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 Prescott hillclimb, England
Prescott hillclimb, England

Hillclimbing (also known as hill climbing, speed hillclimbing or speed hill climbing) is a branch of motorsport in which drivers compete against the clock to complete an uphill course.

It is one of the oldest forms of motorsport, since the first known hillclimb at La Turbie near Nice, France took place as long ago as 31 January 1897. The hillclimb held at Shelsley Walsh, in Worcestershire, England is the world's oldest continuously staged motorsport event still staged on its original course, having been first run in 1905.[1]

An alternative style of hillclimbing is done with offroad motorcycles going straight up extremely steep hills, with the victor being the motorcycle which can climb the highest, or make it to the top the fastest. The motorsport has a long tradition in the USA and has been popular in France and Austria since the 1980s. The Austrian event in Rachau focused on crowd entertainment, and inspired many similar events.[citation needed]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Random Restart Hill Climbing - Georgia Tech - Machine Learning


So Random Restart Hillclimbing is going to give us a way to deal with the fact that hillclimbing can get stuck, and the place where it gets stuck might not actually be the best place to be. And so we can go back to that function that we looked at before. So what are some places that this could get stuck? >> There, there, and there. >> And others to boot. So what randomized hillclimbing's going to do is once a local optimum is reached, we're just going to start the whole thing again from some other randomly chosen x. It's like, you know, sort of what you do if you were trying to solve a problem and you got stuck. You're like, okay let me just try to solve it again. So why is this a good idea? >> Hm. Well one it, it, it takes away the luck factor of I happened to pick a good starting place. Although I suppose it replaces it with the luck factor that I randomly happened to pick a good place. But that's okay because I'm going to keep randomly picking good places. Or randomly picking starting places >> Yeah. So you get multiple tries to find a good starting place. That there could be various places where you start that don't do so well but as long as there's places where you do well. Then you might luck into starting one of those places and climb up to the tippy top and win. >> Another advantage is that it's actually not much more expensive. So, whatever the cost is, of climbing up a hill, all you've done is multiply it by, you know, a factor, a constant factor, which is how many times you are willing to do a random restart. >> Yeah, that's a good way of thinking about it. That it's, it's really just random hill climbing, repeated how every many times you feel like you have time to repeat it. And it can actually do much, much better. Now, if there really is only one local. Sorry, if there is only one optimum and there is no local optimum, then what's going to happen when we do random restart hill climbing? >> We'll just keep getting the same answer. >> Yeah, over and over again. So, could be that we, that we might keep track of that and notice, okay, you know, what we seem in a space where these random restarts aren't getting us any new information. So, you might as well stop now. >> Well, that's one answer but I could think of another answer. What's that? >> So, maybe you just keep starting too close to the same place you were starting before. I mean, it may be random, but you can get unlucky in random right? So, maybe you should make certain your next random point is far away from where you started, so that you cover the space. You want to cover the space as best you can. Yeah the randomness should do that, at least on average. But you're right, so we could try to be more systematic. So here might be an example of a kind of function where that would be really relevant. So imagine we've got, here's our input space and most of the random points that we choose are all going to lead us up to the top of this hill. But a very small percentage are actually going to lead us to the top of the, the real hill. The top that we really want. The optimum. So yeah, we, we might not want to give up after a relatively small number of tries because it could be that this tiny little, I know, I'm going to call it a basin of attraction. >> Mm-hm. I like that. >> And if it's small enough, it might take lots of tries to hit it. In fact, it could be a needle in a haystack. In which case, there's only one place that you could start that has that optimum. And that could take a very, very long time to luck into. In fact, the hill climbing part isn't doing anything for you at that point. >> Yeah, but you know. If you're in a world where there's only one point that's maximum. And, but there's only one way to get to it by having to land on a single point. Then, you're in a bad world anyway. [LAUGH] >> Right, I mean, there's going to be, nothing is going to to work out. Nothing is going to help you in that world. >> Yeah. >> Right, and in fact, I would, I would claim since everything has some kind of inductive bias. Right you're, you're making some assumption about like local smoothness or something. that, that makes sense here because if you, if you are worried about a world where there is always some point of the infinite number of points you could be looking at say. That is the right one and there is no way of finding it other than having to have stumbled on it from the beginning. Then you can't make any assumptions about anything. You might as well look at every single point and what's the point of that. >> Fair enough. >> Mm-hm. >> So the, the assumption here I guess is that there, you can make local improvements and that local improvements add up to global improvements. >> Right. Hey I got a question. I got a semantic question for you, a definition question for you. >> Sure. >> You decided that you didn't, if you only had one optimum, you didn't want to call it a local optimum. So, is a local optimum, by definition, not a global optimum? >> So, if I was being mathematical about it, I would define local optimum in a way that would include the global optimum but it's just awkward to talk about it that way. because it feels like the local optimum is someplace you don't want to be and the global optimum is someplace you do want to be. But yeah that's right the global optimum is a local optimum in the sense you can't improve it using local steps. >> Okay.



