Interview with Willie Barrett who will be one of the seven drivers representing Ireland at the FIA Hill Climb Masters at Braga, Portugal 8,9,10 October 2021
Tell us about yourself
I'm from Effin , I'm married to Sandra and I have three children, John (15), Anastazija (5) and Valentina(18 months) . I've a garage in kilfinane , We do mechanical repairs and we are Brian James trailer dealers. Www.barretttrailers.ie . I play hurling for effin and do a lot of mountain biking in the Ballyhoura’s.
How did you get involved in motorsport?
I don't come from a motorsport family. Formula 1 was on Rte when I was a child and I was a big Jordan formula 1 fan . My first car was a 'boxy starlet' hot rod car that I raced in Rose green in Tipperary when I was 17
What is your competition car for the FIA Hill Climb Masters?
2L Honda Civic type R FN2 , it’s sequential, 1000kgs and 260BHP . it's built for hill climbing and I've owned it since December 2019 it was a previous Civic cup car in the UK
What is your highest achievement in motorsport?
I won races in the fiesta zetec championship in Mondello and won the rookie championship, I've won class 2 a couple of times hill climbing and finished 3rd overall in the limerick sprint in a 1.6L fairly secondhand looking EK Honda Civic
What is your favourite thing about hill climbing?
My first hillclimb was in Effin in 2014 in a fiesta I was competing in Mondello with at the time , the difference in competeors is night and day . Every hillclimber in my experience is more than willing to lend a hand , offer advice and even leave you drive their car if you have problems with your own , the fun element attached to hillclimbing doesn't seem to be in any other form of Motorsport , however when u break the beam in my opinion it is the ultimate test of speed and driving ability. With every increasing cost of competing in motorsport I would hope to see bigger numbers at future events. I think Hillclimbing offers great value for money, competition, open classes to suit just about any type of car and fun which can be lacking in a lot of sports these days.
What excites you about going to the Masters?
To be able to compete with the very best of drivers and machinery. Looking at the entry list the quality and variety of cars is unbelievable, obviously saying you drove for your country isn't something you get to say everyday
The Nations Cup
Realistically in a Honda Civic I haven't a hope of an overall result or a class result . The nations cup adds competition to the event and its great to be apart of an Irish team
Who are your motorsport and non motorsport idols?
I would have to say James Deane (drifting) Craig Breen (WRC) John MacGuiness (isle of man) and Katie Taylor (Ireland's greatest ever sports person) and a very long list of ex WRC drivers and F1 drivers.
Huge thanks to Joe Clifford I've been double driving his car for over 4 years , my very patient and understanding wife Sandra , my chief mechanic John Barrett, Brendan stone (stone Motorsport) and Brian James trailers