Forster's Ron Gallagher wins class races in hillclimb championship

Never too old: Ron Gallagher, in his prized 1970 V6 Ford Capri, claimed wins in the opening rounds of the 2017 CAMS NSW Hillclimb Championship. He is set to contest round four in Kempsey on May 7.

Never too old: Ron Gallagher, in his prized 1970 V6 Ford Capri, claimed wins in the opening rounds of the 2017 CAMS NSW Hillclimb Championship. He is set to contest round four in Kempsey on May 7.

Forster’s Ron Gallagher has begun the 2017 CAMS NSW Hillclimb Championship in style after posting wins in the opening rounds.

Behind the wheel of his 1970 V/6 Ford Capri, the 77 year old took to the Esses hillclimb event at Mount Panorama in Bathurst on March 4 where he was named the winner of the 3J Improved Production 2001 - 3000cc class.

He posted a time of 32.94 seconds in the fourth and final run of the day, a mere 0.1 seconds ahead of second place driver Rodney Hansen.

Ron returned to the mountain on March 5 to contest the Mountain Straight event.

He recorded a time of 59.29 seconds on his second run to claim his second trophy in as many days.

He bested Rodney Hansen’s third run by almost half a second to claim the win.

Ron said Mount Panorama lived up to its moniker as one of Australia’s most difficult race tracks.

"Bathurst was challenging as it always is,” Ron said.

Ron backed up for the third round of the season at the Huntley Hillclimb event in Dapto in the NSW Illawarra region.

Once again Ron featured in the 3J Improved Production 2001 - 3000cc class where he posted a 31.87 seconds time in his second run to take the win.

This time around, fellow Bathurst competitor Russel West, in a Skyline R31, was no match for the power of Ron’s Ford Capri.

Russel fell short of Ron’s best time by almost three seconds.

Ron insisted the opening rounds of this year’s hillclimb racing season have been among the most popular in recent memory, to the point where some competitors were turned away due to a large field of competitors. 

He backed his prized vehicle to produce more wins in the coming rounds.

"It's not getting any younger but she's flying at the moment,” Ron said.

Ron encouraged older competitors to get behind the wheel and have a go.

He believed the welcoming nature of the sport is enticing more drivers to get involved.

“You can just do it at your own pace.

“It’s in the midst of a rebirth,” Ron said. 

Ron will contest round four of the championship at Mount Cooperabung in Kempsey on Sunday, May 7. 

The Hillclimb Championship will run events at Grafton, Tamworth and Raymond Terrace before the final round in Canberra on September 10.

The Hillclimb championships has been running in NSW since 1959 and fielded notable competitors such as Colin Bond, Peter Gumley and former Formula One world champion Sir Jack Brabham.

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