REIGNING Avon Tyres MSA British Hillclimb Championship winner Trevor Willis won his first race of the 2013 season at Barbon Manor near Kirkby Lonsdale.

Following on from the opening two championship rounds at Prescott, where triple-champion, Scott Moran, took two wins from two, current title holder Willis was keen to return to the top step at Barbon Manor – the shortest venue on the BHC calendar.

Heavy rain on Saturday morning cast doubt over the afternoon’s proceedings but the drivers were able to take to the hill for the first run-off of an action-packed weekend.

After getting to grips with the changes made to his OMS 25 over the winter break at the season opener a fortnight ago, Willis attacked the Cumbria hill hard, completing his run in a time of 21.69 seconds to bag 10 valuable points for his title de fence.

Willis’s nearest challenger was Scotsman Wallace Menzies, whose effort saw him finish just over six tenths of a second clear of the champion. Next up was John Bradburn, who was followed by Will Hall, while Scott and Roger Moran finished fifth and sixth respectively.

Speaking after the split-venue weekend, with competitors travelling to Yorkshire’s Harewood Hill after the Barbon Hillclimb, Willis said he was pleased with the potential of his newly upgraded OMS.

He said: “We’re definitely getting there in terms of pace - the car went very well at Barbon and it was great to get that first win on the board. There’s a lot of very encouraging potential in the car and its out-and-out speed so that’s all very positive.

After five rounds of the Avon Tyres MSA British Hillclimb Championship, Scott Moran leads the championship with 44 points. Roger Moran lies in second with 40 points, with Willis eight points adrift in third.

The next meeting on the championship calendar will take place at Gurston Down on May 25 and 26.