Press Release

Contact: Paul Giblin
Tel: (603) 466-2333
Date: June 23, 1999



Pinkham Notch, NH -- With the Audi Mt. Washington Hillclimb coming up this weekend, officials at the Mt. Washington Auto Road are pleased to report the largest field of drivers ever to compete in the nations oldest motorsports event. Scheduled for June 25th - 27th, the Audi Mt. Washington Hillclimb has attracted the largest field of drivers ever for the 1999 event. Over the year's, many well-known drivers including legends such as Carroll Shelby and Cannonball Baker have competed and won the event also known as the "Climb To The Clouds". Shelby claimed King Of The Hill honors in 1956 driving a Ferrari while Baker first claimed victory in 1928 driving a Franklin and once again in 1932 driving a Graham.

Since the Mt. Washington Hillclimb returned in 1990, the event has continued to grow each and every year with drivers coming from as far away as Europe to participate. This year's field, already at 69, is expected to crest 70 with competitors coming from as far away as Florida, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Canada and England to challenge the Northeast's highest peak, 6,288 foot Mt. Washington.

The schedule of events for the upcoming week will consist of a variety of motorsports activities including four "Custom & Classic" car shows, practice, qualifying and the big race on Sunday. The four car shows will take place on Wednesday (6/23) in North Conway, NH, Thursday (6/24) in Jackson, NH, Friday (6/25) in Lancaster, NH and Saturday (6/26) at the Mt. Washington Auto Road in Pinkham Notch. In addition, the competitors will begin to arrive in the area on Thursday with rookie orientation, registration and technical inspection of the racing vehicles taking place Thursday evening at the Auto Road. Practice will begin Friday (6/25) morning from 7am-11:30am on the lower half of the Auto Road (weather permitting) and the public is welcome to spectate from the base area of the Auto Road at no charge. Practice and qualifying will resume again on Saturday morning (6/26) from 7am-11:30am (weather permitting). Once again, spectators are encouraged to attend, as viewing is available from the base area of the Auto Road on Saturday at no charge. Following practice and qualifying Saturday morning, there will be a "Family Festival & Car Show" at the base of the Auto Road presented by the Lost In Time Cruisers Antique & Classic Car Club of Lancaster, NH featuring the 4th of the four car shows, music, food prepared by the Thompson House Eatery, vendors and an opportunity to view first-hand Audi's newest creation, the 2-seater TT Coupe which will be on display throughout the weekend. Spectators will also be able to walk through the paddock area and meet as well as photograph the drivers in this year's hillclimb.

On Sunday, June 27th, the Auto Road itself will be open from 7am-9am to allow those interested in viewing the race from the summit to purchase tickets at the Toll House and make there way to the top of the mountain. Those interested in spectating from the half-way Spectator Area, located just above treeline, will also be able to purchase tickets at this time for shuttle rides to the half-way Spectator Area. WMWV-fm from North Conway will once again be on hand at the half-way Spectator Area hosting their famous "Half-Way Party" with Mt. Washington Valley's own Mark Johnson announcing the racing activities for the day. The Auto Road will close to all upbound traffic at 9am with opening ceremonies and driver introductions taking place at 9:40am at the base area. Announcing the race at the base area this year will be Mt. Washington Valley's very own George Cleveland.

The first of two timed runs will take place on Sunday from 10am to approximately 12:30pm with the field of Vintage cars leading the way. Following the first timed run, there will be a lunch break and an opportunity for those interested in viewing the race from the half-way Spectator Area in the afternoon to purchase tickets for the shuttle trips to half-way. The second timed run will begin around 2:00pm and will conclude at approximately 4:30pm with awards taking place at the base area shortly thereafter.

For more information regarding the upcoming Audi-Mt. Washington Hillclimb, contact the Mt. Washington Auto Road at (603) 466-3988.

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