Catterick Vintage & Classic Hill Climb 2018
7th October 2018
Using Waithwith Bank on the MOD land to the west of Catterick Garrison this is a popular event with competitors. 2018 saw five three wheeler Morgans and their crews competing in what was the last round of the 2018 Sprint and Hillclimb Championship. We’ve got words, results and a few photos to share.
From Austin Smith.
In the hope of fine weather, Grant Sellars and his organising team at Middlesbrough & District Motor Club brought forward, by a couple of weeks, the date of their hillclimb on the MOD land at Waithwith Bank near Catterick Garrison. As in previous years, a lot of work had been put in by the organisers in preparing the hillclimb course. Numerous pot holes had to be filled and many straw bales placed to protect competitors against impact with trees and some very large kerbs.
The date change was a success as we were blessed with a dry and, for a while in the morning, sunny event, all be it a little chilly at times.
Five Morgan Three Wheelers had entered and, for the first time ever, 5 Speeders outnumbered the rest.
Regular 5 Speeder competitors Rob Pike/Petra Rarko and Austin Smith/Julia Perry were joined by Nigel Clay and passenger Gordon Jones, making their hillclimbing debut.
Competition secretary Tony Pearson was passengered by wife Charlene in their silver Super Sports with Bill and Maggie Tuer completing the Morgan entries in their JAP 8/80 Racer.
The peace and quiet of a bright October Sunday morning in the North Yorkshire countryside was soon shattered by the sound of artillery and gunfire. In fact, the army were quite busy throughout the morning with several heavy vehicle movements affecting proceedings of the hillclimb. The organisers also faced other challenges, with the start delayed due to problems with the timing gear, which had been hired from a certain three wheeler vehicle owners club.
Once everything was up and running everyone did get a practice run, but unfortunately an accident to one of the motorbike competitors in the second batch of first competitive runs meant that an early lunch was called.
Following lunch the event ran very smoothly, with all competitors enjoying three competitive runs up the hill.
Nigel Clay was learning the art of hillclimbing in his borrowed 5 Speeder. Nigel, with some encouragement from passenger Gordon, reduced his times by almost three seconds from his first competitive run.
After his front wheel failure at Cadwell Park the previous weekend, Tony Pearson put his new front wheels and tyres through their paces to record a fastest time of 45.69 on his final run. This was around a second and a half quicker than last year.
Bill Tuer put in some blistering times, the fastest being 36.40, which made him the fastest Morgan and second overall for the event!
Austin Smith and Rob Pike continued their season long close competition in the 5 Speeder racing class right through to the final run of 2018.
Austin suffered (once again) with his drive belt going slack. This time it occurred on his second competitive run up the hill. Meanwhile Rob was in the groove and flying, to set a time to beat of 38.65.
It all came down to the final run, and Austin made sure his drive belt was very tight and secure before he gave Julia an exhilarating ride up the hill. Rob didn’t hang around either, with a time of 38.77 while Austin clocked 38.72, which was just eight hundredths of a second shy of what was needed to pip Rob to the 5 Speeder honours.
A Big Thank You must go, once again, to Grant Sellars and his organising team, along with all the other competitors and friendly spectators. It was a great event to finish off the MTWC 2018 Sporting season.