Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Champ Houston gets in gear for special hat-trick

 

By Sammy Hamill

Champion for the past two years, Chris Houston launches his bid for a Northern Ireland hill-climb championship hat-trick at Croft tomorrow.

It is the first of nine rounds, the championship also including Craigantlet which is part of the Avon Tyres British series, and a two-day event at Cairncastle.

Bangor driver Houston won at Croft a year ago in his OMS single-seater and went on retain the NI title after a close battle with Richard McGimpsey. They were separated by little more than a 10th of a second in the Holywood Hills last year and the battle should be resumed tomorrow.

The packed entry list also includes former champion Graham Thompson in his GTR Turbo and John Donnelly's Reynard as well as top saloon car contenders.

Speaking at the launch, Conor Lavery, ANICC's hill-climb co-ordinator, said: "This year's championship features a wide variety of events taking place across Northern Ireland.

"It features no less than 18 classes reflecting the broad variety of cars. Spectators can see everything from standard showroom saloons through highly modified saloons and sportscars to the specialised hill-climb single seater racing cars."

The 2018 championship dates are April 14: Croft (Holywood, Co. Down); April 28: Drumhorc (Laurencetown near Banbridge); May 5: Craigantlet (Craigantlet Hills above Belfast); May 26: Spamount (Castlederg, Co. Tyrone); June 29/30 June: Cairncastle (Larne, Co. Antrim); August 11: Garron Point (Carnlough, Co. Antrim); August 25: Eagles Rock (Magilligan, near Coleraine); Sept 15: Knockagh (near Carrickfergus).

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