Record-holder Trevor Willis back to defend Craigantlet title
It's a new date but the same venue as Britain's top hillclimb drivers come to Belfast this weekend. Usually staged in early August, Craigantlet hillclimb has switched to May to become rounds three and four of the British championship.
Some of the most powerful cars in Britain will tackle the historic hill on the outskirts of east Belfast on Saturday, the 90-strong line-up headed by last year's winner and record-holder Trevor Willis in his mighty 600 horsepower OMS.
However, the Belfast victory wasn't enough to see Willis regain his British title which went to another past Craigantlet winner, Scott Moran, who has started the new season by topping the points table after the first two rounds at Prescott in Gloucestershire last weekend.
But Moran is cutting back this year because of family commitments and won't be at Craigantlet - though his car will be. He is sharing the Gould GR61X with Alex Summers, who is second in the standings.
There was controversy, too, at Prescott when two top title contenders, Will Hall and Jos Goodyear, were excluded under the noise control rule. Both will be Craigantlet.
Wallace Menzies will also be here despite two heavy accidents in 2014 but not in the high-revving DJ Firestorm he drove so spectacularly last year. Instead, Menzies shares a Gould with Tom New, who is third in the standings.
The bulk of the entry is made up of local competitors contesting the Millers Oils Northern Ireland championship including past and present champions Graham Thompson and Seamus Morris, who were first and second respectively in the opening round of the series at Croft earlier in the month.
Historic cars will play a part as well, including a Daimler Dart driven by former NI champion Richard Parsons, but so too will vehicles of the future with an all-electric, battery powered Renault Zoe entered by Belfastman Michael Hudson.
The event, backed by Ballyrobert Vauxhall and Belfast City Council, starts with practice from 9.30am on Saturday with the timed runs at 1.00pm.