Western Australian driver Gary West will be crossing the country for a third time this November to contest the 75th Australian Hill Climb Championship to be conducted at Mt Panorama on the 1 – 3 November 2019.
West served notice to fellow drivers at Bathurst Light Car Clubs, August and May hill climbs with a 2nd outright in May and outright victory in August.
West a three times Australian Hill Climb Champion first won the Australian title at Gippsland Park, Morwell Victoria in 2004 followed by two victories at Bathurst’s Mt Panorama, Esses Course.
In 2006, where he defeated the then current British Champion Martin Groves on the last run of the event, and in 2008, again on the last run of the event, he defeated Andrew Howell from Victoria.
Mt Panorama’s Mountain Straight course, the fastest in Australia, starting half way up Mountain Straight and finishing 1.7 kl away at the famed McPhillamy Park gate.
West will be driving a 1999 Pilbeam MP82 powered by a supercharged Nissan SR20 motor producing 750hp at 11,000 rpm which gives the supercharger revs of 20,000 rpm, hence the high pitch scream.
The West Australian will not have everything his way with eleven drivers already entered that could challenge him. Most noted are NSW driver Doug Barry in West’s old car, a Lola F3000 which took West to his two victories at Mt Panorama.
Challenges will also come from Victorian, Brett Hayward three times Australian champion and four times Australian champion Malcom Oastler, former technical director for BAR F1 and chief engineer for Jaguar Racing.
Entries for the 75th Australian Hill Climb Championship opened less than four weeks ago and already one hundred and thirty entries have been received from six states for the 1-3 November 2019 event.
With the flood of entries flowing into the event secretary, the club expects the 75th Australian Hill Climb Championship to be fully subscribed well before the scheduled closure date of 17th October.
The first Australian Hill Climb Championship was held at Rob Roy in Victoria in 1938 and won by Peter Whitehead in an ERA R108 after which he won the first Australian Grand Prix to be held at the new Mt Panorama Circuit at Bathurst.
Mt Panorama has hosted the Australian Hill Climb Championship eight times as a standalone event, seven times on the Esses course and once on the Mountain Straight course.
The CAMS Australian Hill Climb Championship will return to the super fast Mountain Straight course for 2019 with the lead cars averaging over 160kph (100mph) from a standing start on Mountain Straight finishing at the approach to McPhillamy Park gate 1.7 kl away.
A comparison to the top hill climb cars, a GT3 sports car, in the Bathurst 12 Hour, would cross the hill climb start line at 260kph and only finish two seconds ahead, a V8 Supercar in the Bathurst 1000 would be overtaken.
Noted Australian race drivers to win an Australian Hill Climb Championship were Sir Jack Brabham, Bill Patersen, Lex Davison, once at Mt Panorama, Tim Schenkin, Alan Hamiltion, Peter Holinger, to name a few.