Hillclimbs in continental Europe are usually held on courses which are several kilometres long, taking advantage of the available hills and mountains including the Alps. The most prestigious competition is the FIA European Hill Climb Championship.


An Austrian venue: Gaisberg. An historic course is at Semmering.

British Isles

In the British Isles, the format is different from that in other parts of Europe, with courses being much shorter. The Harewood Hillclimb is mainland Great Britain's longest permanent hillclimb at 1,584 yards (1,448 metres). The longest in the UK and Ireland is Cairncastle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland at 1.65 miles. These short courses are more akin to uphill sprints – and almost always take under one minute for the fastest drivers to complete. For this reason, cars and drivers do not generally cross between the British and continental European championships.

Hillclimbing is also relevant to motorcycle sport; the governing body is the National Hill Climb Association.[2][3]


The French hill climb championship, or Championnat de France de la Montagne, has been one of the most competitive of the European national series, attracting many new F2 and 2-litre sports cars during the 1970s and early 1980s. Notable champions from this period include Pierre Maublanc (1967 and 1968), Daniel Rouveyran (1969), Hervé Bayard (1970) and Jimmy Mieusset (1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974). The best-known Course de Côte are Mont Ventoux and Mont-Dore.


Two German venues: Freiburg-Schauinsland, Rossfeld (near Berchtesgaden). The fourth International Schauinsland hillclimb at Freiburg was held on August 5, 1928: "A car made the fastest time of the day, Heusser's Bugatti putting up 74.009 km/h, the fastest motorcycle being Stegmann's DKW at 69.6 km/h." Caracciola (Mercedes) won the over two-litre racing car class.[4]


In the Italian championship, also known as the Campionato Italiano Velocità Montagna, there are the longest and most challenging hillclimbs like Trento-Bondone, Coppa Bruno Carotti (the Italian races in FIA European Hill Climb Championship), Pedavena-Croce d'Aune, Monte Erice and Verzegnis-Sella Chianzutan, which are also the most known. Hillclimbing in Italy became famous in the 1970s, early 1980s, between 1994 and 2000 and at the end of the 2000s, especially in the last two periods thanks to TV services, magazines and live Internet commentaries. The most famous Italian drivers, who won a lot even in Europe, are Ludovico Scarfiotti (famous Ferrari driver who won the F1 race in Monza 1966), "Noris" (he won almost every race in Italy until 1972, when he died), Domenico Scola (who runs a Sport Prototype even now at the age of 80), Mauro Nesti (over 20 championships between Italy and Europe, from the 1970s to the 1990s), Ezio Baribbi (three times Italian champion), Fabio Danti (1994 Italian champion, 1995-96 European champion, died in 2000), Pasquale Irlando (Italian champion in the early 1990s and European champion in the last 1990s, the one who turned the Osella PA20), Franz Tschager (three times European champion in the early 2000s), Simone Faggioli (the real Italian champion of the 2000s) and Denny Zardo (Italian champion in 2005 and 2008, European champion in 2003)


Hillclimbing is a very popular sport on the island of Malta. Numerous events are organised annually by the Island Car Club. Participants are divided according to their type of vehicle into various categories ranging from single seaters to saloon cars.


