Champ Willis plays down title chances

Trevor Willis (right) collects his Hillclimb Championship winners trophy last season
Trevor Willis (right) collects his Hillclimb Championship winners trophy last season
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Wendover-based reigning Avon Tyres British Hillclimb Champion, Trevor Willis, took another run-off victory at Wiscombe Park recently, edging ever closer to the championship lead, as he enters the final third of the British hillclimb season.

The 2012 title holder has continued to build on recent success and, as the championship returned to the British Isles following two rounds in the Channel Islands, Willis capitalised on the absence of his season-long sparring partner, Scott Moran, to take two more strong finishes at the Devon venue.

Willis was the quickest qualifier for the first of the two run-offs over the weekend, narrowly pipping Scotsman, Wallace Menzies, in qualifying.

The Wendover man was the last to take to the 914-metre hill, but his time of 36.50 was not enough to beat Menzies, whose time of 36.41 sealed the top spot, forcing Willis to settle for second.

Willis was to get another chance to shine at the Devon hill, one of the few courses that the championship visits just once over the season.

Despite qualifying outside the top six for the final run-off, which was altogether slower than the first of the day, Willis powered up the course in a time of 37.07, over a second clear of nearest challenger Jon Bradburn, to take his sixth run-off win of the season.

Speaking after the Wiscombe Park round, Willis said: “It was great to get another strong result this season at a venue we expected to be strong at. Wiscombe has always been a good course for me as it suits the car, so I’m very happy with how the weekend went.

“Looking back on past rounds, Bouley Bay was always going to be the better of the two Channel Islands rounds for me, so I was pleased to run well there and, looking at the points table, it’s not at all dissimilar to where I was at this point last year.

“The whole championship has been very exciting so far.

“I’ve got a few tough rounds coming up where I think I’ll struggle to fight for the wins, purely because of the power deficit I have against the likes of Scott (Moran), so I think it’ll take some wet rounds and some issues for Scott for me to really overhaul the points difference – I’ll give it my best shot, though!”