MOTORING enthusiasts are getting in gear for this year’s much anticipated Cultra Hillclimb event at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum on Saturday 2 June.
The event, the world’s oldest active speed Hillclimb, will see the museum turned into a motorsport venue for the day with a range of cars which span over 100 years, competing on the demanding course, with many others on display.
Organised by Thoroughbred Sports Car Club (TSCC) in association with the museum and supported by North Down Tourism, the event will mark the contribution of two of Ulster’s greatest engineers, County Down men Harry Ferguson and Rex McCandless.
So it is fitting that the Ferguson P99 - the only four wheel drive car to win a Formula 1 race when Stirling Moss drove it to victory in the Gold Cup at Oulton Park in 1961, will visit Cultra for the event.
It will be driven by Stuart Rolt, chairman of the British Racing Drivers’ Club whose father Tony was a Formula 1 racing driver and competed at the local Dundrod TT races.
Other highlights this year will be a range of agricultural, civilian and military four-wheel drive vehicles including the museum’s own McCandless racing car, a rare Jensen FF, an even rarer 4WD ‘original’ Mini and the and McCandless “Mule” 4WD Military Prototype.
This year marks 50 years since the launch of the MGB and a stunning selection of cars from the MG Owner’s Club Northern Ireland will be on display, whilst even more MGs than usual will compete in the Hillclimb competition.
Mark Kennedy, Road Transport Curator at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum said: “This year we will celebrate the work of two brilliant local engineers, Harry Ferguson and Rex McCandless who developed four-wheel-drive cars in the 1950s.
“We’re delighted to have the Ferguson four-wheel-drive Formula 1 car return to Northern Ireland for the first time in 50 years.
“The event will also celebrate half a century of the MGB sports car with a display of these desirable cars in the grounds of the beautifully restored Cultra Manor. This year’s Hillclimb will be a fantastic event for vintage car fans and families alike.”
TSCC President William Heaney, who is co-ordinating the event, said: “For several years the club and museum have been working to bring the P99 Formula 1 car over to Cultra. But it’s been well worth the wait to have this unique opportunity to bring both the Ferguson and McCandless inspired cars together in such an appropriate setting.”
“It’s especially good this year to be working with the local MG Clubs to celebrate a significant anniversary of such an iconic British sports car as the MGB.”
For more details on the Cultra Hillclimb event, visit www.nmni.com & www.tsccni.info. Major event day pricing is applicable.