Ottery’s Hollier in fine form at Wiscombe

Ottery’s Ed Hollier, overall victor a week ago at Wiscombe Park, challenged Rod Thorne in his 3.5 litre Judd V8 powered Pilbeam MP58 with a climb of 36.58 seconds at last weekend’s Tipton Garage/Alansway sponsored event.

But this time, the Ottery St Mary driver was unable to match the pace with his Suzuki Hayabusa-powered Pilbeam MP62, as Thorne trumped his time with a 36.25 second ascent.

Hollier and his new vehicle, however, claimed a brace of victories in the 1100cc to 1600cc racing car class.

Hollier had returned to the winner’s circle at Wiscombe Park at the 500 Owners Association meeting on May 12. The 2007 British Leaders Hillclimb Champion had been absent from the scene for a couple of seasons whilst a new vehicle was conceived and constructed.

Ed’s father Bob, has brought together a Pilbeam MP62 chassis, designed and manufactured specifically for the sport of speed hillclimbing, and a Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle engine, in place of the car derived engine which was originally part of the design.

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Although the Hollier duo always thought the combination would have potential it is the performance on the track that tells the story.

The wet Wiscombe meeting a fortnight ago was inconclusive as the Ed had not previously driven the car in a competitive environment. A 180 degree spin on Wis Straight was also a sobering moment for both the driver and his father but on Saturday Hollier junior started to find the limits of his new machine finishing the morning practice sessions a mere one hundredth of a second behind the pace setter Rod and victor from two weeks ago, Rod Thorne in his three and a half litre V8 powered Pilbeam MP58.

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The battle in the official timed runs first swung in the direction of the Dorset driver with an advantage over his East Devon counterpart of 00.00 seconds but on the second and final ascent the tables were turned and Hollier to the victory with a climb of 00.00 with Thorne unable to improve his time.

Dominance of local drivers was demonstrated by the number of ‘double wins’ achieved by local drivers. Another driver to claim a brace was Dave Gardner in his Empire 001 but the second win was hard-fought following a 360 degree spin between Bunny’s Leap and The Gate. The incident meant the Awliscombe driver did not record a competitive first run time which allowed his wife Pam to take the lead in the category. However, a determined yet controlled second visit to the hill secured the win which saw the duo finish one-two on both days.

It was not just the single-seater drivers who were ‘doing the double’. In the Road Going Series Production Car class, for vehicles over 2600 cc, Exeter garage proprietor Steve Clarke defeated stern opposition from Simon Glover (Mitsubishi Lancer) and the experienced Roy Bray (Ford Escort Cosworth).

Reigning Bridge Wheels and Tyres Wiscombe Champion Craig Moore was another to claim two wins, this time in the Rally Car class. The Lyme Regis driver powered his Ford Cortina Mk2 past more modern Ford Escorts to not only to class wins but on the Saturday event his enthusiastic driving style also took the trophy for ‘the most entertaining driver’ as judged by the course marshals.

There was more to come for the Moore family however, with the Citroen AX of Axminster’s Lee Moore taking two decisive wins in the 1400 cc division of the Road Going Series Production Car category both with comfortable margins.

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