Anyone going to the Knox Mtn hillclimb 21-22 May 2016?

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Chickenman
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Re: Anyone going to the Knox Mtn hillclimb 21-22 May 2016?

Postby Chickenman » 23 May 2016 13:03

Looks like Brian Browning pulled a Johnny.... :( He's OK.

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bertvorgon
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Re: Anyone going to the Knox Mtn hillclimb 21-22 May 2016?

Postby bertvorgon » 23 May 2016 14:55

I wondered when I saw the time sheet that the DNF happened on Run# 6 and then Allen did not run. Glad he is ok, where did that happen, any idea? They were running in the 1:54 range and the car looked very fast. I think that tires were having a hard time getting any heat in.
"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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bertvorgon
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Re: Anyone going to the Knox Mtn hillclimb 21-22 May 2016?

Postby bertvorgon » 23 May 2016 15:02

KNOX MOUNTAIN ROAD TRIP 2016


Nobody said anything about a blizzard.....!

As the alarm went off at 3:30, I could see the moon poking through the clouds, which meant at least the start of the drive, would be dry. It took me a few minutes while the car warmed up to hook up the GPS, get some tunes lined up and stash some spare clothes in the trunk. I pulled away at 4:30 sharp, first hint of daylight showing towards Mt. Baker.

I head out 16th from my place and other than one car, I was clear till I hit #1, where it was mainly truck traffic and the odd person like me. As I got close to Bridal Falls the mist started to get heavier, finally turning to heavy rain just before Hope. I was right on the speed limit of 110, when just before Hope, I was passed by a G35 sedan, maybe 20 over the limit. It looked to be driven by a younger guy, maybe Middle Eastern. I did kinda think he better be careful or he could get a speeding ticket on this long weekend.

Starting the climb up the Coquihalla had me both settling into a nice flow with the car, nice tunes playing, when the rain ramped up to almost torrential. This was right along where the river parallels’ the highway and just before the start of the long climb to the summit. The campers along there were not going to be happy with this weather and it was really cold, my temperature gauge showing only 5C..

The flowing water on the road was really heavy, with my car occasionally hydroplaning, I was glad my tires were virtually new. In some sections, in the slow lane, the trucks had made major ruts, so the water was even deeper. I moved over to the fast lane, now cruising at the speed limit of 120. All of a sudden up ahead I see two cars STOPPED. In a blink I slow down and see the G35 sedan has likely hydroplaned, spun, and backed in the concrete retaining wall, blowing the trunk and rear quarter to smithereens. I bet he was not paying attention to those truck ruts and how deep the water was, then panicked when the car got light. The other car had just stopped to help and waved me by. I think it would be at the edge of cell phone reception there. It did not look like anybody was hurt but it was a very hard hit and they will not be buffing that out.

Wicking it back up to 120 to 130 I finally got out of the heavy rain just past the summit where the old toll booths used to be. It is a nice cruise along that section albeit the road surface is sure getting rough in some spots. Heading down into Merritt had me amazed at how lush green the whole area was, considering the long hot spell we had. I do not think I have ever seen those high grass lands that green ever. With no traffic it has taken me only about 2 and a bit hours to get to this point.

Climbing out of Merritt I could see very black clouds hanging over all the mountain tops above the valley, making me think I will see more rain and glad I threw some warm clothes in for Kelowna. I started the long climb to Pennask Summit at Aspen Grove, where the rain came back in a light mist. Soon the ceiling was coming down to just above the highway accompanied by heavy rain. Then suddenly it just stopped, even the road was kinda dry. Now my temperature gauge was at 2C.. In the next few kilometers at changed to light snow. Oh, I have been in this movie before, I thought to myself. Sure enough, the heavy snow started, finally turning into the major blizzard this mountain pass is known for. GREAT...here I am with ultra high performance SUMMER tires..in a blizzard! At least the slow lane had some traffic on it, so it was just slushy and I still had traction.....I think. I left it in 6th gear so as to not have any torque and slowed down to about 60 KMH. The snow thinned as I got to the summit and I pulled off quickly to snap a picture. I looked back down the highway and saw a semi coming really slow, so I jumped back into my car and headed out quickly to be ahead of him on the downhill. The temperature was 0C. here, really cold. After another 10K I was out of the snow zone and back into rain.
Dropping into the Okanagan valley had high overcast and very misty rain with 7C for temperature. I was at Knox Mountain at 8:00 AM sharp, 3.5 hours after leaving home. No traffic is a good thing!

