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Scammonden Dam Hillclimb Course

Mallock at Scammondam Dam hillclimb 2002 These pages have moved to http://www.nwsprints.co.uk where there are no annoying adverts, pop-ups or spyware and it responds quicker too! Scammonden is a short hillclimb course near Huddersfield beside the M.62.  In fact, if you are driving from Manchester to Leeds on a Sunday you can sometimes see the cars on your left.  A couple of decades ago it used to be a British championship round and the course record still stands from then.  For some more history see the recently revamped MidCheshire MRC website.

Thepicture on the left is courtesy of Steve Wilkinson.  The car is just past the apex of the third bend and I think the line is not too bad this time.  In  the background you can see the preceding right-hander.

Try the BBC 5-day weather forecast for Huddersfield.

Course Description How to get there Likes Dislikes Class Times

 

Course Description

The hillclimb uses the service road on the back face of Scammonden Dam.  It's about 550 yards long and 4 yards wide and rises maybe a couple of hundred feet.  The lower half was resurfaced by Mid Cheshire MRC after some of these photos were taken, so don't let the track condition put you off.  Thanks to Russell Herring for providing some decent photos of the track in it's current state, taken at the June 2002 Mid Cheshire meeting (click on them for bigger images).  It consists of 4 bends and goes something like this:

The start line is now in pretty good condition.  But note you need to line the car up angled to the right to get a straight take off and it's best to have the timing strut fixed to the left side of the car so that breaks the beam rather than the bodywork.  The first bend is a 90 degree lefthander which is only about 15 yards from the start.  On a front wheel drive road car it may be worth experimenting with changing up into second before this bend.   It sounds pretty unorthodox but you need to lift off anyway, you will probably scrabble round just as well in second and it saves a change up on the following straight.   The choice is yours!

Scammonden Dam 1st bend in a Mallock

Scammonden Dam 1st bend in a Mallock

This takes you into the pump-house "straight" which is about 100 yards long and slightly downhill.  I manage to snatch second, but with a 5.2 diff Bernard Collins can make third.
Next comes a tight right-hander.   This starts slightly banked in your favour but the camber changes adversely on the exit.  No point in being brave here you may save hundredths and lose seconds.  I drop back into first for this one. Scammonden Dam 1st righthander
The exit is much more important than the entry and after exiting this you only have a few yards to get back to the right of the track for the following lefthander - seen below in 2002.

Scammonden Dam 3rd bend in a Mallock

Scammonden Dam lefthander

The first picture on the left is the same bend looked at from the other direction (taken in 1999).  The camera angle is deceptive.  It is quite steeply uphill as the previous picture suggests.   The markings on the road are from the road sweeper.

The second picture is again looking down the hill taken in 2002.

Next comes the main straight, about 100-150 yards of it, and it is as steep as it looks here.  If you messed up on the previous bend you'll waste all your time looking glamorous spinning the wheels but going nowhere.  You may get into third by the end of this depending on gearing and how well you got round the previous bend. Scammonden Dam main straight

Scammonden Dam top bend

 

This is followed by a semi-blind right hander.   That is a bit off-putting since it gives the (misleading) impression that it may launch you off the edge and you can't judge how tight it is going to be.   In fact it only needs a slight lift - maybe as you change up?  I've only tried taking it flat twice, once in the Lancia and once in the Mallock.  Both times I ran out of road.  Even with a lift you could be doing 70 here.

The second picture on the left is a close up of the entry from the olden days and the one below is looking down from the inside if the bend.

Scammonden Dam top bend in a Mallock

If you do run wide and drop off the kerb do not try to pull the car back onto the track too roughly as there is a slight gully and it can hook the car back into the solid bank and big rocks on the inside - I've seen a Cosworth do that - better to just try and hold the car straight until the surface flattens out.  When I dropped over the kerb I was lucky and only ruined a roadwheel.

The second picture is the same bend but looking down the hill.

The exit is the steepest part of the course so carrying speed out of the bend is vital.  The course then continues to curve rightish up to the finish line.  In something like a GTi its foot flat to the floor; in the Mallock I am a bit more circumspect - definitely when it is wet.

 

Scammonden Dam finish

 

The final picture shows the run to the finish - that is the 50 yard marker on the road in the foreground.

Once you have crossed the finish you need to start braking as soon as possible as there is not much room before you get back to the paddock area.  Again this is more interesting when it is wet as you have a brow and bend to contend with in the braking area.  The previous owner of my car stuffed it into one of the marshall's cars parked there on just such a day - it could have been worse, it could have been a marshall!

.

Oh, and by the way, it is not always wet at Scammonden - in fact sunburn is more common than frostbite.  If it does rain, then it is more often a shower and you will probably get a dry run at some time during the day.  In changeable conditions the top of the hill is often drier than the bottom - I guess the water runs off and the wind dries it better.

How to get there

Exit at junction 23 on the M62. Take the A640 towards Rochdale for a couple of miles then turn right at the sign for Scammonden dam.  A few hundred yards down, fork right under the motorway then immediately left.  Continue up the drive and find a parking space. Map.

Likes

  • The friendly, informal atmosphere.
  • The top bend.
  • Usually lots of runs.

Dislikes

  • The paddock and parking.
  • Big rocks in the holding area at the bottom - drive very slowly down there to preserve your undertray.

Class Times

If anyone has the actual class records for the course I'll gladly put them up here.  In the meantime, just to give visitors an idea of where to start from, I've included times from a couple of events in '99 and '02 where Mid Cheshire did a superb job preparing the course and conditions were good.  However, you really ought to be able to better some of these:

Class Time Driver Car CC Date
Std. prodn. to 1400 32.57 Gordan Heaton Fiat Turbo Tiesel 1910 6/02
Std. prodn. 1400-2000 31.42 Matthew Coggins Toyota Corolla 1587 6/02
Road mod saloon & sports to 1400 28.69 Russell Herring Peugeit 205 GTI 1905 6/02
Road mod saloon & sports 1400-2000 29.12 Iain Ball Ford Escort Mk1 2000 6/02
Road mod saloon & sports over 2000 27.73 Mark Wallwork Ford Sierra Cosworth 2000T 7/99
Road mod kit  to 1700 27.26 Dale Cordingley Caterham 7 Supersports 1600 7/99
Road mod kit  over 1700          
Mod prod saloon to 1400 27.53 Kevin Carruthers MG Midget 1380 7/99
Mod prod saloon 1400-2000 28.52 John Dignan MGB Roadster 1950 6/02
Mod prod saloon over 2000 27.52 Tony Pigott MGB V8 4600 6/02
Mod kit  to 1800 29.08 Richard Duddle Westfield SE 1700 6/02
Mod kit  over 1800 24.19 Hefin Davies Caterham Superlight R 1998 7/99
Sports libre  to 1600 25.72 Brian Howard Mallock Mk8 1600 6/02
Sports libre  to 1700 24.29 Bernard Collins Mallock MK20 1700 5/02
Sports libre  over 1700 24.76 Les Proctor OMS SC2T 1200T 7/99
Racing to 600          
Racing 600-1100 22.99 John Halstead OMS FS1100 1056 6/02
Formula Ford pre '94 26.60 Alan Worsley Quest MT87 1600 6/02
Racing 1300-1700          
Racing 1700-2200          
Unlimited Racing 21.97 Roy Lane McRae GM1 Chevvy 5000 1975
 

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