Weatherly Hill Climb turns 50
VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Meeting in preparation for the Weatherly Hill Climb at the event's main sponsor, Fairway Subaru of Hazleton, are, left to right : David Rogers, Manager of the Hazelton Firestone store; Fred Grant, DeAngelo Brothers Inc. of Hazleton; Terry Younker, Trainworks Festival; Wayne Gettig, Weatherly Hill Climb Association; Al Corazza, Fairway Subaru; and Rick Kane, Weatherly Hill Climb Vice President.
This weekend in Weatherly, at both the "Weatherly Hill Climb" and the "Trainworks Festival", there will be something of interest to do and see for every member of the family.
Marking its 50th Anniversary, the SCCA Sanctioned Hill Climb has been run from the Fall of 1961 to this year.
Originally started by Dr. Charles Potter, the Weatherly Rotary Club organized the events for 25 years, with the Weatherly Hill Climb Association organizing them for the past 10 years.
The Festival at the "Trainworks" will run from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and from noon until 5 p.m. on Sunday with food, games, entertainment, and displays.
On Friday night, there will be a kick-off parade in downtown Weatherly for the Hill Climb weekend which will start at 6 p.m. and on Saturday night at dusk, there will be fireworks for the public.
Saturday and Sunday, there will be racing from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. while on Saturday only, there will be a Show-N-Shine Car Show from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.. Also on Saturday evening at 4 p.m., the Hill Climb 5K run will be held at the starting line.
Admission and parking are free and there will be plenty of hot and cold food available by non-profit groups.
Drivers will be coming from all over the east coast with about 80 cars expected to challenge the one-mile hill, which is one of the most difficult hills to run.
Each driver will try to finish the 1.1 mile course in under 60 seconds while climbing through an elevation change of about 340 feet.
According to some Weatherly Hill Climb Association members, out of all the hills on the East Coast, this is the most challenging, and while it might not be the fastest, there are some corners with grades so steep that one cannot walk up the sides of them.
The hill consists of uphill straights leading into hairpin turns, one called "the Wall" has to be seen and driven to be believed, followed by a hairpin turn, a short run to another hard right hand turn and then the "Jump" where most cars leave contact with the pavement.
From this point the rest of the hill consists of a short straight leading to a long sweeping turn to the finish that tests the tires grip on the road as well as the driver's nerve.
After the completion of the hill climb events on Sunday, trophies will be handed out to the drivers about 4 p.m.
To get to the Weatherly Hill Climb, after leaving Route 93 in Hudsondale and driving into Weatherly, at the first stop sign, turn right and drive over the creek and a set of railroad tracks.
Turn left at the first opportunity and proceed parallel to the creek. Continue past the "Trackside Beverages" beer distributor. Follow the street as it turns right until you see the Weatherly Fire Department on your right.
During the hillclimb hours this street, beginning at the fire house, serves as the paddock area and will be closed to all but race cars. Visitors can turn left just prior to the fire house and find a parking space, then may walk on the street serving as the paddock area to reach the Hill Climb.
The Weatherly Hill Climb is sponsored by Fairway Subaru of Hazleton and is co-sponsored by DeAngelo Brothers Inc. of Hazleton (DBI).