As I was walking to the gate, Richie came along so we walked back to his car so I could grab that carb and manifold for Byron, for the Greg terry Memorial build. We had a nice chat for a few minutes then I headed back to the gate, which was now open.

The drivers meeting was in progress so I continued into the pits to talk to old friends and look at this year’s entry of cars. Some of the regulars were there and a gaggle of new comers. I found “Stretch” heading back to the PURPLE GRAPE 510 with the V-8 in it, Bob Boyer’s old car. Mick was telling me they put a new engine in it but were having problems with crankcase venting. Then I wandered over to talk to Bill Frizzel and his V-8 powered 240Z. He too was having some issues. Then it was off to talk to Cam Thorkelson and his gorgeous orange 510. On the way Larry Sandham said hi and we talked about fuel starvation issues he was having. Personally I think his fuel line is too small. I have been there on that one, lots of indicated pressure, but, not enough VOLUME getting through. He makes good power in that Mini and the LOAD that and engine sees going up Knox is not to be discounted at all.

Things looked to be running a tad behind and as part of my day’s mission was to hike to the finish line, I grabbed a coffee and headed up the steep incline. My legs let me know that we have just sat for 3.5 hours and now you want to go for a very steep hike? Glad I had that coffee in hand, as each time my heart stopped; I had a swig which got me going again. I got up to Turn 3 and still had not heard any race engines. I wandered over to the race Radio station and listened in, where I heard the ambulance was late, due to a dead battery! Last year I went cross country to Turn 7 first, but, this year I decided just to book it to the finish line.

I seemed to be the only one the hill at this point, only meeting two seriously in-shape joggers coming DOWN the hill. I of course had to pick up my pace and not be panting when they went by me, managing to squeak out a “Good Morning!” I think I only passed out for maybe 5 minutes, the misty rain cooling my sweating face. It was cool, maybe 7C, but I did have to pull my sweatshirt off on the grind up. That backside trail is really steep.

I still had not heard any race engines so I pressed onto the finish line. There was Deb, still working the finish line in her 26th year there. She does a great job greeting the drivers when they arrive. Next year is her last, which is also the 60th year for Knox. (More on this later)

I was there for maybe 10 minutes when I heard the first car let go down below, the race is on! Cam was the 4th car up, taking it nice and easy what with a wet road surface. I felt his tires and they had no heat in them at all. A fellow in an RX8 was not so wise and got the dreaded Turn 5 wall. On my drive home I came upon him just outside of White Rock, on a trailer, the front alignment not looking so good, nor front fender and bumper. I stayed there for the next run group, talking to a few I knew, and then headed down to Turn 7.

It was still really cool and overcast, but at least the road surface was drying out. I was glad I packed my fleece vest. Again, the faster drivers carry full speed through Turn 7, which is a daunting corner as you approach as the brain tells you, you are going way too fast, and should lift. I only got this right a couple of times, as you have to trust your tires and have a very good committed line through to the hairpin at Turn 8. My best approach speed was about 107 MPH which left my heart racing!

It was lunch time so I walked down to Turn 6, to watch cars in the big sweeper there and have my lunch. I know I always felt comfortable going through this corner as I had good front end bite and wanted nothing to do with dropping a wheel off on the outside. I have seen cars written off here and some major spins. My last year going through here had me shifting early, to 5th so as to not unsettle the car and, to let the load on the turbo really do it’s thing. It made the whole thing way less dramatic and I could actually carry more speed safely through here. The V-8 MGB is really fast through here as was Wouter in his 700HP monster. Cam is also nice and smooth through here, his engine just sounding great at full song. At this point, I had not seen the Purple Grape run, so I figured they must have had some issue.

They day had worn on so it was time to work my way down, heading to watch and take some photos in the dreaded Turn 5. For you non locals/racers, you approach this at maybe 70- 100 MPH, depending on your car. It is a kinda sweeping left hander, with the outside having NO room for error or deviation..PERIOD. When I ran you either ended up in a ditch, or, out in a field logging trees or rocks. This corner is what eats most cars at Knox and has taken its share of 510’s. I treated this one with great respect when I ran and did not do any late brake King of the Hill moves. What I did finally learn was to actually brake what would be considered too early by most and then rely on how my engine could build boost so fast, that I could really accelerate in a very controlled fashion through the corner, and then shift early for Turn 6. While I watched only one car got its wheels off very close to the concrete wall, which is there now, and got the corner workers attention. Made my heart skip for a second.

