“Some of our longest-standing competitors in Classic Car Friday have been advocating for the introduction of a handicap scoring system due to the vast differences in performance and speed of the pre-war entries, which range from the 750cc Austin Seven-based cars that were cheap and cheerful machines raced around the world in the 1920s and 1930s, to the big and powerful cars from Bentley and Alfa Romeo from the period,” Goddard says. “Accordingly, the handicap system will level the playing field and allow all of the entrants to compete for the class win.”
The handicap rules have been met with an enthusiastic response by competitors, with Class H1 embracing a record 14 entries, doubling the turnout from recent years – the most fervent being Rodney Green, one of the founders of the Piri Piri Racing Team, who has competed in every Simola Hillclimb to date.
“I’ve been promoting the move to the handicap format for some time, as the times posted in Class H1 vary greatly for the pre-war cars, and I’m very pleased the organisers have agreed to implement it from this year,” Green says. “I helped develop the handicap formula based on what I experienced at the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb in England.” This legendary event is reportedly the oldest motorsport venue in the world still to run events on the original course.
“I promised the Simola Hillclimb organisers that I would bring in lots of competitors if the handicap formula was introduced, and I’m delighted that we will have 14 really interesting cars in Class H1 this year,” Green says. “It now gives everyone a shot at winning the class regardless of what car they drive, and creates much more excitement through the field as everyone aims to be the closest to their target times.”
This year Green will be driving the 1.5-litre 1946 MG TC Spider previously entered by Heyns Stead. “The car has been completely rebuilt and has a bit more power, so I’m looking forward to driving it at the Simola Hillclimb this year and competing with the new format.”