The Cultra Hillclimb, the world’s oldest active speed hillclimb will be roaring in to the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum on Saturday 01 June at Cultra Manor. This year, twenty women will be behind the wheels of the wonderful and unique motors from years gone by and will be the talk of the event.
The 2013 Hillclimb, held in association with the Thoroughbred Sports Car Club will be celebrating ‘Fast Ladies’, inspired by the growing number of women drivers and organisers taking part in this ever-popular event over the years. The action on the hill will comprise of the usual practices, demos and competition runs, but this year, there will be a Ladies Handicap Class with a trophy honouring the memory of one of Ireland’s most successful female competitors, Gabriel Konig.
Some of the celebrated women in motorsport due to attend the event are Louise Aitken-Walker MBE, a British rally and saloon racing driver who first started competing in 1979 and was the 1990 Ladies World Champion, the same year she was awarded the Segrave Trophy.
Another celebrated female driver is Rosemary Smith, a race and rally driver from Dublin who entered her first rally as a navigator but was soon behind the wheel becoming a rally champion in the 1960s. Rosemary raced all over the world and, became one of a very select band of ladies to win International motoring events outright against male opposition.
Jo Hodgson, the current British Women Racing Drivers Club (BWRDC) Hillclimb Champion is the daughter of Rosemary Smith’s first navigator and will compete for the Cultra Hillclimb title in a Lotus Elan.
This year’s event will take on a festival vibe with a BBQ, ice cream sellers, a full bar, motorbike static display, trials, demonstrations and for the first time, a vintage fair will be on site presenting a unique blend of vintage fashions, music and design that will bring together the best vintage icons in a way for the older generation to reminisce and the younger to be transported back in time, in style.
Siobhan Stevenson, Head of Collection Care at National Museums Northern Ireland spoke of this year’s theme; “Over the years, it has been evident that Hillclimbs are not just for men! Whilst we always have a vast amount of successful women drivers, we also have a female Clerk of the Course in Fel McIlroy, who has female marshals, officials and rescue personnel on her team, running the hillclimb competition.”
“Interestingly, Mrs R.E. Workman, wife of the first Cultra winner in 1905, also competed in the original event, whilst newspaper reports from the day record women drivers in many early motoring competitions.”
“As well as celebrating Women in Motorsport, the 2013 Cultra Hillclimb will also celebrate the centenary of Aston Martin and the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Porsche 911 with a static display of these magnificent cars at the front of the Manor and with our vintage fair and BBQ, it will be a really exciting event for all the family.”
Guests to the event can also purchase tickets for a sumptuous lunch that will be served in the Kennedy Room at Cultra Manor, offering panoramic views of all the Hillclimb action on the day. Two courses with coffee £20 per person. To book, call 9042 3578.
Major event day pricing is applicable, booking in advance is not necessary. Please visit www.nmni.com/uftm for further details.
The official 2013 Cultra Hillclimb promo video can be viewed at …