I watched some young mountain bikers come down on the far side of the track and as I wondered what would be the best way back to the pits, they gave me that answer. They crossed the track just up from Turn 4 and dropped down into some sort of burmed downhill snake. Perfect I thought I will just hike over and down that. What a cool run, it was so steep it was almost hard to hike down, but within 15 minutes I was at Turn 1. A fellow was standing there taking picture’s, he had a WESTWOOD MOUNTAIN HIGH RACING shirt on. I said hi and that you sure do not see any of those shirts any more. We talked about the gold ole’ days of Westwood, he going out there about the same time I started, in 1972.

I got back to the pits at about 3:00, heading to see what was up with the Purple Grape, which as I got there was running and sounded quite fine. They were in the next run group so I headed back to the start line to watch. As they rolled out into the warm up area, there was a delay and had to shut the car down as it had an overheating issue compounding things. When it came time to re-start, it did not. The start official let them stay back and try to restart after 6 cars had gone. It JUST started, and sounded quite crisp, yet, when Stretch left the start line, the car looked very slow and did not finish the run, nor did they do any other runs, too bad. There is a lot of sorting left to do on that car again. When you hear some of the truly crisp V-8’s that were there, this engine has a long way to go.

I wished Cam a good rest of the weekend as he sat in pre-grid, with a weekend best of 2:05:175 and the best part is the car comes home shiny! Good one Cam! Bill must have had major problems as he only got the one run in also. Wouter did a blistering 1:49:028 and got F.T.D.. There were only a handful of cars that got below 2 minutes, so that is still the Holy Grail of Knox.

It was 4:00 Pm and time to leave, the sun having come out and the day had warmed up nicely. I stopped at the Chevron for some nice 94 Juice for the G, figuring that would be a nice treat for that long, long climb back up to Pennask Summit. Once I cleared Westbank the traffic was non-existent, with the only RCMP that I saw on the whole trip manning radar at the bottom of the climb, blasting anyone not paying attention coming down that hill. I basically put my foot into cruise control at 130 for the climb up. I could see some very black clouds again and fully expected to run into snow, but, as I got higher, I just ran into a wall of fog, white, thick, with ZIP for visibility. That being said, I could gauge that from the oncoming traffic, you do have some warning. I turned the wick down to 90 just to be safe and settled down into the fast lane, as I KNEW I would come upon some slow cars. Sure enough I come upon a whole convoy of traffic, all with four way flashers blinking, all behind this one vehicle, like no one wanted to lead. I get the comfort level but were they ever going slow. As I passed, one person pulled out and tucked safely behind me, letting me be the leader. I guess we did about 20 Km till we were passed the Summit and on the slight downhill, that I left the fog bank and turned it back up to 130.

After Merritt it was the same light traffic, just great for cruising at these speeds, even having a quick nap in a few straight stretches. One part of modern technology I love is my i-Pod Shuffle! I can load 13 hours of my music on there, no shuffling of Cd’s, cassettes, or 8 tracks, glad those days are done. Anybody remember the war between 4 track and 8 track? If you do you are my age. Kinda like Beta vs VHS.

On the downhill run from the Coke Summit I came upon a Dodge Charger, bright green and slowly went past him at 130. He seemed to think this was a challenge of some, blasting up beside me was we entered those tight twisty’s going into the snow sheds. I just let my car roll with the speed build up, which for all you locals know that it is easy to hit 160 just due to gravity. Well, Mr. Charger got way over his head and the handling capability of both him and his car. Of course when we got to the straight at the bottom, he blasted past me, but I was not going to do that there on a long weekend.

When I got just outside of Hope I both hit very heavy rain again and came upon what I can only say was likely a dual fatality. Someone had somehow gotten into a rock wall with tragic results. A reminder of how quickly things can go south of you are not paying attention, which is what we are seeing more and more of from so called drivers. Already the body count if bad for another long weekend and as I write this, it is only the beginning of the trek home for most people.

