Bouley Bay hillclimb roars back in the heat

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THE Jersey Motorcycle and Light Car Club is this week hosting rounds 19 & 20 of the British Hillclimb Championship for the first time since 2019.

Les Charrières du Boulay was first used for competition back in 1920 and has been a part of the British Hillclimb schedule from 1947.

Set on the Island’s picturesque north coast – with the French coast visible on the horizon – it is clear why keen motor racers from around the UK pencil in this date as one to look forward to.

Bouley Bay is renowned for its demanding hairpins and blind bends – calling for drivers and riders to use all of their expertise to succeed.

All eyes will be on Wallace Menzies, who currently leads the British Hillclimb standings, following the Harewood climb earlier this month.

Also returning to the Island is course record holder Trevor Willis. His time of 36.48 seconds in 2016 still stands.

Competitors will have set their sights on eclipsing his time in favourable warm conditions this year.

Another competitor aiming to break records was 28-year-old Islander Matt Le Brun.

The class record for bikes between 351-500cc is held by Oli Holmes at 42.97. However, Le Brun is confident he can pip that time.

‘I was a hundredth of a second off the record last time I raced here, so that’s definitely the goal,’ he said.

‘We have warm conditions, which are great for traction, so I am expecting some quick runs out here.

‘It’s a brilliant climb. The twisty and turny corners are challenging and you really need everything to go right from start to finish to succeed.’

Competitors this week enjoy something of a Channel Island sojourn in the calendar as they up sticks and make the short journey north to Guernsey for the Val des Terres hillclimb on Saturday – which is also a part of the British Hillclimb Championship.

JMC&LCC secretary Carol Le Viellez said: ‘It’s just brilliant to have the race back on the calendar.

‘Some of the competitors have been coming here for years, so to see them test themselves on the hill is excellent.

‘It is a different test over here, so the mainland guys love it.

‘The sharp turns we have here, they don’t tend to have in most of the schedule over there, so I think they enjoy the technicality of the course.

‘Watching some of the practice runs this morning, it’s clear that Radio Corner will prove vital again.

‘A few of the competitors have got their line wrong round the hairpin and lost a lot of time.

Local success in the British Hillclimb class hinged on Glyn Moignard, who has been out of the action for a couple of years, so it is hard to know what to expect.

Meanwhile, Sarnian Nick Saunders is expected to be knocking at the door of the top-12 and will be hopeful of finishing in the points.

nFull race recap to follow in tomorrow’s paper.

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