For the third year in succession the Thoroughbred Sports Car Club’s historic Cultra Hillclimb on Saturday 13th June has an oversubscribed entry, even though the Club were offering an additional 10 places to reflect this years’ 110th Anniversary of the first running.
Event co-ordinator and TSCC President William Heaney commented. “We’re delighted in the response from the motorsport community to what is not a NI Championship counting competition, but just a celebration of the heritage and history of motoring in this country. With the co-operation of our event hosts and partners, the Ulster Folk and Transport Musem, we’d been able to create some extra paddock space, but never really expected to receive almost 120 applications, meaning we’ve had to create a Reserve List once again. Then to add icing on the cake the new Ards and North Down Borough Council have awarded the hillclimb competition an Event Grant, for a fifth year.”
After the main competitive action on the hill, rally fans will be able to enjoy a special Top 10 run off, just for MK2 Ford Escorts, which this year celebrates it’s 40th anniversary. The winners trophy will be presented in memory of the late Simon McKinley, who was a multiple Irish hillclimb champion.
He was not only a highly skilled driver who “drove the doors off” his own white escort, but he was also a gifted engineer who developed the car into one of the most potent Escorts to grace the roads and tracks. Simon was due to compete at Cultra 2015, so now the ‘Shoot-Out’ winner will be awarded a trophy “In Memory of Simon McKinley” with the “Scort”, having pride of place in the display area.
Fans of Chevron racing cars will be delighted to see the appearance of a B1 Chevron, to celebrate the first of the manufacturer’s cars which made its winning debut at Kirkistown race circuit 50 years ago. The car will be on display in front of the Manor and may even take a spin up the hill! Also on display for fans’ perusal will be a European Championship Chevron B26 and Irish racing legend, Tommy Reid’s single-seater F2.
The increasing popularity of what has become dubbed “Ulster’s Motoring Garden Party” has resulted in additional interest from both the GB mainland and the Republic of Ireland. With a further increase in the Display element its expected there will be around 100 vehicles of all ages, shapes and sizes parked around the Cultra Manor, for families to enjoy and the added bonus of the large video screen allowing displays participants and spectators a view of the hillclimb cars blasting off the startline.
Budding mechanics, navigators and drivers of the future can visit the STEM Truck (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and see displays from Go Motorsport and the student team from Ulster University Jordanstown Racing and F1 in Schools.
The Museum are offering an Admission/Lunch package that includes a four-course lunch in the Kennedy Suite of Cultra Manor which can be booked online by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 028 9042 3578. Further information on the Event can be found atwww.tsccni.info or at www.nmni.com/uftm/What-s-on/Events/The-Cultra-Hill-Climb.
PHOTO CAPTION :- Bangor’s Chris Rogan demonstrating the style of action expected in the Cultra 2015 Escort ‘Shoot-Out”. Photo Tom Maxwell