Updates for the 2021 SCCA Pine Mountain HillClimb

By Colin Wood
Apr 19, 2021 | SCCA, hillclimb, Pine Mountain

For the latest regarding the SCCA Pine Mountain HillClimb Presented by Grassroots Motorsports, including logistical info, click here.


April 19 update from the SCCA:

With the inaugural Pine Mountain Hillclimb presented by Grassroots Motorsports just two weeks away, we wanted to start distributing the information that will make sure we are all well prepared for the event. This will likely be the first in a series of updates; more on that at the end. Here is a rundown of what you need to know:


In addition to email communication, we are also going to host a Zoom drivers meeting on Monday, April 26, at 8:00 p.m. for all event participants: drivers, workers, crew, etc. At the conclusion of this meeting (9:00 p.m.) there will be two breakout meetings, one for novices and one for workers. These links will come to you soon. These meetings will be recorded and shared for those unable to attend live.

Covid Protocol and Expectations

We will send a communication in the coming days that details Covid Protocol and Expectations. For the time being, please plan to have a mask with you at all times and wear a mask when within 6 feet of others. And of course, by all means, if you are not feeling well or have reason to believe that you have been exposed to Covid between now and the event, please let us know ASAP.

Paddock and Parking

If you have been keeping up with event planning, you are probably aware that the paddock is going to be one of the weekends biggest challenges. We do have room for everyone, but like most motorsport venues, not all paddock spaces are created equally.

The main paddock, known as “lower paddock,” is the one we will be running the event out of. There is also an upper paddock that is not paved, and overflow parking mid-way up the hill. It is going to be absolutely imperative that we keep the lower paddock to essential event vehicles, which means that open trailers and non-essential vehicles will need to go elsewhere. Here are some examples:

  • If you are bringing a car on an open trailer that requires minimal support, you are best served to park your trailer and tow vehicle in the upper paddock and bring your competition car down to the lower paddock with essentials–similar to how you might paddock at an autocross where you drive your car to the event.
  • If your setup requires a lot of space, you are going to need to be in the upper paddock, and you can bring the competition car down as needed.
  • If you have a street car that guest/crew/family arrived in, the paddock is adjacent to an amphitheater; on the other side of that, there is some parking for these types of vehicles.
  • Anything you can do now to reduce footprint is appreciated–this includes but is not limited to bringing a smaller trailer, working together with friends to agree to share space or support out of the same trailer, setting your gear up so that you can be away from an enclosed trailer.
  • There is also parking at the lodge at the top of the hill. Any amount of carpooling that can be done to minimize the number of vehicles in the lower paddock is encouraged.
  • We are going to give lower paddock priority to competition vehicles with low ground clearance and vehicles that require a bit more support–certainly this includes formula cars, specials and GT/SPO-type cars. If you have a car that needs to be in the lower paddock, and is not included in those groups, please let us know.
  • Likewise, if your rig is unusual (multi-car trailer, for example) please let us know.
  • Final thought on paddock: SCCA has paddocked both the Runoffs and Solo Nationals with non-paved paddocks before, so if those events can do it, this one can, too. The key is that we all work well together to ensure we are getting the best use possible. Put simply, the more stuff we put in the upper paddock, the more room there is for cars in the lower paddock.

Additional Paddock Notes:

  • There will be security for paddock from sundown to sunup on Friday and Saturday nights. If you wish to leave a trailer in the paddock overnight on Sunday, you may, but there will not be security that night.
  • Staying in vehicles/trailers in the paddock overnight is permitted, but there are no hookups.
  • The park will have concessions set up in the lower paddock from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday

Worker Parking, Meetings, Lunches:

  • There is a parking area mid-way up the hill, just past the historic bridge and chicane. This is where we will have race control and emergency services, park worker cars, and hold worker meetings each morning.
  • We will take a 30-minute break each day for lunch–lunches will be delivered to workers and event staff at stations.

Load In

Turns out, load in is a completely different topic from paddock <grin>. The paddock will open for load in at 11:00 a.m. on Friday. We MAY encourage/ask some of the larger rigs to come in before that so we can get them placed first. However, if not asked, PLEASE DO NOT ARRIVE BEFORE 11:00 a.m. We need that time to be ready for you.

We will be working with the park and golf course to establish a staging area so we can bring in larger rigs one at a time and get them parked. We will send exact locations for these next week. We have also secured some storage parking off mountain for large trailers that may not be able to get into the paddock area–these will need to be unloaded and cars driven in. (Example: three-car slant.)

