First year is a thriller

Mike Jackson at Harewood House.
Mike Jackson at Harewood House.

Bridlington’s Mike Jackson is hoping to cap off a great first season by wrapping up a clean sweep of wins in his class of the Auto66 Hillclimb Championship.

The 33-year-old has come out on top in the 601-750cc class at every round of the competition he has entered in his debut year, at Oliver’s Mount, Cadwell Park and Harewood House.

Action from Olivers Mount

Action from Olivers Mount

He heads to the final round at Oliver’s Mount next month, knowing that a good performance could see him crowned the overall winner.

The software engineer said: “I hope to run well but the weather could play a decisive part in my overall finish for the year.

“It would be great to be in the top six but that will depend on how the table stands after the penultimate round and who turns up for the last event of the year.”

A relatively late-starter competitively, Jackson has been a keen fan of motorsport for decades.

Mike Jackson in the Auto66 Hill Climb championships

Mike Jackson in the Auto66 Hill Climb championships

He said: “I started riding motorbikes after visiting the Formula One race in Melbourne Australia, not an obvious link between the two, but I decided I would like to engage in motorsport myself after being a passionate supporter since watching the British Touring Car series in the 90s.

“After getting my licence in September 2012, a few months after my first ever motorbike ride, it did not take long before I visited Cadwell Park for my first track experience riding a CBR 600.

“Over the winter of 2012 I bought my existing hill climb bike, a Suzuki SV650, which I immediately stripped down and rebuilt as a race bike.”

After acquiring his race licence the following year, Jackson spent the winter of 2013 preparing for his first competitive race at Darley Moor in Derbyshire on Easter Monday 2014.

“I did well in the first two races of the day, finishing in the top 10.

“But then in the final race, I had a coming together with another rider and was sent cartwheeling through the gravel traps!

“Those races were fantastic and I loved every moment, however I had damage to fix on the bike and by the time I had repaired it, the season was almost over.”

This season, has been a different story. Jackson won his opening race at Cadwell Park, and won on the first day of a rain-affected weekend at Oliver’s Mount in Scarborough in May.

There was a long wait before the next round in August, but up against eight other riders in his class, in the last run of the day he managed to lower his personal best time to 48.39 seconds, moving from second place to first, winning by a margin of only 0.4 seconds.

Soon after the championship headed to Harewood House. “On my first visit to the track, I managed to achieve a sixth place finish overall in terms of the national competition, and again, a class win for the Auto 66 championship.

“My riding was on another level, again entering a mindset required to pull out a time when you really need it most.

“You have to put real faith in the bike and most importantly the tyres, to go from standstill to dragging your knee on the ground through the corners.”