Camperdown Chronicle
Mount Leura to decide hill climb championships

THE seventh and final round of the Victorian Hill Climb Championship is bound for Camperdown’s picturesque Mount Leura this weekend.

Another large field of competitors is expected for the event according to Ballarat Light Car Club secretary Wayne Drew.

“We are looking at having around the 60 car mark at this stage,” he said.

“There will be everything from historics through to minis to more modern purpose-built racecars.

“There will be a range of classes competing with both sedans and open wheelers, front and rear wheel drive cars as well as cars with front, mid and rear mounted engines.

“One of the more exciting cars to see that is totally different would be the Datsun 260Z of Kevin Mackrell.”

Drew believes the fact that a number of classes remain wide open in terms of the state championship points battle should make for an intriguing weekend of competition.

“One of the good things heading into the final round is that there’s still a lot of drivers in contention for their respective overall points score,” he said.

“We’re hoping for good weather as some of the cars like the Formula Libre’s can get off the mark very handily, but in the rain obviously they have to contend with wheel spin and the like.

“It’s the same for everybody no matter the conditions, but hopefully it stays relatively dry.”

Drew said the majority of entrants enjoy coming to Camperdown, with the 803-metre Mount Leura layout being one of just two circuits to host multiple rounds of the series.

“It’s quite a nice hill climb really,” he said.

“The start is relatively flat then it takes you to a series of left and right turns into a double apex before you reach a straight stretch which is referred to as ‘the shelf’.

“Then you arrive at the cutting where there’s walls both sides and makes it pretty narrow with no run-off, followed by a short burst to the finish line.

“Despite looking relatively simple, the circuit certainly poses its challenges.”

Drew has encouraged members of the local community to visit the precinct this weekend in order to get up close and personal with all the action.

“We value and like to have interaction with the community for all our events,” he said.

“We’ve had a local bobcat operator put in a new return lane for this weekend, there’s going to be a local school selling raffle tickets and a few other community organisations helping out across the weekend.

“The public are welcome to inspect the cars up close and be standing right there when the cars launch off the start line.”

For those new to the sport, Drew best described the event as a “drag race with corners”.

“I guess what makes this form of motorsport unique is that you’re racing against the clock, so it means you have to be on it from the start to the finish,” Drew said.

“As a driver, there’s no time for lapses and just thinking you’ll make up for a mistake on the next lap.”

Drivers are expected to contest between six and seven runs up the mount across the weekend.

“We’ll be looking at two to three runs per car on Saturday dependant on how many turn up, then more than likely another four runs per driver on Sunday,” Drew said.

Of the locals set to climb the mount this weekend, Camperdown’s Leigh Ball will be among the field driving his Mini, as well as grandfather Geoff competing in his Datsun.

On track action will commence from 1.30pm Saturday and 10am on Sunday.