I arrived home at 8:00 PM sharp, a nice 16 hour adventure, some 729 Km (453 miles). My moving average was 102KMH, compared to our 510 drives where we are maybe 50KMH, which shows the difference of an A to B drive on a major highway with a posted speed of 120.
Now, as next year, 2017 is the 60th Anniversary of Knox, it was mentioned to me a few times how cool it would be to have the “510 Corner” going again. Would it not be beyond cool if we could plan to get all of us that both used to run and attend to show up with our 510’s. Me, Jamie, Jason K, Dave Doan, Byron, Brent W., ( Dave Christie sold his car), Sean K,...who else? Bob Boyer and Ritchie are working on cars. Could be fun at any rate.

Keith Law
May 23, 2016

pictures to follow of course.
Last edited by bertvorgon on 23 May 2016 15:30, edited 1 time in total.
"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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bertvorgon
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Re: Anyone going to the Knox Mtn hillclimb 21-22 May 2016?

Postby bertvorgon » 23 May 2016 15:15

the day...
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"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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bertvorgon
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Re: Anyone going to the Knox Mtn hillclimb 21-22 May 2016?

Postby bertvorgon » 23 May 2016 15:16

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"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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bertvorgon
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Re: Anyone going to the Knox Mtn hillclimb 21-22 May 2016?

Postby bertvorgon » 23 May 2016 15:17

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"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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bertvorgon
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Re: Anyone going to the Knox Mtn hillclimb 21-22 May 2016?

Postby bertvorgon » 23 May 2016 15:19

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"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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bertvorgon
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Re: Anyone going to the Knox Mtn hillclimb 21-22 May 2016?

Postby bertvorgon » 23 May 2016 15:22

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"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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bertvorgon
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Re: Anyone going to the Knox Mtn hillclimb 21-22 May 2016?

Postby bertvorgon » 23 May 2016 15:23

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"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

User avatar
bertvorgon
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Re: Anyone going to the Knox Mtn hillclimb 21-22 May 2016?

Postby bertvorgon » 23 May 2016 15:25

last, hope you enjoyed.
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"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

Idoxlr8
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Location: Burnaby

Re: Anyone going to the Knox Mtn hillclimb 21-22 May 2016?

Postby Idoxlr8 » 23 May 2016 16:18

Great reporting as always Keith.
Is that 240Z Peter Schecks old car?
260z owner
510 wannabe

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bertvorgon
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Re: Anyone going to the Knox Mtn hillclimb 21-22 May 2016?

Postby bertvorgon » 23 May 2016 16:30

Yes, that is Peter's old car, Bill has had that for many years now. He must have had an issue because he did not do any more runs after his second one.

Seeing that picture of the MGB into the tree makes me think how fortunate I was not to get bitten by Knox. Everyone of my friends has had a bad crash there, with many 510's written off there. I think I quit at a good time!
"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

Idoxlr8
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Re: Anyone going to the Knox Mtn hillclimb 21-22 May 2016?

Postby Idoxlr8 » 23 May 2016 17:15

I saw Peter yesterday at the Vandusen All British show.

He had his Ultima on display and mentioned his old car was still being well cared for, it looks in great shape.

For all the years you raced Knox it is amazing you didn't wad your car. That's a very unforgiving environment for sure.
260z owner
510 wannabe

Chickenman
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Re: Anyone going to the Knox Mtn hillclimb 21-22 May 2016?

Postby Chickenman » 23 May 2016 18:08

Brian ( Red MGB ) went off in the same spot as Johnny Sandhu in 2011. Exit of 4B. Same type of accident. Missed the Apex, car went off on the gravel to the outside, then it spit him across the track to the inside. Ran out of road to straighten it , and drove off the inside shoulder. Looks like he got a bit further up the road than Johnny. Drop off flattens out further up. Doesn't look like Brain rolled the MGB. Johnny's car rolled about 3 times..... :(

I almost did the same thing in 2003. Missed the Apex, pushed wide, Dirt Tracked it in the gravel and then was spat out 45 degrees across the road. Only thing that saved me was that year I was running massive 315/35 x 17 Kumho V710's, I kept my foot HARD in it on the recovery...and I had a S++T load of luck. The massive black marks on the road were very impressive... the brown streaks in my Nomex less so.... :shock:

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Re: Anyone going to the Knox Mtn hillclimb 21-22 May 2016?

Postby 2DoorJim » 23 May 2016 18:22

Thanks for the excellent coverage Keith!

Results are already up:

http://www.knoxmtnhillclimb.ca/results/2016results_byclass.pdf

http://www.knoxmtnhillclimb.ca/results/2016results_overall.pdf


edit: 68 competitors this year, I think this is up from years past.


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