At a launch event and photoshoot yesterday in the RDS in Dublin, details were announced of the 2016 Hillclimb and Sprint Championship. John Naylor’s Naylor Engineering company continue to partner the popular championship as they launch a number of new initiatives.
In front of a large crowd, Motorsport Ireland President Martin McKenna explained the importance of the discipline and the alluded to the fact that it travels all around the country during the championship season.
John Naylor, the series sponsor explained his passion for the sport and said that Hillclimbing will always be close to his heart and the association, through his Naylor Engineering firm, is one he is very proud of.
On behalf of the competitors, Rory Stephens spoke about the camaraderie enjoyed by the Hillclimb community as a whole and the concept of a “weekend away” for families at each event. He also explained that Ireland were sending a team to the FIA International Hillclimb Masters in October in Ecce Homo, Czech Republic.It is possible for Irish competitors to qualify for this team by competing on Irish events. Rory also paid tribute to multiple Hillclimb Champion , the late Simon McKinley, who he said Irish Hillclimbing will always remember. Simon was the instigator of the Cento Challenge, which gained hugely in popularity in 2015.
Speaking about the Cento class, Billy White and Gary Egan explained that a car can be ready for competition for around €1,000- making Hillclimbing one of the most accessible disciplines for newcomers. 2015 Overall Champion Joe Courtney spoke about how enjoyable the sport is, but also how it is hugely competitive on the hills.
To show the large crowd how this all looks in practise, the Championship organisers also launched a previously unseen video, produced by Vantage Point Video, showing the various classes in action.
Full details of the championship are available on the official website www.irishhillclimb.com