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Keith Beningfield on the Manx Classic Hill Climb April 2019

The Manx Classic

Keith Beningfield on Creg Willey’s in the wet during the Manx Classic in 2019

We had decided to spend a few days on the Island prior to and after the event to make a bit of a holiday. The Easter weather was still holding when we arrived, and we enjoyed a couple of days sightseeing. Wednesday afternoon was scheduled for signing on, drivers briefing and scrutineering which was completed by early in the evening without any dramas, however the beginnings of storm Hannah were starting to make a presence – rain!
The Classic comprises three hill climb’s on three consecutive days, The Sloc, Creg Willeys, and Lhergy Frissell the last two of which are run on the TT Circuit. These hills are different to traditional hill climbs on the mainland all being on closed public roads. The entry was about 100 cars and the TC was in a class of 4, an MGB, MGA and Morgan.

a) Day 1 The Sloc, 1.06 Miles

With time constraints for re-opening the road, the format would be one practice run and then timed runs. Practice was in the wet, and whilst I had already driven the hill in a road car and watched YouTube videos, it was still a steep learning curve. Time for practise was 77.44 secs, the fastest car the MGB recorded 66.27. First timed run and I was starting to feel a little more confident, 72.29, the MGB, 64.49, second timed run and its beginning to dry 71.16 and ended in second place beaten by the MGB with 64.49. The car went faultlessly just a shame about the rain, and the driver of the MGB who had been competing at this event for thirty years!

b) Creg Willey’s, 1.45 miles

Day two and its still raining! This part of the TT course at Glen Helen passing Sarah’s Cottage and finishing on

c) Lhergy Frissell, 1.48 miles

Day three and storm Hannah had passed through, the wind had died down but its still
raining. The paddock is a side road in Ramsey and the course part of the TT, running

Reflection

This was my first time at the Manx Classic and a first on closed road events. Despite the weather it was a most enjoyable event and I will certainly like to have another go hopefully in better conditions. By Sunday the rain had stopped, and we took the opportunity to drive the full 37 miles of the TT circuit in the TC, no speed limits on the unrestricted sections but unfortunately some traffic, and it made a very interesting route for ‘Drive It Day’.
The TC performed faultlessly all week; the only work needed before the next event at Prescott will be to change the oil filter. Total costs for the three events excluding travel and accommodation were entry fees and petrol, about £460.00, just over £150.00 per event, not too bad?
Next, I hope to report on the hill climbs at La Vie en Bleu, Prescott and the Harewood Classic and Vintage.
Keith Beningfield