Flag Rock HillClimb a success | What’s next for the series?

By J.A. Ackley
Sep 1, 2022 | SCCA, Flag Rock HillClimb, SCCA Appalachian HillClimb Series

Photography by Perry Bennett

From the view of the home office–and the online buzz–the Flag Rock HillClimb in Norton, Virginia, was deemed a resounded success. The sold-out hillclimb was the third of three for the reenergized SCCA Appalachian HillClimb Series presented by Summit Racing.

I don’t know if I’ve been a part of an SCCA event that was more positive, more well received by the racing community, and more engaged with our host,” says SCCA Senior Director of Rally/Solo and Experiential Programs Heyward Wagner, who has been involved with the sanctioning body since 1995, when he started as a flagger. “Part of [the reason for] that is the magic of a hillclimb–you get a different kind of attention, a different kind of energy. Another part of that is when you work with a city like Norton, which is building itself as a destination.”

Wagner went on to say that seemingly everyone involved with the hillclimb wanted to help to make it successful. He cited an example of that spirit:

We had a vehicle go off–no injury–and it became pinned under a culvert. We had to do a very creative extrication, involving rollbacks and straps. In that moment, you had the event lead directing the extrication, hired rollback driver running the equipment [and] the city engineer and director of emergency services in the ditch doing the maneuvering and strapping [of the car]. That’s just a glimpse of how collaborative this effort was.”

The revitalization of hillclimbs comes as a direct result from the series’ partners, according to Wagner, which includes Summit Racing, Backroads of Appalachia and Grassroots Motorsports.

[Using motorsport tourism to boost an economy]

The SCCA Appalachian HillClimb Series presented by Summit Racing has already begun to work on 2023.

Expect the three hillclimbs they put on this year–Pine Mountain, Chasing the Dragon and Flag Rock–to return. The Flag Rock HillClimb will up the number of entries from 50 to 80-100 next season.

Wagner says they’d also like to add one more event to the schedule next year. He also notes another significant change: “We’re working on a 2023 program that includes points and year-end championships.”

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sir_mike Reader
9/1/22 6:57 p.m.

How about bringing some of the old ones back to eastern PA??  Hershey,Reading,Pine Grove and others.Just a thought.

MarkAubele New Reader
9/1/22 7:32 p.m.

In reply to sir_mike :

We've been running Pagoda and Duryea in Reading for like 60 years. Full 8 event series in Eastern Pa. 



Kubotai New Reader
9/2/22 6:13 a.m.

In reply to sir_mike :

The Pennsylvania Hillclimb Association does six hillclimbs each year (and two track events).  There are two hillclimbs in Reading, two in Weatherly, one near Wilkes-Barre and one in Flintstone, MD.  There are lots of opportunities to run a hillclimb in that part of the country.

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