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Knox Mountain Hillclimb 2018

Posted: 21 Apr 2018 08:39
by bertvorgon
As we are one month away from the Hillclimb, I thought I would just throw this out there.

I am planning to drive up there for the Saturday in my G35 and do my usual meet and greet, hike the hill, lunch on the hill, back down, say hi again and drive back to Vancouver. Weather will be looked at as we have had crazy systems go through. Roads could be an issue as we warm up here what with the massive snow pack and melting.

To be continued......

Re: Knox Mountain Hillclimb 2018

Posted: 21 Apr 2018 10:38
by bertvorgon
Just found out someone has a NEW ride this year at Knox.......

Re: Knox Mountain Hillclimb 2018

Posted: 21 Apr 2018 14:25
by zKars
We are doing our usual pilgrimage to Knox this year again.

See y-all there!

Re: Knox Mountain Hillclimb 2018

Posted: 21 Apr 2018 18:18
by gooned
bertvorgon wrote:Just found out someone has a NEW ride this year at Knox.......
Spill the beans!

Re: Knox Mountain Hillclimb 2018

Posted: 21 Apr 2018 18:22
by bertvorgon
I will ask if it is ok at this point

Re: Knox Mountain Hillclimb 2018

Posted: 09 May 2018 07:37
by bertvorgon
Just over 1 week till Knox, 50 cars signed up so far. Bob Boyer looks to have the only 510 at the Hill so far.

Cam has retired the 510 for all the reasons and will be driving a Caterham Super 7 this year.

Lets hope the weather is good for the racers....and a hiker like me.....!

I plan to leave at 4:30 A.M., which gets me there just before the gates open to the public at 9:00 AM.

Re: Knox Mountain Hillclimb 2018

Posted: 15 May 2018 19:17
by bertvorgon
4 days till Knox! Weather looks to be quite hot, so if you are attending, drink lots of water! I plan to get up the hill BEFORE the heat of the day, so it is downhill after that, not as much work.

Re: Knox Mountain Hillclimb 2018

Posted: 16 May 2018 17:37
by Byron510
I'm working in the Southern US this week, will be back at YVR at about the time your leaving for the HIll!

Have fun, . I'll look forward to the report.


Re: Knox Mountain Hillclimb 2018

Posted: 17 May 2018 04:45
by bertvorgon
Will do!
Now with retirement TIME on my hands, I finally caught up with some needed TLC on the G35. Waxed it, Did my usual on all the rubber with my Teflon, spray, cleaned the interior and got at touching up the paint chips after a long winter of crud on the road. Try to get paint that matches is a joke with red. The "factory" touch up paint is just off from what the reality is of my car's colour. Yesterday when cleaning out more stuff from my ex-work place, I found a can of Tremclad red, that I use occasionally on the 510, I am going to spray that into a small container and then use a small artists brush and try that.

Lots of pics to come too.

Re: Knox Mountain Hillclimb 2018

Posted: 20 May 2018 08:28
by bertvorgon

Stay tuned for story and lots of pics.

Re: Knox Mountain Hillclimb 2018

Posted: 21 May 2018 10:02
by zKars
Was nice to spend some time with a new crew from Edmonton running the #24 car, an nice 240z with a Rebello stroker.
Wasn't there Sunday to see how they did, but I know they had fun!
IMG_3380.JPG (235.48 KiB) Viewed 678 times
I didn't see any teeth marks on Keith, hope it was nothing serious! Looking forward to details.

Re: Knox Mountain Hillclimb 2018

Posted: 22 May 2018 08:16
by bertvorgon
Knox Bites

It was with some certainty, as Bob Boyer lifted the hood on his 510, that I knew what would be in there. I was not disappointed!

Knox 2018 has ended as I write this, 61 years as the longest running paved hill climb in North America. On Saturday while I was there it showed how unforgiving it can be.

I was up at 3:00 AM as planned, wicked down two cups of coffee and hit the ignition on the G35 at 4:10, car loaded with snacks, water, juice and survival gear. You never know what can happen on our mountain highways these days.

