New sponsors keep Lands End Hill Climb on track
For a while, it looked as if the annual Lands End Hill Climb race wasn’t going to take place this year.
Thanks to some recent sponsors, it’s back on schedule.
The race up Lands End Road begins at 8 a.m. Saturday on Grand Mesa and continues through the day. The finals are scheduled for 10 a.m. Sunday.
The economy has hit the sport hard the past two years.
“We’re having budgeting issues,” Colorado Hill Climb Association President Rod Moberly said. “Racing is the first to go out and the last thing taken off the shelf.
“We’ve been light on entries all year. It’s tough to forecast a budget. If you don’t have confidence to put on a marketable show, it’s difficult to develop community partners.”
Part of the problem is the fee the association has to pay the U.S. Forest Service for use of the road. That comes from driver’s entry fees.
Entries have increased from $175 to $375 per driver.
“We could go back to the normal entry fees if we had 60 to 70 entries like we’ve had before,” Moberly said.
Through the pre-registration period, only 25 drivers had entered.
Drivers can register Saturday morning prior to the start of the race.
Classes include open competition, rally cars, quads, super stock and competition trucks, super sprints, stock cars and sportsman.
Six-time Pikes Peak International Hill Climb champion and two-time CHCA champion Paul Dallenbach of Basalt is expected to compete in the open comp class.
The race is one of five in the CHCA.
Moberly said they’ve been averaging 35 to 45 drivers for CHCA events this season. There is one more event, the Continental Divide Hill Climb in Monarch, next month.
Spectator passes for the Lands End Hill Climb are $12 for the weekend or $10 per day.
People wanting to drive the road should expect delays, but the race committee will make an effort to open the road periodically.
Local drivers will race for the most prestigious award in drag racing Saturday — the Wally, named after the founder of NHRA — in the National Dragster Challenge at Western Colorado Dragway.
Drivers in the Super Quick, Gizmo and No G classes will compete beginning at 2 p.m. Eliminations begin at 7 p.m.
The Glass Pro Gizmo class is for vehicles that run 7.0 seconds or slower down the quarter-mile track and allows electronics. It is similar to Super Pro.
The NAPA No G class is for vehicles that run 7.0 seconds or slower, but electronics are not allowed. It is similar to Pro ET.
The J&A Services Super Quick is for the fastest 16 vehicles that qualify for eliminations.