Mount Hotham set for alpine hillclimb and tarmac rally in 2015

Tuesday 31st March, 2015 - 1:33pm

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Rob Sherrard’s Dodge Viper GT3

Rob Sherrard’s Dodge Viper GT3

This November, Mount Hotham and the surrounding Alpine and Gippsland Shires in North East Victoria will host two brand new motorsport events: The world’s longest hillclimb and Australia’s first all-new major tarmac rally in five years.

Motorsport promoter, Auto Corsa Group, has worked with the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board to stage the events that will run over the weekend of 14-15 November 2015.

Auto Corsa Group Co-director, Stuart Benson, said: “The 29-kilometre Alpine Cup International Hillclimb will significantly outdistance the famed Pikes Peak event in the US, which at 19-kilometres is currently the world’s longest.

“We wanted to offer something really special,” said the former Targa Tasmania designer and event director.

Simon Evans

Simon Evans

“Provide an experience that would be a true test of man and machine like no other.”

The 241-corner tarmac trek has an elevation gain of around 1,300 metres finishing on Mount Hotham, 1,837 metres above sea level.

Each driver will travel the course six times over the two days, totalling 171 competitive kilometres.

An 11-stage tarmac rally, comprising 250 competitive kilometres, will be held over the same weekend based at Mount Hotham taking in Falls Creek and closed roads around nearby towns including Harrietville, Mount Beauty and Omeo.

The Hotham Auto Corsa Alpine Tarmac Rally is expected to attract a field of up to 200 cars with multiple Australian Rally Champion Simon Evans already signed on for the challenge.

“The roads of Hotham are one of Australia’s best kept secrets,” said Evans.

“These events will include some of the most technical and challenging tarmac roads I’ve ever driven and the scenery is just incredible.”

Both events will take in a stretch of the Great Alpine Road; Australia’s highest sealed through-road between Wangaratta and Bairnsdale.

Recently appointed CEO of the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board, Jon Hutchins, said the events would highlight the Great Alpine Road as a year-round touring destination.

“The natural vistas and sealed condition of the Great Alpine Road give it the potential to rival and even surpass Victoria’s other iconic travel route, the Great Ocean Road,” said Hutchins.

“As a year round destination the North East of Victoria offers excitement and natural attractions for both domestic and international visitors.”

Chair of the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board, Deb Spring, said motorsport was a great fit for Hotham – a destination that attracts more than 122,000 adrenalin-seeking skiers each year.

As much as our visitors enjoy skiing Hotham’s challenging slopes, the competitors of these events will love driving our roads.

“Importantly, there will also be some fantastic spots along each course for spectators to get close to the action.”

Ms Spring said the events would stimulate economic growth to the region to the tune of 5,000 additional bed stays during the green season.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our community to really take ownership of these events, which I believe are a much-welcomed addition to the Australian motorsport calendar.”