HENNEY’S CIDER CHAMPIONSHIP- AN INTRODUCTION.
The Sponsor-Background: Mike Henney started making Cider in 1996 as a hobby. This expanded from 5 gallons in the airing cupboard then, to 175,000 gallons today (no longer in the airing cupboard !). Henney’s Herefordshire Cider has PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status, which means it has audited quality assurance as being made from using traditional techniques from Herefordshire Cider Apples. The company is based at Bishops Frome in Herefordshire.
The range includes 4 Types: Dry, Medium, Sweet & Vintage. Henney’s Cider is available from nationally through many major supermarkets.
Mike started sponsorship of the Bugatti Owners Club Classic Speed Championship at the beginning of the 2019 season (Previous sponsors having been Paul Matty & more recently Aldon Automotive).
The Championship Structure:
There are 3 Sub sections in this Historic Handicap which results in a wide variety of vehicles- something to please everyone who likes 1960s & 1970s styling.
The Classes are as follows:
Saloons (Pre 1977) which has included over the last few seasons- Imps, Minis, Escorts, Scimitars, Cortinas, Anglias, BMWs, Jaguars, Alfa Romeos, Hillman Minx & Austin A35 Cars.
Sports Cars (Pre 1977) recently attracting Reliant, MGBGT, Elans, Midgets, Sprites, Lotus 7, Lancia, Austin Healey, Morgan & Ginetta drivers.
Single Seaters/Sports Racers (Pre 1972) with competitors in Lotus 51 & 61 models, Brabham BT21, 29 & 30, Mallocks, Nike, Merlyn, Alexis, Pringett Mistrale, Elva, Ensign & MG & Triumph Specials.
The Championship regularly attracts 70-80 Entries across the board & the competition is fierce with 13-15 rounds of Hillclimbs & Sprints campaigning at venues spread over a wide geographical area including- Prescott (Home Venue), Shelsley, Loton, Gurston, Wiscombe, Harewood, Curborough & MIRA- with the best 8 scores counting to the final score.
The Times to achieve are set by Tim Mulvain- a qualified Handicapper from BOC Prescott who has been setting these for many decades. Initial targets are set using a formula including the capability of the car but considering the experience of the driver & based on historical results for the individual locations to set times that are fair & realistic. This means a novice can take a class win over more experienced competitors by beating their own target - which keeps personal interest high throughout the season & ensures that the winners are not always those with the biggest engines & the most track time.
Sometimes this makes it hard for spectators & commentators alike to gauge who is winning & therefore it’s hoped that supplying this explanation & the following sheet including the competitors handicap times & class positions at todays event will make it clearer & as the season progresses more exciting as the scoring becomes increasingly more critical- often the wins are by the smallest margin & the tension builds until right up until the last timed runs.
Many of the regular competitors have campaigned for years but not necessarily in the same car & often there are model changes at the end of the season or sometimes mid-term. The whole group despite the rivalry are very friendly & accommodate new members readily. It is noted by most locations that our combined group always creates a stir - especially if we are all parked together as we do appeal to the widest audience & pride ourselves that our cars are always well turned out & are prime examples of their individual marques.