The Felix Callicotte Memorial Clifton Hill Climb is this weekend

Raymundo Frasquillo File Photo/Gila Herald: Clifton resident Jesleena Casillas receives a ride as the hill climb queen during the 2017 event.

Staff Reports/Contributed Article

Even the name, ‘The Clifton Hill Climb’, brings back memories of happy days and summertime racing. In the early days, back in the ’60s, the Hill Climb was a great sport for hot rods, sports cars, and lead-footed racers. Now, some 60-plus years later, the Clifton Hill Climb is emerging as a build-up to the Pikes Peak Race and a challenge to those who enjoy the exhilaration of not just climbing a mountain but also pressing the limits of man, machine, tires, and elevation change.

Raymundo Frasquillo File Photo/Gila Herald: Tempe resident Todd Cook gets the green flag to run from starter/registrar Heather Baker during the 2017 event. Cook took home a King of the Hill award for the fastest time.

Bigger, better, and bolder with new features, improved audience participation, amazing keepsakes, and collectibles, plus food vendors serving mouth-watering meals, the 2021 Felix Callicotte Memorial Clifton Hill Climb is coming! Thanks to the team effort by the Arizona Region Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), the town of Clifton, and the Greenlee County Tourism Council the Clifton Hill Climb is coming back!

Raymundo Frasquillo File Photo/Gila Herald: Car No. 4 was first in the Vintage Class during the 2017 event.

From its street-worthy humble beginnings in 1966, through the bumps and crashes of the 2015-16-17 racing era, look for the race to return this spring, April 16-17-18, 2021. The Labor Day time frame became unbearable, mainly due to the summer daytime temperatures which made the drivers’ full-body fire safety suits uncomfortable. Enter the solution, springtime racing.

Safety First. The SCCA has some outstanding safety protocols, not just for drivers but also race organizers. There will be no indoor events. On Friday, April 16 from 6 – 8 p.m. and Saturday morning the 17 from 9 – 10 a.m., racers can sign up at PJ’s Café in Clifton. The registration table will also have T-shirts, C19 masks, and memorabilia. 

The Racer’s Parade will once again begin about 5:30 Saturday night on Chase Creek Street and end at the American Legion Parking lot. Racing is all day Saturday and half a day on Sunday. The awards ceremony will start at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday at the American Legion parking lot at 51 Frisco Ave. The American Legion will be serving the boxed dinners.

Raymundo Frasquillo File Photo/Gila Herald: A driver leaves his equipment on his car as he allows a cool down before racing again during the 2017 event.

For more information, visit the event’s website here, or its Facebook page here.

To view a photo album from a past hill climb event click here.

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