 Reșița hillclimb 2007, Romania
Reșița hillclimb 2007, Romania

Hillclimbing is popular in Romania among drivers with limited financial resources.[citation needed] It has a long tradition in the country.[citation needed] The first major event was the Feleac course, in Cluj. From 1930, it was a round in the European Hill Climb Championship. The record of the Feleac was set by famous German racer Hans Stuck in 1938, driving a 600 bhp (450 kW) Auto Union Grand Prix car. Stuck stormed through the 7 km (4.3 mi) gravel course in 2 min 56 sec.[citation needed] Despite several attempts in the 1970s, Stuck's record was never beaten.[citation needed] In recent decades, the course was widened in order to be suitable for intense traffic and therefore is considered inappropriate for auto racing.[citation needed]

Today, hillclimbing in Romania is referred to as Viteză în Coastă or Campionatul Național de Viteză pe Traseu Montan (VTM).[citation needed] In 2006, the Romanian National Hillclimbing Championship had 7 events, each containing two rounds (each scoring separately) held on Friday and Sunday respectively, with Saturday being a rest day. The seven events were Câmpulung Muscel (April 7/9), Brașov (April 28/30), Reșița (May 19/21), Bálványos (June 9/11), Abrud (July 28/30), Reșița (8/10 September) and Râșnov (September 29/October 1).[citation needed]

Some of the most successful and popular drivers to ever take part in this championship are Paul Andronic from Bucharest, well known for driving different iterations of a Lancia Delta and a Mitsubishi Evo [1] and Lucien Hora from Resita, who was long dominated the series behind the wheel of a Lola F3000 race car [2] .


There are several traditional hillclimbing race events in Portugal, and its national championship growing in popularity since 2010. Falperra International Hill Climb is the most popular and famous hillclimb, being held since 1927, most of the editions as part of the European Championship.[5]


There are several traditional hillclimbing race events in Slovakia. Some of the best known and most popular include the Pezinská Baba hillclimb race and the Dobšinský Kopec hillclimb race.[6][7][8]

One of the most well known Slovak drivers competing in local and international hillclimb events is Jozef Béreš. Béreš is also very popular on social media networks thanks to the videos of him driving his legendary Audi Quattro S1 racecar. [3]


Motor racing was banned in Switzerland in the aftermath of the fatal collision between cars at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1955. However, this prohibition does not extend to events where drivers compete only indirectly via the clock. Events such as rallies, hillclimbs and slaloms are very popular, including the FIA European Hill Climb Championship.

The most known hillclimb races are the Gurnigelrennen, the course en côte Ayent - Anzère, the course en côte St. Ursanne - Les Rangiers, and the historic Klausen Hill Climb known as the Klausenpassrennen. Ludovico Scarfiotti clinched the European hillclimb championship at Ollon-Villars on August 30, 1965, driving a Dino Ferrari 2-litre.[9]

See also

North America


Canada's best known hillclimb event is the Knox Mountain Hillclimb, held in Kelowna, British Columbia. It is a 3.5 km (2.2 mi) paved road, climbing 245 m (804 ft). It has run annually since the 1950s, attracting drivers from the Pacific Northwest.[10]

United States

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the world's premier hillclimb race. Winners include Indy 500 driver Bobby Unser and world rally champions Walter Röhrl, Stig Blomqvist, Ari Vatanen and Sébastien Loeb.


Hillclimb races were held in México in the 1960s and 1970s in places like El Chico, Puebla and Lagunas de Zempoala.

On July 27, 1969, a very talented Mexican driver, Moisés Solana, died in the "Hill Climb Valle de Bravo-Bosencheve".

Since that time, hillclimbs have not been held in Mexico.[citation needed]



 Peter Gumley has won the Australian Hillclimb Championship in his SCV on ten occasions
Peter Gumley has won the Australian Hillclimb Championship in his SCV on ten occasions

An Australian Hillclimb Championship was first staged in 1938 and has been contested annually since 1947.

Hillclimbing in Australia dates back to the early 1900s, and was most prevalent in the city of Melbourne, at locations such as Templestowe, Heidelberg and Rob Roy.

The course at Templestowe still exists today in the Domain Wetlands. The course was never trafficable due to the massive incline known as "the wall", with an incline ratio of 1:2.5 is thought to be the steepest bitumen surface in Australia,[11] and so was only used during race events. Burgundy Street in Heidelberg was used for early Hillclimbs.

The course at Rob Roy hosts race meets regularly, including rounds of the Victorian Hillclimb Championships. It is located just off Clintons Road, Christmas Hills in an area of Smiths Gully known as Rob Roy.