One more thing to consider: We plan to run until at least 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, so if you would like to leave the event beforehand, it is likely going to be in your best interest to paddock in the upper paddock and/or use off mountain storage for your load-out.

Two-Driver Cars

We believe we have seven two-driver cars registered for the event. We will hold an area in the lower paddock, grid adjacent, where these team can do prep and driver change over before rolling into the grid so that they do not have to return to paddock spaces.

Run Groups

Our intention is to have four groups with approximately 25 cars in each. The plan is to call groups to the line one at a time but run two up before we bring cars downhill. This will prevent long wait times in the grid or at the top of the hill, while reducing the number of times we need to shut down to bring cars downhill. The goal is to have approximately a 30-second gap between cars on the hill, meaning we can run two groups up in an hour. Groups will be published next week.

This also means that two-driver cars will run in different groups, and the upper paddock will be accessible by vehicle at least once an hour.  

Friday: Pineville HillClimb Festival and Race Car Show

The City of Pineville will be hosting an event downtown to celebrate the HillClimb on Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Because this year’s event does not allow spectators, this is the ONLY opportunity for our event to connect with the community and build support for years to come, and thus it may be the single most important element in securing future dates on the mountain.

Plans are in place for outdoor dining, music, all the stops. Local law enforcement will be on hand to escort vehicles from paddock to downtown (2 miles). It is HIGHLY encouraged that competition cars be driven to the festival: We very much want the attention that driving 90 race cars through a town brings. However, we also have parking for up to 10 trailers for cars that cannot make the drive, for whatever reason.

If you have not, please visit the Facebook page for the event and indicate that you are “going.”


Tech will be offered in the paddock up until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, and then again starting at 5:00 p.m. as part of the downtown festivities. Check-in will only be offered downtown, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Late tech and check-in will be offered in the lower paddock from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Saturday.

Saturday Morning Practice

Saturday morning runs will officially be “Practice Runs.” This means we will run with timing systems on but will not record times. This allows competitors to get no-pressure practice on the mountain and organizers a chance to ensure all systems are go before we start competition runs. During this time, we will be running on a compressed release time to maximize the number of runs up the hill we can get everyone. These runs should not be limit-pushing, and as such, anyone causing a shutdown of the hill may forfeit the afternoon competition runs.

Saturday Night Dinner

Please plan to join us at the Pine Mountain Lodge for a Saturday night party featuring their famed fried catfish sandwiches, burgers and sides. There will be door prizes, drink tickets for workers, and a showing of the Derby happening elsewhere in the state. There is a cash bar that will be set up for credit card payment.

Awards Presentation

Also, please plan to stay on Sunday for the awards presentation. We will do all within our power to ensure that we get to awards as soon as possible after the completion of the event. In addition, we have invited some local leaders and dignitaries to present awards, and we would love to have as many of you as possible present to show our appreciation to the support this event has gotten from the community.

VIPs, Spectators and Guests

As mentioned above: This event is not a spectator event. This means that we will not be selling tickets and that we should not invite those outside of the event community to “come check it out.” It does not mean that you cannot bring guest or crew, though we should limit each to individuals who are required for a positive event experience so bring those who you need to have there.

Additionally, the fine folks at Back Roads of Appalachia will be bringing a number of VIPs through the event in the advancement of more hillclimbing in the state of Kentucky. Please keep an eye open for these groups and make them feel welcome.


Yup, that was a ton of info, but probably didn’t cover everything. As such, if you have a question, please send an e-mail and we will answer directly and/or pull the most common questions into a FAQ email that we will send out later this week.

Final Thought

We are super-excited about this event, and we hope you are, too. We are also super-excited about the future of hillclimbing in the state of Kentucky, and this event, more than anything else, is the gateway to a bright future for our sport. We ask for your support in this venture, which may range from simple task like ensuring we leave no trash, to speaking with a U.S. Senator. From that, we ask that in anything that you do in, around or associated with this event, you keep our mission in mind: to be great guests and be invited back.


Looking Forward,

Brad Gates
Heyward Wagner
Pine Mountain HillClimb Event Leads

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View comments on the GRM forums
accordionfolder SuperDork
4/22/21 8:14 p.m.

Is anyone going?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/23/21 10:17 a.m.

We'll have Tim (publisher) and Perry (photographer) there. 

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