As you may have read in the Championship regulations the Classic Hillclimb Championship is contested using a 'Handicap' system for scoring its competitors performances and hence deciding who wins on the day and overall at the end of the season - here we will try to explain this system for any newcomers to the sport.
In modern open motorsport competition , be it hillclimbing / rallying / racing etc , the results are always decided by the 'first past the post' or 'fastest time on the day' method.
This has both advantages - it is simple to see who is winning , ie: the fastest cars !
....and disadvantages - to win costs a lot of money , one type of car tends to dominate proceedings etc..
To promote a very mixed field of cars , keeping things interesting for both competitors & spectators, and keeping costs to within an individual competitors limits, a different method of scoring is required. One which allows even the slowest / oldest of cars to potentially win if driven quickly and skillfully enough.
The handicap system sets a specific time for each competitor that they must try to beat. Generally the person that beats their 'target' or handicap time by the most on the day will win their respective class.
The handicap times for this championship are currently set by Tim Milvain. To be able to do this Tim is an accredited timekeeper with the MSA. There are currently very few specific handicappers within the Uk so we are very fortunate to have his considerable talents on-board!.
Tim will assess each driver / car combination and look at driver history / car type / car modifications to establish a suitable handicap time. Most of the time (no pun intended!) this is extremely accurate and is based on his extensive knowledge of the drivers / tracks and cars.
Driver A - Very fast car / lots of money spent Handicap time: 48.05 sec Actual Time taken: 47.60 sec Result: -0.45 seconds.
Driver B - Slower car / little money spent (or much older) Handicap time: 68.00 sec Actual Time taken: 67.20 sec Result: -0.8 seconds.
Slower car wins on handicap, Both drivers beat their respective handicap times but Driver B beat his handicap time by the greater amount , (0.8 seconds under verses 0.45 seconds under).
At the next event at this venue the handicap times are likely to be lowered to reflect the previous performances making things harder for Driver B in the future !!.