSW Champion, Tim Edmondson aimed to top off a successful 2009 campaign with a last round win.
Tom Donovan’s Pilbeam took up the early lead on 37.07s from Tim Edmondson (Force PC), Tamworth’s Neil Farr (Bowin-Hay) and Searle Courtright (Axtell Suzuki) all less than a second apart.
Course record holder, Farr was first into the 34s bracket only to have Edmondson counter with a 34.79s charge. Quietly, Coffs Harbour’s Dave Morrow (Krygger) began to move into contention as well with Ron Hay in the historic RH Honda next quickest. To the crowd’s delight it was coming down to the final run.
Farr made one of his trademark minimalist starts, the ample torque of the V8 and almost nil wheelspin launched him to an FTD of 34.66. Tim Edmondson had a slight hesitation with a gearchange and was unable to improve on his previous best, while Dave Morrow claimed a creditable third outright on 35.24s from “Turbo” Tom Donovan and Ron Hay fifth outright.
Despite having his first run at KEP, Mudgee’s Doug Barry is fast becoming a crowd favourite battling the uneven terrain (and the odd off course excursion) with the low slung Lola, finishing sixth outright from local emerging star, Amy Mrcela (Elfin)
Top Tin Top (and ninth outright) went to Stuart Inwood (Skyline GTR), best junior was Ryan Bates (Prelude).
Speaking of Tin Tops, the 3J (read Beetle) class was again hotly contended with seven drivers battling it out. Final victory went to Heath Campbell by 0.02s from Ben Durie with Christine Campbell next, narrowly ahead of Grant Cook.
After the event, Neil Farr looked surprised and commented “I was shocked by the result, as I have missed a couple of rounds this year and didn’t expect to do that well. The closeness of the competition today made it one of the best rounds of hillclimbing I have seen”.
Alan Barlow – NSW Hillclimb Website Editor
- Congratulations to Tim Edmondson, making it back to back NSW Championships.
- Commiserations to Searle Courtright and Steve Moxon after an “off” ended their day early. They probably didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as Steve clipped a wheel to retire the Axtell (and unfortunately gained no points) while Searle hung onto eighth outright and gained a couple of crucial championship points.
- I don’t know how Keith Jones and his son Eden are like at settling family feuds but the results have Eden in front by 0.17s which ought to make the final pointscore pretty interesting also.
- More good/bad luck in Group S(b). Bob Wooton and Steve Purdy have swapped places all year and arrived at KEP all square on points. Steve was afflicted by a mystery misfire and despite replacing all “the usual” bits only managed two runs. Bob was able to get the full complement and pinch the win.