Racing is an integral part of our lives, every day we race against time to wake up, go to office, finish our daily chores and then do it all over again the next day and the day after and so on, in fact our whole universe is a giant racing circuit where speed is a defining character and distances, mere numbers. And in case of us petrolheads, racing becomes even integral to our daily lives and this has been a case ever since the first ever cars and motorcycles started rolling on to the streets. And, raced we did, everywhere we could possibly have raced, we raced and still race. Among one of the oldest forms of motorsports has been Hillclimbing, in which the drivers and the riders compete against the clock to complete an uphill course. It all started way back in France on January 31st, 1897, when the first ever known hill climb was held at La Turbie near Nice. Thus it was but obvious that we have some of the best hill climb events in our minds when we write this list of the Best Hill Climb Races in the world.
Best Hill Climb Races in the World
Shelsley Walsh Speed Hill Climb:
In our list of the best Hill Climb races in the world, the Shelsley Walsh Speed Hill Climb is the oldest motor-sporting event in the world having been run continuously (wartime excepted) since 1905, This is an annual event which is held in Shelsley Walsh, Worcestershire, England, and is organised by the Midland Automobile Club (MAC). Since 1907 the event has been standardised at 914 m in length and is a notably steep course by the standards of today’s hill climbs. The elevation changes by 100m during the run with an average gradient of 10.9% while the steepest section arrives at 16% gradient. Thus, the Shelsley hillclimo is all about power meaning that this event has the biggest difference times between the most powerful cars and the rest as compared to other venues. Saying that, some sections of the event are not more than 3.66m wide at some points, making this track among the narrower ones.
The Pikes Peak by far the biggest one in our best hill climb races in the world list. It is an annual event held in Colorado Springs, Colorado and has seen participation of many internationally renowned drivers, Indy 500 champions, and multiple world rally champions. The 20.0 km course finishes at a height of 4,300m after navigating 156 turns. We wont say much about it, just watch the video below to see how incredible this race truly is.
Chasing The Dragon:
Next up in our best Hill climb races in the world is another USA event knownas Chasing the Dragon and is held on the 3.7km course up the Maple Gap Road in Nantahala Forests, North Carolina, twice each year. In this event drivers compete for cash and prizes in vintage, production, open wheel and special classes while the Fastest King and Queen also get a Dragonslayer sword, which is the reason enough to include this event in our list.
Another US entry to our list of the best hill climbing races in the world proves that US has a long history of these famous events, and the Mount Equinox race doesn’t disappoint. The length of the road is almost 9km and the elevation change is 3,100 feet, and the race consists of more than 40 turns and cars have been clocked exceeding 160kmph on the long straight ending at “The Saddle”. This hill climb started in 1950 as an official SCCA event and has seen participation of famous drivers such as Carroll Shelby, Briggs Cunningham, René Dreyfus, John Fitch and Miles Collier to name just a few and it continues uninterrupted, as a vintage car race.
European Hill Climb Championship:
The European Hill Climb Championship is an FIA-run motorsport competition held across Europe on public roads. Since it is tough to select a best hillclimb race from its 12 races that are held every year, we have included the whole championship in our list of best Hill climb races in the world. In this championship, each driver competes alone, starting from a point at the base of a mountain and reaching a finish point near the summit. The European Championship allows single-seater cars, open-cockpit sports prototypes, and touring cars with varying degrees of technical preparation.
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