The South Otago Car Club is hosting the first qualifying round of the New Zealand Hillclimb Championship for the South Island this weekend.
“On Saturday we are using the grouse Burma Rd for the gravel, which will be 3.8km long. Tomorrow we are using an amazing part of the Tuapeka West Rd, which is 4km long. Spectators are most welcome,” club member Chris Hey said.
Staying with Otago hillclimbs, the new Ben Nevis Station Golden 1200 Hillclimb is fully subscribed with 90 competitors keen to tackle the 6km Central Otago course on March 7 and 8.
Among the star contenders are Highlands Motorsport Park owner Tony Quinn in his purpose-built Pikes Peak hillclimb car, Ashley Forest Rallysprint winner Sloan Cox, Waimate 50 competitor Ben Terry with a 700hp Mitsubishi, Race to the Sky star Ian Ffitch on his SuperQuad and the event’s founder, Kiwi rally star Hayden Paddon in his Hyundai AP4 rally car in full hillclimb mode.
The event has even inspired Coromandel’s Alex Kelsey to get his impressive home-built Peugeot MC2 out of the shed.
A waiting list is in place for the event, which uses a section of the Nevis Rd — a remote high-country route between Bannockburn and Kingston. The hillclimb has been developed by Paddon with the support of Paddon Rallysport Group, and the Eastern Southland, Queenstown and Central Otago Motorsport car clubs.
- Catherine Pattison
Photo: Terry Marshall