Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Hillclimb Racing

A newbie’s information to hillclimbing.

Learn on this article:
  • What’s Hillclimbing?
  • Historical past
  • Hill Climb Racing within the USA
  • Well-known Pikes Peak Race Automobiles
  • Security Throughout Hillclimbs
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs About Hill Climbs

What’s Hillclimbing?

Hillclimb racing is without doubt one of the oldest types of motorsport on the earth and might hint its roots again to nineteenth century Europe. Also referred to as velocity hillclimbing, it is so simple as it sounds: begin on the backside of a hill or small mountain and set the quickest time potential attending to the highest. The primary-ever hill climb race befell in 1897 at La Turbie close to Good, France, and the oldest steady race is held at Shelsey Walsh in Worcestershire, England. The US additionally has an extended historical past in 4-wheel hill climb occasions, with probably the most well-known occasion being the Pikes Peak Hill Climb ending on the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado. Not like conventional motorsport occasions that happen on a purpose-built monitor, hill climbs happen on closed-down public roads. As a result of lack of standard monitor security measures, added security gear is required to compete in hill climb racing.

Historical past

Hill climb racing turned a massively well-liked type of motor racing within the early twentieth century earlier than devoted race tracks had been being constructed, however the sport can discover its roots in late nineteenth century France. Hill climbing within the US is a distinct segment type of racing, however the Sports activities Automobile Membership of America (SCCA) nonetheless hosts round ten hill climb occasions yearly, and teams such because the Northwest Hillclimb Affiliation host well-liked hill climb occasions together with the Cope-Myers Memorial, the Freeze-Out Hillclimb, and the Hoopa Hillclimb.

Presumably probably the most well-known hill climb occasion round (apart from Chasing The Dragon in Robbinsville, NC) is the Pikes Peak race. The Pikes Peak Worldwide Hill Climb (PPIHC), in any other case often known as The Race to the Clouds, has been going since 1916. The primary championship trophy was awarded to Rea Lentz in 1916, who accomplished the course in 20:55.60 in a Romano Demon Particular. The present file stands at 7:57.148 min and was set by Romain Dumas in a Volkswagen ID. R throughout the 2018 occasion, however it must be famous that the floor of this course has been vastly upgraded over time from all gravel to now all asphalt, making the race quicker. The oldest hill climb occasion within the US is the Eagle Rock hill climb, first held in New Jersey in 1901.


Hill Climb Racing within the USA

Hill climb racing remains to be lively within the USA, and the SCCA repeatedly hosts occasions. Under are a number of the extra well-liked hillclimbing occasions.

  • Pikes Peak – The Pikes Peak Hill Climb takes place in Pikes Peak, Colorado, and has been round for properly over a century. The monitor measures 12.42 miles in size, has over 156 turns, and climbs 4,720 toes in elevation. The Pikes Peak race is run on asphalt from begin to end. The 99th race befell in 2021.
  • Chasing The Dragon – This well-known race takes place on a course going up the Maple Hole Highway in Nantahala Forests, North Carolina, and is held twice a yr. The race was first run in 2011. The good a part of this race is the truth that the winners get a Dragonslayer sword.
  • Climb To The Clouds – This hill climb occasion is without doubt one of the oldest motorsports occasions in North America and was first run in 1904. The race takes rivals up the Mount Washington Auto Highway on Mount Washington, New Hampshire, and is 7.4 miles lengthy.
  • Mount Equinox – This race, positioned in Arlington, Vermont, simply exterior Manchester, has been run uninterrupted since 1950 and options an elevation change of three,100 toes.

Well-known Pikes Peak Race Automobiles

The Pikes Peak race is thought for internet hosting a number of the most insane-looking, hardcore racecars on the face of the Earth. Listed below are a few of our favourite specifically designed vehicles to have graced the Peak.

  • VW ID. R – Piloted by Romain Dumas, this electrical race automobile broke the outright file in 2018. Its twin electrical motors produce 680 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque. The ID. R can dash to sixty mph in solely 2.25 seconds, and regardless of being a targeted racecar, was instrumental within the growth of the ID. household of vehicles within the VW vary which incorporates such humble autos because the VW ID.3.
  • Peugeot 208 T16 – 875 – Piloted by rally legend Sebastien Loeb, this Peugeot relies on the European small automobile of the identical title, and delivers 875 hp from its twin-turbocharged 3.2-liter V6 engine and has aero borrowed from the 908 LMP1 Le Mans race automobile.
  • Toyota Tacoma – This wild racecar, loosely primarily based on a Toyota Tacomapickup truck, competed between 1997 and 2000 and took outright wins in 1998 and 1999. This imply machine was powered by a 2.1-liter turbocharged engine producing 1,000 hp.
  • Suzuki Escudo – Essentially the most well-known and cherished Pikes Peak racer of all of them shot to fame when it featured on the Gran Turismo recreation. The Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak was piloted by legendary driver Nobuhiro’ Monster’ Tajima in 1996 and featured a mid-mounted 2.0-litre twin-turbo V6 producing near 1,000 hp.

Security Throughout Hillclimbs

As a result of harmful nature of hill climb racing, the SCCA recommends that each one drivers and vehicles adhere to those stringent security guidelines:

Driver security tools

  • Fireplace-retardant helmet
  • Fireplace-resistant clothes/driver go well with, together with gloves and sneakers
  • Head and neck help system is extremely really helpful
  • Driver’s-side window security internet or arm restraints

Car security tools

  • 4-point roll cage
  • 5-point racing harness
  • Fireplace retardant system


Hill climbing is without doubt one of the oldest types of racing in America and continues to thrive, sharing recognition with drag racing amongst different types of motorsport – these kind of races are largely open to the general public. Hill climbs are an effective way to get into extra formal track-based motor sporting occasions like NASCAR and rally racing, and because you’re driving on closed public roads, the sensation is all of the extra thrilling.


FAQs About Hill Climbs

Do I would like a race automobile to enter a hill climb occasion?

No, you do not. So long as your automobile meets the security requirements and laws set out by the organizer of your chosen occasion, it is best to have the ability to race your day by day automobile up the hill climb occasion of your selecting.

Are hill climb occasions held solely on tarmac surfaces?

Some hill climb occasions have been historically held on dust roads, necessitating the usage of off-road rally tires, however most vital occasions, such because the Pikes Peak occasion, have converted to full tarmac, though this transformation took place because of a lobbying group claiming that the mud was inflicting environmental injury.

Can I enter the Pikes Peak race?

Technically you possibly can, however it’s not straightforward. Entrants should request an invite. When you obtain an invite, an entry price of $2,250 is payable. The Director of Competitors has the precise to take away you from the race if he believes you don’t possess the ability essential to drive competitively.

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