There has seldom been a season like it in the British Hillclimb Championship (BHC): fierce competition and records being decimated. And it all happened with a level of sporting rivalry and paddock camaraderie that’s rare in modern-day motorsport.
Ultimately, it was defending champion Wallace Menzies who retained his title, but the Scotsman had to work every inch of the way in 27 rounds at 12 events across nine venues.
When the season started, it was a wide-open race involving a whole gaggle of contenders. But as the season developed, it increasingly became a two-way battle between Menzies in his 3.3-litre Cosworth-powered Gould GR59 and Alex Summers in his Indycar-engined DJ Firestorm. Regularly they traded times and points as the circus smashed records at five venues, including the blue riband that is Shelsley Walsh.
Sean Gould finally topped the seemingly unbeatable 13-year-old record of Martin Groves, reducing it from 22.58sec to 22.37sec. And on that famous day in high summer, he was one of four drivers to eclipse the record.
But for record breaking on a grand scale, the season finale at Loton Park topped everything. As the Shropshire parkland venue was bathed in late September sunshine, no fewer than 15 runs were under the record, which Gould had set in June at 43.18sec. In finally leaving the mark at 41.76sec, Menzies had delivered one of the biggest record-beats in the history of the sport, and Summers was less than 0.1sec behind him. The crowd loved it.