Flag Rock HillClimb: Championship comes down to the last run

J.A.
By J.A. Ackley
Aug 31, 2023 | Chevrolet Corvette, Flag Rock HillClimb, SCCA Appalachian HillClimb Series

Photography by Alec White/SCCA Appalachian HillClimb Series

Wanting to get every last ounce out of her car to win a class championship that she was tied for, Tracy Gaudu made a rare slip, and found herself off course during the SCCA Appalachian HillClimb Series season finale, the Flag Rock HillClimb III in Virginia. Fortunately, she emerged from the perilous situation without injury.

[She Started in Autocross, Now Road Races a C6 Corvette Z06]

It was the last run and I wanted to drop a bit more time,” Gaudu told us. “I wanted to win the Modified Unlimited 2023 championship outright.”

Gaudu detailed the sequence of events on her Facebook page:

Had an off, I believe it was turn 7, and went down an embankment and into the trees. I got a bit loose with my right tires catching the grass on right side of road as I was exiting the corner and it shot me across the road down into the trees–no possible way I could have saved it.

It felt like forever but the car finally slowed down and just came to a stop with the motor still running.”

Gaudu realized the crash could have ended very differently.

Jesus had his hands on that wheel with me or maybe it was my dad who passed away in Dec 2020 and who I feel in the car with me at all times?” said Gaudu on Facebook on Monday. “I have thought about that moment a million times since yesterday and I am certain I had a guardian angel in the car with me on this one.”


Photo by Aaron Hunter via Tracy Gaudu/Facebook

Surprisingly, the C6 Corvette suffered minimal damage, too.

The splitter got pushed back a bit and some of the brackets holding it broke.

The transponder sheared off.

The crash altered the car’s alignment.

But the biggest injury to the car came to the driver’s-side exhaust pipe.

That’s it.

Gaudu brought the car to Roswell Outback Automotive Racing for repairs and realignment. Corsa Performance overnighted a new exhaust piece. She will pick up the car on Friday and compete with it at Roebling Road this weekend.

As far as the championship, Tracy Gaudu didn't earn any more points. Instead, she remained tied with Seth Monteleone, and the two will be crowned Modified Unlimited co-champions.

Appalachian HillClimb Series Round 4 Results

Flag Rock HillClimb III
Flag Rock Recreational Area
Norton, Virginia
Course Info: 1.7 miles, 15 turns, with an elevation change of 920 feet
Total Number of Cars Taking Time: 42

King (Overall Winner) & Special Open Class

Justin Reed, 2016 DF Kit Car The Goblin, 1:41.741

Queen (Top Female Participant)

Tracy Gaudu, 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, 1:53.245
Placed seventh overall and third in Modified Unlimited
 

FWD

Seth Rogers, 2009 Mini Cooper S, 1:56.451

Placed 12th overall and second in Super Sport

Sport Unlimited

Cody Puckett, 1970 Chevrolet 70.5 Camaro, 1:45.260

Modified Unlimited

Josh Harris, 2013 Lamborghini, 1:48.572

Super Modified

Heikki Rinta-Koski, 2005 Locost Seven, 1:51.974

Super Sport

Christian Aranha, 2022 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE, 1:53.791

Special Limited

Ted Visscher, 2008 Red Devil T_89 Formula 500, 1:57.878

Modified

Rob Leslie, 1988 Honda CRX, 2:00.998

Sport

Taylor Shead, 
2002 Toyota MR2 Spyder, 2:04.345

Find complete results here.

This event concluded the 2023 SCCA Appalachian HillClimb Series season. Next year begins with the Pine Mountain HillClimb in on April 19-21, 2024 in Pineville, Kentucky.

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Comments
Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
8/31/23 3:24 p.m.

Glad to hear she was uninjured. That really could have gone differently.

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
9/1/23 11:36 a.m.

Indeed.

How about that Lambo hillclimbing?

DavyZ
DavyZ New Reader
9/1/23 2:42 p.m.

I'm digging the fact that Cody Puckett turns a faster time in his modded '70 Camaro than the Lambo.  I like that.

Oh yes, for the rest of the article: I'm so happy she came out OK (and the Vette too!) when she went into the trees.  Small trees can be forgiving, but big ones not so much.

 

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