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  • Writer's pictureJack Ward

Engines are warming up ahead of King of the Hill Hillclimb

Updated: Mar 29, 2020

Ararat’s Car Club is gearing up for a weekend of racing at One Tree Hill, holding the Repco Ararat King of the Hill Hillclimb on Saturday and Sunday to wrap up their year of competitions.

The event has been back up and running for the past two years and is the biggest on the calendar for the car club. The other events throughout the year are a part of the Victorian Hillclimb Championships, unlike this standalone event which has already had 65 entries.

PHOTO: Ararat Car Club (Facebook)

Ararat Car Club President Daryl McCrae said that their biggest event will bring some “pretty flash cars” to Ararat and foster the annual competition between Victoria and South Australia.

“The entries are down a little bit on last year but there have been three events in three weeks so that impacts it a bit. The Australian Championships have been over at Mount Gambier last weekend and then there’s ours,” McCrae said.

“There’s a whole spectrum of cars. You can come and run an $800 car or you can come and run a $300,000 car if you want.”

“Kevin Mackrell is bringing his car which is worth thousands and thousands of dollars. He’s won it every year that we’ve ran it.”

His car, ironically called Viagra, is a full-blown V8 260Z with an all-wheel drive and complete hillclimb setup. Mackrell is known for reaching impressive speeds, taking the car to levels usually touched only by professional rally drivers.

He currently holds the record in Ararat for the Short Track at 36 seconds.

PHOTO: Ararat Car Club (Facebook)

Cars will race in a range of categories throughout the weekend, with the King of the Hill and Peter Hall Memorial Challenge two highlights of the event.

“There are 13 different categories which are all based on engine capacity. There’s a ladies event and then there’s the outright as well,” he said.

“With the South Australia challenge you gain points from where you come in your class and then it’s calculated over the whole day.”

Safety is also an important part of the clubs organisation for not only this weekends competition, but the races held throughout the year. McCrae said that there have been some huge improvements to One Tree Hill in recent times.

“The club itself has put in about $120,000 worth of Armcor (guardrails) improvements up there,” he said.

He encouraged all locals to attend and enjoy the cars for free, with food and drink available. Racing begins at the bottom of One Tree Hill on both days at 10am, following scrutiny at 8am.

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