It is one of the oldest organized motorsports events around: Hillclimb. The premise is extremely simple: one car, one windy road, fastest time to the top wins. The two things that get one car to the top faster than the others: horsepower and guts. The extreme elevation change requires lots of horsepower while the trees, rocks, and cliffs you narrowly miss as you race up the mountain require lots of bravery and guts. It also helps to be a bit delusional. Just keep telling yourself, “I won’t be the one who totals my car while falling down the mountain.”
Category - Racer Boy
Photos by Saroja Raman
So you finally got yourself a little hot rod in your driveway and you have been telling everyone who will listen to you in any random Starbucks parking lot that your car is fast. You quote the zero-to-sixty times from statistics which you memorized from the internet and just like Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon, you’ve “made a few modifications” yourself to improve the car’s performance. You know deep down in your hot rodder heart that if you were given the opportunity to compete with your machine of speed you would crush all of the other fools on your favorite car forum. The Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car is just the place for a guy like you with a fast street car to show those bench racing keyboard jockeys that your car is truly legit!
It finally happened. You got old. Which means you finally have a few bucks in your pocket. Obvious next step: Corvette, duh. Why not? The cars are fast, sexy, and hands down the best performance bang for your buck dollar for dollar. Now that you have the Vette, it’s time to race that baby. Hello Corvette Challenge, the time trial series for Corvettes only, brought to you by guys at Speed Ventures.
At the last ChumpCar race you blew the engine up on your racecar going up the hill toward the corkscrew at Laguna Seca. Bummer. Now your racecar is sitting dead in the garage and your wife is storing Christmas decorations on it –a felony in some states. Your old sponsor isn’t answering your e-mails, because he knows you’re just looking for free parts for the nuked motor. You, good Sir, are a long, long way from your next checkered flag. Or are you? Borrow your wife’s Hyundai (since the motor in that car still runs) and head over to a K1 Speed near you for some adrenaline pumping wheel-to-wheel racing action!
You already have a car with a rollcage and you finally got your competition license. The only problem now is you’re totally broke from installing the rollcage and paying to go to driving school. With limited funds, how are you going to race? Simple, split the operating costs with a few friends and go endurance racing. With endurance racing, you and your friends will each get more than enough seat time and you can all share the
burden fun of working on the car and paying for tires.
After getting your ass handed to you at the local mini-golf go-kart track by eight year olds, you’ve given up on your own dreams of racing F1 (don’t feel bad, the little whipper snappers have a hundred pound weight advantage on you in a 5 horsepower go-kart). But the reason you were at the go-kart track in the first place is because you’re a daddy now. In fact one of the eight year olds that was shaming you in Turn 1 was your own kid.
You have looked into competitive go-kart racing for your child but after you did the math and saw it was going to cost the same amount to get a competitive go-kart and equipment for the kid as it would to buy you a new Lotus, you realized it ain’t gonna happen. Now what? I have the solution for you. Congratulations Dad, you’re now getting a racing promotion, you are going to be “crew chief” as you and your kid take on The All-American Soap Box Derby.