The 2011 Reading Pennsylvania Pagoda Hill Climb
By Sarah Forst
Living in the Northeast means there is no shortage of squiggly mountain-hugging roads which lend themselves to a number of rally crosses and hill climbs. You may not have heard of Giants Despair in Pennsylvania or the Mount Washington Hill Climb in New Hampshire, but MotoIQ readers would have to have been living beneath an undercarriage to not be familiar with that legendary hill climb known as Pike’s Peak in Colorado. Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb, or “Race to the Clouds” is 12.42 miles long with 156 turns starting at an elevation of 9,390 feet going up to 14,110 feet. The elevation change results in the engines losing about 30% of their power at the top. The record for Pike’s Peak was just broken a few weeks ago at the 89th annual event when Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima smashed his previous 10:01.41 record set in 2007 with an astonishing 09:51.278 seconds in his 910 horsepower Suzuki SX4 Hill Climb Special. If you haven’t seen the video yet, check it out here.
|Tajima San is King of the Hill. He has won Pike’s Peak 14 times.
Nothing like tiptoeing on the side of a mountain, carving tracks in both asphalt and dirt! But I digress… Hill climbs are motorsports time trials racing against the clock on an uphill course: the fastest time wins. They have been around for more than a century though really only popular in the US the past three decades. The Pagoda Hill Climb is produced by the Pennsylvania Hill Climb Association but governed by the SCCA’s Level 4 Time Trials program. Classes are determined regionally and can include entry level and streetable classes, Vintage cars, Solo or Club Racing, Specials, Rallys, Legends, and more. Some hill climb events will consolidate classes due to limited participation or create new classes to satisfy regional demand.
|This is a 1984 Citation FV in the Formula V class.
|This 1977 Honda Civic definitely had one of the more interesting header designs!