Drive up could not be better, cool, roads dry, and the best part, winter sand and gravel all but gone. Traffic was non-existent, just the usual semi-trucks hitting the hills before the traffic. I parked the G35 at 120 KMH and as the sun came up outside of Merritt, had a few naps on the straight stretches. I got to the Kelowna Chevron at 7:30 AM, deciding to top up the tank now and not at day’s end. Fuel was some .25 cents a litre cheaper than in Vancouver.

The gate at Knox does not open till around 8:30, so I just sat in the brilliant morning sun, contemplating the day.
Rolling into the pits was the usual beehive of activity any race morning gives. The riot of colours from all the different race cars lent a contrast to the green of the park. I immediately ran into Cam Thorkelson and my good friend Campbell Carlyle, their cars lined up to get first spots on the starting grid pecking order. Cam of course had his new Caterham Super 7 there, gleaming in the morning light. His PSN NSN will be sorely missed but, it is SAFE at home.

I rumbled around the pits saying hi to only a few I recognize now, so many new faces and cars, not many left running from when I ran some 21 years ago. I knew Bob Boyer had a 510 there, as I had checked the entry list, with him having the ONLY 510 this year. Bob spotted me coming and said; “ You know what I have in here, don’t you?” I of course said; ”You better!” Sure enough, a very nice V-8 installation. They had just finished the car last night. Bob even has a 240 steering rack in there. They fired the engine for me, starting right away, a wonderful growl coming out the tail pipe.

Finishing my lap of the pits had me talking to the fellows with the Tesla powered Cobra kit car. It also runs at Mission where they have problems controlling the heat generated, but they expected no problems during a short run up Knox. After watching the car, the suspension really is crap and too bad they picked that package to put the electrics into.

Time for my hike to the top and the finish line, a bit of a steep uphill grinder for a few miles. The sun was covered with some clouds which made the hike quite nice, a perfect temperature. The event started late as they had a communication problem with the radios. I stopped at Turn 2 to watch a few of the cars, seeing what lines they took. I still think you need to go a bit wide on that corner.

Arriving at the top I found the first run group had finished and had headed down, so I missed seeing Cam and Campbell come across the line. I knew Bob was in the second group so I set up to catch a picture as he came across the line. I just listened to the engine sound and was ready for anything V-8 powered, as you cannot see what is coming around the last turn before the finish.

As I was totally focused on the Turn 9 exit, I heard a fairly quiet car coming, where in the first blink I saw a white, Eagle Talon with body kit come around the corner, second blink had the tail come loose, third blink try to catch, fourth blink over correct, fifth blink right into the concrete barrier..KEEERRRUUNNCCHH! First run of the day and he was DONE. I could hear the F*#K, F*#K, F*$K from where I was. We all ran to make sure he was ok, then, had to get the car pushed back and then clear of the finish line. There will be some good damage hidden in there, I could see the rad support was back as the radiator mounting had moved about an 1”.

Soon, I heard a throaty V-8 coming and Bob Boyer came flying around the corner with a 2:30:264 run. On his second run of the day the car over-heated and he was done for the weekend.

Myself and another corner worker had to bump start a 240Z as the starter was not engaging, likely too hot. This cleared the final car from the run group to head back down. Then the flat bed truck arrived to get the Talon loaded up. This became quite the problem as he did NOT have a tow hook. At first the driver says just hook up to the rad support, which the tow truck driver did. I’m thinking….that is not a good idea. Sure enough as he starts to pull it, it looks like it is going to do more damage than the crash, so they stop that. Then, they try to get under the car, which is low. Looked like they had trouble getting to the cross member or something, finally finding a tow point and slowly winched the car onto the flat deck.

What this exercise pointed out to me, is if I ever needed to be put on a flat deck, I do NOT have any place to hook up, that would not damage anything. I am going to make and put on to one of the bumper mounts, a tow hook!
I returned to my photo vantage point, waiting for the first run group to come up, which would be Cam and Campbell. One of the fastest cars of the day soon came flying past the finish, to do a personal best of 1:56:084, Sheridan Empey in his Honda CRX, a very quick time.

