Johnson Set to FLY at Cultra Hillclimb.
June 14, 2014 by Tony Gregory
Fermanagh’s Mervyn Johnson and his famous Mini Cooper ’S’ will making their competition debut at the renowned Cultra Hillclimb event, next Saturday 14th June. “Ulster’s Motoring Garden Party” is centred around the twisty 640m long Cultra Hillclimb course and sits in the spectator friendly parkland grounds of the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum North Down. First run on the 6th May 1905, it has now become the World’s Oldest Active Speed Hillclimb.
Dubbed the ”Tullyhommon Flyer” Johnson has always been synonymous with minis, right from his first rally in 1961, with 50 plus years of competition behind him Johnson has won the Irish Historic Tarmac Rally Championship a record four times.
His first major success came with victory in the 1964 Circuit of Ireland Touring Category and six years later he added the Ulster Rally Championship, not with standing a break of 14yrs Johnson came back to rallying and won his historic championship titles in 91,92,02 and 2004.
In 2012 Johnson’s career was celebrated by his priers and he received an outstanding contribution award for rallying from the Tarmac Rally Organisers Association at their annual end of season prize giving.
Organised by The Thoroughbred Sports Car Club NI, this years annual event will celebrate the theme of “Mini, Mods and Monsters”, evoking memories of the swinging sixties. The Edwardian Cultra Manor which sits in the middle of the course, again plays host to a vintage fair and prominent car displays, which this year celebrate the career of one of Johnson contemporaries Paddy Hopkirk and his 1964 Monte Carlo win. An Autotest demonstration will showcase Hopkirk’s first motorsport activity.
This is the second year that the event has been over-subscribed for this non-championship competition with Johnson going head to head with 100 other like minded competitors and with over half the field in Modified Saloons, Sports Cars and half a dozen single-seaters, the Mods and Monsters are well represented.
Other activities will see local Crossle Racing Car Company host a preview event for a new book about its history, “Hidden Glory” written by Plum Tyndall and due for publication in the Autumn. In addition a group of Crossle sporting trials cars will give a demonstration of their highly specialised skills, in the Glen behind the Manor.
For younger visitors to the Event and their parents, their will be an Exhibition by the STEM Programme and Displays by ‘Formula Student’ UUJ Racing and ‘F1 in Schools’ Team Nero. Further event information can be found at www.tsccni.info and http://www.nmni.com/uftm