The best date night? How about running the Dragon HillClimb?

J.A.
By J.A. Ackley
Aug 3, 2023 | SCCA, SCCA Appalachian HillClimb Series, Dragon HillClimb

Photography Courtesy Alec White/SCCA Appalachian HillClimb Series

For Mark and Michele Aubele, date night typically involves a hillclimb. This past weekend, the two won trophies for slaying the Dragon HillClimb XVII, round 3 of the SCCA Appalachian HillClimb Series.

Shortly after Mark and Michele married in 2010, Michele wanted a little more out of their relationship. She didn’t want to merely watch Mark race. Michele wanted to compete as well.

It looked fun,” Michele says. “I always liked going fast. Having the opportunity to drive as fast as you want on a closed-down road, I thought it was intriguing and I wanted to try it.”

Before Michele started hillclimbing, Mark insisted she start in the sport through autocross. So, she begun by tackling a sea of cones in a parking lot with a Ford Fusion.

It wasn’t my thing,” says Michele of autocross. “I definitely like the track. I like to run people down and go fast.”


Michele and Mark Aubele

After autocross, Michele joined her husband on hillclimbs. However, the Aubeles typically compete with separate cars. Currently, Mark uses an LS-swapped Ford Mustang while Michele races an LS-swapped BMW 135i.

One of the problems is we don’t fit [each other's car],” Mark says. “She’s 5-foot-4. I’m 5-foot-10, but I sit like I’m 7-feet tall.

[The other issue is] she’s too competitive. If she gets beat, she’ll be very upset. One time when we drove the same car, I beat her by hundreds of seconds. The next time [out] it was only by a second or so. I should probably drive with her all the time, because it makes her even more competitive than usual.”

Michele’s no slouch, though. Mark has won his fair share of trophies, but he’s a tad short on the iconic swords handed out by the SCCA Appalachian HillClimb Series for its King and Queen.

She has three of those swords; I only have one,” says Mark. “I’m kind of jealous.”

Nevertheless, Michele and Mark encourage other couples to join them in the sport.

It’s good to share the same interests and same hobby,” Michele says. “It brings us closer together. It gives us something to do. It gives us something to talk about.”

And, if anything, it will help eliminate one common issue that many couples fight about.

If you need a way to get rid of all the money you have, it’s a great thing,” says Mark. “You won’t have any of that pesky money around if you race with your wife.”

Appalachian HillClimb Series Round 3 Results
Dragon HillClimb XVII
Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest
Robbinsville, North Carolina
July 29-30, 2023
Course Info: 2.2 miles, 15 turns, with an elevation change of 1000 feet
Total Number of Cars Taking Time: 60

King (Overall Winner) & Special Open Class

Justin Reed, 2016 DF Kit Car The Goblin, 1:47.803

Queen (Top Female Participant)

Michele Aubele, 2012 BMW 135i, 2:00.255
Placed 15th overall and 7th in Sport Unlimited

FWD

Heyward Wagner, 1989 Honda Civic EX, 2:03.838
Placed 19th overall and 2nd in Modified

Modified Unlimited

Mark Aubele, 2003 Ford Mustang, 1:49.340

Sport Unlimited

Cody Puckett, 1970 Chevrolet 70.5 Camaro, 1:50.453

Super Modified

Heikki Rinta-Koski, 2005 Locost Seven, 1:54.578

Super Sport

Christian Aranha, 2022 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE, 1:57.523

Modified

Dillon Broyles, 2006 Mazda MX-5, 2:01.391

Sport

Benjamin Bunk, 2013 Subaru BRZ, 2:05.587

Special Limited

Ray Cockrell, 1989 Red Devil T-89 Formula 500, 2:38.948

The fourth and final round of the SCCA Appalachian HillClimb Series, the Flag Rock HillClimb III, at Flag Rock Recreation Area in Norton, Virginia, takes place August 26-27. To register, click here.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more SCCA, SCCA Appalachian HillClimb Series and Dragon HillClimb news.
Comments
Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
8/3/23 4:23 p.m.

Had a buddy that ran it. He finished 2nd or 3rd in class.

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
8/3/23 4:51 p.m.

