All eyes will be on Kelowna’s Knox Mountain on Victoria Day weekend for the 64th iteration of the hill climb event.
The time trial style race starts at the base of Knox, where drivers are counted down before dropping the clutch and revving up the steep and winding 3.5 km road to the top of the mountain.
The event is the longest annually-run paved hill climb in North America. The event attracts top drivers from across the Pacific Northwest.
Last year, Garrett Mealing, one of the organizers and top contenders of the race, had his car burst into flames near the finish line on the second day of racing after damaging a fuel line.
In an exclusive post-race interview, he joked that the fire was likely a result of sabotage from his best friend and fiercest competitor, Roger Sieber.
@kelownacapnews Rivals / teammates racing at the Kelowna Knox Mountain Hill Climb race. who will win? #kelowna #race #racecar #formula #kelownabc #sportscar #rival ♬ Jackass - TV Theme Players
A race review from 2022, including a video of Mealing’s record breaking run of 1:51 and the ‘toasty edition’ lap is posted on the Mealing Racing Youtube account.
After two days of racing, Mealing remained on top despite Sieber’s attempts to edge him off of the podium.
Mealing said that he is ready for whatever Sieber throws at him this year.
This year, the competition will be even hotter as Mealing has updated his vehicle and has been training on his race simulator.
In addition to the two local rivals, there are a few spicy new additions to the 2023 start list. A speedy Nissan GTR and a KTM X-Bow are two never-before-seen entries that will likely be vying for a spot on the top of the podium.
There are a variety of categories that people will be racing in, in addition to the coveted ‘King of the Hill’ podium, including vintage vehicles, 4×4, electric vehicles, cars under 1800cc, GTs, dune buggies, and formula-style race cars.
In 2022, Jennifer Ocker (@hillclimb_queen) won the overall womens race in a time of 1:59 and Mark Uhlmann won the mens competition with a time of 1:39.
John Haftner has the overall record in his Tui SuperVee, a type of racecar, in a time of 1 minute and 37.065 seconds.
In addition to car racing, there will be a beer gardens, hosted by Vice and Virtue, live music, and a car show at the two day event.
Spectator tickets are $20 for the day, $30 for the weekend, and free for children under 16.
Additional information including a schedule of the weekend’s events and rules, are available at knoxmtnhillclimb.ca.