Mount Tarrengower, near Maldon in Central Victoria, has an annual Hillclimb hosted by the Victorian Vintage Sports Car Club, Bendigo Light Car Club and the Historic Motorcycle Racing Association of Victoria. The event is held on the 3rd weekend of October. It is now a "classics" only event, after a serious accident in the 1970s. Vintage motorcycles are now a feature of this event. Reigning "King of the Mountain" for motorcycles is Mike Panayi on a Featherbed Norton 750 twin.

The MG Car Club of Queensland Inc. (est. 1954) built the Mount Cotton Hillclimb circuit and continues with its current management and operation. The first event held at this facility was on Sunday 18 February 1968. The dedicated 946 metres of tarmac circuit hosts the annual Queensland Hillclimb Championships, the Club's annual six round Hillclimb series and inter-club competitions. The Australian Hillclimb Championships have been held there on at least 9 occasions.

Australia's longest hillclimb course is the Poatina Hillclimb, a temporary closed road course that features an elevation gain of 580 m (1,900 ft) in 10.6 km (6.6 mi), climbing Mount Blackwood from the Norfolk Plains to the Central Plateau of Northern Tasmania. The inaugural event, conducted in February 2014, covered 7.2 km (4.5 mi); the second running, in 2015, saw the course extended.

South Australia features the historic permanent venue Collingrove,[12] as well as annual temporary venues including Mount Alma Mile, Willunga, Legend Of The Lakes and the state's longest course is the Eden Valley Hillclimb at 3.7 km (2.3 mi).

New Zealand

Hillclimbing is a popular club event in New Zealand, although a number of international competitors and foreign motor racing enthusiasts attend the premiere hillclimb event on the New Zealand motor racing calendar.

Race to the Sky was based near Queenstown. Held every Easter from 1998 until 2007, it starts from the floor of the Cardrona Valley and runs uphill for 15 km (9.3 mi) through 137 corners to the top, climbing from 1,500 ft (460 m) to 5,000 ft (1,500 m) averaging a 1:11 gradient.

The driver with the greatest number of "Race to the Sky" outright wins (8) is Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima, driving his custom built Suzuki Escudo hillclimb special vehicle.


South Africa

The best-known hillclimb event in South Africa is held annually in early May during the Knysna Speed Festival, currently known as The Jaguar Simola Hillclimb.[13] It is a three-day event, with Classic Car Friday reserved for cars built prior to 1980 and restricted to 60 entries. The King of the Hill Challenge (limited to 84 entries), for unrestricted cars in various classes, takes place over the weekend. The Saturday is for practice and pre-qualifying, while Sunday features the "hot" cars taking on final qualifying and the final runs. The course length is 1.9 km (1.2 mi) up Simola Hill. It is very fast with the 2016 winning average speed being 176.991 km/h (109.977 mph).[citation needed]. 2018 will be the ninth running of the event which was founded in 2009. There was no event in 2013.


The Kiamburing TT is an annual hillclimb event in Kenya. It is the first of its kind in East Africa[14] and inspired by other international hillclimb events. It is a time attack event run on a closed course.

The event held in Kiambu County in October 20, 2013 brought together over 15 high performance cars to compete in a timed race on the 18-kilometre (11 mi) Kiambu-Ndumberi road.

Some of the drivers who have competed in the Kiamburing TT include Amir Mohammed (winner 2013 Kiamburing TT Endurance event) and Kay Wachira (winner 2014 Kiamburing TT Slalom Challenge).

See also


  1. ^ "the oldest operational motorsport venue in the world". Shelsley Walsh. 2010-03-03. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  2. ^ "NHCA". NHCA. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  3. ^ screwdriver[clarification needed]
  4. ^ Motor Sport, August–September 1928, Page 345.
  5. ^ "Falperra. The Queen of the mountain" (in Portuguese). 8 May 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2016. 
  6. ^ "PAV Pezinská Baba making a comeback". Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "Dobšinský kopec". Dobšinský Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "Dobšinský kopec 2015 ready". Š Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  9. ^ Competition Press & Autoweek, October 2, 1965, Page 3.
  10. ^ Knox Mountain Hillclimb
  11. ^ "Templestowe Hillclimb". 1987-12-06. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  12. ^ Collingrove Hillclimb
  13. ^ "The Jaguar Simola Hillclimb". Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  14. ^ Karanja, Earl. "Preview: Kiamburing TT Motorsports Hillclimb Event in Kenya East Africa". GTspirit. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 

External links

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