Pagoda Hill Climb

Invited by my friend and fellow TDr owner Bill Aschman, I helped on the Pagoda Hillclimb course today–specifically Turn 7, which has the “car-eating tree.” The area of the course comprising turns 6 and 7 is posted “Oh SHIT” for its ability to collect expensive race cars.

As a service I hereby publish the following photos illustrating the right way and the wrong way to take this section of the course:


5798smThis guy went to grab second going into 6–as he should–but his differential grenaded, locking the left rear wheel and sending him airborne in a 360-degree instant survey of the immediate track conditions. He was OK. The Camaro was not.


5802smThis guy lost it just as he entered 7, bouncing off the guard rail and ending up facing down hill. Donna, the matron of Turn 6, asked him what went wrong. He gave 15 seconds of silence, followed by a shrug.


5805smFormula V driver had a little skid in the middle of 7, but could not right it. He ran up the infamous tree at about 25 mph, then slid back down, breaking his gearbox. He was OK, if a bit shaken up.


5807smThis contestant hit the guardrail down at the start of 7. We heard the impact and stood to run to him, and were surprised to hear and see him then skid into view, doing about 50 mph, and collect the guardrail on the far end of 7. Airbag deployed. He’s fine, though very, very upset with himself for wrecking what appears to be his daily driver. I picked up the fire extinguisher on this one and pulled the pin before realizing I was seeing steam, not smoke. Plenty of heat though: the impact broke the brake rotor in half. It was too hot to touch–I kicked it into the mud under the guard rail, where it made more steam.


5810smHere’s Bill running a nice smooth line through the turn. He was not the fastest up the hill today, but he was able to give me a ride back to his house where we enjoyed a roast beef dinner prepared by his wife, Patti.

Who says nothing good can come from racing?







About stuntmidget

I'm a poor mechanic and general wisenheimer. I love old cars and the stories behind them, true or not.
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2 Responses to Pagoda Hill Climb

  1. I’m thinking about taking my MGB on a trackday soon… this doesn’t fill me with confidence but at least I won’t have trees to contend with!

    • stuntmidget says:

      Go for it! There were about 100 entrants in this climb and I think I saw all the crashes. And right: hillclimb courses are usually less forgiving than race tracks. You’ll be fine.

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