All of a sudden there was radio chatter that did not sound good. Car off in Turn 7, then, car off in Turn 1…what car….#38..hell that is Cam…no….Car #78, which is Campbell, who should have been first, has crashed HARD in Turn 5, very confusing for a few minutes. It was Campbell who has crashed in Turn 5, even moving the concrete barrier, which implies some significant speed and force. Turn 5 for you non locals is a very fast left hander, virtually blind when you have speed, slightly off camber and a very polished surface. It leads onto a short chute straight then does another left sweep, Turn 6, onto the straight. Carrying speed and velocity is paramount for a fast time. Turn 5 has claimed a LOT of cars over the years and many 510’s have been lost here, even one of my good friends, on our first foray up the hill in 1982.

Campbell is out and OK, if ok is a good word when the reality of one’s car damage is taken into account. And it is significant. In talking to Campbell after, he felt he had maybe 20 KMH more than previous from Turn 4 and the late brake just did not have the car slowing at all and hence the WALL!
I must admit my brain did that reality check of what Knox can give you when it all goes wrong. IT BITES! That I survived 14 years here with not one mishap is a testament of true luck. Worst I had on track was a corded race tire.

The hill was shut down for a significant time while they cleared up the debris, re-positioned the concrete block and got poor Campbell’s car down to the pits.

Once the green was given I knew Cam would be first up, so as soon as I heard those dual carbs I was ready for the photo finish. He ultimately did a personal best time of 2:03:619. Car looked good coming around Turn 9 and Cam was being very wise as he learned this new ride.

I then decided to just head straight down, my legs recuperated from the chug to the top. The day had gone by what with the late start and accident cleanups. Arriving at the pits I saw a large crowd around Bob’s car, seems it over heated, hope he did not hurt the engine. I suggested that a radiator shroud would be a good idea for all the reasons and will e-mail him what I did with mine. It all helps when it comes to cooling.

It was approaching 3:45 and I decided I had seen enough for the day. I had stopped and commiserated with Campbell, we go back a long ways in the car world, having had many adventures on the Great Rolling Dyno. I had even brought him up the story I wrote for our 1989 weekend at Knox, a story with a cyanide pill, the Hell’s Angels’ and my infamous race with motorcycles that left them in the dust and getting tickets and me counting my luck!

I lit the wick in the G35 at precisely 4:10 and once I cleared Kelowna, parked the speedo at 130KMH for the most part. When I was at the top of Knox I kept looking back towards the mountains the “Connector” goes over up to Pennask Summit, almost 6,000 Ft.. Any time of the year you can run into every type of weather and as I looked over there, I could tell I would run into something. Sure enough, as I was heading up, and gaining with about 10KMH on a Suzuki Vitara, a white wall was in front of us. He went into it and literally disappeared and I kid you not. In the next instant I was off the gas and could not see the front of my car! We had gone into not fog but cloud on the road. He decelerated also and put his four way flashers on; I did the same as I caught up to him, knowing he was in there somewhere. I started watching my mirror, for what that was worth, in case some idiot came blazing up on us at warp velocity. We went like that for about 2 minutes, then, came out into a bright day again. Temp had dropped to about 5C and in another 10 KMH I was into small rain squalls.

I hit one more major torrential rain on 16th avenue, half an hour from home, getting there at 7:30, good time this trip. I did 730 km. (453 miles) and was in the saddle for a total of 7:15 moving time. My moving average was 101 KMH which speaks to the trip as being virtually all highway posted at 120 KMH. I hiked about 4.5miles which my feet said was about right. I got 30.18 MPG UP and 30.73 MPG DOWN, pretty darn consistent!

Next adventure will be our spring drive, stay tuned.

Keith law
May 21/2018

Re: Knox Mountain Hillclimb 2018

Posted: 22 May 2018 08:21
by bertvorgon
More pics, Bob's car

Re: Knox Mountain Hillclimb 2018

Posted: 22 May 2018 08:24
by bertvorgon
More pics

Re: Knox Mountain Hillclimb 2018

Posted: 22 May 2018 08:26
by bertvorgon
More pics