16 September 2018

In a dramatic finale to the 2018 Millers Oils Northern Ireland Hillclimb Championship, Gerard O'Connell took this year's title in his showdown with Richard McGimpsey.    All seemed lost for O'Connell when he broke a driveshaft in first practice and there was no spare available.   The broken shaft was taken away to a local engineering firm for a weld repair but there was no great hope that it could withstand the power of the Radical.   Gerard went to the startline for the 2nd timed run and not only did the shaft repair hold up but he set an amazing time which put him in 2nd place behind Chris Houston with his main rival Richard McGimpsey down in third.              

So, all was still to play for going into the final run with Richard needing to jump ahead of Gerard into at least 2nd place to still retain a hope of taking the Championship.   The drama increased when O'Connell's repaired driveshaft broke again off the startline and he had to wait and watch as Richard set off to try and better O'Connell's previous time.   But it was not to be for McGimpsey as he had a spin at one of Knockagh's tight hairpins and his title chance was gone in a split second. Chris Houston took the overall win and a new Hill Record with O'Connell second and McGimpsey third.              

So, a first N.I. Hillclimb title for O'Connell after the most exciting Championship battle in many years between two very fine drivers.


Detailed event report to follow

Posted by CLavery on 16/9/2018; Last updated by CLavery on 16/9/2018