Becoming a HillClimb Driver

The Mountains are Calling.

The Mountains are Calling.

There are very few things that can compete with the rush of charging up a mountain road, no oncoming traffic, no speed limit, no distractions - just you, the car and the road. It is the kind of thing that gets into your blood; it changes you. You are not just a driver or a racer, you become a HillClimber- and it is probably easier to be a HillClimber than you might think. All you need is a car, some safety gear and equipment and a driver’s license.

For SCCA HillClimb Safety Rules, click here.

If you are new to preparing a car or acquiring driver safety equipment, we recommend that you contact us directly before making any purchases: SERIES ADMIN

When you do purchase safety gear, we recommend our partners at Summit Racing Equipment.


Before jumping into the details of the must haves with respect to driver experience, let’s start with some should haves. Because motorsport experience is such a broad concept, specific HillClimb driving experience is not necessarily required to run a hill. However, proper driving experience is certainly recommended and a driver should have prior experience with official and sanctioned motorsports events. This can be track days, autocross, road racing or even karting, but it is important that a HillClimb driver have some experience with motorsport events, not just driving backroads.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t learn proper car control skills from the street - though attempting to apply this to HillClimb is extremely discouraged. HillClimb drivers certainly benefit from previous experience with motorsport event components like tech, registration, timing and scoring - even putting numbers on your car. Many find that becoming familiar with these event elements, particularly through Solo autocross programs, can help you be better prepared for driving a hill and the overall experience of HillClimb.

Vehicle Safety Equipment

If you have motorsport experience, or as you gain it, the next step is to invest in the required and recommended safety gear. For your car this means a proper roll bar or roll cage, a fire bottle or fire suppression system and an approved racing restraint system, as detailed in the above Safety Rules link. There are multiple ways to go about each, with most safety equipment available from our partners at Summit Racing.

Driver Safety Equipment

Driver safety gear standards are detailed in the HillClimb Safety Rules, and allow for a bit more room for personal preferences. Proper driver safety gear is generally easier to borrow than vehicle safety equipment. The safety rules require a fire-resistant suit, gloves, shoes, socks, and a certified helmet. Arm restraints or a window net is also required. The Appalachian HillClimb Series has collected much of this gear to loan. If you need loaner safety gear, please contact us. Additional safety gear, like head and neck restrain systems are recommended but not required. Because proper fit is essential for functionality of a helmet, borrowing a helmet is generally discouraged.

HillClimb Licenses

SCCA does issue HillClimb Drivers Licenses, however they are not required to participate in an event. The only license requirement is a state issued Drivers License. Once you have competed in a HillClimb event you will be issued a Novice HillClimb Drivers License, and after you have successfully completed your second event your license will be upgraded to a Full HillClimb Driver License.

HillClimb Novice Program

As a new HillClimber your first event will include guidance and instruction from the event’s novice coach. This will give you a go-to person for questions and direction as well as an opportunity for additional support before and during the event.