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Hill climb racing is one of the oldest forms of motorsport, a branch where drivers take place in uphill races against the clock.

Classic and vintage cars are very popular within hill climbing racing. However, there is a very wide variety of competition, with many different vehicles, sometimes including bikes (and side cars).

Hillclimbing is a worldwide sport, the first one having taken place in Nice, France, at a course called La Turbie, in 1897. In Europe, the courses are usually several kilometres long and have been known to run on mountains including The Alps.

The European Hill Climb Championship has been running since the 1930s and is held across Europe on different public roads. Several countries take part in hill climb racing competitively, including; France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Romania, Portugal, Slovakia and Switzerland.

Italian championships have the longest and most challenging hillclimb races, for example Trento-Bondone, which is 10.75 miles long with a gradient of 7.9%. Some say this climb is "absurdly dramatic", but it has been held since 1925 and continues today.

Hill climb racing also extends to other countries around the word including the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand South Africa and Kenya. One of the most well-known hill climbs takes place in Colorado, USA, named the Pikes Peak and sometimes known at The Race to the Clouds. This is due to the fact that the race finishes at 14,110ft and is 12.42 miles long.

In the British Isles, courses tend to be much shorter. The longest hillclimb course used in the British Championship is Harewood, Leeds, at 1583 yards, whereas the shortest was Val des Terres, Guernsey, at 850 yards.

Other very popular Hillclimb tracks include the Festival of Speed's beautiful gardens at Goodwood House, just north of Chichester. In previous years, Keanu Reeves and Jenson Button made appearances at the Festival of Speed.

Also, The Chateau Impney Hill Climb, which takes place at Chateau Impney Hotel & Exhibition Centre in Droitwich. Chateau Impney is said to be one of the most challenge new courses in the UK.

The final incredibly popular hillclimb in the UK is Prescott Hill Climb, which is owned by the Bugatti Owners' Club. Prescott has been running races for almost 80 years and has been the home of top flight motor racing alongside vintage and classic meetings.

Competitors don't usually change between European and British Isles hillclimbs as the length of course is simply too different. In the British Isles, it tends to take less than a minute to get to the top, whereas European courses can take much longer.

The History of Shelsley Walsh

Shelsley Walsh is the world's oldest continuously staged motorsport event, first run in 1905. Drivers have been said to reach up to 140mph at Shelsley Walsh. The course is 1000 yards long with a 1:7 rise at its steepest point.

At Shelsley Walsh, the cars that finish in the top twelve will compete in a 'run-off'. Drivers will race in reverse order of where they place during the run-off. In some cases, drivers will share cars, even if they are not related. In this scenario, the driver with the slower qualifying time will compete at the beginning of the run-off session.

The current highest record is held by Martin Groves, having sped up the Shelsley Walsh hill at an incredible 22.58 seconds in 2008. The number one place is still up for grabs though, with plenty of racers desperate to kick Martin off the top spot.

A very different kind of racing is done by motorbikes as they climb incredibly steep hills, which can be very dangerous. In most cases, the winner is the competitor who manages to get the furthest up the hill, but there are races for the fastest time too.

If you'd like to know more about Stratstone at Shelsley Walsh, click here.

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