Here are the complete results:

Pos.    Class    #    Driver    Car Model         Total
1     so    151     Justin Reed     2016 DFkitcar Goblin    107.803
2     mu    53     Mark Aubele     2003 Ford Mustang    109.34
3     su    144     Cody Puckett     1970 Chevrolet 70.5 Camaro    110.453
4     su    117     Phillip Glass-Hess     1994 Mazda Miata    111.285
5     sm    171     Heikki Rinta-Koski     2005 Locost Seven    114.578
6     sm    6     Lawrence Shue     2003 BMW M3    115.642
7     su    197     Kendall Samuel     2000 Subaru 2000    116.284
8     so    20     Greg Blachon     Prototype    117.374
9     ss    55     Christian Aranha     2022 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE    117.523
10     su    22     Jamie Thomas     1997 Ford    117.601
11     su    217     Nate McKeever     2003 Chevrolet Corvette    118.112
12     mu    14     Tom Plaza     1990 Oldsmobile Cutlass NASCAR    118.726
13     su    777     Tanner Dutton     1971 Chevrolet Camaro    118.913
14     mu    138     Seth Monteleone     2013 Scion FR-S    119.497
15     su    880     Michele Aubele     2012 BMW 135i    120.255
16     mu    700     Daniel Semon     1992 Mazda Miata    121.159
17     sm    223     Ryan Cheek     2006 Ford Mustang    121.389
18     m    25     Dillon Broyles     2006 Mazda MX5    121.391
19     m    5     Heyward Wagner     1989 Honda Civic EX    123.838
20     mu    717     James Currie     2016 BMW M4    124.252
21     su    51     Christopher Rathke     2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS    124.442
22     m    203     Austin Leiphart     2012 Mazda MX-5    124.444
23     s    19     Benjamin Bunk     2013 Subaru BRZ    125.587
24     su    199     Daniel Gestewitz     2005 Honda S2000    125.784
25     ss    35     Albert George     2017 Chevrolet Camaro    126.658
26     su    101     Calvin Barber     1992 Mazda    126.816
27     s    58     Taylor Shead     2002 Toyota MR-S    128.506
28     m    114     Joshua 'Frodo' Elks     2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata    128.564
29     ss    917     Doug Johnson     2017 Ford Mustang GT    128.702
30     sm    194     David Luehrmann     2004 Mini Cooper S    129.916
31     su    711     Hamilton B. Cort     2005 Lotus Elise    130.11
32     sm    98     Vicki Lanning     2006 Mini Cooper S    130.89
33     mu    16     Mike Breakey     1971 Lotus Seven    131.095
34     sm    69     Jim Mason     1974 Ford Mustang    131.17
35     mu    40     Mike Jackson     2002 Dodge Charger    131.529
36     m    34     Myles Fisher     1988 Mazda 1988 mazda RX7    134.31
37     sm    7     Jerry Arwood     2002 Audi A4    134.43
38     ss    1     Brian Gause     1974 Chevrolet Z/28    135.809
39     su    771     John Cort     2005 Lotus Elise    136.456
40     mu    23     Avery Street     1984 Chevrolet Corvette    136.684
41     m    28     Robby Helms     1988 Honda CRX    137.694
42     su    111     Lars Lattstrom     2002 FFR Cobra repl    137.927
43     sm    12     Bill Jr Coffey     1971 Datsun 240z    138.498
44     m    134     Christopher Lathrop     Mazda 1988 RX7    138.615
45     ss    78     Dana Lyons     2006 Lotus Elise    139.139
46     m    7     Jason Stocker     1978 Toyota celica    139.89
47     m    128     Robert Leslie     1988 Honda CRX    141.598
48     su    107     Mary Barker     2005 Subaru Wrx STi    142.361
49     sm    119     Noel DesMarteau     1973 Datsun 240Z    142.409
50     ss    4     Andrew Scott     1994 Ford Probe    143.228
51     sm    2     Bill Coffey     1971 Datsun 240 ZR    148.873
52     ss    74     John Hanna     2012 Infiniti G37    150.035
53     m    988     Christopher Shearer     1983 Porsche 944 spec    150.763
54     ss    42     Chris Polhamus     1998 Honda Civic    150.995
55     m    46     Robert Pharr     1972 Nissan 510    151.738
56     m    404     Curtis Bowman     1990 Honda CRX    155.378
57     sl    37     Ray Cockrell     1989 Red Devil T_89 Formula 500    158.948
58     m    983     Steven Parsons     1983 Porsche 944    162.209
59     so    75     Jim Lewis     2010 Chevrolet Cobalt DF Goblin    170.667
60     sm    9     Darryl DesMarteau     1973 Datsun 240Z    177.501
 

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
8/3/23 6:03 p.m.

In reply to J.A. Ackley :

29th overall. smiley

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
8/3/23 6:30 p.m.

In reply to Ranger50 :

That's podium in his class. Not too shabby. :-D

You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners
CvXheQ1suPxvYebwjXa2NxMmBDPjIIrNM2eNn4J7f48T3K91uQ7lKh9OkprbLIJb