Name: Scott Moran
Home Town: Ludlow
Competition Car: Gould GR59-Judd
With his Dad Roger competing in rallying before moving into Hillclimbing and became the British Hillclimb Champion in 1997, it was inevitable that Scott would compete in the sport himself. His first competitive Hillclimb was in 1995 at Llys y Fran Hillclimb in South Wales. He first took to the track in a single seater Delta-Imp and in his own words “did not set the world alight”. During these early years Scott competed mainly at smaller venues such as South Cerney and Curborough. He learnt a few lessons the hard way too, including the fact that if you don’t change the oil regularly on methanol burning Imp engines that they would tend to blow up! Unfortunately this happened at least a couple of times in these early years.
In 1997 Scott joined the burgeoning road going sports car class in a Caterham fitted with a Ford Crossflow engine. Now competing mainly on the Midland hills Scott found it almost impossible to set a competitive time in the car. Fortunately for Scott his Mum Helen regularly took videos of his runs. When reviewing these it became obvious that the car was much too stiff leading to difficulty in getting it slowed down and turned into corners. Scott would regularly be seen taking to the grass on corner entry as he just could not get the Caterham turned in!! As a result he really struggled to make the top six in his competitive class. The eureka moment came at a wet Prescott, when Scott, his Dad Roger and long term loyal family ‘spanner- man’ Dave Wilson thought the only solution was to disconnect the front anti roll bar. Contrary to what others thought this transformed the car and resulted in an excellent second place finish. This gave Scott a direction for the future and success started to come.
The next purchase was a Caterham Superlight with six speed gearbox. Driving this car brought Scott success as he competed against Hillclimb luminaries such as Will Hall and Dave Uren. Chasing Trevor Willis’s records set in his Westfield, became a constant for the three of them and certainly helped Scott develop the silky smooth but quick style that is still apparent today. Scott really enjoyed this period of time which set him up well for his future in Hillclimbing.
BHC Experience: Scott’s first steps into the British Hillclimb Championship (BHC) presented by Avon Tyres, were in 2002 in Dad Roger’s Pilbeam MP88 fitted with an ex-DTM Opel V6. It is fair to say that Scott found this quite a challenge when compared to driving the Caterham’s and the little Delta single seater! With five run-off qualifications during 2002 and a best finish of 10th the first steps had been taken into top class Championship Hillclimbing. The following season saw Scott nibbling at his Dad’s heels as he became more comfortable with the car. A “jammy” win at Harewood, the result of completing his climb just before the rain came, was the highlight of the season and helped him to secure a 10th place finish overall and first BHC permanent number for the following season.
With the fitting of a powerful Judd engine into the MP88 for the 2003 season, Scott continued to make steady progress up the ranks. 2004/5 saw further progression, however a couple of car failures blunted Scott’s Championship challenge. The real moment of change was when the Moran’s bought a Ralt F3 monocoque that had never been raced and built it up into what became known as the Gould GR61. This really grew Scott’s confidence and with back to back wins in the 2006 season at Gurston Down and Prescott started to show that Scott was now a serious force to be reckoned with. A great battle with multiple BHC Champion Martin Groves in 2007 proved to Scott that ‘Grovesy’ was beatable.
Scott’s first outright BHC title came in 2008 when he finally put ‘Grovesy’ to the sword, following this up by retaining his title in 2009. The rest as they say is history. Scott has gone on to win four more BHC Championships outright in 2011, 2013, 2014 & 2016. An interruption to his title success came in 2015 when he shared the GR61 with Alex Summers and only did a part season. Alex secured the Championship in 2015 but Scott came back and did a full season in 2016, becoming BHC Champion once again.
To date Scott has taken an incredible one hundred and sixty five run-off wins, which alongside him being a record equalling six time BHC Champion, makes him the most successful BHC driver of all time. The Gould GR61 is also the most winning car in BHC history. This car will be on static display in the Shelsley paddock on Sunday 14th August. A trip into the paddock is always good fun at Shelsley, seeing the GR61 is worth the trip by itself.
Scott competed only part seasons in both 2017 & 2018 but was tempted by an invite to drive Graham Wynn’s magnificent Gould GR59-Judd at the end of the 2019 season. 2021 was the first serious season learning this new and very different beast, while developing the Avon Tyres that it runs on. Fourth position in the BHC overall showed great potential and set Scott up for a full season in 2022. He has not disappointed and has won three run-off in the season to date, joining in the record breaking fun which Championship top two Wallace Menzies and Alex Summers have indulged all year. It has been a classic 2022 BHC season so far with more to come as the BHC celebrates its 75th year at Shelsley Walsh this weekend.
A fact that not many people know:
Scott may never have been British Hillclimb Champion if it hadn’t been for a sequence of events back in 1997. At that time Scott was competing at a pretty serious level in downhill mountain biking and had just secured sponsorship for a new state of the art ‘Muddyfox’ bike via his local bike shop ‘Slim Willys Cycle Shack’ – yes that really is what it is called! Shortly after securing this deal Scott had an unfortunate accident on someone else’s bike in which he badly fractured his collarbone. This needed an operation and some plating to fix, which meant that Scott was unable to ride a bike for around twelve months. This sabbatical and seeing his Dad win the 1997 BHC, encouraged Scott to stick with Hillclimbing. Downhill mountain biking’s loss was Hillclimbing’s gain. The rest as they say is history!
Shelsley Walsh Fact:
With a personal best time at Shelsley of 22.64 seconds, just over a quarter of a second shy of Sean Gould’s outright record set last year in a similar car, Scott will to be fighting for overall victory and maybe even challenging the outright record too. Come and see if Scott can break the Shelsley record and get in amongst the 2022 Championship challengers. Make your plans to be at Shelsley over the weekend of 13th & 14th August, it is sure to be a fantastic event! Advance tickets can be purchased on the button below.