The Leavitt Machinery Knox Mountain Hillclimb is run annually on Knox Mountain Park Road, in the City of Kelowna. The road, while paved, is narrow with off-camber corners, and steep grades; a nice Sunday drive, but hardly a race track. It is 2.2 miles (3.5km) long, and climbs approximately 800 feet (245 meters) in elevation for an average grade of 6.7%.
Past its 60th year, Knox Mountain is the longest annually running paved hillclimb in North America. The event attracts top drivers from throughout the Pacific Northwest, looking for the challenge and thrill of being fastest.
Cars are run one at a time, each trying to reach the top in the lowest elapsed time. Drivers/cars compete in various classes from open wheeled formula cars to powerful large engined GT cars. But, each hopes to be “King of the Hill”, earning the fastest time of the weekend.
The current hill record is 1m:37.065, held by John Haftner of Vancouver, British Columbia. Times under two minutes are considered exceptionally fast, with few drivers achieving that and even fewer sedans having ever achieved that. Most times fall between 2m00s and 2m30s. To achieve top times, speeds in excess of 160kpH must be reached on the short straights.
The road corners are known by their “numbers” and include three switchbacks; each corner has its own features varying from steepness to camber, to steep drop-offs if you go too wide.
Turn 1 – The first switchback, comes in off a rise in the slope, often misjudged carrying in a bit much speed.
Turn 2 – The steepest part of the hill, but narrow and dark due to shade from the trees.
Turn 3 – Second switchback, again very steep especially if your line is too close to the traditional apex. Secret is to go wide.
Turn 4 – For many the scariest turn, with a steep dropoff on the right. Be bold.
Turn 5 – Frequently mis-judged as drivers turn away from open slopes to the inside part of the course. Be cautious of drifting too wide.
Turn 6 – High speed turn, flat out for many, unless your car is very quick.
Turn 7 – Another high speed turn, leads into hard left switchback.
Turn 8 – Hard braking into left hand switchback, drop a couple of gears and prepare for another short but steep climb.
Turn 9 – Lift off a bit and quickly back on for a blast to the finish. Don’t drift too wide, another big dropoff.
Finish – Heart pounding? Adrenalin shakes? Good, get ready for another run.
Dates: May 19th and 20th, 2018.
Time: Gates are open at 9AM and are located along Broadway.
Fees: Admission is $20.00 for one day and $25.00 for the weekend. (Children under 15 are free, when accompanied by parent.)
Rules and Comments
– No dogs allowed.
– You will be asked to sign a waiver and wear a wrist band.
– There is only street parking so come early.
– Do not wear anything red.
– Do not carry a red back pack or purse.
– Cross the road only at the first designated crossing. Otherwise stay on the trails.
– Do not stand on the outside of any corner and please keep well back from the road surface. Cars run about 50 seconds apart but may not be evenly spaced where you are in the track. For example a faster car will gain ground on a slower car.
– Observe all fencing and caution tape.
– Listen to instructions from corner workers and race officials.
– Depending on weather, bring appropriate clothing, sun screen water etc.
– You will probably choose to walk up the mountain so wear good walking shoes.
– There will be food vendors, beer garden, toilets, children’s activities, car show and information booths, in addition to the car racing.
Leavitt Machinery Knox Mountain Hillclimb WANTS YOU to Volunteer
The Knox Mountain Hillclimb event is run totally by volunteers. There are many positions to be filled and we would like you to fill some of those positions.
Volunteer positions include, but are not limited to:
– There are 9 turns as well as start and finish stations
– Turn workers maintain the course by sweeping any gravel put on the road by the competitors
– Crowd control; ensuring that spectators remain safe and away from the course
– Communications; keeping Race Control informed of the condition of the course
– Ensure spectators have entered the event through controlled areas
– Ensure spectators are safe and aware of the rules of the hill
Set Up and Clean Up Crews
If you enjoy helping others, like race cars and want to have a lot of fun – VOLUNTEER NOW!
If you have any specific skills, ie: First Aid, Electrican, Mechanic, etc., please let us know.
When you come to the hill be prepared for long, but rewarding days.
– Sense of humor
– Willingness to have a lot of fun
– Closed toe, sturdy shoes
– Long pants
– Shirts that cover your shoulders
– Nothing RED – we don’t want drivers to think you are a red flag and they need to stop
– Gloves – work gloves in case you have to assist with a car/incident
– Be prepared for all kinds of weather…..sun, wind, rain, hail are all possibilities. Wearing layers is a good bet, easier to take off than not have anything to put on when circumstances require it. An umbrella is handy for sun or rain.
Leavitt Machinery Knox Mountain Hill Climb
61st Leavitt Machinery Knox Mountain Hill Climb