Name: Lee Griffiths
Home Town: Burton on Trent
Competition Car: OMS 28 - Hayabusa
Motorsport Background & Experience:
Lee’s first experience in motorsport was at University when he started to take part in the inter University Karting Championship. This gave Lee a great grounding in the sport and taught him a considerable amount about basic car control.
Bitten by the motorsport bug Lee joined the local Nottingham Sports Car Club and started to build a Peugeot 205, with the intention of competing in the ‘Stock Hatch’ series on the circuits. He was tempted to take the 205 to a few Hillclimbs and although a little underpowered enjoyed himself immensely and started to get more involved in the world of Hillclimbing.
The need for more speed drew him to single seaters and an OMS Hornet was purchased for the 2008 season. Fitted with a standard 1300cc Hayabusa engine Lee really started to show some speed, including securing a number of Fastest Times of the Day (FTD) at Club events. This included setting FTD and the outright record at nearby Thoresby Park Hillclimb in Nottinghamshire. His record does in fact still stand to this day as the venue is no longer used for motorsport.
BHC/BHC Cup Experience:
Lee wanted to go faster and test himself against the top drivers, so a decision was made in 2011 to buy a new OMS 25 in partnership with current British Hillclimb Championship (BHC) presented by Avon Tyres, Championship Co-ordinator Tim Wilson. Again this had a Hayabusa engine, this time of 1600cc. Success came almost immediately with qualification and a first BHC point for tenth place at Harewood. With Tim moving on to the BHC co-ordinator role when BARC took over the Championship in 2012, Lee has run the car on his own from 2012 onwards.
More success followed with Lee scoring BHC points every year except for 2014 and the pandemic forced hiatus season of 2020. Lee’s best run-off finish to date came in mixed conditions at Wiscombe Park in 2018. He managed to qualify a stunning third. Drying conditions however favoured the cars with more power. An eventual seventh placed finish overall against the cream of British Hillclimbing is certainly something to be proud of though!
In recent years Lee has continued to upgrade the equipment at his disposal. In 2019 a new ‘stretched’ 1660cc Hayabusa was purchased. Running on methanol, the low down torque that the engine produces is exactly what Lee needed to gain extra punch out of the slower corners. A change of chassis to a new OMS 28 in 2021 brings us right up to date. The improved handling that the more modern chassis is blessed with really suits Lee’s style. Top of Lee’s Hillclimb achievements to date is when he broke his class record at Prescott Hillclimb in 2021.
Lee is having a great season in 2022. Having qualified for the run-offs nine times in the sixteen rounds to date he finds himself on the periphery of the top ten overall in fourteenth place. He will do all that he can to gather enough points to get that coveted top ten number at the end of the season. Lee is also in the overall top ten of the class based Championship the BHC Cup presented by Classic Car Insurance Broker Footman James. He will be trying everything that he can to beat his best finish in this Championship of 4th in 2021. With class records already at both Harewood and Doune during the 2022 season who would bet against Lee breaking the Harewood class record again this weekend?!
A fact that not many people know:
Lee used to work for pharmaceutical giant Astra Zeneca. This encouraged him to learn and speak a little Swedish. Test him out when you see him in the paddock next to his yellow OMS!
Harewood is a track that Lee really enjoys. The technical nature of the hill means that engine power is not as important as it is at some other tracks used in the Championship. Lee’s best time at Harewood is 50.71 seconds. He will be doing everything that he can to get into the 49’s this weekend. Come and see how he gets on against the top contenders in the BHC. Competitive action is scheduled to start at 9.00am and will continue for the majority of the day. Tickets can be purchased on the gate.